With the launch of Microsoft Dynamics 365 and the transitioning of services from Dynamics CRM to this new service, an array of new terms and features are being used.
But what do these all mean?
There are many moving parts to Microsoft Dynamics 365 and in this post we’ve provided a quick glossary to lift the fog and remove any confusion.
Microsoft Dynamics 365
Dynamics 365 is a brand new cloud service that unifies and combines Microsoft’s CRM, ERP and cloud solutions in a single offering that brings together people, processes and business data.
Existing Dynamics CRM Online customers will transition to Dynamics 365 and from 1 November new customer registrations in the cloud are made as Dynamics 365.
Azure is the Microsoft cloud based computing platform that now includes Dynamics 365.
PowerApps is the foundation for web and mobile application development.
A low code (or no-code) tool, PowerApps uses visual drag and drop tools enabling users to quickly create new web and mobile connected apps that pull data from multiple sources to extend the capabilities of Dynamics 365 apps and other business applications.
Flow is the sister service to PowerApps and is one of the new workflow engines of the Microsoft cloud.
Microsoft Flow enables workflows to be created between PowerApps and other cloud apps.
Thanks to the Common Data Model each PowerApps workflow can span multiple applications in Dynamics 365, Office 365 and the wider landscape. This can include connecting workflows with Twitter, Dropbox, OneDrive, You Tube and other cloud services.
Flows are designed to short cut any time consuming task or process as either a complex multi-step process sequence, or a simple one-step task.
This differs from the workflow engine that Dynamics CRM users will be familiar with (which still remains available and continues to be supported).
‘Flow’ workflows can deliver notifications, sync or organise data, and automate approvals.
To simplify the process to create new Flows, hundreds of templates are available. For example, this includes creating a new CRM lead from an Excel table, or using a Flow to enforce an approval step before messages are re-tweeted.
Common Data Model
The Common Data Model (CDM) is a shared database for storing business entities that connects to Dynamics 365, Flow and Power Apps. Essentially, CDM is the glue that sticks these pieces together.
At the heart of its cloud framework the CDM is the fabric behind Dynamics 365 and Office 365 to provide consistently structured entities across these connected services that include calendars, invoices, accounts and sales leads.
The CDM is behind the standard Dynamics 365 business apps including Sales and Fields Service and apps created using PowerApps, or integrated solutions that are developed externally.
The CDM enables apps created on Powerapps in addition to Flow, to interact with other Dynamics 365 services.
A series of templates are available for collecting data from sources that can include SQL, Excel, Custom API and Dynamics 365.
Appsource is Microsoft’s new directory to find and evaluate cloud applications for businesses, add-ins and content packs from Microsoft and partners.
Apps listed on AppSource will include PowerApps built on top of Dynamics 365, Office 365, Cortana Intelligence and the Azure platform.
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