Working with Microsoft Dynamics Integration REST API and Data Management Simplified 101

on data management, Integration, Microsoft Dynamics 365, REST API • December 30th, 2021 • Write for Hevo

With the next generation of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) applications, Microsoft Dynamics 365 meets today’s challenges by bringing your customers and business together. Dynamics 365 is a collection of intelligent business apps that help you operate your whole company and create better outcomes by leveraging AI-driven insights. The solution improves operations by providing real-time access to data collected by your team, allowing you to strengthen connections and make smarter business decisions.

As with many business-grade systems, there may be a requirement to isolate some activities from the primary system itself, such as establishing a mobile app to do operations or having a need to interface with Dynamics outside of its application. Microsoft Dynamics Integration REST API comes to the rescue in this situation. They make your workflows and integrations run seamlessly.

This article will help you understand the basic structure of REST APIs to manage your data packages using Data Management Framework REST API. You will also be introduced to Microsoft Dynamics 365 and its amazing features that make it so popular among businesses. In addition, you understand the need for Microsoft Dynamics Integration REST API. At the end of this article, you will explore some of the key benefits offered by these APIs. 

Table of Contents

Introduction to Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics Integration REST API - Microsoft Dynamics 365 Logo
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Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a Cloud application platform that incorporates CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), as well as productivity apps and Artificial Intelligence features. It is a suite of software for end-to-end company management that is accessible on-premises also. It lets enterprises analyze business and customer data in one place, communicate that data across business teams, and take a proactive approach to accelerate business results. With Bundle and Role-based licensing, Dynamics 365 pricing is an added advantage when compared to its key competitors such as Salesforce, SAP, and Oracle.

Key Features of Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics Integration REST API - Microsoft Dynamics Features
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Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a commercial solution that may be used to automate a range of company activities. Here are a few more important features of Microsoft Dynamics 365 that make it popular among Fortune 500 companies:

  • Develop No-Code Applications: Customers can use Microsoft Dynamics 365 to build apps that are tailored to their requirements. It is simple to develop apps without coding thanks to the point-and-click functionality.
  • Detailed Sales Insights: The intelligent technology in Microsoft Dynamics 365 analyzes CRM data and discovers trends and possibilities to provide the best possible support. It also analyzes your daily conversations and actions to help you prioritize and lead your daily tasks.
  • Intelligent Analytics: Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power BI integration work together to provide you with powerful Visualisation tools and Analytics to help you offer better insights. It also helps each department have a better grasp of how the organization works.
  • Smart Search: The smart search option allows you to search across all of your data, contacts, templates, and saved chances to discover information. The search engine’s intelligence enables your employees to locate better and faster information, saving them a significant amount of time.
  • Seamless Integrations: Any Microsoft technology, from Power BI and Office 365 to Microsoft Azure’s IoT, Blockchain, and Machine Learning services, can effortlessly interface with Dynamics 365 modules.

To explore more about Microsoft Dynamics 365, visit the official website here.

Introduction to Microsoft Dynamics Integration REST API

Microsoft Dynamics Integration REST API
Image Source: Self

REST APIs is an acronym for Representational State Transfer Application Programming Interface. A REST API is a data source’s frontend, allowing users to create, retrieve, update, and delete data items. An API is typically a portal to the rest of the world for developer teams.

The Dynamics 365 REST APIs are used to manage all corporate activities as well as customer-related functionalities. The REST APIs for Microsoft Dynamics 365 makes it easy for Developers to acquire and alter data from the CRM software. Companies can also link to other software and business applications to improve user experiences, such as BI resources, ERP software, customer apps, and portal systems. It supports REST-based, SOAP-based, and web-based APIs.

The Data Management REST API can be leveraged with both Cloud and on-premises setups. It enables Microsoft Dynamics integration via data packages. It’s appropriate for External Finance and Operations Apps Scheduling and external transformations.

REST-based APIs are newer and more versatile than traditional APIs. They also come with pre-configured implementations. To connect all business apps into the API, Developers will need to work on architecture and code. In most RESTful applications, Developers employ both XML and JSON programming languages.

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Manage Data Packages using Microsoft Dynamics Integration REST API

Data Management Framework (DMF) is Microsoft’s new all-in-one solution for Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. All essential data management functions are supported and managed by it. This allows for asynchronous data insertion and extraction scenarios with a stellar performance.

Data Management Framework (DMF) REST API allows you to manipulate data packages to interact with Finance and Operations applications. This REST API can be used to interact with the DMF programmatically, allowing you to do tasks like:

  • Importing a data package.
  • Exporting a data package.
  • Monitoring the status of the above operations.

Before starting to import and export the data packages, you must understand the following points and terms: 

  • Support for the Data Management package REST API has been introduced for on-premises deployments as well with the same API names. This makes it easy for Microsoft to retain a single API set for both Cloud and on-premises.
  • OAuth 2.0 is used to allow access to the DMF REST API package.OAuth 2.0 is used to authorize access to the DMF REST API package. Refer to Microsoft OAuth 2.0 Authorization for more information.
  • Active Directory Federation Services is used to manage authorization for on-premises deployments.
  • Data Package: A Data Package is a simple.zip file that contains the source (import) or target (export) data. It contains the metadata information of the Data Entity and the processing instructions for DMF in the data and manifest files.

So, let’s understand some basic API syntax to manage your import and export of data packages.

