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Key components of a great solution design document

Key components of a great solution design document

Microsoft Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform provide powerful CRM and business application building tools, respectively.  Before a Dynamics application is built, however, a robust solution design should be completed and agreed upon by all invested parties.  Usually, such a design takes the form of a design document.  This document outlines an overview of the build, its scope, and all related configurations.  The design document can also include important sections related to security, third-party integrations, and appendices.

Core solution design document components

There are a few key sections that need to be included as standard in any solution design document.  These sections outline the basics of the build from a functional perspective and should be designed to be read by non-technical business decision makers.

Revisions and Acceptance

A design document should contain a section that tracks revisions and changes as they progress through the approval process, as well as a section for tracking said approval.  This section should be updated with each major revision made, as well as the date of final approval.  If the document is going to be a "living" document, that should be noted in this section as well.

Table of Contents

A table of contents should always be included in your design document that breaks down each heading into its subheadings and corresponding page numbers.  This is especially useful if your design document has a lot of pages.

Functional Design

The functional design section should outline the overall build, including all components that will be utilized (e.g., Dynamics 365, Power Automate, Power BI, etc.) as well as a brief description of how those components relate to the build.  This section should also include a high-level overview of the intended end-to-end process of the solution being proposed.

Component Definitions

This section should list all of the terminology from the components listed in the functional design section, as well as the Dataverse tables being used (including their purpose) and specific Dataverse columns for each table related to the build.

Configurations

Configurations can encompass one or more sections in your design document depending on the solution(s) being proposed.  This section should outline the more technical configurations for each component of your build, including any model-driven or canvass apps being created, forms and views being configured, and all automations within the scope of the build.

Optional solution design document components

Depending on how large the build is or how many configurations are being made, additional sections may need to be included in the design document.  While optional, these sections can help make your design document look and feel more professional and complete, even if you are implementing a smaller solution.

Third-party Integrations

If your build includes and third-party integrations and/or migrations, they should be included in this section along with both a functional and technical explanation of how they will be implemented.

Security Considerations

If your build is going to include any custom security features (custom security groups, field-level security, etc.) they should be included in this section along with a description of each feature and how it will impact end-users.

Appendix

A good solution design document will contain an appendix that store figures and other content directly related to the build.  Third-party documentation that relates to the build should also be included in the appendix with a note outlining the date ("accurate as of ...") it was included in the design document.

For more information about our technology offerings, you can take a look at our Microsoft Dynamics 365 page, Microsoft Power Platform pageManaged IT Services page, Managed Cyber Security page or Microsoft Office 365 page.

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We love to implement Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform solutions here at Beringer.  We’ve been working with Microsoft Dynamics since its inception, and we’re always finding innovative ways to implement the latest tools and help automate business processes.

Beringer Technology Group, a leading Microsoft Certified Partner specializing in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and CRM for Distribution also provides expert Managed IT Services, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Cloud Based Computing, Email Security Implementation and Training, Unified Communication Solutions, and Cybersecurity Risk Assessment.