What is Microsoft Dataverse for Teams?

Read All About it Microsoft Dataverse for Teams is the new Name for Dataflex, Common Data Service, CDS and Oakdale and it is now Generally Available. If you have Teams, you have Dataverse, and this is how it works.

Whilst it has had some growing pains, having been called Dataflex and also Oakdale, it now has a new name “Dataverse” , it represents a very new and different platform for building apps, Automation Flows and Chatbots.

Under the hood it is backed up by the Common Data Service, a hybrid Data platform hosted within your Microsoft 365 Tenant, and sitting on Mircrosoft Azure

Here’s a 2 minute summary of Dataverse

Microsoft Dataverse for Teams in 2 Minutes

And now a 10 Minute version if you a have more time.

Microsoft Dataverse for Teams in 10 Minutes

And here’s a little video demonstrating the build process.

We’ve alway been able to add Power Apps to Teams?

That’s absolutely true, but this time the Team, the data and the apps all sit inside the same Team instance.

How have they managed that?

There’s something called the “Common Data Service” and this is the data platform upon which your data and you apps and indeed your Team sit. It’s not strictly speaking new at all and has it’s history in Dynamics Customer Engagement, a product that has been around for many years, and it has sat within the Power Apps framework as a premium product for a couple of years now.

It sounds like yet another thing for me to get my head around and it will cost me and my organisation lots to implement

Yes, you have a point, it is another product, however it is a part of your Teams licensing. In other words if you have Teams you have the right to use Power Apps for Teams.

You’re not really selling it to me – I already have Power Apps inside Teams, so why bother with this one?

There are a number of advantages to this:-

  • You get a database automatically and you can configure the database to your needs
    • New fields can be created with considerable ease
    • There are a rich number of field types
    • Data can be entered to start off your apps
    • It is very simple to create one to many relationships
    • It is very simple to share the apps with your Team
    • The data and the apps are not accesible outside your Team
  • There are a number of pre-configured apps that can be created on an “out of the box” basis
  • The environment can be upscaled to a full production environment should you wish to use all the features of the fully scaled Common Data Service, which includes a very deep level of row level security through the creation of access roles
So I should create all my apps this way in the future?

Probably not, as you wouldn’t be able to share them outside the team. Org wide apps, even when based on sharepoint, should sit in dedicated enviroments which require a single “Per User” License and you would need to take steps to secure the data source.

Nevertheless, I think this has it’s place. There a many instances where a Team, and only the Team will require a relatively simple group of entities that enable them to express a particular business process. Take a project for example, with Projects, related to Workstreams, related to Tasks. There would never be a lot of any of these intersections, but it would be important to be able to express them.

Are there any limitations?

You are limited to 2GB of data, of which about 500MB is taken up by the initial database. You are also limited to 1 million rows of data.

What about Permissions?

These follow Teams permissions with regards to Owners, Members and Guests. More on this to follow, so make sure that you subscribe.

How do I author them?

Everything from an authoring perspective takes place within Team. It is something of an acquired taste to those really familiar with the traditional Power Apps authoring process. The big difference is in respect of the bar at the top of the editing experience as you’re missing the File, Home, Insert etc options and it remains to be seen as to whether they are gone for good or not.

I need some kind of course to help me along with this

Perfect – this free course will be built out to contain a range of projects to help you understand and we will be running live build sessions to help us all understand it better.

Below is a youtube version of the course, so it’s a 2 hour run through end to end, and the course breaks this into manageable chunks (so I would recommend it 😉)

What about sharing my wonderful apps?

Follow below to see how to get your apps out to teams. Build your app – click publish to Teams and then choose a channel. It’s quite hard to see anything simpler

But I don’t know how to make apps?

For the last 6 months I’ve been working on zero to hero course, Just head over and sign up, and start learning. The first 2 modules are free, and for a limited period you can used the Discount code “PowerPlatformLearn” to get 25% off the course.

What about Chatbots and Power Automate Flows?

More on that to follow. Flows are pretty strightforward to prepare

Good luck with it all and make sure you subscribe to this for more updates on the subject

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