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Featured News


Upcoming Events | Microsoft Business Applications Summit | Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Sign up and explore the full line-up of learning sessions, featured speakers, Q&A sessions, and networking opportunities.

The packed line-up will stream to you live and on-demand, at no cost, on Tuesday, May 4, 2021, starting at 7:30 AM Pacific Time.

Register now for Microsoft Business Applications Summit

Why attend Microsoft Business Applications Summit?

Explore the tech that will move your business forward.

Fine-tune your skills and Learn and explore many of the new capabilities across Microsoft Power Platform.

Connect with the community.

Check out more details on what to expect at the event here.

Sessions will include and much more:

Opening key segments with James Phillips and Alysa Taylor

James Phillips, President, Digital Transformation Platform, and Alysa Taylor, Corporate Vice President, Business Applications and Global Industry Marketing.

Learn how Power Platform governance and security capabilities can help you strike the proper balance between faster solution delivery and safeguarding company data.

Microsoft Power BI vision, roadmap, and special announcement


Microsoft  Power Platform and Dynamics 365 2021 Release Wave 1 | Highlights New capabilities

Get an in-depth look at the new features and capabilities in the 2021 release wave 1 for Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform

Now that 2021 Release Wave 1 has started rolling out to Production instances, review the highlights of the 2021 Release Wave 1:

Power Platform 2021 release wave 1  | Security and new Enhanced Governance for administration capabilities

  • Enhanced manageability and governance capabilities for IT pros to enable fine-grained Data Loss Prevention, tenant isolation, ability to control data access at connector action level, custom connector enhancements, and data exfiltration controls.
  • New security capabilities in Power BI to help secure and govern your date in the Microsoft Cloud.

Power Platform 2021 release wave 1  | UX improvements

Power Platform 2021 release wave 1  | AI capabilities

Power Platform 2021 release wave 1  | Legacy Applications Automation & Task Automation

Power Platform 2021 release wave 1  |  New open-source language based on Excel

  • Power Fx: an open-source low code language for everyone based on Microsoft Excel for expressing logic in low code.

Power Platform 2021 release wave 1  |  Overview of capabilities and release wave 1 plan


Dynamics 365 | Highlights from 2021 release wave 1

Dynamics 365 |  Overview of capabilities and release wave 1 plan


Customer Insights | Highlights | Microsoft customer data platform (CDP)

  • Microsoft customer data platform (CDP) connects data sources to gain the most comprehensive view of the customer, providing real-time insights that drive action in moments that matter.
    • Audience insights enable every organization to unify and understand their customer data to harness it for intelligent insights and actions.
    • Engagement insights enable individual and holistic interactive analytics over web, mobile, and connected products customer journey touchpoints.

Dynamics 365 Customer Voice | Highlights |

  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Voice empowers organizations to easily scale feedback capture for agile responses and personalized customer experiences, all in a robust feedback management solution.

Explore Dynamics 365 and Power Platform product roadmap


Dynamics 365 Sales | Digital Selling | Intelligence and collaboration convergence

The combination of Microsoft Teams, LinkedIn, and Microsoft Dynamics 365 generates insights directly into Dynamics 365 mobile and desktop workflow.

As part of release wave 1, updates for Dynamics 365 Sales showcase:

  • The best of Microsoft productivity, collaboration, and intelligence in one business app—with the sole purpose of guiding sellers to close deals faster.
  • Intuitive user interfaces is showcased through a streamlined pipeline manager workspace with data visualizations that keep sellers on top of their key metrics.

Keep sellers closing deals with an integrated workflow

  • A complete digital selling solution with Microsoft Teams in Dynamics 365 Sales
  • LinkedIn Sales Insights in Dynamics 365
  • Optimized opportunity management with pipeline manager
  • Automating sales tasks

Level up sellers with intelligence across the deal cycle

  • Conversational intelligence
  • Pipeline telemetry

Activate a mobile safety net for successful customer engagements

  • Meeting preparation card: The new Dynamics 365 Sales native mobile app provides sellers with relationship and logistics data sourced from LinkedIn, Microsoft Outlook, and Dynamics 365 Sales.
  • Conversation transcripts with follow-up actions

Personalize your customer outreach for a seamless brand experience

  • Enhanced Dynamics 365 Customer Voice surveys with customized scoring matrices

For detailed information about the features listed above, check out this page on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Blog.

For additional information:


Dynamics 365 | Model-driven Apps | Search Quick Actions are now customizable

  • We are excited to share the next evolution and an important facet of quick actions: the ability to customize and extend them in ways that is appropriate for your processes.

