Custom Power Automate Connectors in GCC High

Many organizations in the Defense and Aerospace industries have moved to Office 365 GCC High to meet their compliance and security requirements. The reason for this is that GCC High was created to meet the needs of the U.S. Department of Defense and Federal contractors that needed to meet the stringent cybersecurity and compliance requirements of NIST 800-171, FedRAMP High, and ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations). GCC High is technically a copy of the U.S. Department of Defense cloud, but it exists in its own sovereign environment.

Office 365 applications and features, which include SharePoint and OneDrive, etc. integrate tightly with Microsoft’s Power Platform. It is not just a service, in fact it’s much more, as it connects to hundreds of other apps and is used to build end-to-end business solutions.

One of the key products in Microsoft’s Power Platform is Power Automate. It empowers everyone to build automated processes with flows, using low-code, drag-and-drop tools, and hundreds of prebuilt connectors that automate repetitive, mundane tasks with ease.

With the tightened security of GCC High come some serious limitations the most impactful being the lack of support for third-party connectors such as Box, Gmail and Muhimbi PDF. This is a real limitation as 3rd party connectors are the reason Power Automate and related tools are so valuable.

But all is not lost, some vendors – including Muhimbi PDF – make it possible for their Power Automate connector to be imported into GCC High environments.

The purpose of this post is to explain and demonstrate how this can be done. We use the connector I am most familiar with, Muhimbi PDF. Muhimbi provide a helpful guide for manually importing their connector, my tutorial below adds some useful screenshots.

Step 1 – Download the ‘OpenAPI’ definition and the Muhimbi icon.

Step 2 – Create a custom connector as follows:

  • Select New custom connector, then choose Import an OpenAPI file.
  • Import the previously downloaded OpenAPI file.

Step 3 – On the General information page, upload the connector icon and review the information that was imported from the OpenAPI definition (there should be no need to make any changes unless directed by Muhimbi’s support desk).

Step 4 – On the Security page, please add the information below –

Step 5 –  On the Definitions page accept the default settings.

Step 6 – Skip the Code Review step and click on “Create Connector” at the top of the page.

Step  7 – With the new API configured, it’s time to setup a connection between Power Automate and your Muhimbi account (Including registering for a new account):

  • Navigate to Power Automate’s Connections screen.
  • Click ‘Create connection’ (+ icon) to display the list of services that can integrate with Power Automate.
  • Navigate to (or search for) the Muhimbi service that you set up earlier, and click the ‘+’ icon.  
  • You now have the option to log in using an existing account, or create a new account by setting up a trial subscription.
  • The steps to create a new account are self-describing. However, please keep in mind that if you are an existing subscriber for the Muhimbi PDF Converter Online, you can attach your new account to your existing subscription by entering your existing Muhimbi Subscription ID. Providing an existing subscription is found, your Power Automate connector will be fully activated at no charge.
  • When setting up a new account, an approval email will be sent to either the email address specified when registering or, in the case where a Subscription ID is entered, the person in your organization who looks after your Muhimbi Online subscription. If that person is unable to approve the request then you will not be able to use your new Power Automate connector account until the request is approved.
  • Once the new account has been verified, by clicking the link in the confirmation email, you’re ready to go. Have a look at these tutorials, as well as this article on Muhimbi’s Flow actions’ core concepts, to see how easy it is to create a basic workflow.

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