D365 Dual-Write Overview: What to Expect4 min read

When it comes down to monitoring sales operations through the entire organization, D365 customers do so with the power of Common Data Service (also known as CDS) while invoicing and other fulfillment tasks are managed by Finance and Operations apps. And the problem is that they don’t talk to each other, i.e. they don’t share the same data. 

Of course, there are a couple of solutions that developers use, mainly Data Integrator, which lets you do schedule syncs and critical intervals to have data be updated on both sides. The other one could be Azure. But at the moment, without Dual-Write, there is no easy possible way to get these applications linked together.

So instead of frequent data harmonization, it would be better if these two have begun to talk to each other. And that’s where Dual-Write makes things happen.

What is Dual-Write?

With her recent declaration of Dual-Write release, Rama Krishnamoorthy explained that it is a brand new MS solution to unify data over organizations, exceeding teams` application limits. Its infrastructure and application links F&O apps and CDS in a biderictorial way and provides an almost real-time connection.

The idea is to substitute Data Integrator’s schedules with a streamless exchange of data. So in the end, it does not matter where you create the quote or order; modify customer records, etc. – Microsoft wants this data to be living in both apps, at the same time.

Infrastructure and Application

Dual-time integrates D365 apps and F&O in a bi-directorial way where the data can flow in real-time. The transaction is open as long as the save & insert is happening and stops only when the data gets commitment and validation.

Moreover, the user experience is very easy and does not require extended user training or development experience. This is out of the box solution available for administrators to be configured. Users won’t be able to see data flying around – it is just happening in the beck-end by its framework.

Also, play, pause, and catchup modes support system to do synchronization whether you have done changes online or offline.

Needless to say, infrastructure has a lot of other useful features, like live sync (we are talking about seconds, not about minutes or hours); errors logs (what can help to catch errors if there are any); Reliable ALM (a solution package in CDs to move your customizations through the environments on the application side of things) and many others.

Finally, as Dual-Write links apps, users can utilize different functional scenarios to meet their needs. Here is a couple of them:

  • integrated customer master (helps to master data in any app );
  • Organization hierarchy;
  • Possibility to use your price engine; 
  • Access to customer loyalty cards and reward points;
  • unify product mastering experience (unified product data on CDS);
  • and many others. 

There are also some of the upcoming features to be added to Dual-Write, e.g. “procure to cash”; “procure to pay”; notes for customers and orders; and inventory availability.

What will happen to Data Integrator?

It is hard to predict what’s going to happen with Data Integrator and Dual-Write but the fact that these two will most likely live side by side for some time is constant. Redesigning the whole organization workflow from Data Integrator to Dual-Write may be a time-consuming as well as expansive thing to do. And does it really worth an effort?

We suspect a performance loss due to the fact that Dual-Write real-time integration is based on text data sharing. And it is great that teams need minimal engineering efforts, however, it also creates boundaries to making adjustments to the code. As we have mentioned above, it is capsuled. 

This is a brand new feature, so it cannot be perfect from scratch. We will see how it performs on practice and hopefully, Microsoft will release updates in case there are any bugs. 

All things considered, teams will move to live data sharing carefully and slowly, otherwise, there is a risk to endanger the whole system. So Data Integrator ought to survive for some time, at least to the point where Dual-Write can substitute it smoothly.