Dynamics 365 Dynamics NAV 2017

Common Data Model

As an organization grow and prosper the need for multiple business applications arise. This usually leads to issues such as lack of common data structure between the applications. This void presents an integration challenge for development teams as they must develop custom workarounds and figure out how different applications can talk to each other. Common Data model tries to solve this issue by bringing together data from CRM, ERP etc. to a common platform and help present the complete picture to Organizations empowering them with best possible data to make best possible decisions.

What is Common Data Model?

The Common data model (CDM) is an easy to provision scalable data store that provides storage and behavior through an entity model. It is meant to provide a database of entities that are common across industry domains like Sales, Purchase, Customer Service, and Productivity. These entities will connect to Microsoft’s first-party business applications such as AX, Dynamics CRM as well as third-party such as Salesforce and custom-developed apps. The entities in CDM will support data types like Address, Email, Currency, Auto Number, images, geographic locations, and more. They’ll be implemented using the latest SQL Server data types.












Where does it fit in?

CDM is not meant to replace existing Microsoft ERP and CRM extension and development tools, like xRM, the Dynamics CRM framework. Instead, CDM is a new framework that will work across Dynamics AX on Azure, CRM Online, and Project Madeira (Dynamics 365 for Financials), which are the main components of Dynamics 365.

Currently CDM is in development phase. There are still some issues syncing data from business applications like Nav, but over time, CDM will empower business users who want to build their own PowerApps, as well as ISVs who want to build business apps that can span across multiple core systems seamlessly.

What is the goal?

To simplify data management and integration across apps and business processes. It serves as an Operational Data store and a Transaction processing store. The data in the entities can power a wide range of Business analysis tools thus giving a bigger boost to Intelligence and Forecasts.

Data management

Data can be copied into standard and custom entities from multiple system of record. The data can be cleansed, made non-redundant and processed for integrity. This data is read-only and managed inside the Operational Data Store. Data can be represented by updatable standard and custom entities which support atomic reads and writes. This is managed by Transaction Processing Store.

In simpler words, Operational Data Store pulls data from other systems and enable work on the consolidated data. The Transaction Processing Store is designed to process everyday transactions of an organizations.

Although CDM is not a data warehousing solution but with these capabilities CDM empowers users to measure, act and automate on a consolidated set of data sourced from across the enterprise.

Data flow

The resulting data inside CDM can help organize multiple business applications and help achieve a true common database for an organization.


The Common Data Model provides a security framework to help protect your data. There are two modes in which the service can run, open or restricted. In open mode, the data stored in the common data service is open to all users. When running in restricted mode we will need to configure the role-based security. A role-based system is used to grant users permissions to data. The security model is a hierarchy, with each level representing a different level of access. At the lowest level are individual create, read, update, and delete permissions on a single entity. A collection of these entity level permissions form a permission set. Permission sets are the building blocks of the role-based security framework. A permission set specifies the level of access that is granted to a set of entities. Create, read, update and delete permissions can be granted to any entity included in the permission set.

In conclusion CDM holds an immense potential in enterprise. A common database that resides in cloud where Applications across the enterprise can drive updates to that data. With Dynamics 365 taking the center stage for Microsoft Enterprise cloud endeavors CDM will act as the crucial missing link to simplify the challenges of data management.

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