Easier sharing, unification, and enrichment of data with Common Data Model entities

The open-source Common Data Model definition of standard entities has been enhanced for the integration of business processes, applications, and profile enrichment across sales, services, marketing, operations, finance, talent, and commerce business functions, as well as core entity profiles for customers to support observational data enrichment and analysis.

The Common Data Model (CDM) enables unification of data in a well-known form with structural and semantic consistency across applications and deployments. There is a large and growing collection of solutions that work together efficiently when data is stored in the Common Data Model form. This sharing of data and insights means you can quickly implement new business processes, analytical solutions, and gain a true 360-degree view into your business operations without complexity.

Since the initial release in March 2018, the public Common Data Model GitHub repository has grown substantially to several hundred well-defined, modular, and extensible business entities, including major extensions to support additional vertical industries in close collaboration with strategic partners. Improved documentation and presentation content allows customers and partners to better understand and use the Common Data Model. The no-code/low-code data integration, transformation, and enrichment experiences with Power Query continue to support and implement the CDM.

A more expressive, richer Common Data Model

Overview of the platform and CDM

Microsoft has been collaborating with an ecosystem of ISVs who help organizations digitally transform their business processes by creating industry extensions to increase reach and flexibility of the Common Data Model. These extensions represent a portion of the industry based on the expertise of the ecosystem and are expected to grow over time.

The following are some examples.

Industry extensions for strategic verticals

In collaboration with partners specializing in certain verticals, the Common Data Model is being extended with industry entity packs for areas such as Healthcare, Retail, Financial Analytics, Education, and others. These entity packs are being released as part of a larger industry solution offering spanning the Business Application platform.

One such partner is CUNA Mutual Group, whose AdvantEdge Analytics solution helps credit unions better serve their members. Their extensions for the Common Data Model and standard data connectors help integrate data from line of business apps used by credit unions.

Additional CDM entity definitions covering key scenarios from popular Dynamics offerings are being added, including scenarios from Finance, Operations, Marketing, and more. Along with updated Dynamics applications, customers will be able to leverage these standard entities in their own scenarios.

Common Data Model community content

A Common Data Model and Data Integration content complements the CDM GitHub repository to provide guidance, deep-drive articles, and best practices.

Common Data Model entity explorer

This interactive and graphical entity explorer allows customers and partners to better understand and leverage existing Common Data Model entities for business applications and analytical solution development. Detailed entity and attribute metadata descriptions provide insight into the rich semantics of the model.

Improved documentation and presentation content

Improved documentation and presentation content for customers and partners to better understanding what’s included in the Common Data Model, how best to use it within the platform, and how to customize it in a way that follows the CDM best practices.

Discussion forums are also being set up to support a community for application, data model, and data integration template developers.

In addition, partners will be able to find clear guidance on how to become a strategic partner for potential CDM enhancements for industry verticals, to bring more applications to the CDS platforms and further enhance the ecosystem of ISVs and app developers.

  • Descriptions of how these solutions and specific use cases enable joint customers and partners to be more successful in using and building solutions (on top of CDM and CDS platforms) much more easily, and how this creates a thriving ecosystem of additional apps and integrations.

  • How to learn more about packaged turn-key solutions in AppSource that leverage these CDM enhancements, and how to acquire them.

  • Joint announcements of these strategic partners, and testimonials of our joint customers.

Consultants interested in building data integration templates and solutions to connect systems of record and SaaS services to CDS are supported with standard connectors, the Data Connector SDK, and guidance and best practices on how to transform data to Common Data Model entities.

Built-in automatic support for the Common Data Model

Power Query data integration experiences, data integration templates, CDS for Apps, and Power BI dataflows implement the Common Data Model. A critical part of the Common Data Model and the suite of products and experiences it supports is its extensibility.

Data Integration Templates accelerate integrating data into well-known Common Data Model entity shapes from common line-of-business applications and SaaS services. For example, the Salesforce template helps customers integrate their data into CDS and Power BI dataflows and thereby gain insights into their opportunities and sales pipeline. Additional features for templates will expand this capability to end customers as well.