From breaking down silos between business processes and apps, to driving intelligent decisions that automate processes from end to end, Dynamics 365 is transforming the way organizations conduct business. So how does Dynamics 365 achieve this? Dynamics 365 is primarily built on three strong pillars: PowerApps, Flow, and the Common Data Model that make running business and driving transformation a breeze.

PowerApps

Imagine if you could create apps and workflows with little or no coding? The underlying Common Data Model in PowerApps unifies and manages data entities from Dynamics 365, letting you quickly build web and mobile apps using a simple drag and drop functionality.

  • Convert business expertise into solutions, and get what you need to drive results
  • Build additional data connections and APIs to any existing business systems and empower users to create the apps they need.
  • Choose the app of your choice – from a recruiting app for an internal team to a customer service app for your sales team
  • Surface any information from Dynamics 365 and publish them instantly through a visually appealing and mobile or web friendly app
  • Create apps that work on any device using a Microsoft Office-like experience using pre-defined templates to get started quickly
  • Use built-in connections, or custom build them to connect PowerApps to cloud services such as Office 365, Dynamics CRM, Salesforce, Dropbox and OneDrive and on-premises systems including SharePoint, SQL Server, Oracle databases, SAP and more.

Microsoft Flow

Don’t you wish the workflow building process was easier? More streamlined? Less stressful? With Microsoft Flow, a business process automation service, you can integrate applications and services, and turn insight into action.

  • Create a workflow of your choice – from one that automatically triggers your SharePoint site to store data in a OneDrive folder to one that handles a purchase requisition
  • Flow connects your cloud services together allowing you to create workflows from pre-configured templates or from scratch
  • Create workflows between your apps to get notifications, sync or organize data, automate approvals
  • Turn repetitive tasks into multi-step workflows, and improve the efficiency with which you do your daily tasks

Common Data Model

Imagine if you had a shared database to store business entities that connect Dynamics 365, Flow and Power Apps. CDM, the Azure-based business application data model, offers such a storage mechanism through PowerApps. Pre-provisioned with a large set of standard entities used in business applications, you can not only use standard entities but also extend the data model with custom entities – all this without writing code.

  • As non-developers, you can create a host of data models to support diverse needs: from one that pushes records from multiple CRM systems to one that sends a notification when an opportunity above $1 M is created.
  • Source data from multiple systems, relate the data, and get a view across many applications.
  • CDM provides structured metadata, rich data types, auto numbering, lookups, business data types like Address, Currency, and capabilities like referential integrity through metadata configuration, and cascade deletes
  • Choose from a series of templates to collect data from sources including SQL, Excel, Custom API and Dynamics 365.
  • Leverage the capabilities of consistently structured entities across your Dynamics 365 environment that include calendars, invoices, accounts and sales leads.

Make the most of Dynamics 365

The launch of Dynamics 365 as a one-stop solution for organizations worldwide is not to disrupt existing product roadmaps, but to improve operational and productivity app development on Azure as a long term evolution of Microsoft’s business solutions. With PowerApps, Microsoft Flow, CDM, and Dynamics 365 expected to move forward in a unified manner, there’s a lot you can achieve: create apps of your choice, share PowerApps like documents, build workflows from pre-configured templates or from scratch, and generate data models that source and sync data from multiple applications – and make the most of your Dynamics 365.

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About the Author - Manoj Nair

Manoj Nair is a seasoned IT professional with over 12 years of experience in Software Consultancy, ERP Implementation, Testing, ISV Development & Client Management. He is a Senior Project Manager at Indusa and is responsible of managing various software programs through cross functional coordination.

Contibuting Author: Malavika Nityanandam