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Understanding Microsoft Dataverse: A Simplified Guide

Thursday, September 14, 2023
Reading time: 5 minutes

For many Microsoft partners, it is often hugely beneficial when looking to understand Microsoft Dataverse, if the history and background of its origins is known.  To bring context to its significance for partners, and to know how Dataverse can be leveraged to create value for customers and generate revenue, this article will look to provides a summary of the history whilst highlighting the key points about Dataverse and the commercial opportunities it offers.

What is Microsoft Dataverse?

Dataverse is a data platform that serves as a Common Data Model (CDM) for Microsoft Business Applications. It was originally known as the Common Data Service (CDS) and underwent rebranding in 2020. The goal of Dataverse is to provide a centralized, consistent database that underpins various Microsoft applications, including Dynamics 365, enabling seamless integration and data sharing.

Benefits of Dataverse for Partners and Customers

Dataverse provides a robust and extensible data platform for partners to build on. It allows partners to extend existing Dynamics 365 Business Applications or create new vertical applications tailored to customer requirements. By combining Dataverse with Power Apps or Power Automate, partners can enable data capture and workflow-driven scenarios within the Microsoft 365 ecosystem. For partners working with Business Central, Dataverse expands possibilities beyond traditional extensions, enabling solutions for users outside the finance function while integrating with it seamlessly.

Integration with Business Central

While Dataverse includes most Microsoft Business Applications, Business Central (formerly Dynamics NAV or Navision) is not fully integrated. However, Microsoft has provided configuration capabilities in Business Central that allow integration with Dataverse. This integration enables synchronization of accounts, contacts, currency, salespeople, and additional data elements between Business Central and Dataverse. The Dynamics 365 Sales integration also offers synchronisation with opportunities, orders and invoices, products, units of measure and price lists. Partners can also leverage custom connectors and virtual tables to extend integration capabilities.

Commercial Opportunities for Partners

Monetizing Dataverse requires combining its capabilities with other components of the Power Platform. Partners can focus on extending core entities or creating new tables to address additional data capture and storage needs for customers. The Unified Interface in model-driven Power Apps and workflow integration solutions through Power Automate enhance the value proposition. Partners can also leverage Power BI to deliver dashboard-style KPIs on top of the data captured in Dataverse. These opportunities generate revenue through annuity license sales, consulting services, and ongoing development based on evolving customer needs.

Architectural Guidance and Support

Understanding the technical aspects and choosing the right integration scenarios can be complex for partners. Companial, as a service provider, offer architectural guidance through technical services to help partners navigate these challenges. Partners can seek assistance from Companial to gain a better understanding of the technical aspects and integration options.

Microsoft Dataverse provides partners with a powerful data platform to extend and integrate Microsoft Business Applications. By leveraging Dataverse and other components of the Power Platform, partners can create tailored solutions, driving productivity, and generating revenue. Understanding the technical aspects, and exploring integration scenarios are crucial for partners to make the most of the commercial opportunities presented by Dataverse.

Review the Companial services available to help with Power Platform for services and development.

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