The Common Data Hype

By | November 20, 2016

All aboard!

The common data model is no newbie in the current IT landscape. It has been around for a while and recently Microsoft decided to jump on the common data train with the Microsoft Common Data Model.

In my previous post about the Microsoft Common Data Model I gave some general information about the CDM and it’s purpose. In this post I want to add a nuance to all that has been said and glorified about the CDM.

From zero to hero

let’s start with some quotes:

The CDM will be at the heart of Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 cloud bundle. – ZDNet

By introducing a Common Data Model we are able to break the so called “Data Silos” that exist in each separate application and use a single data set across different applications. – Me

The common application platform comprises three components – Microsoft PowerApps, Microsoft Flow, and the Microsoft Common Data Model – that provide the foundation for Dynamics 365, Office 365, Microsoft Power BI, and Microsoft Azure services. – Technet

This all sounds awesome and the marketing machine behind it is definitely doing a great job because the CDM is omnipresent online. (Although I think the campaign could benefint from a slogan: “Let’s make the Common Data Model great again”)
Microsoft is really putting effort in the CDM and wants to play out it’s role and advantages. I have no doubt that the Common Data Model will play a prominent role in Dynamics 365.

But not yet…

At this moment it’s possible to use the CDM in a production environment but it’s capabilities are very rudimentary.

The objective for Microsoft for the Common Data Service is to enable the following capabilities for the PowerApps, Microsoft Flow and Pro development communities:

  1. An easy to provision, yet scalable data store
  2. A common data model with standard entity schema and behavior
  3. A powerful data access layer with support for data import, export and security
  4. Integration with Microsoft Office for Excel and Outlook
  5. A software developer kit (SDK) for professional development scenarios

As of today (10/11/2016) there still is no SDK available to access the Common Data Model programmatically. So far the only way to perform CRUD actions is via import or the usage of Microsoft Flow. And the only way to access the data in the Common Data Model is via PowerApps. But since this is Azure hosted that will probably change soon.

I also think that they should elaborate the security model behind the CDM some more because there is not much to find about it.

I conclude

The CDM looks great but it needs more functionality, like the possibility to access it programmatically, more documentation and some more connectors. For now I believe it is simply to early to actively implement this on your projects.

Technet page: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/uspartner_learning/2016/10/13/microsoft-dynamics-365-common-application-platform/

Dynamics community: https://community.dynamics.com/b/msftdynamicsblog/archive/2016/10/04/why-dynamics-365-is-a-game-changer

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