Embedded within the Microsoft Teams platform, Dataflex for Teams provides true relational data storage, and when combined with Power Apps, it becomes a true relational database. Dataflex for Teams combines Microsoft Teams and Power Apps, providing a new platform of choice for building productivity grade applications for use by teams, individuals, and business groups.
Organizations with Microsoft 365, Office 365, and Teams subscriptions will have the ability to produce no-code to low-code apps and intelligent chatbots directly in the Teams environment with Dataflex as it combines Microsoft Power Apps and Microsoft Power Virtual Agents. Dataflex provides one-click solution deployment and is supported with enterprise-grade governance. Dataflex is built on top of the Common Data Service which has been rebranded as Microsoft Dataflex Pro.
There are some differences between Dataflex for Teams and Dataflex Pro, but in this instalment, we will focus on Dataflex for Teams.
As mentioned above, Dataflex is a true relational database and with it comes capabilities to find, sort, and filter basic and rich data types such as images, files, charts, and graphs. It also can do roll up, calculate fields, and includes a version of the currency data found in Dataflex Pro.
Based on the Common Data Model (CDM), tables are easily created by adding columns and rows. The data can easily be populated into them with a friendly and easy to use UI. Creating a table is very similar to using an Excel spreadsheet, but Dataflex is a dynamic database and Excel is not. The CDM is a straightforward looking grid and can easily be edited to suit your Team’s needs.
Combining Microsoft Power Virtual Agents and Microsoft Power Apps, Microsoft Team members can create no-code to low-code chatbots. By building an intelligent chatbot, Team members can ask questions and have these answered quickly without leaving the Teams environment. With intelligent chatbots, a Team’s productivity will increase as there is no time wasted sitting in a queue waiting for an answer.
Historically speaking, developing apps was done inside of SharePoint with Lists as the data source. Now, developing apps will be done inside Microsoft Teams and will reference Dataflex as the data source. By doing so, a single environment for each Microsoft Team is created. Because each Microsoft Team will have its own connected Dataflex environment, when data, apps, workflows, and chatbots are populated and/or created, they are created specifically for that Team. This environment supports a 2 GB capacity, translating to the storage of 100 million rows of data including relational, file, and image data. The Microsoft Teams Dataflex environment will also support backups, point-in-time restore, and disaster recovery.
Because Dataflex for Teams creates an environment for each Team, the lifecycle of the environment relates to the associated Microsoft Team, making environment management easier. When a Team is deleted, the associated environment is also deleted.
Solution and Application Development
Collaboration in Teams can take three different avenues, including members creating their documents, creating in collaboration with Team members, and acquiring documents from trusted sources. This concept is carried over with the combined powers of Power Platform and Dataflex for Teams to build and to use apps, chatbots, data, and flows (but note that business rules or classic workflows are not supported).
To easily choose templates from a trusted source, a gallery view provides a visual layout, allowing easy installation, and it is fully customizable for your Team. This can all be done from within Microsoft Teams so Team members never have to leave the application while information is at the Teams’ fingertips.
When a Microsoft Team is created, Team security is defined. As Team security is based on access for collaboration between members who are internal and external of the organization, the security for Dataflex for Teams is pre-configured as security roles are based on membership types within the Team, such as Owner, Member, and Guest. Activity logs, such as the author of a record that is created, is supported. To access admin functionalities, simply go to the Microsoft Teams admin centre.
Microsoft Teams was designed to support, encourage, and enhance collaboration between internal and external Team members of an organization. As the number of staff working remotely has increased significantly in the past few months, Microsoft Teams’ capabilities have been expanded and further evolved. Within its application, Microsoft Teams combines Power Apps, Microsoft Virtual Agents, and Dataflex, allowing users to work within Teams as an application platform and to produce no-code to low-code apps. As the world continues to fight the pandemic, and workers continue to work remotely, Microsoft Dataflex and Microsoft Teams is Microsoft’s solution to the surge in need for tighter, more efficient, and easy management of collaboration data, environments, and security. Working smart, Microsoft Dataflex enhances and expands productivity, communication, collaboration, and efficiency in Microsoft Teams.