My Journey as an M365 PnP Publisher (from Independent Publisher to Verified Publisher)
Published Mar 18 2024 12:00 PM 944 Views
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My journey as an M365 Publisher started when I saw this post by Julia Muiruri Capstone Project: Build an Independent Publisher Connector. I was just a student getting started with backend development. I had some basic knowledge of working with Restful APIs. During that time there was 30DaysOfLowCode skill challenge which was about to start. My curious nature made me join this challenge.

The Low Code February Challenge was covering various topics ie

  • Why Low-Code?
  • Start low coding with Microsoft!
  • What is Fusion Development and why is it important?
  • PnP connectors
  • Canvas App
  • Power Fx
  • OpenAI & Microsoft Power Platform
  • Power Apps Component Framework
  • Power page for ProDevs
  • Power Automate, ACS and OpenAI
  • API Management & Power Platform

Among other topics.

These topics we all new to me, but I remember on day 6 of 30DaysOfLowCode, April Dunnam and Daniel Laskewitz were leading that call and it was called “Let's Make Some Connections!”.

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On this call we covered,

  • What is a Connector?
  • Connectors Components
  • Custom Components
  • Certifying a Connector

I got to learn that “connector is a wrapper around an API that allows the underlying service to talk to the Power Platform. It's essentially a proxy that provides a way for users to connect their accounts and leverage a set of prebuilt actions and triggers to integrate the services with their apps and workflows.

Power Platform offers a large ecosystem of software-as-a-service connectors that enable you to connect apps, data and devices in the cloud. Some examples of popular connectors are Office 365, Outlook, Dropbox, Salesforce, Google Services and many more.”

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I got to understand that there two types of connectors that is

And their differences ie

  • Verified Publisher - To be eligible to get certified as a verified publisher, you must own the underlying service behind the connector.
  • Independent Publisher - This gives you a chance to get your connector certified if you do not own the underlying service behind it.

Independent Publisher Certification Process

Since I was new to backend development, I knew I had to publish an independent connector. On day 9 Nitya Narasimhan and Daniel Laskewitz taught us how to build a Custom Connector.  My friend Denis Wachira and I embarked on a journey to look for open Apis. We later settled on disease.sh API and started the Connector lifecycle.

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  1. Build & Secure it -Since we were working on independent publishers, we skipped this step.
  2. Define it - this is where you describe the methods and metadata in the API. You can hand-craft this or use standardized options (OpenAPI file or Postman collection) to build from.
  3. Use it - create a connection to your Connector from a client, and validate it works!
  4. Share it - make the connector available to people within your organization to use.
  5. Certify it - submit it for Microsoft certification if you want this available to all users. More information about the Independent publisher certification process - here

After 2 weeks of hard work, I saw this purple button and I knew that our commitment to learning something new was about to pay off.

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After a week our influenza and covid-19 independent connector documentation was published on Microsoft Learn and our two names appeared at the bottom.

 

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Three months later, I led a team of four students to the Imagine Cup. We advanced to the World Finals - 2023 EMEA Region and finished as first runners-up. After the competition, we received $1,000 in Azure credits, among other incentives. I had an idea to create an API to provide easy and efficient access to university-related data for educational institutions, researchers, students, and anyone interested in information about universities worldwide.

Verified publisher certification process.

After creating World Academia API, I started the Verified publisher certification process

 

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Then world academia files were merged.

 

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Testing phase started which took a couple of weeks. There after the deployment started in the preview regions and later the connector was fully deployed on all regions.

Here is the official World Academia documentation on Microsoft learn.

 

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My connector is currently available for use on low code no code platforms ie power automate.

 

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On power automate: -

  • Click on connectors.
  • Then search for world academia.
  • Click on the icon and view all the details.

Along the way, I learned several skills in 30DaysOfLowCode Skill challenge which enabled me to both independent and verified connectors.

Resources to get started with Connectors.

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‎Mar 18 2024 12:00 PM
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