Dataverse, Dynamics, Power Apps…..joining the dots

Heard about Dataverse, Dynamics and Power Apps but not sure how they can work together? In this blog I’ll show you one example (although there are hundreds) of how you can use all three.

What are they?

Dataverse and PowerApps are part of the Microsoft Power Platform. A low code platform that is gathering pace within the Housing Sector.

Dataverse – Forms the foundation of the Platform. It lets you securely store and manage data that’s used by business applications (including PowerApps and Dynamics 365). Data within Dataverse is stored within a set of tables. Dataverse includes a base set of standard tables that cover typical scenarios, but you can also create custom tables specific to your organization.

Power Apps – Power Apps is a suite of apps, services, and connectors, as well as a data platform, that provides a rapid development environment to build custom apps for your business needs. Using Power Apps, you can quickly build custom business apps that connect to your data stored either in the underlying data platform (Microsoft Dataverse) or in various online and on-premises data sources (such as SharePoint, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, SQL Server, and so on).

What about Dynamics?

Dynamics is part of the Power Platform (along with other Office 365 applications). This means its also built on the Dataverse. So, anything you build within Dynamics (along with any data added by users) can be viewed within the Data verse. This opens the door for the 3 of them (Data verse, Dynamics 365, Power Apps) to connect with each other.

What does it look like when they work together?

How can I use them?

At the moment many organisations are struggling with the huge variety of choice between the Microsoft PowerPlatform, Microsoft Dynamics and Microsoft 365 and how to get started. Continuous improvement helps you manage these huge choices and prevent you from being tied to one application from the start to the end of your project. Here are the steps you can take to implement your marginal gains and make the most of all the Microsoft Apps:

  1. Have a clear strategy – What does the business need to achieve
  2. Create a road map that will help you achieve that strategy
  3. Understand the core processes that need to be built into your roadmap including the outcomes
  4. Work with the business, understand how they work and the barriers they face. What small changes could you make to improve things?
  5. Create a system architecture that supports this. With clear business rules on what data should be held, for how long, in what format etc.
  6. Review the best part of the Microsoft stack to use for each phase of your project (once you understand the requirements). Here’s why:
    • Microsoft are constantly changing applications across the stack. For example PowerApps are being equipped with more and more functionality so you may not need a full Dynamics 365 App
    • Your choice can impact the cost of licences. Generally speaking Dynamics licences are more expensive than Power App ones but may not offer the functionality you require.
    • You can mix and match. Don’t feel like you must have a Power App over a Dynamics App you may be able to have both. For example, if you’re completing a complex property inspection process those based in the office (completing follow up actions) may need a full fat Dynamics licence where someone who completes the initial inspection may only need a Power App.

The great thing is that the data from Dynamics and your Power Apps will sit in Dataverse enabling you to push it into Power Bi or another reporting application.

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