4 min read

Do more with data – From Data Export Service to Azure Synapse Link for Dataverse

What is this announcement?

Today, we are announcing deprecation of Data Export Service (DES); an add-on feature available via Microsoft AppSource which provides the ability to replicate data from Microsoft Dataverse to an Azure SQL store in a customer-owned Azure subscription. Data Export Service will continue to work and will be fully supported until it reaches end-of-support and end-of-life a year from this announcement date, in November 2022. This notice is to allow you sufficient time to plan and onboard to Azure Synapse Link for Dataverse which is a successor to Data Export Service.

Why is Data Export Service deprecating and what is the replacement?

Data is the new oil; when collated, analyzed, and connected with relevant data efficiently, you can unfold insights that drive business decisions for tomorrow. More and more customers using Dynamics 365 and modern business applications are generating massive amounts of business data that is securely stored and managed by Dataverse. Data not just helps organizations understand their current customers, the market, and competitors, but with the right tooling it can enable advanced scenarios to help understand future behaviors such as propensity modelling to predict the likelihood of their customers performing certain actions. ​Harnessing insights from large volumes of data requires sophisticated end-to-end tooling.

​Our first step in this journey was with Data Export Service and while this enabled exporting the data, it was just that, a vehicle to push data to a store. Our customers then had to search for tools that could analyze this data and then if at all, derive insights from it. All of this was not just unintuitive but also a time-consuming process with no assurance of success. And doing this on a continuous basis with constantly changing data and metadata in the source was increasingly becoming a challenging process.

In conversations with the community, many have asked for a single, end-to-end way to work with data in Microsoft Dataverse, from running AI and machine learning, integrating with external datasets, and slicing and dicing large volumes of Dataverse data. Azure Synapse Link for Dataverse, made generally available @ Ignite 2021 serves as a single comprehensive solution that can help you deliver on these goals end-to-end. (Note: Ability to export Dataverse data to Azure Data Lake has been generally available since Feb 2020). Now, instead of using multiple tools to get the job done, you can accelerate time-to-insights using Azure Synapse Link for Dataverse; something that is built-in and available out-of-the-box.


What is Azure Synapse Link for Dataverse?

Azure Synapse Link for Dataverse enables you to get near real-time insights over your data in Microsoft Dataverse. With a few clicks, you can bring your Dataverse data to Azure Synapse, visualize data in your Azure Synapse workspace, and rapidly start processing the data to discover insights using advanced analytics capabilities for serverless data lake exploration, code-free data integration, data flows for extract, transform, load (ETL) pipelines, and optimized Apache Spark for big data analytics. Enterprise customers are able to use the familiarity of T-SQL to analyze big data and gain insights from it, while optimizing their data transformation pipeline to leverage the deep integration of Azure Synapse with other Azure services such as Power BI Embedded, Azure CosmosDB, Azure Machine Learning, and Azure Cognitive Services.

Azure Synapse Link for Dataverse is the fastest path to success for our customers to analyze data and generate insights as our experiences are ready to run as soon as you launch your Azure Synapse workspace.

Built-in capabilities for data ingestion, data preparation and machine learning

How are customers using Azure Synapse Link for Dataverse today?

Our use cases encompass a wide variety of industries including Retail, Healthcare, Non-profit, Telecommunication and Government. Following are some common usage patterns that we saw across these industries.

Our Dynamics 365 Sales customers use Azure Synapse Link for Dataverse to bring the Dataverse data into Azure Synapse Analytics and then leverage Azure Synapse Analytics Spark to load in external data along with Azure Synapse Analytics Serverless SQL to create custom views over both datasets. Once the data is prepared, they connect to their custom dataset with Power BI to create a YoY revenue report. Additionally, they leverage the AI integration built into Azure Synapse Analytics for custom forecast prediction over their exported Dataverse data.

Many customers across the world, utilize Azure Synapse Link for Dataverse to bring COVID-19 related data from Dataverse to Azure Synapse Analytics. They leverage Azure Synapse Analytics Pipelines to pull data from various lab facilities and use data flows to transform the data and derive Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that are published to a Power BI report. This empowers them to create custom analysis and tracking of their local COVID-19 situation. Additionally, many governments use Azure Synapse Link for Dataverse to create a solution that tracks Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) inventory and ensure health providers have the necessary equipment and supplies to treat patients during the pandemic.

And the use cases aren’t just limited to creating reports or running AI and machine learning. There are also instances where customers combine Dataverse data in Azure Synapse Analytics with external data and integrate with Customer Insights which enriches Dynamics 365 Marketing’s segmentation capabilities, allowing precise audience targeting and increased campaign effectiveness

How is Microsoft helping customers to onboard to Azure Synapse Link for Dataverse?

We want to be sensitive to the fact that deprecation is hard and onboarding to newer features does not happen overnight. To this end, we have put together the Data Export Service Deprecation Playbook which will help guide our customers plan their move to Azure Synapse Link for Dataverse. The playbook will guide them through the initialization, planning, and adoption phases. More importantly, it will help our customers assess their existing usage patterns and map them to equivalent scenarios in Azure Synapse Link for Dataverse with a step-by-step guide https://aka.ms/DESDeprecationPlaybook.

Next Steps

While Data Export Service will continue to work and will be fully supported, we will not be adding any new features until it reaches end-of-support and end-of-life a year from this announcement date, in November 2022. Our ask to our customers is to ACT NOW and START PLANNING the onboarding process to Azure Synapse Link for Dataverse. Leverage our documentation and step-by-step guide to test Azure Synapse Link for Dataverse and how your current scenarios can be transitioned to Synapse Link. If you don’t see a scenario that matches yours or wish to bounce off a few questions by us, please reach out to des-synapselink@service.microsoft.com.

Please take advantage of this opportunity to embark on a journey to do more with data by identifying your organization’s analytical needs and turning data into insights for making effective business decisions.