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Model-Driven Apps Basics

Microsoft Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform

In the previous step, we learned about the Administration Settings. In this step, we uncover Model-driven apps.

Model-driven apps require a CDS database and are built on top of the data modelled in that database instance. Model-driven apps are data-driven and have consistent navigation, data interaction and tools available to work on the data regardless of the data entity being worked with. Model-driven apps materialise views and detail screens based on the data structure. Using the view and form designers you can quickly tailor the user experience for the entity within the defined patterns for views and forms. This provides the benefit of getting the application up and running quickly. It also offers a consistent user experience between data (e.g. account vs contact) and even other model-driven apps.

New entities added to the data model automatically get basic forms and views with minimal effort allowing users to list data, view data and modify data without any code. Developers however also get an API created for that entity and an event model that allows extending the business logic with code if necessary.

The forms and views and even the API are created when you create the CDS entity. They exist even if you don’t create a model-driven app to surface it to users. When you do create the model-driven app, you reference one or more entities and select which forms and views to include. The app defines what components are visible to a user. Multiple apps can reference the same forms and views to compose different user experiences.

Model-driven apps are available in a web browser, a mobile player experience and in Outlook.

image "Image of the screen showing the different model-driven apps"

When the application is accessing the content, it is rendered to the user using the Unified Interface runtime. The following are some of the Unified Interface experience benefits:

  • Responsive experience – Sizing and re-laying out of the user experience for the size of the device or windows is handled by the runtime.
  • Accessible – When using the standard controls accessibility is handled by Unified Interface.
  • Multi-language – Display labels and application support is built-in for multiple languages including support for right to left languages (RTL).
  • Extensibility – Developers can use the Unified Interface Client API to implement complex client-side business rules. A custom control framework is also available to build custom user interactions that replace Unified Interfaces default controls.

The best examples of model-driven applications are some of the Dynamics 365 apps. For example, if you use the Sales Hub that comes with Dynamics 365 for Sales that is a model-driven app. That application is built using the same Unified Interface technology available to you and others building apps on the Power platform.

Up next, let’s discover Application Concepts within Dynamics 365.

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Dynamics 365: Using Power Platform Applications

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