Create a flow that uses the Common Data Service

Improve operational efficiency with a unified view of business data by creating flow that uses the Common Data Service. Deploy this secure business database that comprises well-formed standard business entities (such as Sales, Purchase, Customer Service, and Productivity) in your organization. Store organizational data in one or more custom entities, which offer several benefits over external data sources such as Microsoft Excel and Salesforce.

For example, leverage the Common Data Service within Microsoft Flow in these key ways:

  • Create a flow to import data, export data, or take action on top of data (such as sending a notification). Note that this approach isn't a full synchronization service; it simply allows you to move data in or out on a per-entity basis.

    For detailed steps, see the procedures later in this topic.

  • Instead of creating an approval loop through email, create a flow that stores approval state in an entity, and build a custom app in which users can approve or reject items.

    For detailed steps, see Build an approval loop with the Common Data Service.


  • Sign up for Microsoft Flow and PowerApps.

    If you have trouble, verify whether Microsoft Flow and PowerApps supports the type of account that you have and your organization hasn't blocked signup.

  • If you haven't used the Common Data Service before, open the Entities tab of, and then click or tap Create my database.

Sign in to your Environment

  1. Open the Microsoft Flow portal, and then click or tap Sign in in the upper-right corner.

    Note: you might need to open the top-left menu to show the Sign in button.

    Sign in

  2. In the top right menu you select the environment that you created the database in

    Note: if you do not select the same environment then you will not see your entities.

    Select environment

Open a template

  1. In the Search templates box at the top of the screen, type or paste common, and then press Enter.

    Search for templates

  2. In the list of templates, click or tap the template that imports data from the source you want into the entity (or object) that you want.

    For example, click or tap the template that copies contact information from Dynamics 365 into the Common Data Service.

    Choose a template

  3. Click or tap Use this template.

    Use template

  4. If you haven't already created a connection from Microsoft Flow to Dynamics 365, click or tap Sign in, and then provide your credentials if prompted.

    Sign in to Dynamics 365

  5. Click or tap Continue.

    Confirm accounts

Build your flow

  1. In the first card, specify the event that will trigger the flow.

    For example, you're building a flow that will copy new contacts from an instance of Dynamics 365 to the Common Data Service. Under When a record is created, specify the instance by clicking or tapping the down arrow and then clicking or tapping an option in the list that appears.

    Specify instance of Dynamics 365

  2. (optional) Near the top of the screen, specify a different name for the flow that you're creating.

    Note: If your browser window isn't maximized, the UI might look slightly different.

    Name flow

  3. Click or tap Create flow.

    Note: If your browser window isn't maximized, only the checkmark may appear.

    Create flow

Now, whenever that object is created in the source system, it will be imported into the Common Data Service. If you can't find a template that does what you need, you can build a flow from scratch that operates on top of the Common Data Service.

You can take actions on changes in the database. For example, you can send notification mail whenever data changes.