Project for the web data is stored as entities within Common Data Service. Besides Project entities, CDS stores standard and custom entities of other apps. Storing in CDS platform gives opportunity to customize, extend using Power Platform (Power Apps, Power Automate, Power Virtual Agent, Power BI)
Let say we, the project managers, want to turn this information into actionable insights. How do we do it?
Power BI Common Data Service connector allows us to connect directly to CDS entities, and build reports and dashboards on Power BI desktop and Power BI service. Yet, this work requires we need go beyond the data stored in Project entities. The good news is this information is available either on cloud (in CDS, other data sources) or on premise (SQL Server, Files, Folders, etc) and we have connectors for those too.
Are we correct in bringing all information directly to Power BI?
Will this approach offer a standard, easy and fast insights?
Let’s start with Common Data Service. CDS is a transactional database and not a data warehouse. It has plenty of “deliberate” constraints. These constraints are imposed to prevent any one action having too detrimental an impact on the rest of the system and, therefore, on users. Along with these constraints, increase in data volume will impact the performance of CDS, its apps and reports.
No Common Data Service data operations, either internal or part of code customizations, work completely in isolation.
All Common Data Service data operations interact with the same database resources, either at a data level or an infrastructure level such as processor, memory, or I/O usage.
To protect against conflicting changes, each request takes locks on resources to be viewed or changed.
Those locks are taken within a transaction and not released until the transaction is committed or aborted.Source: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powerapps/developer/common-data-service/scalable-customization-design/database-transactions
The second challenge is Project data is stored in many entities with relationships. Citizen developers, like project managers, will need support and time to understand these relationships. If not, we may apply a wrong filter and miss creating relationships resulting in incorrect data in visuals.
The third challenge is data from other data sources could be fragmented, incomplete and complex making data preparation difficult.
Final challenge is project managers should provide the environment URL for the CDS for Apps environment and have permission to access that environment.
In this post, I offer a solution these challenges. Read on and let me know your thoughts.Continue reading Make Project For The Web “Data” Friendly: Centralize Project data with Power BI Dataflows