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Nass_
Frequent Visitor

Model Driven vs Canvas & Dataverse usage

Hi All

 

Since a few weeks we have transitioned from Sharepoint as a datasource to Dataverse only. Now while getting used to dataverse, we already have a lot of experience creating canvas apps. However, I was wondering how the people who work with model driven apps on a regular bases:

 

 

Is it really necessary to create model driven apps when using dataverse? what is the added value? It all seems a lot more complicated than it should to me. Also with the new 'Preview' designers, can we develop our apps with those functionalities in a production environment already? Is this safe?

The 'canvas' app functionality in model driven ecosystem looks very promising, but is it safe to already use it for actual develpment?

 

Concerning Dataverse columns, is it best practice to also use the complex types like choice columns? we get the feeling this makes everything much more complicated in flows and filtering etc.. (we normaly use collections on 'onstart').

 

I know all of these differences in types and usage are on the Microsoft docs, but I was hoping to get some input from people who experience this on a daily basis.

 

The reason I am asking this is because we have a large project coming up, and I want to make sure we tackle it the right way.

 

Thank you in advance for sharing your knowledge.

 

Kind regards

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
dpoggemann
Super User
Super User

Hi @Nass_ ,

 

I come from working with Dynamics 365 for the past 9 years and "Model Apps" are what I started with before there were "Canvas Apps" and it was called 'xRM" in the Dynamics CRM world 😀.  I honestly will utilize Model Driven applications whenever possible as it is actually faster to develop applications, provides a consistent user experience one application to the next, and provides the end users a lot of additional capabilities "out of the box".

 

Some items:

  1. Scalability - Model apps leveraging the Dataverse have proven to scale to thousands of concurrent users with Microsoft's performance studies with applications like Dynamics 365 for Sales.  
  2. Security - Utilize Role Based Access to show and hide different "data entry forms" without code 
  3. Accessibility - Microsoft's Model Apps are built with ADA accessibility by default, this can be done with Canvas apps and using Accessibility Checker but takes extra work
  4. Excel Import / Export - Ability for users to import and export data through Excel built in
  5. Reporting  - Bring in Report Wizard for users to create their own reports and utilize Excel and Word template to build reports on an entity or allow users to build their own.
  6. Advanced Find / Views - Users can personalize their own views or find data through the application with Advanced Find.  
  7. Dashboards - Configure charts, views for your table in Dataverse and quickly configure Dashboards with this information and even allow users to create their own dashboards.  Microsoft is also releasing Power BI integrated to views natively in Model Apps which is in preview.
  8. Activities - Leverage Activities interface with a "history view" where users can create Email, Calendar, Task from within the application and view how these relate with configuration, no development.  
  9. Document Management - Built in integration to SharePoint and Microsoft Teams in the user interface, some base configuration here and you can integrate documents for the tables to either straight SharePoint or a Team (which is of course SharePoint behind the scenes)
  10. Microsoft Teams integration to model apps is native and getting stronger every day
  11. Business Rules - Ability to build business rules through a building block visual interface and utilize to hide / show fields, make fields required, set values, and more.  Not yet supported in Canvas Apps
  12. Business Process Flows - Integrated natively within Model Apps and turn on with just configuration to utilize with processes tied to one or many tables
  13. Navigation - AI powered search, ability to pin recent items, quick create, personal settings, and more.

Overall, Microsoft states that Power Apps development decreases development time by 70+% in a project and I really believe this statistic when using Model Apps because of the speed you can configure standard Create / Read / Update / Delete applications with many tables and their relationships into applications.  Now, Canvas Apps have their strength and can do a ton of things a standard Model App can not do and utilizing both (or Canvas pages in a model app) are important for enterprise solutions.    

 

Hope this helps you to take a look at Model Apps, I think you will be impressed with what they can do.

 

Hope this helps. Please accept if answers your question or Like if helps in any way.
Thanks,
Drew

View solution in original post

2 REPLIES 2
dpoggemann
Super User
Super User

Hi @Nass_ ,

 

I come from working with Dynamics 365 for the past 9 years and "Model Apps" are what I started with before there were "Canvas Apps" and it was called 'xRM" in the Dynamics CRM world 😀.  I honestly will utilize Model Driven applications whenever possible as it is actually faster to develop applications, provides a consistent user experience one application to the next, and provides the end users a lot of additional capabilities "out of the box".

 

Some items:

  1. Scalability - Model apps leveraging the Dataverse have proven to scale to thousands of concurrent users with Microsoft's performance studies with applications like Dynamics 365 for Sales.  
  2. Security - Utilize Role Based Access to show and hide different "data entry forms" without code 
  3. Accessibility - Microsoft's Model Apps are built with ADA accessibility by default, this can be done with Canvas apps and using Accessibility Checker but takes extra work
  4. Excel Import / Export - Ability for users to import and export data through Excel built in
  5. Reporting  - Bring in Report Wizard for users to create their own reports and utilize Excel and Word template to build reports on an entity or allow users to build their own.
  6. Advanced Find / Views - Users can personalize their own views or find data through the application with Advanced Find.  
  7. Dashboards - Configure charts, views for your table in Dataverse and quickly configure Dashboards with this information and even allow users to create their own dashboards.  Microsoft is also releasing Power BI integrated to views natively in Model Apps which is in preview.
  8. Activities - Leverage Activities interface with a "history view" where users can create Email, Calendar, Task from within the application and view how these relate with configuration, no development.  
  9. Document Management - Built in integration to SharePoint and Microsoft Teams in the user interface, some base configuration here and you can integrate documents for the tables to either straight SharePoint or a Team (which is of course SharePoint behind the scenes)
  10. Microsoft Teams integration to model apps is native and getting stronger every day
  11. Business Rules - Ability to build business rules through a building block visual interface and utilize to hide / show fields, make fields required, set values, and more.  Not yet supported in Canvas Apps
  12. Business Process Flows - Integrated natively within Model Apps and turn on with just configuration to utilize with processes tied to one or many tables
  13. Navigation - AI powered search, ability to pin recent items, quick create, personal settings, and more.

Overall, Microsoft states that Power Apps development decreases development time by 70+% in a project and I really believe this statistic when using Model Apps because of the speed you can configure standard Create / Read / Update / Delete applications with many tables and their relationships into applications.  Now, Canvas Apps have their strength and can do a ton of things a standard Model App can not do and utilizing both (or Canvas pages in a model app) are important for enterprise solutions.    

 

Hope this helps you to take a look at Model Apps, I think you will be impressed with what they can do.

 

Hope this helps. Please accept if answers your question or Like if helps in any way.
Thanks,
Drew
Nass_
Frequent Visitor

Hi @dpoggemann 

 

I would very much like to thank you for your detailed explanation 😄

 

I'm sold & eager to discover 🙂

 

Kind regards

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