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  • Ulrik Carlsson

Small Steps with Big Impact for Dynamics 365 Analytics

Dynamics 365 for Sales and Dynamics 365 for Service have been positioned for years as top-tier business applications. Power BI completely ran away with the lead in the analytics application space. And now with Microsoft’s recently introduced feature on the Power Platform, these tools can be rolled more tightly into a single, comprehensive user experience.

Microsoft enabled the ability to show Power BI reports within a Dynamics 365 form and filter the content according to the record that the user is viewing. This means that you can add advanced visuals from Power BI to the account or customer form, and view those in context of the customer within Dynamics 365.

You may be thinking that you have seen this in the past. Maybe eLogic even delivered a solution for you that included similar features. Previously this setup required development and authentication of the reports through Azure. What’s different now is that Microsoft provides this ability out-of-the-box and enables business analysts and other non-developers to leverage this powerful feature.

Microsoft has detailed the setup in their blog post here.

The feature, as it is available now, involves making some modifications to the Form XML code. However, we anticipate that this is only the beginning and that Microsoft will provide an actual user interface for adding Power BI components to the model-driven forms in Dynamics 365 soon.

We can even get a sneak-peek of what that might look like in the form editor. After going through the manual edits of the Form XML, we can open the normal form editor and double click on the section containing the Power BI report.

Here we can see a form component with a Power BI Workspace, Dashboard, and Tile selector – making it very user friendly to change your settings, and dramatically reducing the time required to display the data in a dashboard.

Outside of looking forward to the embed Power BI visual being available in the interface, we are extremely excited about being a part of the convergence of analytics and business process applications. Not only can we now show Power BI visuals on a form in context and easily make updates to reports directly within Dynamics 365, we can also use the Canvas Apps from the Power Platform on the very same reports for even more interaction between the two systems. For example, when viewing a customer form with a Power BI report on it, we can drill down on the performance of IoT connected devices for that customer, select some devices that are not performing, and schedule maintenance simply by selecting them in the report.

Gone are the days of Dynamics 365 and Power BI working separately – one the interface, the other reporting. On the Power Platform, both tools can suit your analytics needs in conjunction, making it seamless to the user what application they’re in, with all the insights you need where you need them.

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