Top 7 Feature Updates to the Dataverse

By Jesse Bucholz | January 22, 2021

The Dataverse is the central pillar of the Power Platform. Its capabilities are seemingly endless in how flexible it is, letting your imagination come to life with all it has to offer. The ongoing enhancements to this technology are enough to keep the powerful Microsoft feature a step ahead of the competition.

Like many other Microsoft products, there are planned feature updates twice per year for the Dataverse. Here are some highlights of the latest and greatest additions and upcoming features in the most recent release.

1. Record Access Check

This may be my favorite new feature being released in Dataverse. Now as an admin, you can easily test and troubleshoot security role access for other potential users using a new Check Access tool. This will help you troubleshoot security much more efficiently than ever before. In the past, you would have to use a 2nd user account to verify permissions. Big win!

2. Auditing Enhancements

Audit data can now be automatically deleted from the system by defining a retention period in Dataverse. Expired data will then be removed from the system per the retention period. Per Microsoft, audit data is stored in log storage, and joining entities from the database storage and the log storage will no longer be possible.

3. Specified Data Partitions

If you export data from Dataverse to the Azure Data Lake, this update will be a welcoming change. Now you can specify a data partition to the year or month.

4. Use DirectQuery to connect Power BI

With each release, we seem to usually get at least one enhancement that includes Power BI, regardless of what the product or component is. Power BI is the Swiss Army Knife of the Microsoft ecosystem.

This new feature gives you more connection options. Now you will be able to use DirectQuery to retrieve data when connecting to environments. This connection will retrieve data whenever the user opens the report. It’s also important to note that this will only return data to the user who has permission to use the Dataverse security model.

5. Activity Rollup

Another new feature will allow users to start using the activity rollup feature. This has been available in first-party apps, and now it's also available in the Dataverse. In addition, Microsoft has also made other improvements to activity rollups. Such as performance enhancements, the ability to support different tables with the same row ID, and the support of multiples modes of the rollup.

6. File & Image Upload/Download Enhancements

Improvements have been made to file and image data types regarding Uploads and Downloads.

Uploads – Single APIs can be used for all uploads so users will no longer need to use separate APIs for files under 1MB and files over 16 MB. Automated chunking will remove the need for developers to specify file chunking through different APIs for the start, middle, and end.

Downloads – Can be streamed through the use of a SAS API. Previous chunking APIs will continue to exist to support existing implementations.

7. Relevance Search API

Relevance search finds data across different entity types and is now available for the Dataverse. Meaning your apps will now have access to the relevance search functionality to look for records.

This was more of a high-level overview of some of the great new features rolling out. Many of them are available today, and others are scheduled for general availability by March of 2021. Stay tuned for more updates on the Dataverse, and highlights of the most recent release of updates.

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