This is a Part 2 of the blog series on embedded Power BI for Dynamics 365 – please refer to Part 1 on how to get started.
While it’s important to deliver useful information in a convenient manner, it is equally important to deliver current information when users need it. Ultimately, business requirements dictate how long certain information remains useful. Entity store management offers great flexibility which allows specific sets of data to be refreshed at specific time intervals.
Dynamics 365 comes preconfigured with the legacy Entity store management form which can be found in System administration > Setup > Entity store. This form displays all aggregate measurements available in the Entity store that provide information to Power BI Embedded visuals and reports. The legacy form invokes traditional batch scheduling engine to perform measurement refresh. Recurrence can be set to run as frequently as one minute, making information access via Power BI Embedded near real-time.
At the same time, it should be noted that the increase in refresh frequency and volume of data that is transferred from application database to the Entity store can potentially cause performance degradation in Dynamics 365. Recurrence frequency should be carefully considered and only those measurements should be refreshed which are being used. Optimal refresh options can be determined by analyzing business needs and by reassessing application performance after changes are made. Microsoft actively works on improvements and it aims to reduce performance impact with future updates to the Entity store.
Administrators might be prompted to switch to the new Entity store management form, which is an irreversible change.
The new form looks similar to the legacy version. However, it is missing refresh options which might be very important to some customers. For example, there are no options to schedule refresh more frequently that one hour. There are also no options to select specific refresh times for provided recurrence intervals. On the other hand, the new refresh process is being monitored and managed by the application itself. For example, when certain Power BI Embedded reports are not being used in Dynamics 365, the application might pause automatic refresh of corresponding measurements, therefore decreasing the amount of resources that are wasted. Microsoft plans to add additional options in the future, including real-time refresh. Until then, the legacy Entity management form might be considered over the new form when business needs require greater flexibility.
If you would like to learn how to modify existing or even embed your own Power BI Embedded reports, please continue reading in Part 3 (next week!).
Additional information and details can be found at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/fin-ops-core/dev-itpro/analytics/automated-entity-store-refresh
If you missed Part 1: