View data in your application without having to migrate the data
Virtual tables are a powerful feature of Microsoft Dataverse that allow you to connect external data sources and use them as if they were native tables in your apps, automations, and agents. Virtual tables enable you to leverage data from various sources without having to copy or sync it into Dataverse.
However, creating and managing virtual tables used to be a complex and tedious process that required coding skills and knowledge of OData protocols. You had to manually define the schema of your virtual table, configure the authentication and authorization settings, write custom logic for querying and updating data, and handle errors and exceptions.
That’s why Microsoft has introduced several improvements to simplify the creation and management of virtual tables in the Power Platform 2023 release wave 1 update. In this blog post, we will explore some of these enhancements and how they can help you build more scalable and interconnected applications with less effort.
What’s new in virtual tables?
Here are some of the new features and capabilities that have been added or improved for virtual tables in the Power Platform 2023 release wave 1 update:
- Virtual table designer: A new user interface that allows you to create virtual tables from various data sources without writing any code. You can choose from a list of supported connectors or create your own custom connector using Power Apps Connector Framework. The designer will automatically generate the schema of your virtual table based on the metadata of your data source. You can also customize the schema by adding or removing columns, changing data types, setting primary keys, etc.
- Virtual table connectors: A set of pre-built connectors that enable you to connect to common data sources such as Azure SQL Database, Azure Cosmos DB, SharePoint Online, Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, etc. These connectors provide optimized performance and reliability for querying and updating data through virtual tables. They also support advanced features such as filtering, sorting, paging, searching, etc.
- Virtual table events: A new eventing infrastructure that allows you to send in-app notifications to recipients in real-time when data changes in your virtual tables. You can use Power Automate flows or custom logic to trigger actions based on these events. For example, you can send an email alert when a new record is added to a virtual table or update a dashboard when a record is modified.
- Virtual table security: A new security model that allows you to control who can access your virtual tables and what actions they can perform on them. You can use role-based security or row-level security (RLS) policies to define granular permissions for your users and groups. You can also use Azure Active Directory (AAD) authentication or custom authentication providers to secure your connections to external data sources.
How do I get started with virtual tables?
To get started with virtual tables in the Power Platform 2023 release wave 1 update:
- Sign up for a trial environment or upgrade your existing environment
- Go to make.powerapps.com
- Select Data > Tables
- Click New Table > Virtual Table
- Choose a connector or create a custom connector
- Configure your connection settings
- Review and customize your schema
- Save your virtual table
You can now use your virtual table in any app, automation, or agent built on Dataverse.
Virtual tables are a great way to integrate external data sources into your Power Platform solutions without having to copy or sync them into Dataverse. With the new features and improvements introduced in the Power Platform 2023 release wave 1 update,
creating and managing virtual tables has become much easier and faster.
If you want to learn more about virtual tables,
you can check out these resources:
I hope you enjoy using virtual tables in the Power Platform 2023 release wave 1 update!