Table modeling for virtual tables


This functionality requires version 17 or later of Business Central online while service update 189 is required for Microsoft Dataverse. The release information for Microsoft Dataverse is published on the latest version availability page.

Building an app requires capabilities to perform relational modeling between tables that are being used in the app. In the context of virtual tables, there will be scenarios where virtual tables and native tables in Microsoft Dataverse must work together to enable the desired user experience. This article explains concepts of relational modeling that can be implemented using virtual tables for Business Central.

Generating virtual tables

By default, virtual tables for Business Central don't exist in Microsoft Dataverse. A user must query the catalog table to view the tables that are available in the linked instance of Business Central. From the catalog, the user can select one or more tables, and then request that Microsoft Dataverse generates the virtual tables. This procedure is explained in later sections.

Table fields

When a virtual table is generated for a Business Central table, the system tries to create each field in the Business Central table in the corresponding virtual table in Microsoft Dataverse. In an ideal case, the total number of fields will be the same in both tables, unless there's a mismatch in supported data types between Business Central and Microsoft Dataverse. For data types that are supported, the column properties in Microsoft Dataverse are set based on the properties in Business Central.

The rest of this section describes supported and unsupported data types. For more information about columns in Microsoft Dataverse, see Columns overview.

Data type in Business Central Modeled data type in Microsoft Dataverse
Real Decimal

For information about the possible mismatch, see the next table.

Long Decimal, where the precision equals 0 (zero)
Int Integer
String (non-memo), String (memo) String – single line of text, String – multiple lines of text
UtcDateTime DateTime (DateTimeFormat.DateAndTime, DateTimeBehavior.TimeZoneIndependent)

An empty date (January 1, 1900) in Business Central is surfaced as a null value in Microsoft Dataverse.
Date DateTime - (DateTimeFormat.DateOnly, DateTimeBehavior.TimeZoneIndependent)

An empty date (January 1, 1900) in Business Central is surfaced as an empty value in Microsoft Dataverse.
Enum Picklist

Business Central enumerations (enums) are generated as global OptionSets in Microsoft Dataverse. Matching between the systems is done by using the External Name property of values. Enum integer values in Microsoft Dataverse aren't guaranteed to be stable between the systems. Therefore, you shouldn't rely on them, especially for extensible enums in Business Central, because these enums don't have a stable ID either. OptionSet metadata is updated when a table that uses the OptionSet is updated.

Fields of the real and long data types in Business Central are modeled as the decimal data type in Microsoft Dataverse. Because of the mismatch in precision and scale between the two data types, the following behavior must be considered.

Use case Resulting behavior
Microsoft Dataverse has higher precision. This use case should never occur unless the metadata is out of sync.
Business Central has higher precision. During a read operation, the value is rounded to the closest precision value in Microsoft Dataverse. If the value is edited in Microsoft Dataverse, it's rounded to the closest precision value in Business Central. During a write operation, the value that is specified in Microsoft Dataverse is written, because Business Central supports higher precision.
Microsoft Dataverse has higher scale. Not applicable.
Business Central has higher scale. Microsoft Dataverse shows the Business Central value, even if it exceeds 100 billion. However, there will be a loss of precision. For example, 987,654,100,000,000,000 is shown in Microsoft Dataverse as "987,654,099,999,999,900". If the value of this column is edited in Microsoft Dataverse, Microsoft Dataverse validation throws an error that the value exceeds the maximum value before that value is sent to Business Central.

The following data types in Business Central aren't supported in Microsoft Dataverse. Fields of these data types in Business Central tables won't be made available in the corresponding virtual tables in Microsoft Dataverse. If fields of these data types are used as parameters in Open Data Protocol (OData) actions, those actions won't be available for use in the corresponding virtual tables. For more information about OData actions, see the OData actions section later in this article.

Table key - primary key

In Business Central, tables use the SystemId (GUID) as the primary key, which uniquely identifies a record in a Business Central. In Microsoft Dataverse, the SystemId exposed by the table is used as the primary key.

Primary column/field

In Microsoft Dataverse, each table must have a primary column. This column must be a single column of the string type. The primary column is used in Microsoft Dataverse in the following scenarios:

  • The default views that are created for a table include the primary column.
  • The quick view form for a table includes the primary column.
  • A lookup to another table is added to a page and shows the data from the primary column.

The primary field for a virtual table for Business Central is designed to use displayname field on table if present. If this field isn't present the first string field is chosen as the primary field.



A write transaction that spans a virtual table and a native table is not supported. Using this form of transaction is not recommended, as there is no way to ensure consistency.

Relations in Business Central tables are modeled as one-to-many (1:n) or many-to-one (n:1) relations. These relations are modeled as relationships in the virtual table in Microsoft Dataverse. Many-to-many (n:n) relations aren't supported in Business Central.

