Integration Design Patterns for D365 FO

Dynamics 365 for Unified Operations has evolved into purpose-built applications to help you manage business functions. This would mean that there would be integration with diverse systems. The blog describes integration patterns, integration scenarios, and best practices. There is a number of ways users can interact with the D365 UO. There are different ways to populate data to Dynamics 365 UO and retrieve data from D365 UO. In my personal opinion, the integration option can be decided based on the following three criteria

  • Retrieve data from D365 UO or Populate data to D365 UO
  • Real-Time interaction with D365UO or Batch processing of Data
  • Amount of Data which needs to be exchanged (Data volume)
Real-Time/Near Real-Time (Small Data volume)Batch Job (Large Data Volume)
Retrieve Data from D365UOoData
Custom Web service
Business Events
Business Alert

Data Management Framework
Recurring Integration
Populate Data to D365UOoData
Custom Web service
Data Management Framework
Recurring Integration
Dynamics 365 UO Integration Patterns

Dynamics 365 UO Real-Time Integration Options

Dynamics 365 UO Integration Design Patterns for real time data integration

Dynamics 365 UO Bulk/Batch Processing

Dynamics 365 UO Integration Design Patterns for Bulk data integration processing

Dynamics 365 UO oData and REST

Dynamics 365 UO provides a REST API to interact with D365UO via Data Entities. The REST API provides a mechanism to interact in real-time or near real-time way to interact with the D365 UO. oData can be used to populate, retrieve, update, and delete (CRUD) data in Dynamics 365 UO.
oData: Open Data Protocol (OData) is a standard protocol for consuming data exposed by Dynamics 365 for Operations. OData is a new Representational State Transfer (REST) based protocol for CRUD operations – C-Create, R-Read, U-Update, and D-Delete – that allows for integrating with Dynamics 365 for Operations. It is applied to all types of web technologies, such as HTTP and JavaScript Object Notation (JSON).
Data Entity: A data entity in D365 is an abstraction from the physical implementation of database tables. A data entity is a simplified de-normalized representation of underlying tables. A data entity represents a common data concept or functionality, (e.g. Vendors V2 where the details are stored in normalized relational tables) but all details are represented in one flat view in Vendor Details data entity.
The data flow for interacting with Dynamics 365 UO using oData:

Dynamics 365 UO Integration Design Patterns: oData REST API authentication against azure AD

The Technical implementation of oData with Dynamics 365 UO can be found here

Dynamics 365 UO Business Event

The Dynamics 365 UO Business Events can send events/trigger/notification to external applications such as Azure Integrations, which can use this trigger to handle specific integration or business process scenarios.
The Events existed in Finance and Operations were previously confined to use within Finance and Operations. The new capability provides a framework that will allow business processes in Finance and Operations to capture business events as business processes are executed and send the events to an external system or application.
More about the business event can be found here

Business events provide a perfect integration scenario when an event occurs in D365FO and requires this information to be passed on to ThirdParty systems.

These business events can be used by

  • Azure Service Bus
  • Azure Logic Apps
  • Microsoft Flow
  • Azure Functions
  • HTTPS Trigger

Since these events happen in the context of business processes, they are called business events that enable business process integration. External business processes will subscribe to specific business events from Finance and Operations to get notified when they occur. The business events can also be consumed as “triggers” in the Finance and Operations connector.
A custom or OOTB business event can trigger Azure Integration Services to process or forward the trigger to Third-party applications.

Dynamics 365 UO Integration Design Patterns using Business Events

Dynamics 365 UO Custom webservice

In Microsoft Dynamics UO, a developer can create custom services to expose X++ functionality to external clients. Any existing X++ code can be exposed as a custom service by adding an attribute. D365 UO provides standard attributes that can be set on the data contract class and its members to automatically serialize and de-serialize data that is sent and received across a network connection. Many predefined types, such as collections and tables, are also supported. When a developer writes a custom service under a service group, the service group is always deployed on two endpoints:

  • SOAP endpoint
  • JSON endpoint

SOAP-based custom service

SOAP-based services remain the same as they were in Dynamics AX 2012.
Key changes

  • All the service groups under the AOTService group node are automatically deployed.
  • All services that must be deployed must be part of a service group.

Example endpoint for a dev environment

JSON-based custom service

This feature enables X++ classes to be consumed as JSON services. In other words, the return data set is in JSON format. JSON, which stands for JavaScript Object Notation, is a compact, lightweight format that is commonly used to communicate data between the client and the server.

The JSON Endpoint is https://host_uri/api/services/service_group_name/service_group_service_name/operation_name.

Bulk or Batch Data Processing

Data Management Framework

Data Management Framework: DMF is the new all-in-one concept introduced by Microsoft in Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. It supports and manages all core data management related tasks. This enables asynchronous and high-performing data insertion and extraction scenarios. Here are some examples: Interactive file-based import/export, Recurring integrations (file, queue, and so on)

Data Package: Data Package is a simple .zip file that contains the source (import) or target data(export) itself . The zip file contains three files. The data file and the manifest files which contain metadata information of the Data Entity and the processing instructions for DMF.

Interacting with Dynamics 365 UO DMF REST API

In order to call the D365 F&O APIs, it is necessary to authenticate with a valid access token. The token can be retrieved from Azure Active Directory using a valid Application Id and secret key, which has access to the D365FO environment. The application ID and secret key are created by registering an application in Azure Active directory. Then the DMF REST API can be invoked.

Dynamics 365 UO Integration Design Patterns: DMF REST API
Interaction using REST API to Export Data

The high level interaction of API calls to retieve the data package via REST API is shown below.

Dynamics 365 UO Integration Design Patterns: steps to export of DMF data packge and download using oData

The detailed technical implemetation of Dynamics 365 UO DMF interaction using REST API has been descrbed here

Dynamics 365 UO Recurring Integration

Recurring integration does the following things:

  • It builds on data entities and the Data management framework.
  • It enables the exchange of documents or files between Finance and Operations and any third-party application or service.
  • It supports several document formats, source mapping, Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations (XSLT), and filters.
  • Document/file exchange in several document formats
  • It uses secure REST application programming interfaces (APIs) and authorization mechanisms to receive data from, and send data back to, integration systems.

The complete flow to import job to recurring integration is shown below

Dynamics 365 UO Integration Design Patterns: Recurring Integration oData API for authentocation and download
Recurring Integration using REST API
  1. The third party client applications authenticates to the Azure AD token issuance endpoint and requests an access token.
  2. The Azure AD token issuance endpoint issues the access token.
  3. The access token is used to authenticate to the D365FO DMF and initiate the import or Export Job. The endpoints are:

The following set of APIs is used to exchange data between the Dynamics 365 F&O Recurring Integrations client and Finance and Operations.

The detailed Technical implementation of Recurring integration can be found here

Microsoft integration patterns can be found here

Published by Poojith Jain

Poojith Jain is an Azure Architect with good experience with software design and development. He has a thorough knowledge of Azure Integration and he is passionate about solving complex and challenging problems in the field of Azure

3 thoughts on “Integration Design Patterns for D365 FO

  1. Great Summary, Thanks. Regarding OData, i know D365 FO is using OData v2 and in scenarios such as retrieving multi level related entities, do you recommend any good framework, such as Simple Odata Client or any best practices?

  2. Please mention that the OData service supports serving driven paging with a maximum page size of 1000 currently

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