In my last blog, we covered business events and I provided a walkthrough of how to trigger a Power Automate flow using the batch job ended business event. Click here if you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet! Today we’re going to touch on some powerful features that can be unlocked in Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations (F&O) through enabling the Power Platform integration.

New capabilities will no doubt be on the way to take advantage of the power behind Dataverse and the Power Platform, but right now the features to be aware of are virtual entities, dual-write, and add-ins. Virtual entities create a new type of data source in Dataverse with full create, read, update, and delete (CRUD) operations in F&O. With virtual entities, the data stays within the application itself and is a way to allow app makers to work with F&O data from Dataverse. Some examples of this can be using data in F&O as part of a Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (CE) app or a Power Apps Portal that is used as an external facing website.  

Dual-write is a tightly coupled bidirectional integration between F&O and Dataverse (although, this can be used for one-direction integration into Dataverse as well if your scenario calls for it). Unlike with virtual entities, any changes in selected data are written to Dataverse and any changes written in Dataverse can be written back to F&O in near-real-time. This is the out-of-the-box method for integrating and mapping the data flow between F&O and CE. For example, a CE app could access product or inventory data that originates from F&O.

Add-ins are installed and managed from LCS and provide a way to extend functionality in F&O apps. The add-in metadata and configuration options are stored in Dataverse and depending on the add-in, may also save other data there as well. An exciting example of this is the Planning Optimization Add-in which enables master planning calculation to occur outside of the application and related SQL database. This vastly improves performance and reduces the impact on the application during the calculation process. You can even run it during office hours so that planners can provide new inputs if parameters change.

To enable the Power Platform integration, one consideration to be aware of is that you need at least one gigabyte (GB) of Power Platform database storage capacity for your tenant. Trying to configure the integration without it will fail.

I hope this quick overview of these features has given you a better understanding of the potential behind Power Platform integration and its uses with F&O. Here are a few links for the pre-requisites and process to configure the integration:

Prerequisites for setting up the Power Platform integration

Enabling the Power Platform integration

Thanks for reading! Please connect with me on LinkedIn and I hope to hear from you soon (LinkedIn info is in my author profile).