For example, in Business Central, if table A has a foreign key to table B, this relation will be modeled as an n:1 relationship in virtual table A in Microsoft Dataverse. The schema name of this relationship in Microsoft Dataverse uses the naming convention dyn365bc_<source table name>_<target_table name>. This naming convention has a maximum string length of 120 characters. Any relation where the schema name will produce a name that exceeds 120 characters won't be generated in the virtual table in Microsoft Dataverse. It's required that the foreign key is a SystemId (GUID). If the foreign key is of a different type, then the relation won't be generated.

The external name of this relationship uses the naming convention <relation name>. The external name is used to determine the relation in Business Central when the query that is sent to Business Central is built.

When a relationship is generated for a virtual table in Microsoft Dataverse, a new column of the lookup type is also added to the source table. In the preceding example, when the relationship is created, a new lookup column that uses the naming convention dyn365bc_<target_table>_id is added to source table A. Because there can be several relations in a table in Business Central, the same number of lookup fields (one per related table) will be created in the source virtual table. When this lookup field is added to a page or a view, it will show the primary field value from the related table.

A relationship in the virtual table in Microsoft Dataverse will be generated only if the related table in the relation already exists as a virtual table in Microsoft Dataverse. In the preceding example, if table B doesn't exist as a virtual table in Microsoft Dataverse, the relation to table B won't be created in table A when table A is generated as a virtual table. This relation will be added to table A only when table B is generated as a virtual table. Therefore, when a virtual table is generated for Business Central, validations are done to ensure that only relationships that are complete and functional are generated in the virtual table.

In summary, a relationship to another Business Central virtual table might not exist in the virtual table for either of the following reasons:

  • The Business Central table that is participating in the relationship doesn't exist as a virtual table.
  • The foreign key isn't SystemId (GUID).
  • The length of the name of the relationship exceeds 120 characters.


If an error is encountered when any part of a Business Central virtual table is generated in Microsoft Dataverse, the virtual table will not be created at all. If relationships do not exist for either of the preceding reasons, the situation is not considered an error.

Native table–to–native table relationships

Native table–to–native table relationships are the standard Microsoft Dataverse functionality, where relationships are resolved by using the GUID of the related table. This GUID is the table key. The GUID identifies the unique table record in the related table.

Virtual table–to–virtual table relationships

The relationships between two Business Central virtual tables are driven by the relation metadata in the Business Central tables. As explained earlier, these relations are generated as relationships in Microsoft Dataverse when the virtual table is generated. Just like the behavior of native tables in Microsoft Dataverse, these relationships use the GUID to identify the unique record of the table in Business Central. Semantically, the GUID on the Business Central virtual table behaves like the GUID on the native Microsoft Dataverse table. For information about the implementation of the GUID in Business Central virtual tables, see the table key/primary key section earlier in this article.

In the preceding example, the GUID of the related table is the table key of table B and will be used to build queries to identify a record in Business Central. The relation that table A has to table B will be used.

Therefore, in effect, the table name is the only information that is used in a relation that comes from Business Central. The table name gives access to the primary field in the related table, so that it can be shown in the lookup. It also gives access to the GUID of the related table, so that it can be used in other queries, as explained earlier.

Virtual table–to–native table relationship

Consider an example where you want to show sales orders from Business Central for Account A in Dataverse. A foreign key relation is needed between the native table Account and the virtual table dyn365bc_salesorder_v2_0. Once the relation is established, a virtual table can be used on pages, like other related tables. To set up a virtual table to native table relation, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the native table that you want to create a relation to and add a Key. Choose the column(s) needed for the relation. 1 to 3 columns can be used in the native to virtual table relation.
  2. Add a new record to the Business Central Table Relation table.
    1. On the General tab, provide Relation Name, Native Table, and Native Table Key which is the name of the key specified in step 1, and the Virtual Table name. For Native Table and Virtual Table, make sure to use the table name, and not the table display name.
    2. On the Mapping tab, provide column mapping between the native table and the virtual table column(s). All columns included in the table key (defined in step 1) must be mapped.
  3. Press Save. Validation will be performed on save.

To follow the example from above, where a relation between the native table Account and the virtual table dyn365bc_salesorder_v2_0 is needed:

  1. Create a key on the Account table. Choose Account Number. Name is 'prefix_accountkey'.
  2. Make sure that dyn365bc_salesorder_v2_0 is generated.
  3. Add a new record to the Business Central Table Relation table.
    • On the General tab set the following:
      • Relation Name to dyn365bc_account2salesorder
      • Native Table to account
      • Native Table Key to prefix_accountkey
      • Virtual Table to dyn365bc_salesorder_v2_0
    • On the Mappings tab set first row as follows:
      • Native columns to accountnumber
      • Virtual columns to dyn365bc_customernumber
  4. Save the Business Central Table Relation record.
  5. Open the main page of Account. Add a sub grid and choose the Sales Orders (accountid) relation.
  6. Save and publish.

