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All robust platform can have a daunting data structure. With some, and in certain situations, you might not directly care about the intricacies. But if you are looking to create reports and visualization, identifying the complexities around data structure becomes quite important.

When working in Power BI, and connecting to Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement, the first step is to identify the entities and relationships that will help you to create relevant dashboards.

You could just ask a Dynamics developer to walk you through it, but that’s not always an option.

Back with older versions of Dynamics CRM, the SDK used to include these complex and large ERD diagrams. They were hard to read, and too stuffed of information. I remember spending time cleaning them up and removing non-relevant entities and relationship so I can present a small portion in documentation.

But fast forward to today. As a Power BI resource that is just starting to look at leveraging data from Dynamics 365, you can start first by looking at the entities. You can find a listing of the entities in the SDK (available for 8.2 at this time).
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As we’ve looked at CDS in these previous articles Creating your first Common Data Service (CDS) database and How to import .csv data into CDS, let’s bring it back home and see one way to bring data from your Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement into CDS. We’re looking at Flow now.

We can use Flow for both importing and exporting data with CDS. In addition, we can use it for both standard and custom entities. As for sources, the list of connectors is continuously growing. What does that mean? We can actually synchronize data between various application using CDS.

Note that, while we’re doing this, we’re following a typical scheduled ETL flow. This is not a synchronization service. One of the biggest differences is the fact that no deletes are supported. We can create records, update records, but have no ability to capture delete.

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