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This short article is intended for individuals and companies who are thinking of taking a dive into the world of Microsoft Dynamics 365, Power Apps and Dataverse and also for professionals who are trying to wrap their head around the new terminologies introduced by Microsoft. HSD’s Senior Technical Consultant (Dynamics 365), Kiran Kanyakubj guides you through this discussion.

What is The Dataverse? 

Microsoft Dataverse is a data storage and management engine serving as a foundation for Microsoft’s Power Platform, Office 365 and Dynamics 365 apps.

Dataverse easily structures a variety of data and business logic to support interconnected applications and processes in a secure and compliant manner.

Dataverse is a cloud-based, low-code data service an app platform. It’s managed and maintained by Microsoft. It’s available globally deployed geographically to comply with potential data residency.

History of The Dataverse

The name Dataverse is new, before that it was called CDS (Common Data Service). Foundation of the platform was central to operating Dynamics 365 CE and Microsoft’s first party apps like Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Field Service.

Lineage of the system is storing, protecting and securing a company’s most valuable data assets and secure business critical data.

There’s one other difference between CDS and Dataverse, aside from the name change. Microsoft has updated some terminology, which might cause a little confusion. While much of Dataverse stays the same as CDS, there are some changes, such as new terms for features inside the platform.

  • “Entity” and “entities” on CDS are now “table” and “tables” on Dataverse.
  • “Field” and “fields” are now “column” and “columns.”
  • “Attribute” and “attribute” are also now “column” and “columns”.
  • “Record” and “records” become “row” and “rows”.
  • “Option set” becomes “choice”.
  • “Multiple select option sets” and “picklists” both have become “choices”.
  • “Two Options”  becomes “Yes/No”.

Dataverse vs SQL Database

In first look, you will find many similarities between Dataverse and SQL. They are both organized in rows, columns, tables. Dataverse is based on the Microsoft Azure SQL database.

Why choose the Dataverse?

Microsoft Dataverse is more than just a database. It’s database++

Dataverse is the most powerful data platform on the market, providing seamless integration between other products in the Microsoft ecosystem.

As opposed to SQL, Dataverse also includes a business application layer. It includes a set of features that are usually found in applications, or systems.

It also has a data access layer. It has a business logic layer. It even has a presentation layer. It would right to consider it more like a “platform”.

It allows you to apply business logic at the data layer instead of the app layer using business rules. When you create business rules in Dataverse it’s in effect regardless of where you interact with the data. It is used to set values, validate data, show error messages, show/hide columns etc in canvas and model driven apps.

It will also help you detect duplicates using duplicate detection rules to maintain the integrity of data.

One will not have to worry about data management (import/export) or creating dashboards for various users.

Easily integrates with MS Office or SharePoint.

Dataverse is built on Microsoft Azure to ensure scalability, data security and availability.

Various types of data types are supported in Dataverse which include files, images, videos etc

Data of any size and format could be easily imported, managed and exported out of Dataverse with streamlined processes.

Easy to manage – Both the metadata and data are stored in the cloud. You don’t need to worry about the details of how they’re stored.

Easy to secure – Data is securely stored so that users can see it only if you grant them access. Role-based security allows you to control access to tables for different users within your organization.

Access your Dynamics 365 Data – Data from your Dynamics 365 applications is also stored within Dataverse, allowing you to quickly build apps that use your Dynamics 365 data and extend your apps with Power Apps.

Reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgX2BIdEdqs&t=1165s

Dataverse allows you to use your data is all sorts of ways. It powers the entire power platform with native connectivity built into Power apps, Power automate, Power BI and Power virtual agents.

AI builder and portals features of Power platform utilise Dataverse.

Reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgX2BIdEdqs&t=490s

Dataverse maximizes the types of experiences that one can build on top of your data.

Real life scenario of Dataverse and Power Apps Implementation in public sector in Victoria

  • Power Apps build on Dataverse are being used in vaccine administration and distribution in Victoria.
  • Power portals are leveraged for patient register and booking appointment slots
  • Canvas App and Model Driven apps were used on the field and back office to track appointments and other business processes.
  • 20 TB of data withing a single Dataverse environment.

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