Identify tables and columns in Dataverse

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A table is a logical structure containing rows and columns that represents a set of data.

Below you can see a screenshot of the standard contact table and various types of columns it includes. Power Apps customer entity edit form

Types of tables

The three types of tables are:

  • Standard - Several standard tables, also known as out-of-box tables, are included with a Dataverse environment. Account, business unit, contact, task, and user tables are examples of standard tables in Dataverse. Most of the standard tables included with Dataverse can be customized. Tables that are imported as part of a managed solution and set as customizable also appear as standard tables. Any user with appropriate privileges can customize these tables where the table property has customizable set to true.

  • Managed - Tables that aren’t customizable and have been imported into the environment as part of a managed solution.

  • Custom - Custom tables are unmanaged tables that are either imported from an unmanaged solution or are new tables created directly in the Dataverse environment. Any user with appropriate privileges can fully customize these tables.

Columns

Columns are a way to store a discrete piece of information within a row in a table. You might think of them as a column in Excel. Columns have data types, meaning that you can store data of a certain type in a column that matches that data type. For example, if you have a solution that requires dates, then you would store the date in a column with the type of Date. Similarly, if you want to store a number, then you store the number in a column with the type of Number.

The number of columns within a table varies from a few columns to a hundred or more. If you need more than a few hundred columns in a table, you might want to reconsider how you are structuring data storage for your solution because, likely, there is a better way.

Every database in Microsoft Dataverse starts with a standard set of tables and each standard table has a standard set of columns.

Tip

Always use standard tables and columns when possible. You can rename a table if that makes the table more understandable in the context of your solution. Always review the list of standard tables and make sure a standard table will meet your needs before you create a new table.