Microsoft Dynamics Integration REST API: Import APIs

The ImportFromPackage API is used to start the process of importing a data package. The data package is uploaded to Blob storage. The import for on-premises will commence from the local storage file that was previously uploaded.

An example of code for importing data packages is shown below:

POST /data/DataManagementDefinitionGroups/Microsoft.Dynamics.DataEntities.ImportFromPackage
BODY
{
    "packageUrl":"<string>",
    "definitionGroupId":"<string>",
    "executionId":"<string>",
    "execute":<bool>,
    "overwrite":<bool>,
    "legalEntityId":"<string>"
}

The following is a list of the above code components:

  • ImportFromPackage: It is used to start the import process.
  • packageurl: Blob IDs are tracked using this unique file name. To ensure a unique file name, you can include a Globally Unique IDentifier (GUID).
  • definitionGroupID: It contains the name of the data project that will be imported.
  • executionId: It represents the job’s unique ID. A new execution ID will be established automatically if an empty ID is supplied.
  • execute: It’s a Boolean expression. The target step will be executed if the parameter is set to True.
  • overwrite: When a composite entity is included in a package, this Boolean value must be set to False, otherwise, it should be set to True.
  • legalentityId: This ID represents the import’s legal entity.

You will get a JSON success response if the import is completed successfully. Below is an example of a successful response.

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
{
    "@odata.context":"https://<baseurl>/data/$metadata#Edm.String",
    "value":"<executionId>"
}

The following diagram explains how to import data packages using the DMF package REST API.

Microsoft Dynamics Integration REST API - Import Data Packages
Image Source

Microsoft Dynamics Integration REST API: Export APIs

The ExportToPackage API is used to commence a data package export. This API is compatible with both Cloud and on-premises setups. Before calling this API, you must first establish the export data project. A call to the API gives an error if the project does not exist.

An example of code to begin the export process is shown below:

POST /data/DataManagementDefinitionGroups/Microsoft.Dynamics.DataEntities.ExportToPackage
BODY
{
    "definitionGroupId":"<Data project name>",
    "packageName":"<Name to use for downloaded file.>",
    "executionId":"<Execution Id if it is a rerun>",
    "reExecute":<bool>,
    "legalEntityId":"<Legal entity Id>"
}

You will receive a JSON success response if the export was successful. Below is an example of a successful response. You will receive a JSON success response if the export was successful. Below is an example of a successful response.

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
{
    "@odata.context":"https://<baseurl>/data/$metadata#Edm.String",
    "value":{
        "value":"<executionId>"
    }
}

GetExportedPackageUrl

The GetExportedPackageUrl API returns the URL of the data package that was exported using the ExportToPackage command. This API is compatible with both Cloud and on-premises setups.

The following is code can be used for obtaining the URL of an exported data package:

POST /data/DataManagementDefinitionGroups/Microsoft.Dynamics.DataEntities.GetExportedPackageUrl
BODY
{"executionId":"<Execution Id>"}

The following diagram explains how to export data packages using the DMF package REST APIs.

Microsoft Dynamics Integration REST API - Export Data Packages
Image Source

Microsoft Dynamics Integration REST API: Check Status of APIs

For both import and export jobs, the GetExecutionSummaryStatus API is used to monitor the status of your data project execution. This API can be used in both Cloud and on-premises setups. Remember that the file will be stored in Blob storage for 7 days before being automatically discarded.

Use GetExecutionSummaryStatus and the executionId to verify the status of the API. The following code can be used to track the status of your execution:

POST /data/DataManagementDefinitionGroups/Microsoft.Dynamics.DataEntities.GetExecutionSummaryStatus
BODY
{"executionId":"<executionId>"}

The above code should return the execution status and a JSON successful response message.  An example of response is shown below:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
{
    "@odata.context":"https://<baseurl>/data/$metadata#Edm.String",
    "value":"<executionStatus>"
}

The following are possible values for the executionStatus:

  • Executing
  • Succeeded
  • PartiallySucceeded
  • Unknown
  • NotRun
  • Failed
  • Canceled

To read in detail about Microsoft Dynamics Integration REST APIs and Data Management Package, refer to the following docs:

Benefits of Microsoft Dynamics 365 API Integration

Microsoft Dynamics Integration REST API - Benefits
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Microsoft Dynamics 365 REST API integration offers lower development costs, more scalability, and faster deployments. Other important advantages apply to both customers and internal staff activities. Let’s explore some of the key benefits listed below:

  • Dynamic Web and Mobile Applications: Companies can leverage Microsoft Dynamics Integration REST API to keep bidirectional conversations going, develop loyalty, target customers for marketing campaigns, and improve customer service.
  • Streamlined Management: Dynamics 365 REST API integration delivers significant cost savings, minimizes the need for manual data entry, gives real-time inventory statistics, and allows wiser business choices.
  • Robust Connections to Third-party Resources: Shippers, supply chain participants, and BI resources can all be accessed using robust Dynamic 365 REST APIs. To monitor and enhance the company, your team can observe every aspect of operations. With Dynamics 365 API integration, it’s simple to add and upgrade tools and technologies.

Conclusion

This article helped you gain a better understanding of the Microsoft Dynamics Integration REST API. You learned more about Microsoft Dynamics 365 and discovered its various features. In addition, you understood how to create Microsoft Dynamics Data Management REST APIs. At the end of this article, you explored some of the benefits of this integration to create more streamlined workflows and robust integrations.

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