Coming in the April 2019 release of Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (D365 F&O) is business event-driven architecture. Today’s post will explore what that means.
In today’s connected world, consumer apps and business apps work together to provide an end-to-end user experience. It is almost impossible for a business today to use only one software product to fulfill all business needs. In D365 F&O, there are many mechanisms available to provide both synchronous and asynchronous integration and data exchange capabilities with the outside world. The list includes but is not limited to:
- OData-based integration
- Custom services
- Batch APIs
- CDS (Common data services)
All the above options are provided to assist in accomplishing a variety of integration scenarios. However, so far there is nothing that can provide any polling capability to D365 F&O. Even if it does, it will likely not perform efficiently because the external application continues to poll D365 F&O in a defined interval of time, causing unnecessary OData and/or service calls.
Now, why do we need such capability? Think of a scenario when a sales order packing slip is posted, and it is supposed to trigger a fulfillment process in the warehouse application. Or consider a receipt of a return order that needs to trigger the claim process in real time in the claim management system. To know if the specific business function has occurred in D365 F&O, the external application will need to continuously poll (or call) the OData/Service endpoints to check the status of the business document or to query some table record.
The good news is that the problem(s) described above will be resolved when Microsoft provides Event-driven integration framework in the April 2019 release. This is a much better solution than polling, which requires most businesses to develop custom solution.
Now, just to clarify – the integration options mentioned above are not going anywhere. The new event-driven framework will work in conjunction with existing options to accommodate each integration scenario. This new capability will provide a framework that enables business processes in D365 F&O to trigger a business event. External business processes will subscribe to those business events – most likely using Azure event grids (an Azure service) from D365 F&O to get notified when they occur. The external app will call the OData or Service endpoints in D365 F&O only when it really needs to know the current state of data or trigger a subsequent business operation outside of D365 F&O. The business events can also be consumed as “triggers” in the D365 F&O connector.
Additional capabilities as described in the notes for April 19 release:
- Business events are configured by administrators. No coding and deployment required.
- Application business events.
- Workflow business events.
- Business event framework: for partner- and customer-defined events.
- Support for Event Grid (an azure service) to cover more inter-application integration scenarios.
- Microsoft Flow and LogicApps connectors.
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Happy Dynamics 365’ing!