Saturday, 2 May 2020

Common Data Service vs Common Data Service (Current Environment) - Power Automate

Hi Everyone,

Today one of my team members asked on what are the difference between Common Data Service and Common Data Service (Current Environment) and why I always mention to use CDS Current environment connector. Here is the explanation I gave.

There are 2 connectors available for CDS in Power Automate

1. Common Data Service
2. Common Data Service (Current Environment)

Well, in the above image both names are almost same and how do you differentiate between them? We just have to hover the mouse on it and you will see the name as a tool tip and also there are ...(three dots) at the end of the name mentioning something is hidden in the second icon. If you are not able find Common Data Service (Current Environment) connector, you might be creating Power Automate outside of CDS solution.
There is only trigger for CDS Current Environment as highlighted below and CDS four triggers and I I see one extra trigger "The record is selected". Haven't explored much on it, will come back on this in other post.

Actions and Life cycle management are the huge differences between Current Environment and normal Connector.

CDS - Current Environment
The thing which is most useful in our development scenarios is "Perform an unbound action".  It provides the ability to trigger a Common Data Service (Dynamics 365) action. See screenshot below for examples.


The important one that makes Current Environment connector unique while managing the Flow Life cycle. The Common Data Service (current environment) connector has an advantage when deploying a solution from one environment to another. e.g. promoting from Dev to Test to Prod through export/import. In this instance, the Common Data Service (current environment) connector automatically connects to the CDS environment that the solution has been imported into. This means that as soon as the solution is deployed the flow can be triggered and will run.

In simple words, use the Common Data Service connector for automating personal tasks that interact with CDS or Dynamics 365 data. Use the Common Data Service (current environment) connector for automating business processes involving CDS or Dynamics 365 where the flow can be promoted through different environments via solution import without any issues.

Hope this helps.

Happy 365'ing

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