Common Data Model Overview
The Common Data Model is the Microsoft Azure–based business application model and storage mechanism for the Microsoft business application platform. Together with gateways and connectors, it forms the basis of business solutions that are created by using Microsoft Power BI, Microsoft PowerApps, and Microsoft Flow. The Common data model provides common business entities and integration capabilities for importing data from multiple sources, with the goal of bridging the data gap between software as a service (SaaS) workloads and business suites. By using the Common Data Model, you can create analytics that span these separate workloads and suites. The platform provides a rich and productive development platform though the following features:
- Common Data model – A library of entities that represent the most commonly used entities across business and productivity applications. The library is organized for simplicity and rapid discoverability. Typical solutions will revolve around core elements of enterprise data – for example, an employee, a customer, a product, or a supplier. Applications across the enterprise will drive updates to that data. The model is implemented to simplify the challenges of data management.
- Data import – You can quickly and easily import data from your existing systems. The platform rapidly establishes trusted connections for IT-managed tenants. The trusted connections continually synchronize the data between your existing systems and your platform solutions.
- Security – The platform manages access to data in the Common data model and conforms to the security models of the enterprise.
- Simple, but rich – The Common Data Model balances the richness to be useful and the simplicity to be usable.
- Extensibility – You can extend the Common Data Model without breaking data sharing with other apps.
- Robustness – Because you can depend on common entities, you can build reusable components that are bound to the model. The model includes a design for extensibility and versioning that protects your development investment.
- Unification – Your solutions can connect information from productivity platforms with data from business applications. For example, you can connect a calendar appointment or a Microsoft Outlook task with a sales opportunity. The model connects through standard interfaces, such as the Microsoft Graph application programming interface (API), and maps entities to the productivity platform objects to enable the join relationships with business data.
- Microsoft Office 365 integration – In addition to unifying cloud data silos for analysis, the Common Data Model provides a uniform model that is used to surface data to the Office 365 substrate, and that conforms to application data security models.