Microsoft Dataverse and Microsoft Dataverse for Teams – What is it?

Microsoft has renamed the Common Data Service, the underlying platform behind Dynamics 365 and Power Platform, to Microsoft Dataverse.

What is Microsoft Dataverse?

Dataverse is the new name for the Microsoft Common Data Service (CDS). All of the Dynamics 365 and Power Platform applications sit on top of Dataverse and it is used to securely store and manage the data used by these business applications. 

Why has Microsoft changed the name?

In late July, Microsoft briefly announced ‘Dataflex’ (now Dataverse for Teams) and ‘Dataflex Pro’ (now Dataverse), however, there were copyright issues around these new names. So, this week Microsoft have now revealed the new names and new capabilities, to introduce the power of data to more individuals and organisations around the world. Additionally, the introduction of Microsoft Dataverse for Teams and the terminology changes (more on that further in the article) aim to make the platform more understandable and reach a broader audience than before.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Dataverse

Dynamics 365 applications – such as Dynamics 365 Sales, Dynamics 365 Customer Service, etc, also use Dataverse to store and secure the data they use. This means you can build apps by using Power Apps and Dataverse directly against your core business data, which is already used within D365, without the need for integration. – Build apps against your Dynamics 365 data – Build Power Apps quickly against your business data within Power Apps  

– Manage reusable business logic and rules – Business rules and logic already defined in your Dataverse tables are applied to apps created with Power Apps to ensure data consistency 

– Reusable skills across Dynamics 365 and Power Apps – Create tables, forms, and charts across your applications, using reusable skills from Dynamics 365 and Power Apps 

Microsoft Dataverse for Teams

Essentially, Dataverse for Teams is the “lite” version of Dataverse. It is a low-code platform designed to build relatively simple (but still powerful) apps, using a user-friendly interface and remaining within Microsoft Teams. This new update means that users now have the possibility to create Power Apps apps, Power Automate flows and Power Virtual Agents bots without leaving the Teams platform.

Build low-code apps without leaving Teams

With the embedded Power Apps Studio in Microsoft Teams, organisations can create, edit, and share low-code apps that connect to data from Dataverse or more than 400 other data sources, easier than ever before. The apps built with Power Apps are also natively responsive across all devices, for an enhanced end-to-end user experience.

Low code chatbots in Teams

The Power Virtual Agents app for Teams enables users to create bots with a simple, no-code user interface, within Microsoft Teams. Chatbots can then be deployed to individual teams or across the entire business in just a few clicks. For example, bots could include an IT helpdesk, HR self-service, or onboarding help. Automating these conversations via chatbot frees up employees’ time and enables people to focus on more high-value work.

Optimise repetitive processes with Microsoft Power Automate

Microsoft Power Automate integrates deeply with Microsoft Teams to help automate your work and be more productive. Features such as triggering a flow from any message in Teams, and actions for creating meetings and mentioning your colleagues, enable you to focus on the tasks that matter. 

Gain a quick overview of flows

The Power Automate app in Teams provides a homepage that enables you to get a quick overview of different flows associated with Teams, alongside an optimised ‘Create’ experience to build new flows using templates. 

Leverage pre-built templates

The Power Automate app in Teams provides a homepage that enables you to get a quick overview of different flows associated with Teams, alongside an optimised ‘Create’ experience to build new flows using templates. 

Schedule a one-on-one call with the sender of a message

Sometimes a one-on-one call is quicker to get a particular point across, rather than back-and-forth messages. This template uses the new ‘For a selected message’ trigger and sets up a time for a one-on-one discussion between you and the sender of a message and sets up a Teams call. 

Start an approval in Teams when a file is added to a SharePoint library

Many organisations use dedicated SharePoint libraries to manage important files. This flow template lets you easily trigger an approval in Teams whenever a file is added to this library. 

Terminology Updates

In order to simplify some of the terminology used across the Microsoft platforms and Dataverse, there are also some updates to the terms used:

*Microsoft is currently in the process of rolling these terms out across the Power Platform.

Main differences between Dataverse and Dataverse for Teams?

The biggest difference is that Dataverse for Teams doesn’t have the full functionality of Dataverse. For example;

– Dataverse has non-relational storage (logs) and Dataverse for Teams does not

– Dataverse has API access and plugins and Dataverse for Teams does not

– With Dataverse for Teams, access is restricted to just the Team owners, members and guests. In comparison, with Dataverse you have additional security features such as field-level and hierarchical security, sharing and auditing

Table features

Following are the differences between a Dataverse for Teams and Dataverse table features:

Business intelligence and professional developer features

This table describes the differences between Dataverse for Teams and Dataverse business intelligence and professional developer features.

When to use Dataverse for Teams…

Below are a few examples of when your organisation should use Dataverse for Teams:

  • If you do not use Microsoft Dynamics 365, but you do have Microsoft 365 licenses and want to get started in a small scale with Power Apps, then Dataverse for Teams is a good place to start. If there is a need for more in the future, then you can always move to Dataverse at a later stage.
  • If you want to create a chatbot for use within your business. Create a Power Virtual Agent chatbot in a team channel for free using your Microsoft 365 licenses. This is a great option to build simple bots in the price you already pay, as the separate licensing for Power Virtual Agents is more expensive.
  • You recognise the opportunity to organise your workload better and automate particular processes which you are currently completely manually. This could be solved with simple “productivity apps” or you could automate tasks with Power Automate on a small scale. Power Apps for Teams would be good for this, as you can create apps or flows for your own use or to share with a few colleagues.

And, when not to use Dataverse for Teams…

  • With Dataverse for Teams, there is a limit in storage capacity (1 million rows or 2 GB). If you think you will need to manage more data than this, then you should consider Dataverse. However, you can always start with Dataverse for Teams and then move up to Dataverse if necessary.
  • Understand what integrations you want to make; you need to take a look at what is possible with Dataverse for Teams and what is not (see this Microsoft page for more information).
  • With Dataverse for Teams, everything you build will be connected to a team so it is important to note that if the team is removed then the app/flow/bot will also be removed.
  • Some of the exciting things you want to build might require “Premium connectors” and you might not have the license for using these. Make sure you know which connectors are included and which aren’t in Dataverse for Teams.

Get in touch

Hopefully, this article has made these new changes clear and you understand the possibilities that lie ahead with Dataverse and Dataverse for Teams. If you have any questions, please get in touch via the contact form below, or email us at / call us on 01908 038110.