Introduction to Dynamics 365 Common Data Service

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Today’s fast and rapidly growing organizations are constantly on the lookout for a platform that has the potential to securely store and manage data used by business applications. Management of such intelligent business data is vital to make critical decisions around sales and marketing, accounts, and finance. For such requirements, the Common Data Service used by Dynamics 365 applications comes to the rescue.

By enabling seamless sharing of business data to make efficient and informed business decisions with basic overhead, it enables organizations to have an integrated business environment. It provides out-of-the-box, intelligent business integration capabilities with myriad built-in features that ease the process of integration between business applications – with very little or no custom code development, minimal risks, and ease of maintenance.

Benefits of Common Data Service

Common Data Service stores and manages data used by business applications within a set of entities or records and includes a base set of standard entities that cover typical scenarios. However, you can also create custom entities specific to your business and populate them with data using Power Query; you can then leverage PowerApps to build rich applications using this data. This secure and cloud-based storage option for your data offers several benefits:

  • Since both the metadata and data are stored in the cloud, it is easy to manage
  • Data is securely stored; role-based security ensures only authorized users have access
  • You get access to rich metadata and can leverage data types and relationships directly within PowerApps
  • You can define calculated fields, workflows, and business process flows to ensure data quality and drive business processes
  • Pre-defined business rules and logic ensure data consistency, irrespective of how users are accessing the data
  • Using add-ins for Microsoft Excel, you can increase productivity and ensure data accessibility
  • It is easy to implementation, so you can quickly take advantage of its capabilities.

Data Integration Prospect to Cash

The Prospect to Cash Integration uses the Power platform to synchronize or exchange data across Dynamics 365 for Finance & Operations and Dynamics 365 for Sales. Pre-defined templates are available to integrate entities like accounts, contacts, products, sales quotations, sales orders, and sales invoices between Finance & Operations and Sales.

By enabling data flow between Finance & Operations and Sales, you can perform following activities.

  • Maintain Accounts in Dynamics 365 for Sales and sync them to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations as Customers.
  • Maintain Contacts in Dynamics 365 for Sales and sync them to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations.
  • Maintain Products in Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations and sync them to Dynamics 365 for Sales.
  • Create Quotes in Dynamics 365 for Sales and sync them to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations.
  • Generate Sales orders in Dynamics 365 for Sales for existing products and sync them to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations.
  • Generate, modify, and fulfill Sales orders in Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations and sync changes to Dynamics 365 for Sales.
  • Generate Invoices in Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations and sync them to Dynamics 365 for Sales.

Prerequisites

There are some prerequisites to run the Prospect to Cash Integration. You need read and write access across both applications. You would also require an environment administrator where you have created database on PowerApps.

As a best practice, create dedicated integration user to manage and run integration between multiple systems. After creating new user, log into https://www.powerapps.com portal.

Configure Prospect to Cash flow

Listed below are steps to configure Prospect to Cash flow:

  1. Create the Common Data Service Environment

On PowerApps portal, click on the settings icon in the top right corner and go to “Admin center”

To create a new environment, go to Environment –> New

Click on New Icon, system will prompt New Environment dialogue. Fill up required details in available fields Name, Type, Region, Purpose and Create a Database. This will create a CDS database.

To set up the security for the newly created environment, go to Environments –> Security and set the environment roles, user roles, and permission sets as per the needs of your organization.

  1. Configure Connections

From PowerApps main window, configure connection Data >> Connections.

Connections allow two systems integration and data entities access.

Click on New Connection and create connections for Dynamics 365 F&O and Dynamics 365. Once you select your connection, select Create. Then you will be prompted for credentials. After you provide your credentials, the connection will be listed under your connections.

  1. Configure Connection Set

Connection sets are nothing but collection of two connections, environments for the connections, organization mapping information, and integration keys that can be reused among projects. You can store multiple organization mappings in a connection set.

To create Connection Sets, go to Admin center –> Data integration –> New Connection Set.

You will be prompted on New Connection Set dialogue. Fill up required details.

You need to select the connections that you have created previously and select the appropriate environment. Follow same steps for your other connection.

Specify the organization to business unit mapping (if you are integrating between Finance and Operations and Sales systems).

After filling all required details, click on Create button.

Newly added connections would be added in connection list page.

  1. Configure Project

This will enable data integration between two systems. A project contains mapping of one or many entities and that denotes mapping between two related fields in two systems.

You can also schedule process synchronization manually or automatically with custom time interval and monitor the error and success charts of the integration procedure taking place.

Go to Admin Center –> Data Integration –> New Projects

Fill up require details like project name, create or select existing connection set, select templates from available list and specify organizations. Then, click on Create button.

Following are standard templates and you can make your customer template.

To view the standard mapping of the entities provided by the template, click MAP –> and dig into the mappings. You can also provide your own mappings if needed.

Save your project after made any changes.

Click on the Run Project button, that will manually invoke or trigger data flow between systems.

To automate data synchronization flow, you can configure scheduler on specific interval from Scheduling tab. Go to Data Integration

–> Projects –> Scheduling.

From Execution History, you can monitor each run history and data transfer between two systems. This will also give information about pass and fail.

Streamline Operations

The Azure-based storage facilitating data storage centrally from various Dynamics 365 applications, Common Data Service makes it easier for organizations to store, maintain, and share data between different business applications. Using the Data Integrator tool, you can structure the end-to-end view of business data between the source application to the destination application with the help of Connections and Connection Sets.

The Prospect to Cash Integration enables direct synchronization between Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations and Sales. Through this integration, you can seamlessly maintain and manage accounts, products, contacts, quotations, invoices, and sales invoices between the two applications and streamline operations across your business.

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