In this blog, we are going to look at two methods to make an existing Canvas App solution-aware. But before we start let us briefly cover what does “solution-aware” means? When you create your app directly from the App section on they get created outside of a solution. To deploy them from one instance to another you will have to export it from canvas apps details page. Now, when you want to automate your deployment or even keep all components together you might want to add them into a particular solution. Even though you may have created the app outside of a solution there are ways to make them solution-aware; or in other words make them part of a particular solution.

When you go to canvas apps details page currently you do not see list of all solutions that a particular app is part of. If you like this idea then vote for this idea.

As stated earlier as far as I know there are two ways of doing it. If you have any other way please let me know and I will add it to this blog (credits will be given to you).

1. Out of box way

  • Open your desired solution
  • From the ribbon (menu) select Add Existing > App > Canvas App. This will open a sidebar with list of existing canvas apps
  • There are two tabs on this sidebar. Select “Outside solutions”. Click on this tab.
  • Select your app and click “Add”.

This tab will present you with the list of all canvas apps that are not part of any solution. Adding it here will make them part of Common Data Service.


2. Copy existing app to new app

Now, most of the time first method should work. But in case the app doesn’t show up in the list of “Outside solutions” there is another way to make them solution-aware.

  • Open your desired solution
  • Create a new app. From the ribbon (menu) select New > App > Canvas App > (either Phone-form or tablet-form). Provide your desired (temporary name), save and close this app.
  • Go back to your existing app which is outside the solution and export it. Save the file locally.
  • Use the import feature and with the above downloaded file start the import process.
  • Here map the importing canvas app to your newly created (temporary name) solution-aware canvas app.
  • Click on Import.


Hope this helps.

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