The Power Trio of ERP Integration

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One of our favorite features of Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the ability to connect customer engagement processes using the Business Applications Platform. With PowerApps, Flow, and Power BI, users can easily build new apps and workflows across Dynamics 365 and other systems and data sources. PowerApps and Flow have joined Microsoft Power BI  to create what is sometimes referred to as the “power trio.” Collectively, they allow users to accomplish tasks that previously required programming skills.


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Microsoft Power BI is a free, self-service business intelligence cloud service that provides non-technical business users with tools for aggregating, analyzing, visualizing, and sharing data. Power BI's user interface is fairly intuitive for those users familiar with Excel, and its deep integration with other Microsoft products makes it a very versatile tool that requires little upfront training.


Microsoft PowerApps is a powerful and innovative service introduced by Microsoft that allows enterprise users to create, collaborate, communicate, and manage mobile apps without requiring developer skills or extra IT infrastructure to distribute.


Microsoft Flow is a cloud-based software tool that allows employees to create and automate workflows across multiple applications and services without the need for developer help. Automated workflows are called flows. To create a flow, the user specifies what action should take place when a specific event occurs.


Each of these solutions is incredibly powerful, and together they allow users to harness the power of the Microsoft Cloud and transform their business processes in ways that were previously accessible only to experts.


The foundation for the Business Applications Platform is Microsoft’s Common Data Service. The Common Data Service does the heavy lifting of bringing together your data from across the Dynamics 365 family of services so you can focus on building and delivering the apps, insights, and process automation that matter to you and your customers with the power trio:  PowerApps, Power BI, and Microsoft Flow.


Some of the capabilities of the Common Data Service are:


  1. An easy to provision, yet scalable data store
  2. A common data model with standard entity schema and behavior
  3. A powerful data access layer with support for data import, export, and security
  4. Integration with Microsoft Office for Excel and Outlook
  5. A software developer kit (SDK) for professional development scenarios


The Common Data Service stores business data in a secure cloud database, organizing it in a standardized but extensible form. When applied to customer management, the stored data can include customer lists, leads, opportunities, invoices, and inventory. Because data is standardized, it is easier to create additional applications and workflows.


Best of all, PowerApps, Flow, and Power BI synchronize with the Common Data service model.


The Common Data Service means that data can be collected and stored using standard entity definitions. There are plenty of standard entries and categories from which to select. By ensuring that information is not locked up in a specific application, different apps can share data and collaboration is made easier. This sharing of data will become key to achieving consistently flawless customer interaction.


Additionally, PowerApps and Flow integrate with Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics 365 with numerous built-in connectors and a great selection of business applications and database systems. Users can even connect to applications and data stored at their own locations through the on-premise data gateway. With these integrations, clients can easily build applications and orchestrate workflows spanning business processes and joining data previously locked up in silos.


The capability for power users, developers, and industry experts to work collaboratively to address business concerns makes Microsoft Dynamics 365 a powerful tool for any organization. At Western Computer, we like to think of our partnership with Microsoft and our customers as a “power trio” too. We want to enable our clients to build cross-platform, multi-data source applications quickly and on a scalable, secure and compliant platform. If you are interested in having a more integrated ERP experience, contact our experts at Western Computer.


By Western Computer

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