#Microsoft has released the Microsoft Common Data Model (CDM) for #PowerBI, #PowerApps, #Excel, and #Flow “an out-of-box business database for storing and managing business entities.” The CDM is intended to be used as a business database and has full support for flows in #Microsoft Flow, rich control support within PowerApps, easy chema definition support for non-developers, full Excel integration for both viewing & editing data, and bulk data import & export capabilities. The CDM can provide access to standard entities and also allow developers to build custom entities as well. Out of the start gate, Microsoft alreday has some templates for Microsoft Flow to help you get started. Some of the templates include actions/integration with Dr0pBox, Salesforce, I am sure this number will grow overtime and we will more than likely see a community based pool of templates begin to evolve as well.
The CDM will allow users to collect data such as Tweets, RSS items, REST data, and other data sources as well. They also can import and export data from services like Dynamics CRM, Salesforce.com, Excel, SQL databases (cloud and on-prem), OLEDB connections, REST, and web services. The CDM can also be used to build and store history/status of pending approvals as well.
The CDM is meant to provide a database of entities that are utilized across businesses and industries that are common between them like Sales, Purchasing, Customer Service, and Productivity. The entities will then be connected to Microsoft’s business applications and third-party and customer-developed apps as well. Using the latest SQL Server data types, the entities in CDM support data types like Address, Email, Currency, Invoice, Auto Numbering, images, geographic locations, and more.
The CDM is supposed to be at the very core of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Cloud Bundle, which is supposed to be available before the end of this year. Microsoft has also launched a site about these technologies, their integration, and some more important information at businessplatform.microsoft.com.
Following the July announcement of the Microsoft Common Data Model (CDM), we’re happy to make it available for preview today. The CDM is the Microsoft Azure–based business application model and storage mechanism for the Microsoft business application platform. The CDM comes pre-provisioned with a rich set of standard entities and plays an important role in our business application platform innovation focus to accelerate application development by power users.
With the CDM in PowerApps, app creators can use and extend standard entities, and define custom entities and custom entity relationships to build and share applications. The CDM roadmap and this preview go far beyond schema definition and storage. This preview delivers the following features:
- Preview versions of standard entity definitions
- Rich data type support for extending standard entities and defining custom entities
- Simple schema definition tools aimed at non-developers
- Rich control support in Microsoft PowerApps
- Integration with Microsoft Flow
- Rich Microsoft Excel integration for viewing and editing data
- Bulk data import and export capabilities
The CDM roadmap will continue to add and enhance definitions of standard entities, and will add integration capabilities for importing data from multiple sources. It will also include enhanced security and many more capabilities. For more context about the roadmap, review the introductory blog post.
With the standard schema and integration capabilities, the CDM aims to bridge the data gap between the many business apps deployed in an enterprise. It is much more than a relational database: it has a meta-model that understands business primitives and semantics such as currency, amounts, and auto-number fields. It encapsulates core business concepts in a standard set of entities.
Future iterations of the CDM combined with PowerApps will fundamentally change and accelerate how organizations build custom business applications. The goal for the CDM is to enable applications that will source data from multiple systems, join that data, aggregate it, and let users make decisions based on it.
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