Common Data Service (CDS)
This is considered a fundamental technical requirement for any scalable and flexible solution. The CDS is a relational database that is the default storage for Dynamics 365 services. However, it can be run independently from Dynamics 365. The CDS stores multiple ‘entities’, each of which is a table that contains multiple fields. Each entity can be related to another in a variety of ways. Additionally, the CDS entities can have business rules assigned to automatically transform data, hide/show fields and provide data dependencies.
These are similar to how a traditional SQL database functions, but with a couple of key differences. The CDS is incredibly well integrated and accessible from any Microsoft or third-party services. Also, CDS is less complicated to modify and administrate allowing your employees to run and modify the solution without specialised knowledge.
CDS can be used as a single source of truth which provides a clean, reliable and secure data source that can be accessed from anywhere, inside or outside the organisation when required, as well as aggregate data from multiple sources.
The benefit of using the CDS as an single source of truth is uniform data that can be reported on easily by users via a tool of their choosing (Excel, Power BI, QlikView etc.) and the data can be effectively leveraged across the solution, for example using references in the CDS to automatically tag related documents in SharePoint.