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24 Jun, 2024

Virtual Entities: The Key to Connecting SharePoint Data with Dynamics 365 CRM

Posted on 24 Jun, 2024 by Swetha Salaskar, Posted in Power Apps Dataverse Dynamics 365

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In today’s business landscape, seamless data integration across platforms is crucial for efficiency and productivity. Many organizations use SharePoint for document management and data storage, while Dynamics 365 CRM is widely used for managing customer relationships. This post explores how to make data stored in SharePoint lists available to Dynamics 365 CRM users through the use of Virtual Entities, allowing them to select and save this data within the CRM system.

What Are Virtual Entities?

Virtual Entities in Dynamics 365 CRM allow data from external sources to appear as native CRM entities without storing the data in the CRM database. This approach is ideal for integrating data that is managed outside Dynamics 365, such as SharePoint lists.

Understanding the Requirement

A common customer requirement is to enable Dynamics 365 CRM users to access data stored in SharePoint lists. Using Virtual Entities in Dynamics 365 CRM is an efficient solution that ensures users can leverage existing data without duplicating efforts, maintaining a single source of truth across platforms.

Step-by-Step Integration Process

  • Go to make.powerapps.com and navigate to related solution.
  • Create new table. Table --> Table from external data.

  • Select appropriate external data source and create connection

  • Once connection is created then click on next

  • Select SharePoint site URL from listed sites and click on Next

  • Now select list to connect

  • Table name is populated with list name and even column mapping would be done automatically, If you want you can change the display name or schema name to represent in CRM. Once verified then click on Next button

  • Lastly review the configuration and click on finish.

  • This will create virtual table in CRM

 

  • Now create relationship between virtual table and required mapping table.

  • Add field to the required form.
  • Save and publish the solution and let the magic happen.

 

Benefits of Using Virtual Entities

  • Real-Time Data Access:
    • Provides real-time access to SharePoint data without the need for data replication.
  • Reduced Storage Costs:
    • Data is not stored in Dynamics 365 CRM, reducing storage costs and maintaining efficiency.
  • Enhanced Data Consistency:
    • Ensures data consistency across SharePoint and Dynamics 365 CRM.

Conclusion

Integrating SharePoint list data with Dynamics 365 CRM using Virtual Entities can significantly enhance business operations by ensuring that critical data is easily accessible across platforms without data duplication. This method leverages real-time data access, improves efficiency, and maintains data consistency.

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