Model-driven apps Developer Overview

PowerApps offers users, businesses, partners, independent software vendors (ISVs), and systems integrators (SIs) a powerful platform for building line-of-business apps. The new addition to PowerApps in this release are model-driven apps built using the new Common Data Service for Apps. Common Data Service for Apps now contains the core functionality of the Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement applications. With model-driven apps, you can build apps that use the same extensibility capabilities as those applications.

Model-driven apps are primarily a no-code or low-code component focused approach to app development. The value developers can provide is by extending the application. Before you start writing code, begin with learning how to build a model-driven app and what options can be applied without code.

Get Started

If you are already experienced with the Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement apps, you will find that you will be able to apply your experience building model-driven apps. There are some new designers available to you, but generally the concepts are the same.


Model-driven apps connect to Common Data Service for Apps. For information about how developers can add value at the service level, see Common Data Service for Apps Developer Overview. Content in this section will refer only to extensions developers can do that apply to the experience for users of model-driven apps.

If you are new to the Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement applications, the topics in this section provide a high-level overview of the important concepts to help developers get started working with model-driven apps.


Because Common Data Service for Apps and Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement leverage the same platform, you will find more complete information for developers in the Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Developer Guide. These topics will provide an overview with links to the developer guide and other guides for more information.

Community Tools for model driven apps

The Dynamics 365 community creates tools! Many of the most popular ones are distributed via in the XrmToolBox. XrmToolBox is a Windows application that connects to Common Data Service for Apps, providing tools to ease customization, configuration and operation tasks. It is shipped with more than 30 plugins to make administration, customization or configuration tasks easier and less time consuming.

The following is a selected list of community tools distributed via the XrmToolBox you can use when working with model-driven apps

Tool Description
Easy Translator Exports and Imports translations with contextual information
Export to Excel Easily export records from the selected view/fetchxml to Excel.
Iconator Manage custom entities icons in a single screen
Ribbon Workbench 2016 Edit the Dynamics CRM Ribbon or Command Bar from inside the XrmToolbox
View Designer Easy UI to design view layouts and alter queries using FetchXML Builder
View Layout Replicator Apply same layout to multiple views of the same entity in a single operation
WebResources Manager Manage your web resources easily

Another tool that is not distributed via the XrmToolBox is Jason Lattimer's CRM REST Builder. This tool generates JavaScript code for use with the Web API.


Tools created by the community are not supported by Microsoft. If you have questions or issues with community tools, contact the publisher of the tool.