Developers: Get started with Microsoft Dataverse

Where to start depends on what problem you are trying to solve. This guide includes information about a wide range of capabilities and it is unlikely you will ever use all of them. The following sections include several of the key areas to begin.

Work with data using web services

There are two different access points, each using a different protocol, for the business data web service: a RESTful (OData) data access point, and (SOAP) Organization service endpoint. Your code can access the OData access point using the Web API, or the Organization service endpoint using the SDK API.

Which one you should use depends on the type of project you are working on. More information: Work with data using code

Applying business logic

The most common extensions created using code involve automating the processes used by businesses. You can find a summary of options available for you in Apply business logic with code. Each of these approaches are typically invoked based on events that occur on the server, so understanding of the Event Framework will be valuable.

This Developer Guide provides documentation for how to write custom business logic using the documented APIs. However, it is much easier to write and deploy your code if you install and use Power Platform Tools for Visual Studio.

Integrate with external data

Data management capabilities in Dataverse not only lets you work with data within Dataverse, but also effectively interact with external data critical to your business. More information:

Dataverse tables

Tables store the business data you will work with. An understanding what they are and how to work with them is essential.

More information:

Note

Unsure about entity vs. table? See Developers: Understand terminology in Microsoft Dataverse.

Work with table definitions

Developing a good working understanding of the metadata (data that describes data) in the system can help you understand how the Dataverse platform works. In general you will use designers to add, update, or delete table columns that will store business data. You can also define metadata that provides additional information about a table or column. For example, most tables have a "Name" column and there is metadata that describes if that column is required, when it was modified, and by whom. Both the (OData) data access point and the Organization service endpoint provide capabilities to perform common operations on the table definition and other metadata. More information: Work with metadata using code

Use solutions to package and distribute extensions

If you are going to distribute the extensions you create or any customizations that they depend on, you will need to understand solutions. Solutions created by an individual are relatively simple to work with and don't require the skills of a developer. But for a team of developers to work productively with solutions and use effective application lifecycle management principles requires a more sophisticated approach. More information:

Create client applications and authentication

When you create extensions that apply business logic on the server you will not need to include code to authenticate. The only times you will need to authenticate are when you are creating a client application. A simple console client application is a good way to familiarize yourself with the Dataverse APIs. Enabling a means to connect to the data is an important first step. Most of the code samples provided include a means to authenticate. The Xrm.Tooling connector provides capabilities to make authentication simpler. More information: