The Dynamics 365 stack is growing. It’s quite well known that Microsoft adds new products to the stack, but two recent additions took off really quickly and have been gaining in popularity at a rapid pace. These products are Dynamics 365 Business Central and PowerApps.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (Business Central) is a Finance and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. Flexible in its nature, it’s perfect for organisations who do not want to own any infrastructure or have anything on-site, or those that still do, but still want the option of flexible customisation options for their solution.
Microsoft PowerApps is a platform that has paved the way for designing and building web-based apps using no-code to low-code technology.
But is it possible to have PowerApp based web apps that use data from Business Central or even interact with Business Central by sending data back to Business Central, performing data validations and notifying PowerApps users about any issue that occurs during the validation process? The answer is yes.
And there are several ways to achieve that:
1. Built-in Common Data Service ConnectorDynamics 365 Business Central has a powerful feature called Common Data Service Connector. Using this feature data from common standard entities such as Customers, Contacts, Opportunities etc. can be automatically synchronised with PowerApps.
2. OData feedsWith the OData feeds PowerApps can read data from Business Central objects exposed as OData web services. In other words, it’s a quick and easy way to configure read only access to Business Central as data cannot be sent back and validated.
3. Virtual EntitiesUsing this approach selected Business Central APIs can be represented as Dataverse (formerly known as Common Data Services) entities and PowerApps can interact with them in the same manner as with ‘normal’ Dataverse entities!
4. Business Central custom entities with the CDS table type.The most powerful approach. It allows designers to interact with the data of selected Dataverse entities inside of Dynamics 365 Business Central and to handle it by the means of AL (Business Central Application Language). This provides a great foundation for data validation, error handling and user notification regarding all possible exceptions.
To know more about how PowerApps and Business Central can work together for your organisation please feel free to reach out and have a conversation with one of Dynamic Aspect experts. We are here to help!