Microsoft Launches Dataverse for Teams, Formerly Microsoft Dataflex
- By Kurt Mackie
- November 16, 2020
Microsoft has announced the general availability of Microsoft Dataverse for Teams, a data platform that works with its Power Platform suite.
The Dataverse brand is a reworking of the earlier "Microsoft Dataflex" and "Microsoft Dataflex Pro" products, which Microsoft reportedly renamed to avoid violating an existing Dataflex trademark. Initially, Microsoft called the Teams version "Project Oakdale," but that's been dropped and it's now known as Microsoft Dataverse for Teams.
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 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.
Microsoft Dataverse for Teams possibly will permit organizations to build applications that can scale better than apps built for SharePoint. 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.
In addition to Dataverse for Teams reaching general availability, a Microsoft spokesperson indicated that the following apps for Teams have also been released: Power Apps for Teams, Power Automate for Teams and Power Virtual Agents for Teams.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.