What is the Dataverse and the Common Data Model?


Course Introduction
Connecting Data with Connectors
Course Summary
1m 14s

The course is part of this learning path

What is the Dataverse and the Common Data Model?

This course explores the core components of Microsoft's Power Platform, including the Microsoft Dataverse, common data model, compliance, connecting data to Power Platform, and the AI Builder.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn about the Microsoft Dataverse and the Common Data Model
  • Learn about Power Platform environments and data compliance
  • Understand the types of connectors you can use within Power Platform
  • Explore the AI Builder and various low- to no-code use cases for various AI Models

Intended Audience

This course is for anyone who wants to understand the core components within the Power Platform and who wants additional insight into how their data connects within it.


To get the most out of this course you should already have a basic understanding of Power Platform. Before embarking on this course, we recommend that you take our course "Understanding the Business Value of Microsoft Power Platform" beforehand.


Fully understanding where data is stored and how you can interact with it within the Dataverse is essential for understanding the Power Platform. While Power Platform can connect to external data sources, the Microsoft Dataverse makes accessing and interacting with your data easy. The Microsoft Dataverse is a cloud-based data storage solution completely managed by Microsoft. It is designed to be the central database for your business and provides additional functionality for that data with security, scalability, and integration options.

The Dataverse allows you to create cloud-based instances of a standardized database, which is broken down into tables and columns that then store your data. This enables you to implement what are called the business rules for additional control over your data. Business rules allow you to apply rules to your organization's data at a data level, so that no matter where that data is accessed, proper permissions are needed to actually see and interact with that data.

Without proper permissions, you will just receive an error and a notification stating that you need permissions to access the data. For example, if you send a Power BI report with data that has a business rule applied to it, and then share that report to another user, if that user does not have permission to access the data, they will not be able to view the report. However, since business rules apply at a data level, you can make it so things like Power BI dashboards are still accessible by standard users without worrying about more sensitive data.

Sticking with the Power BI example, imagine having three datasets A, B and C. Data sets A and B have standard user access, while dataset C has a business rule applied to it, restricting user access. Even though C has restricted access, visuals can still be pulled from it and used in a dashboard with data from datasets A and B. A user without access to the C dataset can still view the entire dashboard. However, they will only see visuals from datasets A and B. Any visuals including data from dataset C will be blocked stating they do not have proper access. And that is just one example of business rules being applied to your data.

They can also do things like set values or validate data within a table whenever the dataset is accessed. But perhaps the most impressive aspect of business rules is that by applying them at a data level, you can ensure that all changes made to your data update in real time across the Dataverse. But let's take a step back for a moment.

If the Dataverse is a cloud-based storage solution and business rules apply to the data stored within its datasets, where does the Common Data Model fall into all of this? Well, as I mentioned, the Dataverse is made up of tables and columns that utilize the Common Data Model, as it's a standardized form. To define it, the Common Data Model is a logical design. That includes a set of open-sourced, standardized, extensible data tables and relationships that Microsoft and its partners have published in an industry-wide initiative called the Open Data Initiative.

This collection of predefined tables, columns, semantic metadata, and relationships forms the basis of the Common Data Model. This is important to know as the standard table design within the Dataverse is based upon the Common Data Model, which allows users to take advantage of pre-built solutions that have been built utilizing the Common Data Model. With that in mind, let's take a look at how these tables apply to the Common Data Model within the Dataverse.

About the Author
Learning Paths

Lee has spent most of his professional career learning as much as he could about PC hardware and software while working as a PC technician with Microsoft. Once covid hit, he moved into a customer training role with the goal to get as many people prepared for remote work as possible using Microsoft 365. Being both Microsoft 365 certified and a self-proclaimed Microsoft Teams expert, Lee continues to expand his knowledge by working through the wide range of Microsoft certifications.