Account now contains the relation, and Sales Orders are shown on the main page if any sales orders exist for the account.

Synchronizing master data

To create native-to-virtual table relations a shared key is needed in order to establish a foreign key relationship. In the Account and Sales Order scenario, the Account Number in the Account table must be identical to the Customer Number in the Business Central Customer table.

To set up synchronization between Microsoft Dataverse and Business Central, follow the guide. To get started use the Dataverse Connection Setup assisted setup guide in Business Central.

A customization to the synchronization is needed, because the customer number isn't synced with Dataverse by default. The code in the example below adds the field mapping to the synchronization. In this snippet, the synchronization is uni-directional. In this case, Business Central will be the main, pushing account number to Microsoft Dataverse.

codeunit 50100 SyncAdditionalFields
    [EventSubscriber(ObjectType::Codeunit, Codeunit::"CDS Setup Defaults", 'OnAfterResetCustomerAccountMapping', '', true, true)]
    local procedure HandleOnAfterResetCustomerAccountMapping(IntegrationTableMappingName: Code[20])
        IntegrationFieldMapping: Record "Integration Field Mapping";
        Customer: Record Customer;
        CRMAccount: Record "CRM Account";
          '', false, false);

    procedure InsertIntegrationFieldMapping(IntegrationTableMappingName: Code[20]; TableFieldNo: Integer; IntegrationTableFieldNo: Integer; SynchDirection: Option; ConstValue: Text; ValidateField: Boolean; ValidateIntegrationTableField: Boolean)
        IntegrationFieldMapping: Record "Integration Field Mapping";
        IntegrationFieldMapping.CreateRecord(IntegrationTableMappingName, TableFieldNo, IntegrationTableFieldNo, SynchDirection,
            ConstValue, ValidateField, ValidateIntegrationTableField);

For more information, see Customizing an Integration with Microsoft Dataverse.

Native table–to–virtual table relationships

Native table–to–virtual table relationships work much like virtual table–to–native table relationships. Once a relation has been set up between the native table and the virtual table, sub grids or Quick Views can be added, showing related native table information.


Enums in Business Central are modeled as OptionSets in Microsoft Dataverse. When a virtual table for Business Central is generated, the required enums are generated as OptionSets. If an OptionSet already exists, it is used instead.


If Business Central has multiple companies, the default company must be selected. This can be done either on a Business Central virtual table configuration page or on a User table page.

Furthermore, every virtual table for a Business Central table have a relationship to the cdm_company table in Microsoft Dataverse. The cdm_company table is a native table in Microsoft Dataverse and is part of the Dynamics365Company solution. As always, when a relationship is created, a lookup column is also created in the virtual table for the related table (cdm_company in this case). This lookup column is named Company, and it must be used to provide an optimal user experience where users can select a value in a list or go to the details of the related record. A column that is named Company Code is also added in the virtual table. This column must be used in programming. A Virtual Table can only interact with one Company at a time. Connection to other Companies can be made in either the connection setup page or overridden on the individual user.

OData actions

OData actions in the Business Central tables are made available as custom actions in Microsoft Dataverse. For more information about custom actions and what they enable in Microsoft Dataverse, see Custom actions.

OData actions generated for Business Central have only one parameter, which is the table. There's no output parameter.

Labels and localization

Labels that are defined on metadata, such as table names and field names in Business Central, are retrieved when virtual tables are generated in Microsoft Dataverse. The labels are retrieved using an API on Business Central called entityDefinitions. This API is available on every API route, and will serve translations and other table metadata, not suited for OData $metadata. But with both the entityDefinition and $metadata Microsoft Dataverse has all it needs to generate localized virtual tables.

Any runtime labels are returned in the language of the current user context. In other words, they're returned in the language that is specified on that user's UserInfo record in Business Central. This behavior also applies to error messages.

Error handling

Business Central create, read, update, and delete (CRUD) business logic on tables and backing tables is run when it's called through the virtual table in Microsoft Dataverse. If any exception is thrown on the Business Central side, the last message in the error log is returned to Microsoft Dataverse and is thrown as an InvalidPluginExecutionException exception that contains the message from Business Central. Because the Business Central code runs in the context of the user, the language of the error message is based on the language that is specified on the UserInfo record in Business Central. If any messages that are written to the info login Business Central don't result in an exception, they aren't shown in Microsoft Dataverse.

Calculated/unmapped fields

Calculated and unmapped fields in Business Central tables are also available in the corresponding virtual tables in Microsoft Dataverse.

See Also

Overview - Integrating Business Central with Microsoft Dataverse
Microsoft Power Platform Integration with Business Central
Application Lifecycle Management for Solutions that use Virtual tables
Business Central and Microsoft Dataverse Admin Reference