As part of the Dynamics 365 Spring 2018 release, Model-driven PowerApps were announced. They are essentially PowerApps that are configured using the Dynamics 365 framework.  I discussed in Build Feature Rich, Codeless, Business Applications using Microsoft PowerApps the features from Dynamics 365 that Model-driven PowerApps have inherited but what about the features that Dynamics 365 has that Model-driven PowerApps don’t.  We need to be able to understand this in order to make decisions around using Model-driven PowerApps for true xRM projects over Dynamics 365, and understand what we can achieve with Model-driven PowerApps.

The highlights from my dive into the two feature set are that Document Management (SharePoint integration) and Dynamics 365 App for Outlook are missing from Model-driven PowerApps.  In Dynamics 365 implementation projects these features are usually critical to achieving a customer’s requirements and business objectives.

Intelligence Configuration for Sales Insights is also not included in Model-driven PowerApps and while it is a recent addition to Dynamics 365 I see it becoming a key feature for driving customer engagement for its users.

Now, let’s dive into the detail…

Dynamics 365 Feature Comparison

I decided that the easiest way to compare the feature set was to start looking into the Settings module. Straight away I could see a difference in the number of feature options available.

Dynamics 365

Dynamics 365 Settings

Model-driven PowerApp

Model driven settings

Diving into each of the features I was able to compile the following table.

Dynamics 365 vs Model-driven features

Access to Dynamics 365 Entities from a Model-Driven PowerApp

Access to Dynamics 365 entities from Model-Driven PowerApp is determined by the PowerApp license type and also the restricted entities.  However, I was wondering how do the forms behave for a Model-Driven App connected to an existing Dynamics 365 CDS?  For example the standard CRM entities such as Opportunity, Quote, Case etc. have special form logic and action buttons compared to simple forms that you get with a custom entity.

Turns out that a Model-Driven App connected to an existing Dynamics 365 CDS will pick up the same forms as Dynamics 365.  Based on this it is technically possible for a user with a PowerApps Plan 2 license (US$40) to access the Sales Hub Dynamics 365 app (US$95) since the only Sales entity that is restricted is Goal. However, I don’t imagine this is how the licensing was designed to work.

User Interface Differences

Dynamics 365 v9.x currently has two user interfaces; the classic interface and the Unified Interface.  However, Model-Driven Power Apps only has the Unified Interface.

The differences between the features of these interfaces can be found here.

Solution Component Differences

I also checked out the solution component differences. Of which only the Service Management specific components (Routing Rule Sets, Record Creation and Update Rules, SLAs) do not appear for Model-driven PowerApps.  All other solution components for configuration or customisation are available.


Hopefully this information will be useful when considering Model-driven PowerApps for your next xRM project.