Microsoft Dynamics 365: Glossary of Terms

Dynamics 365

There are many parts to Microsoft Dynamics 365 and in this post we've shared a glossary to demystify some of these terms.

If you want to know the difference between the Customer Service app and Unified Service Desk, find out what a Team Member licence is, or if you are just looking for a simple explanation about the main Dynamics 365 apps and services, we hope you find this a useful resource.

Dynamics 365 is a continually evolving product and we will aim to update this glossary to include new apps and other updates.

Please get in touch if you want to know more, we'll be happy to answer your questions and offer advice. 

Microsoft Dynamics 365

Dynamics 365 unifies Microsoft's CRM, ERP and cloud solutions in a single offering that brings together people, processes and business data.

Through connected apps, Dynamics 365 removes barriers to empower staff and better engage customers.

Dynamics 365 is an app-centric platform where businesses, teams and individuals can pick and choose the services that are needed to start simple and these can grow when you need.

Dynamics Overview

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure is the Microsoft cloud based computing platform that complements and enables many functions within Dynamics 365.

Azure is a growing collection of integrated cloud services that developers and IT professionals use to build, deploy and manage applications through Microsoft's global network of data centres. 

Azure goes beyond hosting solutions and has become a development platform, a global directory, data factory as well as an intelligence and analytical engine. 

With Azure, you get the freedom to build and deploy wherever you want, using the tools, applications and frameworks of your choice. Read more

Power Platform

The Power Platform is a low code platform powered by Microsoft Azure enabling organizations to analyze data, act on it through applications, and automate business processes. This enables organisations to unlock the potential of Dynamics 365 and Office 365 with Power Apps, Power Automate and Power BI supported by a Common Data Model that brings data together and connects to hundreds of data sources out of the box.

Common Data Service

The Common Data Service (CDS) is a secure shared database for storing business entities that connect to Dynamics 365, Flow and Power Apps. Data within Common Data Service is stored within a set of consistently structured entities. Common Data Service includes a base set of standard entities that cover typical scenarios, but organisation can create their own custom entities. As the base layer of Dynamics 365, the CDS brings all business data in one centralized location.

Power Apps

Power Apps is a suite of apps, services, connectors and data platform that provides a rapid app development environment to build custom apps for your business needs. Using PowerApps, you can quickly build custom business apps that connect to your business data stored in the Common Data Service or in various online and on-premises data sources.

Apps built using business logic and workflow capabilities to transform manual business processes into digital, automated processes. Apps have a responsive design and can run in a web browser or on mobile devices.

Power Automate

Power Automate (previously, Microsoft Flow), enables workflows to be created between Power Apps and other cloud apps. Thanks to the Common Data Service each Power Apps workflow can span multiple apps in Dynamics 365, Office 365 and the wider landscape. This can include connecting workflows with Dropbox, OneDrive, You Tube and numerous other cloud services.

Flows are designed to shortcut any time consuming task, or process as either a complex multi-step process sequence, or a simple one-step task. Workflows can deliver notifications, sync or organise data, and automate approvals.

To simplify the process to create new flows, hundreds of templates are available. For example, this includes creating a new lead from a web form email notification, or using a flow to enforce an approval step before new orders are approved.

Microsoft Flow

Power BI

Power BI uses graphical charts and interactive dashboards that enable users to quickly gain insights by visualising data across their business processes and apps. 

Dynamics 365 provides embedded business intelligence through Power BI components, charts and dashboards that provide a new way to work with data.

In many instances, managers are able to take proactive action using insights from real-time Power BI analytics across data that hasn't previously been measured. 

A separate, full Power BI subscription is required to share insight from apps including Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Power BI

Dynamics 365 Apps

Individual users can be licensed with an individual app as defined by their role and attach an additional app for requirements that span two or more apps. 

For example, license just Dynamics 365 for Sales if you don’t need to manage service cases, or choose Dynamics 365 for Customer Service if leads and opportunities aren't your interest.

Team Member Licences

Team Members licences provide light usage across a range of Dynamics 365 apps and are designed to connect more individuals to the relationships and processes that matter at a low cost price.

With this option, individuals have read / write access for processes that include Accounts, Contacts and Activities as well as Custom Entities. Team Members can consume data and reports (subject to user permission settings) across all applications.

Dynamics 365 users can be licensed on a mix and match basis with a combination of Plans, Apps and Team Member licences.  

Sales App

This includes standard entities for managing Accounts, Contacts, Sales Opportunities and Leads with options to configure custom entities. To help organisations grow their business and increase sales performance, in built capabilities include guided process flows, workflow automation and dashboards...READ MORE

Project Service

Project Service is an end-to-end service that provides a single system of engagement for project sales, resourcing, delivery and billing teams. Project Service tools bring people, processes and technology together empowering teams to complete projects on time and on budget.

Customer Service App

A customer service app is available to manage entities that include cases, entitlements and service level agreements. Read more

Customer Service Hub (CSH)

Formerly, called Interactive Service Hub, the CSH provides an optimised user experience for service teams to manage cases and knowledge posts. 

The Customer Service Hub includes dashboards for users to view and act on their workload across multiple data streams and access an aggregate view of service workloads.

Field Service App

The Field Service app handles processes for work that is carried out at a customer’s premises or home. This includes installation, scheduling or recurring maintenance, responding to break / fix issues and returns.

