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Helper II
Helper II

Common Data Source for Apps vs Excel Questions

Few questions about CDS....


  1. Is Common Data Source for Apps (CDS) much better than Excel? Is it faster, more secure, etc...?
  2. I know Excel has a security hole (at least in my opinion) where users can bypass my PowerApp and edit the Excel backend data file directly. Does CDS have this issue too?
  3. CDS basically allows you to create a relational database, right?
  4. Any way to automatically create a new entity based on an existing Excel file? (not data import, but structure too)


Community Support
Community Support

Hi @webdevguy,


1. For detailed information about how does CDM help you, please read through:

2. What did you mean bypass your PowerApps and edit the excel directly? Actually, if you want users to edit your excel within PowerApps, you will have to share the excel from the backend side. Or else your users won't be able to read the data from PowerApps too. This suits to all the data sources you use in PowerApps. For your reference:

Before you share an app, consider the types of resources on which it relies, such as one or more of the following:

  • a connection to a data source
  • an on-premises data gateway
  • a custom connector
  • an Excel workbook or other service
  • a flow

Some of these resources are shared automatically when you share the app. Other resources require you or the people with whom you share the app to take extra steps so that the app works as you expect.

You can also share your connections, custom connectors and on-premises data gateway with your entire organization.

3. You could create relationship between entities. 

4. So far to sync data from Excel to entity, you could use an Office add-in for Excel users to bulk edit data and analyze using Excel. 




Community Support Team _ Mona Li
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Power Apps
Power Apps


Hi @webdevguy,


1. They are very different beasts, if you're looking for a simple table which you want to use other Excel features on - you can continue to use that. Using CDS gives you a cloud based data store, that you can add logic to, it can exceed the data limits of Excel and you can apply custom security to - you can then also start using model driven apps and other CDS features. Performance should be far better for larger relational data sets as well.

2. Security is applied at the service level for CDS, so the same permissions apply in all entry points - you can even apply user specific security so they can only edit their own records, regardless of how they access.

3. At its core, yes the entities are relational - you can then add workflows, business logic, views to extend the model.

4. Yes! You can use PowerQuery for Web to import your data and generate schema at the same time


Hope this helps,



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