Understanding Microsoft Dynamics 365 Common Data Model

With Dynamics 365, Microsoft has eliminated the complexity of disparate CRM and ERP systems. Technological implementations always lead to questions related to data management. Data needs to be moved between the systems. However, the Common Data Model (CDM) has simplified the integration process. CDM has bridged the gap between disjointed data repositories, granting easier cross-platform business reporting.

Common Data Model: The Definition

CDM is a secure business database which is built on an elastic Azure SQL database with features like scalability and security. CDM enables organizations to consolidate data from different sources such as Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Office 365 to serve as an integration hub for data exchange.

CDM offers flexibility to add and extend data entities as per the requirements of the businesses. With the Common Data Model, Microsoft has created a secure database, where business information can be stored, standardized, and also be unified across a number of apps.

How does the Common Data Model work?

With data pooling, from different Dynamics 365 Apps and other sources, CDM stitches data together to offer organizations a complete picture of their business. CDM act as a centralized point enabling apps to integrate and share data with each other without requiring custom integration. CDM mapped disambiguate data of different sources to universally-agreed entities from its library, thus communicating the information. With over 120 pre-set standard entities, CDM enables communication among Microsoft business applications as well as with third-party apps and services.

How does the Common Data Service benefit Dynamics 365 users?

Centralization of Data

CDM ensures seamless communication between Dynamics CRM, Dynamics AX, Dynamics NAV and the Office 365 stack.

Ability to build apps and workflows without the need for coding experience

PowerApps enables you to create, modify and share your custom app from either a web-based studio or Windows app without writing a single line of code. Further, PowerApps offers compatibility with laptops, tablets, and phones and can run on Windows, iOS, and Android.

Integration with other services right out of the box

Flows interconnect cross-platform services with PowerApps and CDM while enabling data-driven eventing. These can be created from either the Flow website or the PowerApps studio. LogicApps are similar to flows but enable more advanced integration requirements including B2B scenarios involving AS2, X12, and EDIFACT. Furthermore, LogicApps supports advanced XML processing logic such as XML Validation, XSLT Transformation, Flat file decode and encode to/from XML.

Access to deeper analytical services

Power BI enables users to create visually appealing reports quickly and without technical expertise while providing insights that will help them make better decisions. Power BI offers a complete overview of business to users using data pulled from a variety of sources.

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