For more information, read this page on Microsoft Dynamics 365 blog.


Dynamics 365 | Model-driven Apps |

Improve data density with High-Density Headers in model-driven apps.

  • In this section you can see how to improve the overall productivity of your forms by moving from the “low-density” header to a high-density header in a model-driven app.
  • The high-density headers can really help users understand the data they are working with on a model-driven form.
  • This is important because the fields in the header represent the most important information a user needs to see to help them understand what information is on a form and what data a user will be working with.

IMPORTANT CHANGES – Removing low-density headers.

  • It is also very important to know that low-density headers will be deprecated in October 2021 with Release Wave 2.
  • What that means is if you have not moved to a high-density header, with or without flyout, the platform will automatically change this at runtime. 
  • To ensure data entry is still available the runtime will set all low-density headers to high-density with flyout.

We are making this change because:

  • Most makers building model-driven apps have moved away from low-density headers and usage is very low.
  • Low-density headers don’t promote a highly dense experience and require users to always use the chevron for all fields across view-port sizes (small to very-wide). Data becomes hidden and requires extra clicks to interact with information on the header.
  • Moving away from low-density forms will really improve the usability and the data density of your form and will move you down the path of creating and building highly productive forms.

For more information, read this page on Microsoft Dynamics 365 blog.


Power Apps | Mixed Reality Components | General Availability

  • We are announcing the general availability of mixed reality (MR) features in Power Apps, which include the View in 3D, View in MR, View Shape in MR, and Measure in MR components.
  • With hundreds of millions of MR-capable mobile devices in the hands of business users, every maker will be able to leverage the power of mixed reality to digitize workflows in physical space in new and innovative ways.
    • Communicate better with 3D models and images
    • Take measurements
    • Validate fit before work begins

For more information, read this page on Power Apps blog.


Power Apps | CoE Starter Kit in Dataverse for Teams (and other improvements)

  • In 2019, we launched the Center of Excellence (CoE) Starter Kit – a set of templates that are designed to help you get started with developing a strategy for adopting, maintaining and supporting the Power Platform, with a focus on Power Apps and Power Automate. In the past two years we’ve continued to evolve and innovate as we continue to learn from our customers –
  • We are announcing that the CoE Starter Kit can now be installed in Dataverse for Teams environments.
  • You can now make the Admin, Governance and Nurture templates in the kit a core part of your collaboration with admins, makers and end users in Teams.

Read this page on Power Apps blog for full details.


Power Apps | Pro Dev | Announcing Data source Environment variables

  • We are announcing a vast new set of capabilities that provide enterprise grade application lifecycle management for the data sources that canvas apps and cloud flows connect to.
  • Environment variables are now natively built into authoring experiences across canvas apps and cloud flows as well as solution authoring and solution import experiences.
  • We’ve also added several new and enhanced API’s to simplify working with environment variables in code and within automated ALM pipelines.

Why data source environment variables?

  • Environment variables have been a powerful tool for a variety of ALM scenarios as they allow you to externalize input parameters from the components that use them.
  • They’re now much simpler to work with and can store parameters required to connect to data
  • This allows you to change the data sources (as well as other types of parameters) when migrating solutions to other environments.

For more details, check this page on Microsoft Power Apps blog.


D365 Online | Deprecations | Most recent deprecations with deadlines in 2021

April 2021 deprecations and retired/unsupported features

Dynamics 365 Gamification is deprecated

  • Effective April 1, 2021, Dynamics 365 – Gamification is deprecated.
  • Until September 30, 2021, Microsoft will continue to provide support for the product but won’t release any additional functionality beyond what’s already present.
  • From October 1, 2021, the Dynamics 365 – Gamification solution won’t be functional.
  • Learn more about removing the solution, see Uninstall Dynamics 365 - Gamification.

More information: HERE

Dynamics 365 Home is deprecated

  • After April 1, 2021, users navigating to https://home.dynamics.com will automatically be redirected to https://www.office.com/apps with a business application filter applied.
  • Dynamics 365 Home users will see notification about the new location and recommendation to change browser bookmarks starting October 1, 2020.

Deprecation of Office365 authentication type and OrganizationServiceProxy class for connecting to Dataverse

June 2021 deprecations and retired/unsupported features

App Source: Deprecation of Attachment Management Add-on for Dynamics 365 using Azure Blob storage

By June 2021, this solution will deprecate from App Source.

