Microsoft Dataverse for Teams Now Commercially Released

By November 24, 2020 blog No Comments

The Microsoft Dataverse for Teams data platform for use with Power Platform tools has reached the “general availability” commercial-release stage, Microsoft announced on Monday.

In addition to Dataverse for Teams reaching general availability, a Microsoft spokesperson indicated that the following apps for Microsoft Teams have reached that stage, too: the Power Apps app for Teams, the Power Automate app for Teams and the Power Virtual Agents app for Teams.

The “Dataverse” word may sound familiar as it’s a rebrand of the “Microsoft Dataflex” and the “Microsoft Dataflex Pro” data platforms. Those Dataflex product names reportedly ran afoul of an existing Dataflex trademark, and so Microsoft moved to rename them. Initially, in the interim, Microsoft started calling the Teams version “Project Oakdale,” but that’s been dropped and it’s now known as Microsoft Dataverse for Teams.

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Microsoft Dataverse for Teams is a subset of the larger data platform formerly known as the “Common Data Service” platform, which Microsoft had wanted to rename as “Dataflex Pro.” The new name for that larger platform now is just “Microsoft Dataverse.”

Microsoft Dataverse has storage and management capabilities that are more extensive than the Microsoft Dataverse for Teams subset. A table in this August Microsoft blog post showed Microsoft Dataverse (Common Data Service) as having “Mobile Offline” and “Relevance Search” capabilities lacking in the Microsoft Dataverse for Teams (Project Oakdale) subset. Additionally, Microsoft Dataverse for Teams lacks support for the business rules in Microsoft Dataverse, as well as developer access to an API.

The idea behind Power Platform tools (Power Apps, Power Automate, Power BI development and Power Virtual Agents) is to enable employees without developer experience to create ad hoc business applications, automated workflows, data visualizations and even bots. Microsoft Dataverse for Teams is designed to make it easier to build those tools right from within the Teams collaboration app interface.

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Microsoft Dataverse for Teams possibly will permit organizations to build applications that can scale better than apps built for SharePoint Intranet. Andrew Welch, a Microsoft Most Valuable Profession focused on business applications, had explained back in July that organizations had been using SharePoint to build applications to avoid the licensing costs of the Common Data Service, but those SharePoint apps didn’t shift well as business needs changed.

According to that interpretation proposed by Welch, Microsoft Dataverse for Teams aims to eliminate that friction. He recommended that organizations should shift to building their business applications in Teams using the Power Platform, rather than continue to build them in SharePoint.

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