Configuration of data templates in Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations
Data management framework is a major feature of Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (D365FO) for data exchange and various integration scenarios. Being an evolution of the Dynamics AX 2012 Data Import Export Framework, it has introduced some new aspects of data management. One of them is using configuration data patterns to facilitate and accelerate data import/export scenarios. Configuration data templates are predefined lists of entities with an ability to set up sequencing so the data import will be processed in the correct order automatically. Not having to select individual data entities every time and import them one by one keeping in mind their sequence is of great convenience. It is especially useful if you plan to quickly configure large data packages on a regular basis. From a broader perspective, a configuration data template can be considered as a checklist of entities, their dependencies and import/export instructions needed to cover data migration for a particular business area.
You can create, view, and modify templates by using the Template page in the Data management workspace of D365FO.
Execution unit, Level in execution unit and Sequence fields are used to define the order in which data is processed in import/export operations. Entities that have different units are processed in parallel. Within the same unit, entities are processed in parallel if they have the same level. Within the same level, entities are processed according to the sequence order in the level.
In addition to creating your own templates, you can always take advantage of the default templates that are shipped with D365FO starting with the July 2017 update. Clicking the Load default templates button allows you to select from the available templates and add them to the list.
The default templates contain entities that are already sequenced and cover some of the basic D365FO modules and business areas. After loading the templates, you can change them to suit your requirements.
Let’s consider the use of templates applicable to two common data import/export scenarios:
Create a new Import data project by clicking Import tile on Data Management workspace. Give a meaningful name to the project and save it. Clicking Apply template button will get you to the Add template form where you can select from the available templates and add them to the data project. In my case I chose "120 - Accounts payable" template (it was created based on the default template) and specified Source type as EXCEL (data is expected to come in excel files).
After pressing the OK button, data entities that are part of the selected template are loaded in the data project. Sequencing of the data entities (execution unit, level in execution unit and sequence) is copied from the template and can be maintained in Data project entity sequence form.
Now it is possible to create an empty data package that reflects the data project configuration (data entities, sequencing, etc.). Click the Download button and save the generated data package. Having populated the data package with actual data, you can upload it back and run data import. As a result, data entities will be processed in correct order automatically.
In a similar fashion, templates can be used to facilitate data export. Just create an Export project, apply a template and run data export.
Subsequently, the package containing the exported data can be downloaded. At the same time, there is still an option to generate an empty data package just the same way as for data import.
About the Author - Yegor Litvinov
Yegor is a Sr. Software Development Engineer at ENAVATE with over 9 years of experience with Microsoft Dynamics solutions. Yegor has worked on numerous diverse European and North American projects across a broad set of business areas and Dynamics AX functionalities. Yegor has accumulated vast knowledge and experience positioning him as a subject matter expert on technical implementations for Dynamics AX and the new Dynamics 365 technology.