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Virtual tables creation wizard now in Public Preview

Headshot of article author Frank Lan

Have you tried creating a virtual table and found it too difficult? Do you wish you had an easy way to integrate external data from SharePoint and SQL into Dataverse?

We are excited to announce that makers can now create virtual tables directly in the maker portal in just a few minutes using a guided creation wizard.

With this new experience, you can create virtual tables from SharePoint and SQL without any code, and without leaving the maker portal. In minutes, you can set up your connection, pick your SharePoint Site or SQL Database, select your SharePoint List or SQL Table, and your virtual table will appear in table hub ready to use. You can optionally choose to configure your connection references and table details, such as column and table names, which was not possible for virtual tables until now.

Upon creating the virtual table, it will act like a standard Dataverse table, from which you can create relationships with other data in Dataverse, build apps, or use it in a flow. 

What are the benefits of virtual tables?

Ever wondered how you can quickly build a model-driven application from your existing SharePoint list? Now you can use virtual tables. Let’s say you have a list in SharePoint that your team members use to enter information every day, you can use a virtual table to represent that data in Dataverse without migrating the data from the source. Furthermore, you can integrate the SharePoint data with other tables in Dataverse. The data is accessed using metadata, so no meaningful storage space is used in Dataverse even if you have thousands of records in your data source. Because virtual tables allow Create, Read, Update, and Delete (“CRUD”) operations (if the data source permits those actions), you can update information to the SharePoint list through Dataverse.

Like SharePoint, you can build virtual tables from SQL tables. In addition, you can also create read-only virtual tables from SQL views. Or if you are using serverless SQL in Azure Synapse to access Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2, then you can use SQL connections to create virtual tables from external SQL tables and work with that data in Dataverse. For Azure, data access permissions can be managed via AAD Authentication and RBAC.

How can I start using the new virtual tables wizard?

In maker portal, go to either Tables or Solutions, and choose + New table > + New table from external data in the split-button menu.

“New table from external data” entry point

You will be prompted to select a connection, or you can create a new connection. After that, you’ll select your data set and finish the setup.

We also provide optional configurations for connection references and table or column naming.

Figure A – use or create a connection reference
Figure B – configure table and column details

How can I learn more?

Read more about virtual tables and virtual connector providers here:

Or refer to these videos:

Let us know your about experience

We’d love your feedback as we work toward general availability. Tell us more about your use cases and experience with the virtual tables creation wizard.

This post was originally published on this site

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