With the integration of Power Query, business app developers can create new entities in the Common Data Service (CDS) from a wide range of data sources.

The Common Data Service lets users securely store and manage data within a set of standard and custom entities. An entity is a set of fields used to store data, similar to a table within a database. Once the data is stored in the Common Data Service, you can use Microsoft PowerApps to build rich applications that use the stored data.

With Power Query integration, business app developers using PowerApps can create new entities in the Common Data Service based on data from external data sources, such as on-premises data sources like relational databases (SQL Server, IBM DB2, and so on), Excel, Access, and text files, as well as online services such as Salesforce, Azure SQL Database and Data Warehouse, Web APIs, OData feeds, and many more sources. In addition to the wide array of data sources to which you can connect, using Power Query also lets you filter, transform, and combine data before loading it into the Common Data Service.

New entity from data

Enabling the CDS New Entities from Power Query feature

This feature is available in your PowerApps tenant, but is not turned on by default. You can enable it in web.powerapps.com.

Note: You can create new custom entities only in databases that you have created.

In the PowerApps portal, take the following steps to enable this feature:

  1. Browse to the Common Data Service > Entities tab, in the left navigation pane.
  2. From the Entities list, select the New Entity dropdown.
  3. From the list that appears in the dropdown menu, select New Entity from Data (Technical Preview) as shown in the following image.

    New entity from data

  4. Once you select New Entity from Data (Technical Preview) from the menu, a dialog appears with the list of available connectors in this Technical Preview, as shown in the following image.

    Available connectors

  5. Once you've selected the connector you want to use, you can continue to the next steps to specify data source connection details and credentials, select which tables to import, and so on. You may be able to access the Query Editor as well (using the Edit button in the Navigator view) and thereby apply filters or data transformation steps before importing data into CDS.

Adjust load settings and other behavior

Once you've completed the steps in the previous section, and have a data source ready to use to create new entities in CDS using Power Query, you can adjust additional load settings, such as refresh behavior and entity-specific settings (such as Display Name, Primary Keys, and others).

Once those steps are completed and you select Load, you will have created new custom entities in CDS. You can also edit queries after the initial load by accessing the Entity menu for a specific entity.

We're very excited about this functionality, and are eager to hear your feedback. Please send us your suggestions and feedback about this feature!