Introducing an easier than ever experience to import data from Excel

We are excited to announce the public preview of an easier than ever import from Excel experience. You can now upload your Excel files and turn them into full functional Dataverse tables as well as responsive canvas apps in a one-stop experience. Moreover, when Copilot is enabled, it will assist with your table creation by providing the best fitting table names, descriptions, along with column names and data types based on the uploaded Excel data. This makes it possible to bring your own data to the platform and establish your business apps in just a couple of clicks.

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What’s different from the current experience?

Today there are two approaches to import your data from Excel to Dataverse:

  1. You can use the Import data from Excel option on Tables page. For this to work, you need to first create the table, set up the table schema correctly, create columns with appropriate data types, then manually map these columns one after another to your Excel file.
  2. You can also use Dataflow to take care of the table creation and data import. However, to be able to use Dataflow, you need to be familiar with Power Query, which requires a different skillset from Dataverse. Furthermore, importing with Dataflow only allows the configuration of a subset of the complete data types supported by Dataverse. This might increase frictions as you set up your business logic and apps down the road.

With the new import data from Excel experience, there’s no need to go through the manual creation of table and column prior to data import, nor the need to learn about Power Query — all you need is upload your Excel file, review and edit the table schema, then see your table and app created for you in real time.

How does the new experience work?

To use the new import data from Excel experience, you’ll need to enable the new maker portal home page. Once you are on the new home page, simply select Start with data, then Upload an Excel file. After uploading your Excel file, you will see a preview of your table, where you can review and edit your table schema before selecting Create app to create a Dataverse table and responsive canvas app.

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Once you select Create app, we will create a Dataverse table based on your table configuration from the previous step, and then generate a responsive canvas app using that table. Depending on the size of your data, you might not see all of your data in the canvas app right away. This is because we want to unblock the creation of your app by uploading the top 20 rows of data first. The remaining data will be uploaded in the background, and you can always proceed to table hub or table designer to review the progress.

Import your data more easily with Copilot

When Copilot is enabled, it will assist with your table creation by generating table name, table description, column data type and format, as well as column header based on the data you upload. Copilot is also able to detect repetitive values in a column and infer that as a choice column, in the meantime generating choice options automatically to save the manual effort.

When a table is generated leveraging Copilot, a card will show up to the left, indicating AI has assisted with the creation of this table. You can also give us feedback on how Copilot is doing so we can further improve our modeling in the future.

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Table generated with Copilot
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Table generated without Copilot

What’s next?

You can learn more about the experience here.

This is just the first step of the new import from Excel experience. We are actively working on supporting more scenarios at scale towards general availability, and we’d love your feedback!