This is a (probably the first) post to try to sort out my experiences around setting up a DataVerse connection to a Finance and Operations environment and figuring out how this interacts with Power Platform Admin Center, LCS and DualWrite.
DualWrite is Microsofts go-to solution for integrating Dynamics 365 CE and Dynamics 365 FnO. It uses Dataverse and PowerPlatform extensively which means that we are, in all essences, merging two separate products into one, which creates some challenges.
Since Microsoft is in the middle of a “Convergence” transition when it comes to managing these things I realize that this is a moving target at the moment, which is why I will need to come back to this this eventually.
This article will address some of the challenges that we have experienced, setting up DualWrite.
Since my primary focus is FnO I will start there.
There are a lot of clues to the fact that Microsoft sees PowerPlatform and DataVerse as an integral part of Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. The first one you will notice is that you get the option to create a Power Platform environment when you create a new FnO environment. Another lead is that none of the microservice add-ins that you can deploy from LCS are available to deploy it you have not connected your environment to Power Platform.
There are two different ways to create the DualWrite setup. Setting up a new, empty Environment when deploying a new FnO environment or linking your FnO environment to an existing CRM/CE environment. Please remember that, if you have an existing CRM environment with existing customizations (of a highly customized FnO environment) you should probably think about setting up a proof of concept to evaluate how to handle customizations. Keep in mind that the out-of-box mappings for DualWrite are created for vanilla environments.
When setting up a new Finance and Operations environment you get the option of also setting up a new connected DataVerse environment. You will not get the option to connect an existing environment. You are able to opt out of this setup at the time of deployment if you want.
Regardless of what you choose the environment will be created and connected from the Power Platform side. On the LCS side there is no indication of any DataVerse environment.
Connecting to PowerPlatform
NOTE: This decision is IRREVERSIBLE. Once you have linked your FnO environment to a Power Platform environment there is no supported way to unlink it.
Once the environment is set up LCS offers an option to set up the DataVerse Connection. You can use the one provisioned for you, if you are not using CRM or if you are not planning to use DualWrite to interface with CRM, or you can link it to your existing Dynamics 365 for Sales (CRM) environment. Even though the connection is done to your existing/live CRM environment the operation should be safe since the Power Platform are being deployed to another “partition” of the environment. I know, the message in the upper right corner looks a bit scarry…
This operation only enabled the install of add-ins, DualWrite still needs to be set up from within FnO when you are ready for it.
Since Microsoft is currently moving the management experience of Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations environments to the Power Platform Admin Center, all of this is a changing scenario and I think what we are seeing is a transition to what is about to come.
- Do a gradual rollout, starting with some entities
- If there is data that does not need to be synchronized, a different solution such as virtual entities or PowerApps could be an idea
- Do a proof-of-concept to validate the setup