Process Data Packages, Data Packages, Data Entities- Data Management in Dynamics 365 for Operations. What does it all mean?


This short article will provide a brief introduction of the various Data Management (DM) artifacts available Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations (D3654Ops).

As can be seen from the Data Management workspace within D3654Ops and within the Lifecycle Services Tools Asset Library and Shared Asset Library there is various DM artifacts that can be used when importing and exporting data- this article will cover:

  • Data Entities
  • Data Packages
  • Process Data Packages

Data Entities (DEs)- DEs provide a normalised and encapsulated view of the underlying tables within D3654Ops. A lot of data can be spread out across many tables for one form (e.g. Supplier- a portion of the data will be stored in the Supplier table but other information relating to the Supplier (addresses in the Party table etc.) will be split into other tables) Data Entities bring these set of data together for ease of importing and exporting. Allowing the user to see all the data concerning one form on one excel (or you chosen format) document and not having to tie record IDs, Party IDs etc. together to upload a complete set of data- Brilliant!

Data Packages (DPs)- Data Packages group together one or more DEs allowing the user to upload a set of data at once in correct and sequential order (It is best practice to group these together in line with Microsofts DEs grouping (found at under Data Entities and Data Packages)) e.g. one DP for Bank Setup could contain the following DEs; Bank Transaction Type, Bank Transaction Groups, Bank parameters, Payment Purpose Codes and Customer Charge Groups. Once all of these Data Entities have been packaged into a DP (along with two extra files created automatically in the DP creation process (manifest and package header (details what is in the DP, which order they should be loaded in and where to)) the user can then load a complete complimentary set of DEs with only the effort of uploading a single DP.

Process Data Packages (PDPs)- A PDP is a collection of Data Packages, as described already a DP can be a collection of relevant DEs such as Bank Setup, another DP could contain the DEs for Bank Accounts (Bank Groups, Bank Accounts and Check Layout), consuming a PDP to a particular environment will allow the user to upload a plethora of related DEs and DPs in one effort meaning a full configuration of a D3654Ops environment can be achieved with the selection of a single PDPs!

In summary a Data Entity is a normalised encapsulated view of the underlying relevant table with D3654Ops, A Data Package is a collection of one or more Data Entities and a Process Data Package is a collection of one or more Data Packages.

For further details around the functional and technical aspects of the Data Management artifacts discussed in this brief article or if you have questions around Data Management that sits outside what has been discussed please comment on this blog!

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