Power Platform / Dynamics 365 Higher Education Accelerator: Part 1 - Solution Components

In late 2019 Microsoft released V2 of the Power Platform / Dynamics 365 Higher Education Accelerator.
“The version v2.0.3.0 release includes new data attributes in the Common Data Model for Higher Education Accelerator, enhancements to the sample application, updated persona-based scenarios, and documentation”

Reference: https://github.com/microsoft/Industry-Accelerator-Education/releases

Valuable documentation can be found in the above github library, including a walkthrough, entity & field reference, entity diagram, etc.

So what are those accelerators exactly?

The Power Platform and Dynamics 365 are used in a wide range of industries. Some industries however, have more specific business processes and data models. The Industry Accelerators are effectively solutions, that you install on your Power Platform environment, which extends the Common Data Model with specific entities, processes, apps, etc. This provides a great head start for companies and partners implementing Dynamics 365 in those particular industries.
At the time of writing this article, Microsoft has released the following Accelerators:
  • Banking
  • Healthcare
  • Education, including higher education and K-12
  • Nonprofit
  • Automotive
  • Media
Over the next couple of weeks, I will do my best to describe the components, concepts and use cases for the Dynamics 365 Higher Education Accelerator. And how the Accelerator fits within the Power Platform / Dynamics 365 ecosystem.

Part 1 - Solution Components

You can find below an interactive diagram highighting the solution components. 

My first impressions of the provided components:
  • Documentation: The walkthrough documents are quite simple, but will give you a good overview of the solution. 4 different personas are used in the walkthrough: School Administrator, Faculty, Business Partner and Student. When using the Student persona you can actually login to the Student Portal implemented using Power Apps Portals. Quite a nice addition to V1.
  • User Interface: The Model Driven App only includes the Higher Education entities. If you want to add additional entities, you will need to add them to the App (if you installed the unmanaged solution) or create a new one. The App looks neat with custom icons for each of the Higher Ed entities. I haven't fully tested the Canvas App nor the Portal yet. I will cover those in another article (probably part 4).
  • Business Process Flows: The new version of the Accelerator comes with processes to track grant applications, internship applications and scholarship applications. 

Common Data Model details

You can find an Entity diagram provided as part of the documentation:

The Entity diagram will give you all the entities and their relationships, but I find it difficult to get a high-level understanding of the components and how they inter-related to each other.

Below a simplified version of the Conceptual Diagram including Entity details.
In followup articles I intend to cover:
  • Part 2 - Use Cases and personas based on provided documentation
  • Part 3 - Conceptual Diagram within Power Platform / Dynamics 365 ecosystem
  • Part 4 - Components details and Business Processes