Wednesday, 7 July 2021

Microsoft Dataverse (CDS) - Overview

Note:  Microsoft have had some trouble naming Dataverse, it was previously known as the Common Data Service (CDS).

Dataverse logo

Overview: Dataverse helps improve processes.  And Dataverse helps reduce time to build IT capability, remove shadow IT, improve security and governance.  Data is the common data store we need to use to be effective.  As part of the Power Platform, it allows us to build custom software fairly quickly.

Updated 07-July-2022

Dataverse provides relation data storage (actually runs on Azure SQL (Azure Elastic Pools), Cosmos DB, and Blobs), lots of tools e.g. modelling tools.  I think of it as a SQL database with lots of extra features.  Most importantly business rules and workflow.

  • Dataverse relies on AAD for security
  • Easy data modelling and supports many-to-many relationships
  • Easy to import data using PowerQuery compatible data sources
  • Role-based data (previously called row) and column (previously called fields) level security
  • Provides a secure REST API over the Common Data Model, it's awesome
  • Easy to generate UI using PowerApps model driven app
  • Ability to inject business rules when data comes in or out of the Dataverse (can also use .NET core code)
  • Can also stored files (ultimately in blob storage)
  • Search that indexes entities and files
Dataverse basically allows you to have a PaaS data hosting service that mimics what we have done for many years with databases and Open API, has advance features and tooling and it is all securely managed for you.  

The cons are basically: is that it is expensive.  So you need to know your size and keep buying add-ons to the plans.  Scaling Dataverse is expensive.

Common Data Model: Collection of tables (previously called entities and most CRM people still call them entities) e.g account, email, customers for a business to reuse.  Comes from CRM originally, the starting point consists of hundreds of entities pre-created.  Common standard for holding data.

Each Power Platform Environment has a single Dataverse associate to it.  It's a good idea to have more than one environment but at it's simplest, use a trial to learn and progress to production.

Once I have a new environment, I can use Power Apps to access my environments Dataverse and model out a new table to store info, I am storing people tax returns.
Go into the Dataverse and model directly

Model the table in you Dataverse instance

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