At some point, you’ll probably want Dynamics 365 to do something more than what’s included in the box. In this case, you can snag a premade app from the Microsoft AppSource catalog or develop your own using the Power Apps developer.
As of early February 2021, there are just over 3,100 add-ons available for download spread across each of Dynamics 365’s categories of software (such as finance and customer service).
Put in perspective, Salesforce boasts nearly 3,800 apps available in the Salesforce Appexchange. Oracle advertises close to 2,800 add-ons available, while SAP clocks in with 550 apps under its ERP and finance category.
If add-ons are a high priority for you, it may not be very reassuring to learn that creating apps for Dynamics 365 can be a challenge. For perspective, Salesforce’s educational initiatives appear superior thanks to its interactive, user-friendly tutorials and resources via its Trailhead, Force.com, and Heroku teaching platforms.
Dynamics 365, on the other hand, primarily leans on text-heavy documentation to teach app development. This may make it an uphill battle to develop a perfectly tailored add-on for your business.
Keep in mind, however, that codeless point-and-click app development is available in Microsoft’s Power Apps platform, which does help alleviate a lot of the reading that may otherwise be required. Still, Microsoft’s heavy dependence on the written word, even for its point-and-click app solution, may inspire an abundance of frustration.
Undeniably, Dynamics 365 was built for the cloud. In Microsoft’s side-by-side comparison of its finance, supply chain, and development and administrative tools, there were at least 46 prominent features available in the cloud deployment, but not available on premises. By comparison, there were only four features uniquely available on premise, but not in the cloud.
For those needing an on-premise deployment, Dynamics 365 may be one of few solutions since many competitors, such as Salesforce, remain entirely cloud-only. If an on-premise deployment is important to you, make sure that Dynamics 365 will still have the features you need given Microsoft’s cloud-centric approach.