How to: Create a new environment

After purchasing a subscription license for Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, the global administrator of the Microsoft 365 tenant receives an email that invites them to create the environment. Go to https://home.ci.ai.dynamics.com/start to get started. In this scenario, you can go directly to Step 1: Provide basic information.

After the first environment is created, the global administrator of the Microsoft 365 tenant can add users form their organization as administrators. Moving forward, these administrators can manage users and environments. If your organization purchases more than one license for Customer Insights, contact our support team to increase the number of available environments. For more information about capacity and add-on capacity, review the Dynamics 365 licensing guide.

Tip

If you're looking to try the service, see Set up a trial environment.

Prerequisites

You need administrator permissions in Customer Insights to create or manage environments.

Start the environment creation process

  1. Open the environment picker and select + New.

    Select the environment picker.

  2. Follow the guided experience outlined in the following sections to provide all required information for a new environment. If you configured an environment earlier, you can also copy the configuration.

Step 1: Provide basic information

In the Basic information step, choose whether you want to create an environment from scratch or copy data from another environment.

Dialog to create a new Customer Insights environment.

Provide the following details:

  • Name: The name for this environment. This field is already filled in if you've copied an existing environment, but you can change it.
  • Choose your business: Choose the primary audience for the new environment. You can work with individual consumers (B-to-C) or business accounts (B-to-B). If your organization mainly does business with individuals, such as a retailer or a coffee shop, choose individual consumers. In case your main audience are other companies, such as a car manufacturer or a paper company, choose business accounts.
  • Type: Select whether you want to create a production or sandbox environment. Sandbox environments don't allow scheduled data refresh and are intended for pre-implementation and testing. Sandbox environments use the same primary audience as the production environment that's currently selected.
  • Region: The region into which the service is deployed and hosted. To use your own Azure Data Lake Storage account or connect to an existing Microsoft Dataverse organization, the Customer Insights environment must be in the same region.

Step 2: Configure data storage

In the Data storage step, choose where to store the Customer Insights data.

There are two options you can choose from:

  • Customer Insights storage: Data storage is managed by the Customer Insights team. It's the default option and unless there are specific requirements to store data in your own storage account, we recommend using this option.
  • Azure Data Lake Storage: Specify your own Azure Data Lake Storage account to store the data so you have full control where the data is stored. For more information, see Use your own Azure Data Lake Storage account.

Choose the preferred option to store your data.

Step 3: Connect to Microsoft Dataverse

The Microsoft Dataverse step lets you connect Customer Insights with your Dataverse environment. Share data with Dataverse to use it with business applications based on Dataverse, like Dynamics 365 Marketing or model-driven applications in Power Apps.

Leave this field empty if you don't have your own Dataverse environment and we'll create one for you.

For more information, see Work with Customer Insights data in Microsoft Dataverse.

data sharing with Microsoft Dataverse auto-enabled for net new environments.

Step 4: Finalize the settings

In the Review step, go through all the specified settings. When everything looks complete, select Create to set up the environment.

You can change some of the settings later. For more information, see Manage environments.

Work with your new environment

Review the following articles to help you get started with configuring Customer Insights:

Copy the environment configuration

As an admin, you can choose to copy the configuration from an existing environment when you create a new one.

Screenshot of the settings options in the environment settings.

You'll see a list of all available environments in your organization where you can copy data from.

The following configuration settings are copied:

  • Data sources imported via Power Query
  • Data unification configuration
  • Segments
  • Measures
  • Relationships
  • Activities
  • Search & filter index
  • Exports
  • Refresh schedule
  • Enrichments
  • Prediction models
  • Role assignments

Set up a copied environment

When you copy the environment configuration, you have to go through some extra steps to confirm credentials:

  • Customer profiles. First, authenticate and ingest your data sources and run the data unification to recreate the customer profiles.
  • Data source credentials. You have to provide the credentials for every data source to authenticate and refresh the data sources manually.
  • Data sources from the Common Data Model folder and Dataverse. You have to create those data sources manually with the same name as in the source environment.
  • Connection secrets that are used for exports and enrichments. You have to reauthenticate the connections and then reactivate enrichments and exports.

You'll see a confirmation message when the copied environment has been created. Select Go to data sources to see the list of data sources.

All the data sources will show a Credentials Required status. Edit the data sources and enter the credentials to refresh them.

List of data sources that were copied and need authentication.

After refreshing the data sources, go to Data > Unify. Here you'll find settings from the source environment. Edit them as needed or select Run to start the data unification process and create the unified customer entity.

When the data unification is complete, go to Measures and Segments to refresh them too.

Before you reactivate exports and enrichments, go to Admin > Connections to reauthenticate the connections in your new environment.