Power Platform – Introduction to Common Data Service(CDS)

What is Common Data Service?

  1. Common Data Service it’s a very fast growing service.
  2. Common Data Service lets you securely store and manage data in business application it’s just work like a databases (SQL ,Oracle, MySQL etc.).
  3. All the data of Common Data Service is stores in set of entities. Entities are set of records like tables in other databases. It’s managed and maintained by Microsoft.
Fig.1 Power Platform – Power Apps – Common Data Service

4. There is many standard entities and you also create your custom entities and populate with PowerQuery.

5. Common Data Service it’s a powerful cloud based solution for working and storing data with your business needs.

There are some features of Common Data Service are as follow: –

  1. Security – Common Data Service handles authentication securely with Azure Active Directory for conditional access.
  2. Logic – Common Data Service allow you to easily apply your business logic.
  3. Data – Common Data Service offers you various types of data and you can shape your data and also allow validating, discovering and reporting on your data.
  4. Storage – Common Data Model stores your data in Azure cloud and it fully safe where your data lives.
  5. Integration – Common Data Service connects with different ways to support your business needs. APIs, webhooks, eventing, and data exports give you flexibility to get data in and out.

Common Data Service have many In-build tables and fields (called entities). For your stored data have many different ways to access. We also work with tools Power Apps or Power Automate.

There are some benefits of Common Data Service are as follow: –

  1. Easy to access – Both the data and metadata stored in the cloud safely you don’t take a burden about how its stored.
  2. Easy to secure – Data is securely stored and only authenticated users see it. There is Role-based security which allowed you to give different control access to your organization users.
  3. Access your Dynamics 365 data – Data from Dynamic 365 application also stored in Common Data Service and help to build a quick app.
  4. Rich Metadata – Data types and relationships are leveraged directly within Power Apps.
  5. Logic and validation – Define calculated fields, business rules, workflows, and business process flows to ensure data quality and drive business processes.

Interacting data into Common Data Service

When we creating app its typically involves data from many other sources so this all data integrated together into common store in a single set and then its easy to building a app and also easy to maintain and operate. Common Data Service allowed this data integration from multiple sources into single store which can used in power Apps, Power Automate, Power BI and Power Virtual Agents along with data already available from the Dynamics 365 applications.

Now let’s see as below:-

  1. Scheduled integration with other systems – Data regularly synchronized by Common Data Service which is kept within another application to allow you to leverage other applications data in Power Apps.
  2. Transform and import data using PowerQuery – Transforming data when importing into common Data Service can be done with PowerQuery like SQLQuery from many data sources and common tools used across Excel and Power BI.
  3. One time import of data – Simple import and export of excel and CSV files can be used for one time or infrequent import of data into the Common Data Service.

Interacting with entities

When we developed application we can used standard entities of Common Data service and we can also create our custom entities. These are designed to capture the common concepts and scenarios within organization. There are two types of entities standard and complex we will discuss detail in next article.

Fig.2 Power Platform – Power Apps – Entities

Logic and validation

Common Data Service can take advantage of rich server – side logic of entities and validation are help to ensure quality and also reduce chances of repeating data.

Business rules – Its validate data across all entities and fields and shows warning or error messages.

Business process flows – To help users that they are entering data and always have to follow the same steps.

Workflows – Allows you to automate business processes without user interactions.

Business logic with code – Support developers to enhance the application using code.

We will discuss in detail about entities in our next article.

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