These capabilities help to increase customer satisfaction with intelligent scheduling, native mobile support, and remote monitoring to help field personnel get the job done right the first time.

Marketing App

A new D365 for Marketing app was released in Spring 2018. Its capabilities include email marketing, lead scoring, segmentation, event management and LinkedIn integration.

Unified Interface

Dynamics 365 uses responsive design to adapt the device or screen in use for a consistent experience across desktop, mobile, web and Outlook.  

Through the Unified Interface, content will flow into different states as the space available to it changes...READ MORE

Dynamics 365 Outlook App

Server-side sync and the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook connects Outlook and Dynamics 365 for cloud and on-premises deployments.

Tap the power of Dynamics 365 while using Outlook on a desktop, web, mobile or tablet. For example, view information about email or appointment recipients, or link an Outlook email or appointment to a Microsoft Dynamics 365 record such as an opportunity, account, or case.

Outlook App

Artificial Intelligence

Azure Machine Learning and embedded intelligence are natively embedded into Dynamics 365 to deliver predictive intelligence that gives users actionable insight and prescriptive advice for next best actions.

Within a sales scenario this can include suggesting contextual follow up actions when meeting notes are added, promoting conversational starters and icebreakers based on tracked emails and predictive lead scoring.

Sales Insights

Dynamics 365 Sales Insights is now available as an add-on for D365 for Sales Enterprise delivering AI driven insights from data in Dynamics and Office 365. Through a combination of analytics and data science on top of Dynamics with Office data, Sales Insights helps leaders answer their most important business questions. Sales Insights proactively monitors data and uses machine learning to provide insights that helps sales managers.

Customer Service Insights

Customer Service Insights provides actionable views into performance metrics, operational data and emerging trends for customer service organization. This new app is available with the Customer Service Enterprise app .

Embedded dashboards, interactive charts and visual filters provide insights across support channels to automatically promote improvement areas that is underpinned by AI technology to detect emerging support topics as they arise. Insights gained are designed to help service managers take proactive actions that will deliver better customer service experiences by reducing wait times and faster resolution times.

Customer Insights

Designed to help users retain customers and build loyalty through data insights. This brings in transactional, observational and behaviour data from multiple sources using prebuilt connectors which include Sales Navigator, Sharepoint lists, Active Directory, Exchange Online and Azure tables.

Data is unified into comprehensive customer profiles by mapping records into the Common Data Model with AI applied to match and merge data. Contextual customer insights and tailored customer profile cards can then be infused into business applications to help sales, service and marketing teams drive personalised engagements across channels.

PowerApps Admin Center

Administrators can use the Power Platform Admin center to manage their environments and settings for Dynamics 365 and PowerApps. 

This enables Microsoft support tickets to created, data loss prevention policies set and analytics across Power Platform apps to be viewed.

Relationship Insights

Relationship Insights uses cloud services integration and embedded Microsoft Azure artificial intelligence to analyse an organisation's Dynamics 365 and Exchange data.

From this analysis, notifications and flash cards help users manage emails and identify actions with the aim of increasing user productivity. 

These functions continually analyse business data saved in the cloud to Exchange Online and Microsoft Dynamics 365. By evaluating the actions that lead to success, these notifications and alerts point the way to better results.

Relationship Analytics consists of a Relationship Assistant, Email Engagement and Email Auto-Capture. 

Relationship Insights

LinkedIn Sales Navigator

With new integration, sales teams can leverage LinkedIn Sales Navigator and LinkedIn’s 500 million professionals. 

Sales Navigator with Dynamics 365 increases the effectiveness of salespeople by tapping into their professional networks and relationships to gain new introductions, initiate customised connection requests, be alerted to news mentioned and job changes, and sync new leads to Dynamics 365...READ MORE


Dynamics 365 Gamification builds on fantasy sports to increase business productivity through user engagement and competition.

Users can participate in individual and team competitions that motivate them to achieve performance targets by offering prizes and recognition. With KPI's that reflect any activity data tracked by Dynamics 365, Gamification motivates users to do more.

Business Central

Dynamics 365 Business Central is an easily adaptable enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that helps businesses automate and connect their operations.

Business Central brings the full power of Dynamics NAV to the cloud with a shared code-base that makes transitioning to the cloud seamless from entry-level accounting software and legacy ERP systems. 

With a familiar MS Office look and feel, users can quickly make the most of the full integration with Office 365 and other Microsoft cloud services to connect financials, sales and service.

Finance and Operations App

For Enterprise Edition, the Finance and Operations app (formerly 'Operations') is a cloud evolution of Microsoft Dynamics AX. 

Dynamics 365 Retail

Designed to helps organisations engage each shopper, Dynamics 365 for Retail unifies digital, in-store, and back office operations.

Unified Service Desk (USD)

The USD consolidates numerous communication channels including phone, chat, email and social media into a single interface. 

USD is utilised by organisations that have disconnected systems and it acts as a bridge between Dynamics 365 and other applications enabling them to be presented to user in the same interface.

USD entitlement is included with Dynamics 365 Sales and Customer Service apps.


Appsource is Microsoft's directory to find and evaluate cloud applications, add-ins and content packs from Microsoft and its partners. Apps listed on AppSource include PowerApps built on the Microsoft Power platform.


Contact us to find out more about Microsoft Dynamics 365, and to discuss your requirements.

Receive CRM and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Updates

If you enjoyed this post, why not join our mailing list to receive emails about the latest updates and events from Preact?