dynamics 365 implementation

Speed Up Development with EDTs in D365

Dynamics 365 implementation can be a complex process. However, leveraging Entities (EDTs) can simplify and accelerate development. This comprehensive guide will teach you how to create EDTs in D365 for Operations.

As a D365 consultant for over 5 years, I’ve found EDTs to be a game-changer. They encapsulate key data and behaviors for an object like a customer or sales order. 

Once created, EDTs can be reused across multiple features and integrated with other systems.

Why Use EDTs in D365?

There are several key benefits to using EDTs:

  • Simplified development – EDTs allow you to develop features faster by reusing existing entities. This eliminates redundant data definitions and logic.
  • Flexible data modeling – EDTs make it easy to adjust data schemas without reworking entire features. Add or remove fields and data types as needed.
  • Decoupling – With EDTs, your business logic stays separate from your data storage. This makes customization and integration much easier.
  • Code reuse – Once you create an EDT, it can be leveraged by multiple features across modules. This saves huge development time.

Clearly, Dynamics 365 EDTs can accelerate implementations while enhancing flexibility. Now let’s see how to create one.

Step-by-Step Guide to Building an EDT

Follow these steps to add a new EDT in your D365 project:

  1. Create a new data source – In Visual Studio, add a new AOT data source for your entity. This generates the model, mappings, and meta artifacts.
  2. Add the EDT artifact – Right-click your data source and select Add New Item > EDT. Name it something like Customer.

3 – Define the fields – Open your new EDT artifact and add fields like Name, Address, Phone, etc. Adjust data types as required.

  1. Add an identifier field – Mark one field like CustomerId as the EDT’s identifier using the property identifier under properties.
  2. Add a display field – Select a field like a Name using the property displayed. This is shown in lookups.
  3. Create a table mapping – Map your EDT to a physical table. You can also use views or external providers.
  4. Register the EDT – Right click your model, select Add, and and pick your EDT. This makes it usable.

That covers the key steps to create your first EDT! Now let’s look at how to leverage EDTs in downstream features.

Using EDTs to Streamline Development

The real power of EDTs comes when reusing them across multiple features:

  • Reference an EDT from multiple Menu Items to avoid duplicate data logic.
  • Call EDT methods from business logic classes for encapsulated behaviors.
  • Expose EDTs through OData to enable integration with Power Apps and other systems.
  • Extend existing EDTs safely without affecting downstream usage via extension classes.
  • Pull reusable utility methods up into EDTs to centralize logic.

With some thoughtful design, you can maximize code reuse and simplify coordination by centralizing key behaviors within EDTs.

dynamics 365 implementation

Key Takeaways

Leveraging EDTs is a best practice when implementing Dynamics 365 for Operations. Keep these tips in mind:

  • EDTs simplify and accelerate implementation by encapsulating data and behaviors.
  • Maximize reuse by referencing EDTs from multiple features.
  • Adjust EDT schemas without breaking downstream code.
  • Centralize reusable logic in EDT utility methods.
  • Expose EDTs via OData to enable easy integration.

Following these best practices will enable you to deliver D365 projects faster while enhancing maintainability and flexibility over time. EDTs truly are a game-changer for D365!

Let me know in the comments if you have any other tips or tricks for working with EDTs effectively. And don’t forget to like and share if you found this guide helpful.


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