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mrtimo1
Frequent Visitor

Best alternative to CDS for small app

Hi,

I'm moving an ACCESS Desktop App to PowerApps. The ACCESS DB had 7-8 tables, a few tables had 3,000+ records. 

 

I'm thinking I should use Azure SQL DB. Is there something else I should be using or think about?

 

Thanks,

Tim

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Anonymous
Not applicable

   Having CDS 2.0 licensed per user at $40 is really high compared to many DB solutions.  With Plan 1 at $7, it made more sense.  Perhaps, they need to offer it like Power Bi plan that is not tied to users but capacity (ie $XXX per month).

Wait, wait, wait...

 

You just blew my mind here @Anonymous. This is just earth shattering to me!

What do you mean that the basic PowerApps plan that comes with Enterprise license comes with a free SQL Server connector?

And here I was thinking that the free PowerApp could only connect with Office365 data!

This is amazing! And so much better for my clients! It is even cheaper than I thought!

 

If you had stopped there, you had already made my weekend!

 

But no, you had to go further. You mentioned you were only spending $6.68/month on Azure SQL?

How is that possible?

 

Then I researched a bit based on your figures and found it! And I thought I had to pay a minimum of $700.00/month!

I cannot thank you enough for this post.

 

In my book your status has just been elevated to "Legendary"

 

 

Anonymous
Not applicable

Hi @Macro101

 

Yes on basic PowerApps plan for Enterprise you can connect to SQL Server. No need for Plan 1 or Plan2.

 

The $7/month for Azure database is just for the one database instance with basic plan (not the server).

 

My organization uses a lot of Azure Services so price per individual items becomes cheaper.

 

If you need to setup a whole Azure Services for your organization to get Database and Server it will be more expensive, not sure how much exactly, but I do not think it would go as high as $700/month for one server and database (all you need for PowerApps).

 

Did you end up going with Azure SQL for the nappy database?

 

I'm also looking to setup a basic database from scratch, for a small business of 20 staff, somewhat similar to what you've got.  4 tables etc.  So by the sounds of it seems like Azure SQL might be the way to go?  Pricing seems really confusing, so I have no idea what the cost is going to be on it though...

Start with the standard 5DTU database.  It's about $5/mo. 

 

Don't create a 2nd databse on that instance, though or it will default to a 50DTU database.  Smiley Wink

 

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/details/sql-database/single/

is this still true about delegation?

 

Hi @Anonymous,

 

 

The answer you gave to that question was indeed really helpful. Since this thread happened in 2018 and a lot has evolved in the Power Platform world since then, would it be possible for you to grant us with an update of your thoughts?

 

We are planning to use power apps to solve some issues within the services we provide. Our dataset may be a bit big, like ~20 tables and at least two of them with ~10k rows added every month. We know little about database warehousing, but we believe Azure SQL Database would be much more indicated than CDS (although it would be much easier to use the latter). Not only due to performance issues, but also due to the cost of the infrastructure.

 

 

Thank you in advance. Best wishes.

 

Marcelo.

EricRegnier
Most Valuable Professional
Most Valuable Professional

I might be a little biased towards CDS but I always look beyond licensing, because as we know licensing always keeps evolving and the price of an app is more than that. We need to consider things like maintenance, effort and speed of development, opportunity cost, etc.

Although CDS does have a database it is much more than a database. It comes with a rich set of features that are usually common to any type of system/application especially in the enterprise space. If we were to compare to traditional software design, with a database, you'll need to develop a data access layer and all (yes there are some frameworks and tools to help with that), however with CDS all that is taken care of out-of-the-box and the developers just need to focus on the business and presentation layer. We can refer to CDS as a platform and even SDaaS (Software Dev as a Service). Here are just a few examples of these capabilities that you would have to custom build yourself or use custom frameworks with SQL. 

  • Data Management (import and export capabilities)
  • Reporting and dashboards for end-users
  • Users and Queue management
  • No code business logic client & server side
  • SDKs and APIs which automatically scaffolds on change of data model
  • Auditing and Logging
  • MS Office integration
  • Searching and querying
  • SharePoint integration
  • Currency management
  • Data Duplication Detection
  • Multi-language support
  • Pre-built UI template (model-driven apps)
  • MS Exchange integration
  • Administer and monitor, DevOps tools, console and admin center
  • Core data model (CDM aka Common Data Model) and schema out-of-the-box
  • Activities/Interactions management
  • and more 🙂

Wow, @EricRegnier ... thank you for that.

 

Yes, for sure CDS offers a lot... specially for someone like me, without solid skills on database and programming (I worked with these more than 20 year ago, with Clipper/Dbase, then Delphi/[forgot the database name, but it was already relational and accessed through SQL]). I am now trying to deploy some business ideas using PowerApps as low-code platform, and CDS makes it a lot easier. (I already run a prototype of our solution having Google spreadsheet as database and Zapier as flow automation.)

 

However, I am a bit scared about the volume of data a prospect client showed to me (~10k rows every month in some tables), regarding the amount of processing capacity the database should support and how much it would cost to maintain. Can I really believe that CDS can handle such volume??   Even while being so easy to use and out-of-the box?? (really prejudicial thought, I know, based on my ignorance on this matter)

 

Regarding the cost: I have not really started building the database, having included only a few tables without real data, and it has used 1.13 Gb. Then, I would have to pay ~$35 a month for 1 Gb of additional storage (after the initial 10Gb). It would kill my business. In Azure SQL Database, I would pay ~$14 for the first 250 Gb of data (Standard 10 DTUs configuration).

 

Really tough decision.

Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts.

 

 

Best wishes.

Marcelo.

EricRegnier
Most Valuable Professional
Most Valuable Professional

For volume, CDS can definitely support that assuming your customizations don't downgrade the performance. Just to give an idea, I've implemented cases where we had >300K volume a month on a single entity. For the storage, vanilla CDS takes around 1GB so you can discard the 1st GB and so you're consuming around 13MB now. To keep the storage at the most optimal level, here are things to keep in mind:

  1. Avoid storing documents/files in CDS, although document storage is calculated separately.
  2. If you have Exchange synchronization enabled, ensure only the required emails and attachments are integrated in CDS.
  3. Perform regular house keeping activities such as clean custom logs (OOB audit logs are calculated separately) or similar type of records, delete old draft records, etc
  4. Uninstall out-of-the-box solutions you don't need. For example, LinkedIn Sales Navigator

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