A Closer Look at Data Platform Capabilities in Dataflex for Teams

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At Microsoft Inspire, we introduced Microsoft Dataflex for Teams and announced the renaming of the Common Data Service to Microsoft Dataflex Pro.

Microsoft Dataflex for Teams delivers a built-in, low-code data platform for Teams and enables everyone to easily build and deploy apps and intelligent chatbots in Teams with Microsoft Power Apps and Microsoft Power Virtual Agents.

This follow up post provides additional detail on some of the key capabilities in Microsoft Dataflex for Teams as well as some of the differences between Dataflex for Teams and Dataflex Pro.

Focus areas for this post include data, application and solution development, environments, integration, and security.

Data

Dataflex for Teams supports relational data and includes capabilities to find, filter, and sort that data. It includes support for basic data types, as well as complex data types like images and files. Dataflex for Teams also includes a version of the currency data type found in Dataflex Pro as well as other popular capabilities such as the ability to do roll up and calculated fields.

In Dataflex for Teams, the new editable grid will help you quickly create and populate new tables with your data. The included User table is based on the Common Data Model (CDM) and additional support for Common Data Model (CDM) based tables is coming soon.

Dataflex Pro includes a host of additional capabilities over Dataflex for Teams, including non-relational data (logs), managed data lake, relevance search, and offline data for mobile. It includes support for advanced data types and robust support for the Common Data Model (CDM) today.

Activities and Activity Feed tables are included in Dataflex Pro only and were not included in Dataflex for Teams as similar concepts were already present in Teams.

Note – At the time of this writing, tables for AI Builder are not currently included in Dataflex for Teams. Customers can use or upgrade to Dataflex Pro to take advantage of these capabilities.

Data Dataflex for Teams Dataflex Pro
Relational
File + Image
Find, Filter, Sort
Basic Datatypes
Common Data Model Coming Soon
Mobile Offline
Relevance Search

 

Application and Solution Development

In Teams, people collaborate around documents in different ways – some you create yourself, some you create in collaboration with teammates, or others you acquire from trusted sources.

Power Platform and Dataflex for Teams bring this same model to building and using apps, chatbots, flows, and data. Dataflex for Teams includes a solution that is used for developing low code and no code applications directly within Microsoft Teams.

In addition to building your own applications and solutions, you can discover solutions and templates from trusted sources in a gallery, easily install them, and optionally customize them for your organization.  In the future, Dataflex for Teams will also support classic import and export of solutions.

With data visualization being a core piece of many solutions, it was important to support graphs and charts in applications. Dataflex Pro extends these capabilities even further with support for paginated reports.

In Dataflex for Teams, Power Automate is used for the creation of workflows.  It does not include support for business rules or classic workflows found in Dataflex Pro.

Dataflex for Teams is focused on low code/no code development.  Certain capabilities such as developer API access and plug in support will not be available at launch, but can be found in Dataflex Pro.

Dataflex Pro and Power Apps currently support model driven apps today and these will be coming to Dataflex for Teams later this year.

In addition to use within Teams, Dataflex Pro can also be natively accessed in Microsoft Excel, synced with Microsoft Outlook, and power applications written for mobile, web, and desktop.

Environment Lifecycle Dataflex for Teams Dataflex Pro
Data Visualization
Paginated Reports (SSRS)
Pro Dev
API Access
Plugins

 

Environments

In Dataflex for Teams and Dataflex Pro, data is stored within an environment. Dataflex for Teams creates a single environment for each Microsoft Team where you create data, apps, chatbots, and workflows. That environment supports backups, point-in-time-restore, and disaster recovery.  In Dataflex for Teams, capacity includes relational, image, and file data. The 2gb capacity provided to a team can typically store up to 1 million rows of data.

To make management easier, the lifecycle of the Dataflex for Teams environment is connected to that of the associated Microsoft Team. For example, when a team is deleted, its associated environment is also deleted.

While Dataflex for Teams focuses on one environment per Team, Dataflex Pro supports both unlimited environments as well as additional capabilities relevant when there are multiple environments, e.g. copy and reset.

 

Environment Lifecycle Dataflex for Teams Dataflex Pro
Environments 1 per Team Unlimited
Maximum Size 1M Rows/

2GB

4TB or more
Promote to Dataflex Pro/D365

 

Note – for organizations using both Dataflex for Teams and Dataflex Pro, capacity is managed differently between the two.

Security

As collaboration in Teams happens with people inside and outside of an organization, the security model needed to support this is easy to use.  In Dataflex for Teams, access is pre-configured with a security role based on their membership type (Owners, Members, and Guests)

Both Dataflex for Teams and Dataflex Pro include support for activity logging, e.g. who created a record, while Dataflex Pro provides additional capabilities for auditing.

As Dataflex Pro is not specific to the Teams environment, it delivers more options for admin and user roles. It also includes a number of additional security capabilities such as customer managed keys, field level security, hierarchical security, sharing, and support for legacy authentication.

Note – Because Dataflex for Teams’ environment is specific to a team, it only contains one business unit.

 

 

Security Dataflex for Teams Dataflex Pro
Admin Roles System Admin & System Customizer
User Roles Teams Owners, Members & Guests
Activity Logging
Business Units One Only
Auditing
Customer Managed Keys
Field Level Security
Hierarchical Security
Sharing

 

Integration

Enterprise applications often need to integrate with popular SaaS, services, internal systems and data. Dataflex for Teams and Dataflex Pro both have powerful integration capabilities.

With Dataflex for Teams, integration is delivered primarily via connectors.  Support for both standard connectors and the ability to use the Dataflex connector (formerly the Common Data Service Native Connector) to connect to a Dataflex for Teams environment are included. Users with Premium licenses have access to the full set of over 350 standard and premium connectors available. This provides the ability to bring data into or retrieve data from tables in Dataflex for Teams, execute workflows when data in those tables change, and also use data from tables in workflow logic.

Dataflex Pro can also utilize connectors. In addition, it also includes additional built in integration capabilities that can export data to a data lake or publish events to event hub, service bus, or via webhooks. It also has TDS support which provides integration with SQL Server

Dataflex Pro can also be used with Server-Side Sync to synchronize with Exchange or Pop3 Servers, and also with Data Export Service which synchronizes data to Microsoft Azure SQL DB.

Integration Dataflex for Teams Dataflex Pro
Power Automate
Export to Lake
Data Export Service
Events to Event Hub
Events to Service Bus
Webhooks
Server-Side Sync
SQL Server Mgmt Studio

 

Note – As referenced earlier in application and solution development section, at launch Dataflex for Teams is focused on low code and no code developers and API access is not provided to developers.  If integration via API is required, Dataflex Pro should be used.

This document showcased some of the key capabilities in Microsoft Dataflex for Teams as well as differences between Dataflex for Teams and Dataflex Pro.

Microsoft Dataflex for Teams is available as part of your Teams license, supports up to 1,000,000 rows and delivers a robust set of capabilities for rapidly building no code and low code applications within Teams.  You can build solutions with confidence knowing that you can easily upgrade for additional capacity or the advanced capabilities in Dataflex Pro.

Thanks for you all of your interest in Dataflex for Teams and Dataflex Pro, we’re eager to see the solutions you’ll build with them.

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