Introduction to Dynamics 365 – Data Export Service

2-Stage-synchronization

If you have never heard of the “Data Export Service” like me, you should check out the post on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Team Blog! Below is an excerpt of the blog post:

Data extraction and synchronization made easy

Have you ever wanted an easy ability to replicate Dynamics 365 (online) CRM data to an Azure database for using Azure analytics tools without the added complexity of managing an ETL tool? Did you ever want to use Power BI based reporting over the entire Dynamics 365 organization data? Have you ever wanted a tool that can push Dynamics 365 (online) delta changes continuously in a matter of a few minutes without running frequent scheduled jobs? Then the new Dynamics 365 – Data Export Service is just the right service for you. The new Appsource app Data Export Service enables administrators to do just that and it’s free to use with Dynamics 365 (online)!

What is the Data Export Service?

The Microsoft Dynamics 365-Data Export Service is a free add-on service made available on Microsoft AppSource that synchronizes Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online) data to a Microsoft Azure SQL Database store in a customer-owned Microsoft Azure subscription. The supported target destinations are Microsoft Azure SQL Database and Microsoft SQL Server on Microsoft Azure virtual machines. The Data Export Service synchronizes the entire Dynamics 365 data initially and thereafter synchronizes delta changes on a continuous basis as they occur in the Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online) system. This helps enable several analytics and reporting scenarios on top of Dynamics 365 data with Azure services, such as Power BI or Machine Learning and opens up new possibilities for customers and partners to build custom solutions.

Data Export Service

With the Data Export Service, you can quickly set up data replication to a destination database with export profiles in a matter of a few minutes. Each export profile provides an easy ability to choose a set of entities to replicate data from Dynamics 365 to a destination database and thereafter the entire data is available in tables automatically created in the destination database. You can set up multiple export profiles simultaneously to replicate data to different databases to cater to different workload scenarios, such as one export profile can replicate data for sales reporting and another one can replicate data for service reporting. Data is synchronized in 2 stages, first with initial sync and then with continuous delta sync as changes happen in Dynamics 365 with a push mechanism within a matter of few mins.

2 - Stage synchronization

The Data Export Service simplifies the technical and administrative complexity of deploying and managing a data export solution – automatically managing both schema and data. Below are the key capabilities of the Data Export Service:

  • Metadata changes such as addition or modification of fields are automatically synchronized
  • Full initial data synchronization
  • Push-based delta synchronization as changes occur in Dynamics 365. Delta changes are pushed in a matter of a few minutes
  • Built-in recovery for addressing transient failures
  • Delete log table to track deletes along with their timestamps
  • Timestamps to compute delta based on sync time
  • Monitoring and diagnostics on sync progress
  • Scalable, reliable, and secure cloud service operated by Microsoft
  • APIs for programmatic management of export profiles

Use cases it can help

Having your data in Azure SQL database enables several possibilities, such as to set up an operational database for reporting with Power BI, build a staging area for data warehouse, or to build machine learning models. In addition, a synchronized database can also help offload any read-only workload centric queries, which  reduces load on the main Dynamics 365 system. The key use case that the Data Export Service can help is to build scalable operational or enterprise BI reporting with Power BI in Azure backed by Azure SQL database.

Typical use cases

How to set up

You can read the full blogpost here: Introduction to Dynamics 365 – Data Export Service

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