The Ultimate Microsoft Dynamics 365 Glossary of Terms

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.

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

All the surrounding apps and services in Dynamics 365 including Microsoft PowerApps, Microsoft Flow, Power BI and Common Data Service for Apps are referred to as the Microsoft Power platform.

Common Data Service for Apps

The Common Data Service (CDS) is a shared database for storing business entities that connect to Dynamics 365, Flow and Power Apps. 

At the heart of its cloud framework the CDS is the fabric behind Dynamics 365 and Office 365 to provide consistently structured entities across these connected services that include calendars, invoices, accounts and sales leads.  

As the base layer of Dynamics 365, the CDS brings all business data in one centralized location enabling organisations to focus on building and delivering apps.


PowerApps uses visual drag and drop tools that enable users to quickly create new web and mobile connected apps that pull data from multiple sources to extend the capabilities of Dynamics 365 apps and other business applications.

In PowerApps, Microsoft provide a platform for building apps that don't require coding skills, easily connect to other data sources, are simple to use and provide cross-platform support.

With Microsoft Flow integration, PowerApps enables workflows to be actioned directly from the app.

Two types of PowerApp are available:

  • Canvas Driven Apps - drag and drop components onto a canvas without writing any line of code. Choose the data source and the App designer will pull this in during the design phase to present a real-life preview for end users. Once complete, the app can be run and shared on Windows, web browsers and mobile devices.
  • Model Driven Apps - much of the layout is determined enabling designers to build apps on top of Dynamics 365. Design capabilities are similar to what’s is available in the Dynamics 365 customer engagement platform including dashboards, views, forms, charts, business processes. Essentially, the D365 for Sales / Customer Service / Field Service and other apps are Model Driven Apps built on top of the CDS for Apps. The data model can be extended with custom entities and personalised fields to cover unique requirements.


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.

Microsoft Flow

Microsoft Flow enables workflows to be created between PowerApps and other cloud apps. 

Thanks to the Common Data Service each PowerApps 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. 

Flow 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.

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.

Dynamics 365 Plans & Apps

Individual users can be licensed with an individual app as defined by their role, or licensed with a plan than spans multiple Dynamics 365 apps for a broader range of functions. 

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. 

Choose the Customer Engagement Plan for any users who require functions across the Sales, Customer Service, Field Service and Project Service apps for Dynamics 365.

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. 

Customer Engagement Plan 

The Customer Engagement Plan is a subscription plan that comprises apps for: Sales, Customer Service, Project Service and Field Service as well as Powerapps plus additional services and entitlements. Download our guide to learn more about the Customer Engagement Plan. 

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

Dynamics 365 for Talent

This app leverages LinkedIn integration to help attract, on-board, and set employees up for success with a collection of intelligent HR and human capital management cloud services. 

Users can be licensed with Dynamics 365 for Talent through the dedicated app, or as part of the Unified Operations Plan.

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 for 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.

Dynamics 365 for Retail

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

Unified Operations Plan

Comprises apps for Finance and Operations, Retail and Talent. 

Dynamics 365 Plan

The 'master' plan that combines all the apps included in the Customer Engagement and Unified Operations plan. 

Customer Service App

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

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.

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. This utilizes Custom Control Framework, incorporates Azure Customer Insights and leverage Microsoft Forms Pro.

Its capabilities include email marketing, lead scoring, segmentation, event management and LinkedIn integration.

Unified Client 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.

Voice of the Customer

An integrated survey solution, Voice of the Customer captures customer feedback in Dynamics 365 which can be used to shape engagements and increase understand. Survey invitations can be automatically distributed as part of a connected Dynamics 365 workflows, for example upon resolving a case...READ MORE

Artificial Intelligence

Azure Machine Learning and Cortana Intelligence are being 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..

Customer Insights

Customer Insights helps teams and individuals better understand and engage with customers using insights from intelligent customer analytics.

This includes visualisations to illustrate a customer’s engagement and journey in a single dashboard which avoids the need to sort through multiple data sources. For example, it will enable users to assess the health of a customer relationship and check their retention scores.

In addition to Dynamics 365, Customer Insights uses data inflows from Azure storage, Exchange Online and Social Engagement to create a clear and consistent view of each customer.

Organisation Insights

A free app available via the Appstore to help admins and management teams monitor the performance of their Dynamics 365 cloud instance and measure user adoption.

Through customisable dashboards this can report the most active users, which actions they are performing and storage use.

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 Analytics

Rather than guessing at the strength of a customer relationship, or how likely an opportunity will convert, added Dynamics 365 business intelligence tools enable sales teams to visualise the state of these situations based on tracked interactions.  

Natural language processing evaluates email sentiment sent by customers and prospects and predictive intelligence that examines signals such as prospect email responses or the number of lead interactions and compares them to patterns obtained from successful sales 

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

Microsoft Social Engagement

Social Engagement puts social tools in the hands of sales, marketing and service teams - helping them to gain insight into how people feel about a brand and business, and empowering teams to proactively connect with customers, fans, and critics. 

Microsoft Social Engagement is included with each of the applications that form the Customer Engagement Plan.


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.


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

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