An environment is a space to store and manage all data, apps and flows that are created. Different environments can be used for different purposes and you move your data, apps and flows between environments by using solutions.
Environments is a part of the ALM concept from Microsoft. When starting with the Power Platform it is recommended to set up an environment strategy, e.g. how many environments should there be and what purpose do they have. Examples of different environments are development environment, test environment and production environment.
There are different types of environments:
- Default - Each Microsoft 365 tenant has a default environment which is created automatically. It is NOT intended to be used as production environment.
- Developer - The type of environment you will get if signing up for a Community Plan
- Production - For your apps and flows which should be used on permanent basis.
- Sandbox - For non-production environments, e.g. for development and testing.
- Support - Environments created by Microsoft Support. Copy of another environment. Do not affect the storage capacity.
- Trial - For trying out new functionality or other short-term test purposes. It is deleted after 30 days.
Environments are managed though Admin Center. You need 1 GB of available storage capacity in order to create an environment. Your storage capacity depends on the number of and the type of licenses that you have bought. When creating an environment you get to choose if you want to create a Dataverse database or not and you will also get to choose if it should have Dynamics Apps or not.
Make sure to think BEFORE you create your environment and make your choices wisely. Certain settings cannot be changed after the environment has been created. These are: Base language, currency, Dynamics apps or not.