Microsoft Dynamics basics.

Dec 22, 2020 | Server administration, Technology | 0 comments

I attended a training course provided by New Horizons today on Microsoft Dynamics Fundamentals. I have been looking forward to this. Dynamics is something I have been supporting from an integration and technology perspective for years, but I have not really had any day-to-day exposure to it on the end-user side.

I was a little worried at first when I was the only person on the course, but it has turned out well. I am only a day into a two-day course, but we have already covered most of the content and a lot more that was not quite scheduled to be covered. The main revelation though is the core data schema that Dynamics uses.

First: Microsoft are moving to a new way of describing the data in Dynamics. Instead of entities, there are tables. There are also now rows and columns instead of records and fields. This makes the entire thing much easier for me to understand because it aligns it with standard database terminology.

There is also this thing called the Common Data Model. This is a crucial part in the puzzle.  It describes the data schema used in Dynamics.  It is not just Dynamics that uses this either. SAP does as well from what I understand.  But even better, the CDM Common Data Model is documented on Git hub.

There is also more Microsoft specific documentation on the CDM here.

There is also the Common Data Service. This sits on top of the Common Data Model.  I am not going to try to paraphrase the document that is written out there by people who are much more knowledgeable on this than I am.

The reason I am writing this blog post is to say that now that I have a better understanding of this core part of Dynamics, I am more confident with other parts like field security mapping, form security, views etc.

I might have come to this at a good time actually.  So much of Dynamics is now moving to Power Platform. Making a UI using Power Apps is very straight forward.  Although, I need more time to explore this. I am still stuck connecting the right entities in my site map.  Looks like I have some exploration to do over Christmas.

I am looking forward to tomorrow. The instructor on this course is very happy to move along at a much faster pace than normal and he has been able to answer most of the questions I have thrown at him.  Tomorrow we are going to look at data imports and exports. But I am hoping to send a few more questions his direction relating to custom workflows in Power Apps.  We looked at that very briefly today, but I would really like to learn more before I go off and get stuck into this independently.

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