Adrià the medium: what will happen with the CDS?
Adrià the seer: what will happen with the CDS?

After the MBAS on Wednesday I’m thinking about this more and more. Will Dynamics 365 for Finance and Supply Chain Management’s data be natively hosted in the CDS?

After watching Ryan Jones’ session “What’s new in the Common Data Service“, I ask myself whether that’s the question or it should be when will it be natively available in the Common Data Service?

The Common Data Service

The CDS is a platform that allows us to store data that will be used by the business applications. But it’s not only that, take a look at this picture:

The CDS
CDS (screenshot from Ryan Jones session on MBAS)

We could put MSDyn365FO on top of all that, it supports relational databases, storage, reporting, workflows, security, etc… Of course that wouldn’t be an overnight switch but maybe something progressive. Like what we’ll have with the FnO virtual entities on CDS!

With virtual entities we still won’t have Finance and SCM data on CDS because virtual entities:

Virtual entities enable the integration of data residing in external systems by seamlessly representing that data as entities in Common Data Service, without replication of data and often without custom coding.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powerapps/developer/common-data-service/virtual-entities/get-started-ve

“Without replication of data”. When you access a virtual entity in the Common Data Service its state is dynamically retrieved from the external system.

The CDS capabilities
CDS + Operations (screenshot from Ryan Jones session on MBAS)

As you can see in the image all public data entities will be natively in CDS. This means we can use the Power Platform capabilities for Finance and Operations as fast and easy as our Customer Engagement colleagues do. At least for the public data entities.

If we need data to be physically in both places we’ll still need to use Dual Write. Remember Dual Write synchronizes data between Finance and Operations and Customer Engagement/CDS near real time.

CDS + Operations: Under the Hood
CDS + Operations: Under the Hood (screenshot from Ryan Jones session on MBAS)

If you want to learn a bit more about Dual Write you can check the “And finally… Dual Write!” session Juan Antonio and I did on 2019 Dynamics 365 Saturday Madrid. It’s in Spanish and old, Dual Write has now many more Out-of-the-box functionalities, but it gives an idea of what it does and is capable of.

Will this ever happen?

Who knows, I’m just speculating, I’m a developer but I can’t stop thinking that Microsoft is investing a lot into CDS. And Finance and Operations Apps are the only Dynamics 365 products whose data does not reside on Common Data Service.

We’re seeing some functionalities from FnO being replicated and later extended into the CDS like Dynamics 365 Human Resources or Dynamics 365 Project Operations. This is creating an issue, because right now, you must create an integration between the two applications if you want to have some kind of data exchange. FnO in the Common Data Service would solve this.

This also creates some confusion to customers that think that this integration happens Out-of-the-box when it’s not. The naming of the product suggests that but it’s not happening.

We must think that this wouldn’t happen in the following year or two, or three. This is something in the long term. I don’t know about CDS Apps, but Dynamics 365 for Finance and SCM has quite a nice and large amount of tables and migrating all of them to the Common Data Service is sure a tremendous amount of work.

And what about the developer tools? That should change for sure too! We’ll see where the product and us as professionals are headed, but for sure we can’t think about Finance and Operations alone without the CDS anymore.

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9 Comments

  1. Pingback: Is the CDS the future of Finance and Operations apps? - Dynamics 365 Finance Community

  2. Pingback: Is the CDS the future of Finance and Operations apps? - 365 Community

  3. I agree with you.
    It seems that Dual Write is a flimsy bridge between the two worlds – Power Platform and FnO. But Dual Write is not just data sync. It’s also another level of UX. Now end user will create an account synchronously in two systems. And he will get errors from two systems.

    • Adrià Ariste Santacreu Reply

      If the CDS thing ever happens, we still have to rely on DualWrite until then. I haven’t used it in the last months but during the private preview the sync was a bit buggy.

    • Adrià Ariste Santacreu Reply

      Yes! That will make some things in PowerPlatform even easier!

  4. I was just on a live meeting with MS PTA engineers for presentation of DualWrite and I have asked as a question this which was confirmed that actually even for MS that is the end goal! So, they have a plan to do this, but no ETA on something like this. I would guess this is something for the next 3-5 years, but eventually, it should be on one single DB. So Adria you see, you are something like Nostradamus in this community 🙂

    • Adrià Ariste Santacreu Reply

      It looks like it’s the most natural thing after investing so much in the CDS. And we and BC are the only ones out of it…

      • They will have to do a lot of changes first in CDS so that we can load that amount of data and to fine-tune the DB as we can now in FO. This will take a lot of time.

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