Entity store in your own Business Data Lake


This content is archived and is not being updated. For the latest documentation, see Microsoft Dynamics 365 product documentation. For the latest release plans, see Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform release plans.


These release notes describe functionality that may not have been released yet. To see when this functionality is planned to release, please review What’s new and planned for Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. Delivery timelines and projected functionality may change or may not ship (see Microsoft policy).

Customers appreciate the analytical workspaces that are built in to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations due to:

  • Embedding with Finance and Operations context: Security and data filters are based on the user’s context. Users can drill through to take action.

  • Predictable pricing: Customers get the experience when they license Finance and Operations.

However, a common requirement is to extend embedded reports often by adding KPIs, calculations, or to merge with their own data. The cost of modifying embedded reports are high (in other words, developer involvement is required). Therefore, customers also use BYOD and export data into their own databases for reports—often duplicating the same report with a few changes. While Data Management will continue to support exporting data into SQL databases (such as BYOD), we want to reduce the administrative overhead associated with exporting data and managing exceptions.

To reduce pain and to simplify the experience, we're leveraging the Business Data Lake (ADL Gen2) infrastructure along with Power BI dataflows. The feature is as follows:

Customers can bring their own Data Lake (Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2) and configure within Finance and Operations. Data Lake is a cost-effective option compared to SQL databases.

Transactional and master data in the Entity store will be published to customer’s Data Lake. Microsoft will keep the data fresh on a real-time basis. While the initial focus is to enable aggregate measurements and aggregate dimensions in the Data Lake, we will enable staging regular data entities in the Data Lake as feature improvements.

Customers can also bring their own PowerBI.com subscription and configure within Finance and Operations. This feature is already available in the system. When the customer provides this information, Power BI reports contained in analytical workspaces will also be published into the customer's own PowerBI.com subscription. Power users and consumers of PowerBI.com can use as well as extend reports and dashboards. They can also use the full features available in PowerBI.com, including use of Power Q&A and mobile dashboards.

While this feature will eliminate current pains associated with developing operational reports, it also accrues to strategic benefits:

  • Transactional and master data available in the Entity store will be accessible via a Data Lake. No need to export the same transactional data into BYOD. Ready-made integration with PowerBI.com via data flows will enable easy data mash-ups.

  • Customers can bring their own data into the Data Lake and achieve mash-up scenarios easily without having to download the data onto on-premises data warehouses. The cost of storing data in a Data Lake is much lower than storing it in a SQL database.

  • Enable building analytic apps across applications within the Dynamics domain. For example, customers will be able to combine data between Customer Engagement applications and Finance and Operations.

  • Reduction in COGS for customers (reduce usage of BYOD).