Demystifying Dual-Write

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How can we make Dynamics 365 CE talk to Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations? The answer to the question is getting more and more important as:

  • many solutions being developed on Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform are hybrid,
  • for getting digital feedback loop completed, the idea of ‘one interface’ working end to end is extremely important, and
  • having data view and access work seamlessly across CE and FO is unavoidable for any business investing in both apps

Particualrly in case of Dynamics 365 Field Service, following data elements are critcal to work across Dynamics 365 Field Service and Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations:

  • Accounts
  • Assets
  • Products
  • Purchase Orders
  • Product Inventory

So the question then is how to make data travel between Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement and Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations. Dynamics 365 CE writes and read data from Dataverse but Dynamics 365 FO doesn’t. This post is about an exploration of one of the ways to make it happen: Dual-Write.

What is Dual-Write?

Dual-write is a (relatively new) feature to make near real-time data travel between Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement and Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations. It is a combination of application and infrastructure that makes this real-time dta ravel happen. Key feature of this infrastructure is:

  • Near real-time
  • Tightly-coupled
  • Bi-directional
Data relationship between apps.
Reference: Microsoft Docs

How does it work?

There are two steps to it:

  • Once Dual-Write is setup first, initial write between the two apps copy data from each other in order to sync data
Reference: Microsoft Docs
  • Once intial data is sync, the setup of Dynamcis 365 FO and CE is such that this data transfer happens within a transaction so any data validation issues could be caught before data sanctitiy is violated
Reference: Microsoft Docs

How to set it up?

Following are the steps to setup Dual-Write:

  1. Install Dual-Write solutions in Dynamics 365 CE
  2. Setup Dual-Write in Dynamics Finance and Operations
  3. Setup entity and maps

Follow these detailed step-by-step guides here based on your Dynamics 365 CE and FO setup.

Constraints

As amazing as this feature is, like every other thing in the world, it does coem with few contraints:

  • It only works in same tenant
  • One Dynamics 365 CE tenant can be setup with only one Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations app – and vice versa
  • Though it may work across, but it is preferred to have both apps in the same geo and tenant

Implementation Considerations

As amazing as this feature is, it is important to consider both (a) Infrastructure and (b) Application and UX aspects of your app while using it in a solution. The first one in terms of which entities/tables we set it up on, and second in terms of how this will impact user experience and application usage.

Further Reading

The best source that helped me in exploring this feature is Microsoft Docs. Furthermore, I really found this Fast Track video very helpful.


Thanks for reading!

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