Power Platform dataflows

Important

Some of the functionality described in this release plan has not been released. Delivery timelines may change and projected functionality may not be released (see Microsoft policy). Learn more: What's new and planned

Data preparation is considered the most difficult, expensive, and time-consuming task of enterprise analytics and app projects. Moreover, data is often fragmented and dispersed across data sources, lacks structural or semantic consistency, and requires complex system integrations to bring it together.

The new dataflows capability in the Microsoft Power Platform aims to reduce the time, cost, and expertise required to prepare and aggregate data for analytics. Power Platform dataflows allow any Power Platform customer to easily define ETL pipelines (dataflows) to ingest data into their company's Business data lake (Azure Data Lake Storage). Dataflows can be configured to use an existing Azure Data Lake Storage account, or they can also use an Azure Data Lake Storage data lake that is auto-provisioned and auto-managed by the Microsoft Power Platform, enabling a friction-free setup experience for customers who do not yet have a Data Lake implementation.

Power Platform dataflows increase the momentum of Power BI dataflows, which were launched into Public Preview in November 2018 and hit General Availability within Power BI in March 2019. Power BI dataflows received extremely positive feedback from customers and market analysts because of their innovative approach to democratizing data ingestion into a company's data lake for data analysts and other non-technical users.

Power Platform dataflows are one of the building blocks that allow Microsoft to provide out-of-box analytics and AI insights to its users, such as the analytic and insights provided by AI Builder or Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, making them a huge differentiator for the company's Dynamics 365 offerings.

In addition to Power Platform dataflows, Microsoft is also investing in making Dynamics 365 data automatically available in Azure Data Lake Storage, to make it even easier for Dynamics 365 customers to derive analytics and insights from their existing Dynamics 365 data.