The Integration Story with Microsoft’s Power Platform: Common Data Services for Apps, Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations and Talent

The new version of Common Data Service, which is referred to as CDS for Apps (CDS 2.0), is extremely powerful — and when integrated with Microsoft Flow, PowerApps, PowerBI, and Dynamics 365 the results are unparalelled. In this post, we will walk through the steps to create, integrate, and test a complete Dynamics 365 integration using the Microsoft Power Platform.

How to create the Power Platform environment (CDS for Apps environment)

The first step is to make sure you have a suitable environment created and setup in the Power Platform environments tab. For this testing and demonstration, I have created a new environment specifically for a Dynamics 365 for Talent to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations integration. This environment is where the Dynamics 365 for Talent app will surface the data and this environment will also host all the associated PowerApps, CDS, Microsoft Flow, etc.

Microsoft Power Platform

Link the Dynamics 365 for Talent Project

Once you have the Power Platform environment setup, the next step is to create the D365 for Talent project in Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services. You should then provision the Dynamics 365 for Talent environment. To do this, login to Lifecycle services (LCS) and create a new project.

Dynamics 365 for Talent lifecycle services

Link the Lifecycle Services (LCS) project to Power Platform

Link the LCS project to the new Power Platform environment created (shown above). Navigate to the Talent app managementtile and click Add button.

You will notice the environment created in the Power Platform admin center will appear here.

How to add environment in lifecycle services

Mark the “Include demo data” checkbox so that the D365 for Talent environment will have some pre-populated demo data to use for testing.

Syncing Dynamics 365 for Talent with CDS

The new D365 for Talent environment should now be provisioned with demo data and you should see the status of the environment as “Deployed”. Now, it is time to access the newly deployed D365 for Talent environment to make sure you are able to access the required components of Talent successfully. To do so, click the “Log on to Talent” link in the Talent App Management area. As shown below, I now have the D365 for Talent environment successfully deployed and ready for testing.

D365 for Talent environment

After this deployment, you will notice that Talent solutions (shown below) will appear under the Solutions tab of the PowerApps environment. The data from the Dynamics 365 for Talent environment syncs in real time with the CDS. This means all the components of the D365 for Talent solution were successfully deployed into the CDS environment.

PowerApps solutions tab

As you can see, the demo data from the D365 for Talent app has already surfaced in the CDS entities.

Dynamics 365 for Talent data in CDS 2.0

Note: All the data created in D365 for Talent will surface in Common Data Service automatically. This will be used to integrate with Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations.

Integrating Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operation with D365 for Talent

On the other side, I have already deployed my Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations environment which is ready for the integration with D365 for Talent.

Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations deployment

The next step is to configure the Connection Set in the Power Platform admin center, which essentially defines the 2 environments/applications and their respective organizations/entities for data mapping and integration.

In the example below, I have created the Connection Set which contains my D365 for Finance and Operations environment and the CDS 2.0 environment.

Power Platform Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations connection set

To configure the data integration project, go to Power Platform admin center and create the data integration project as shown below.

Data integration Dynamics 365 for Talent to Finance and Operations

Under the data integration project, select the connection set configured earlier. The example above leverages a data integration template called Core HR, which is an out-of-the-box template provided by Microsoft.

If you go into the tasks of the integration project, you will notice that for each of the tasks, the source and destination data fields are already predefined in the template. If you want, you can modify the mappings based on your needs, or you can even extend the integration by creating your own tasks to integrate additional entities.

CDS integrator project tasks

All the environments and the integration configurations are now in place. The next step is to create some data in the Core HR App of D365 for Talent. For this example, I will run the integration project manually. Ideally, you would have the integration execute automatically on a regular basis.

Note: I am not using the ATTRACT or ONBOARD apps of D365 forTalent in this demonstration/testing, but if you are using either of those, the data from both of those applications surface directly in CDS 2.0 (Common Data Service). The Core HR app syncs in almost real-time with CDS 2.0.

Testing the D365 for Finance and Operations and D365 for Talent Integration

I have created a job named “D365 Tech Architect” in D365 for Talent as shown in screenshot below.

How to create a new job in dynamics 365 for talent

Running the data integration project from Power Platform

The next step is to run the data integration project manually from the Power Platform admin center and verify that the data syncs correctly to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations.

How to run a project in Dynamics 365 for Talent

You can monitor the status using the Execution history tab.

As shown below, as the new job record was created in D365 for Talent it surfaced in the CDS Job entity. The data integration project execution has now finished.

PowerApps CDS jobs

The new job record should have automatically populated in Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations.

Creating a record in Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations

Note: You can think of the end-to-end integration between D365 for Talent and D365 for F&O in the following order: You will start with attracting the talent (Recruitment), then continuing to Onboarding, hiring in D365 for Talent, and finally verifying that the employee and related data was created automatically in D365 for F&O.

Using Attract and Onboard Apps

When you use the Attract and Onboard apps in Dynamics 365 for Talent, they surface/store the data by default to the Common Data Service (CDS 2.0). The Core HR app of D365 for Talent then automatically syncs the Attract/Onboard data from CDS in real-time. When your data integration project runs in PowerApps, the data from CDS will sync to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations.

Leveraging the Power Platform

It is time for Dynamics 365 users to start leveraging the power of the Power Platform. There are new Power Platform features that Microsoft is introducing every month. These features will continue to enhance and further enable users to extend and integrate Dynamics 365 and other business apps apps in a low code, no code fashion.

How can you innovate and leverage the Power Platform to work for your business?

For help integrating or extending your business applications, get in touch with our Power Platform experts today.


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