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What is Dataverse for Teams?

Updated: Jul 27, 2021

In a previous post, I explained what Dataverse is, you can go and check that out here , this blog post will concentrate on Dataverse for Teams.

An image showing Microsoft Dataverse for Teams
Microsoft Dataverse for Teams

I think by now we all know what Teams is, Microsoft's primary collaboration and communication tool. It is the primary place for many companies to do their business internally. Many companies have switched from an email first mentality to one inside Teams.

As such, Microsoft saw an opportunity to open up Dataverse for internal use within Microsoft Teams - Dataverse for Teams was born.

In the words of Microsoft themselves:

"Dataverse for Teams is a common platform that allows all these interfaces to have a unified understanding of how the data is modelled and consumed. Dataverse for Teams delivers a targeted set of the features commonly needed for creating apps, flows, and more within Teams"

In other words, if you use PowerApps or Power Automate for Teams, you are using the application inside that part of the Microsoft ecosystem and as such you have some of the capabilities Dataverse brings, but to you in this context.

A breakdown of feature sets for both Dataverse for Teams and pure Dataverse is below:

An image showing the differences in feature sets between Dataverse for Teams and Dataverse
Dataverse for Teams vs Dataverse feature set

Environments and Security

When we are using Dataverse for Teams, data is stored inside an environment. An environment is created for each team in Teams when an app is created. So for example, say we create a Power Virtual Agent chat bot using Power Virtual Agents for Teams, we select the Team we wish to publish to and a Dataverse for Teams environment is created.

A screenshot showing a Microsoft Teams environment inside the Power Platform Centre
Screenshot from Power Platform Admin Centre showing the Environment that has been created

You are able to convert this environment to a full Dataverse environment, but if you are doing this for a Power Virtual Agents chatbot then you will incur the monthly license fee. If you wish to use Power Virtual Agents for Teams, rather than the web version, then you must be aware that the chat bot created will only be available for internal use, BUT it is free !

Access to the Dataverse for Teams environment is provisioned by a user having access to the Team channel itself. It is through this membership that access is granted.

When to use Dataverse for Teams?

  • You are just starting out with Dataverse, you want to play around with PowerApps, you can always upgrade to full blown Dataverse whenever you want to

  • As explained above, Power Virtual Agents inside Teams is free ! But you can only use it for internal use cases, think of a holiday request/approval process for example. If you want to expose a chat bot to people outside of your business then you need to be using Power Virtual Agents for web, or upgrading the Power Virtual Agents Dataverse for Teams environment to a Dataverse one.

  • You want to get to know Power Automate more.

When not to use Dataverse for Teams?

  • When there is a possible storage limitation, 1 million rows or 2GB. If you need more than that, then start with Dataverse. But remember you can always upgrade a Dataverse for Teams environment whenever you want to.

  • Everything you build is connected to a Team in Teams. If that Team is deleted, the PowerApps/Power Automate flows/Power Virtual Agents chat bots will be deleted. It is important to know who the owners are inside your business and if needs be make sure there is a plan to transfer ownership when someone leaves.

  • Unless you have a premium license, then you won't be able to use Premium connectors.

In summary

Dataverse for Teams is powerful, Microsoft are enabling the masses to get to grips for Dataverse by opening this up for internal use. If your use case for a Power Virtual Agents chatbot is an internal one, then using Power Virtual Agents for Teams is the way forward. Dynamics has also come to Dataverse for Teams too.

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