  • Recommended to move Default Dataverse File storage by providing Consent in Blob storage settings page for the existing Users of this solution.
  • Once the Consent accepted by the Customer then all the solution related Create/Update Plug ins will be disabled and start move all the new notes/activity mime attachments to default file storage.
  • Product team will start migrating the old attachments to Default File storage in back end.
  • Additional details are available here.
  • Refer to the document for next steps.

July 2021 deprecations and retired/unsupported features

Skype for Business Online retirement

  • Effective July 2019, Skype integration feature with customer engagement apps has been deprecated and will no longer be supported after July 31 2021.
  • This is because Skype will be retired on July 31, 2021; more information: Skype for Business Online retirement - Microsoft Teams

August 2021 deprecations and retired/unsupported features

IE 11 support for Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform is deprecated

  • After August 2021, Internet Explorer 11 won't be supported for such Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform products. We recommend that customers transition to Microsoft Edge.
  • This will impact customers who use Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform products that are designed to be used through an Internet Explorer 11 interface.
  • For the complete list of products impacted by this change and transitioning from Internet Explorer 11 to a supported browser, see:

FAQ: Internet Explorer 11 deprecation for Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform Products.

October 2021 deprecations and retired/unsupported features

Low-density headers in model-driven apps won't be supported with the 2021 release wave 2

  • With the upcoming 2021 release wave 2 (public preview in August 2021 and GA in October 2021), the low-density header option, and runtime experience won't be supported in model-driven app forms.
  • Refer to the Microsoft docs to understand Why is it needed and Action required.

Form footers in model-driven app won't be supported with the 2021 release wave 2

  • With the upcoming 2021 release wave 2 (public preview in August 2021 and GA in October 2021), form footers won't be supported in a model-driven app form.
  • Refer to the Microsoft docs to understand Why is it needed and Action required.

April 2022 deprecations and retired/unsupported features

Some client APIs are deprecated

  • Deprecated Client API: ClientGlobalContext.js.aspx
  • Replacement Client API: None
  • Comments:
    • The ClientGlobalContext.js.aspx page is deprecated and scheduled to be unavailable after April 1, 2022.
    • Alternative methods to access global context information will be available by December, 2021.

More information HERE

Reminder | For the full list on deprecation check out the Important changes (deprecations) coming in Power Apps, Power Automate, and model-driven apps in Dynamics 365 page on Microsoft docs.

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Updates & Releases


Manage Updates | General availability deployment

Read:

General Availability deployment

Dynamics 365 release schedule

  • Check out Dynamics 365 and Power Platform Release Plans to learn more about new features to be released in the release waves.
  • After a release wave is generally available, all environments will be automatically turned on to receive mandatory updates which will enable the early access features and the general available features of a release.
  • Tips: Stay Informed with Message Center notifications for Dynamics and PowerApps HERE

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Online Release

For the latest Microsoft Dynamics 365 release notes, visit Released Versions of Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement

Note:

  • The Service Updates for Dynamics 365 online version 9.1 are now available in some regions and coming soon to others.
  • To determine which version your organization has applied, check your Microsoft Dynamics 365 Online version number.
  • Click the gear icon in the upper-right corner, then click About.

Important Note:

Following Service Update 270, we are updating the version numbering format from 9.1.0.xxxxx to 9.2.xxxxx.xxx.

We are making this change to better differentiate the version numbering for each deployed version.

Service Update numbering will now reflect the third numerical group within the version number.

For example, version 9.2.20122.xxx will correspond to "Service Update 20122"

Latest service Update:


Microsoft Dynamics 365 On-premises Updates

For the latest Service Updates for Dynamics 365 on-premise version 8.2 and 9.0, visit Service Updates

Cumulative updates available for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 9.0


Portal Version Updates for Microsoft Dynamics 365

A portal consists of the following components Portal Solutions and Portal website Host.

Portal Website Host and Portal Solution: Update Information

  • Portal Website Host are updated automatically to the latest versions. Typically on a Monthly basis.
  • Portal Solutions are updated by customers.
    • If Portal Solution requires Update, those will be specified and required customer action to do so in Power platform Admin Center.  For details, check out instructions on Update the Power Apps Portals Solution on Microsoft docs.
    • We recommend that you update Solution packages during off-peak hours.
    • Solutions in a package are upgraded for an environment. Hence, the selected package will be upgraded for all portals in the environment using the package.

Portals Version Updates:

  • Power Apps portal version 9.3.4.x is in Early Upgrade phase.
  • Check the updates included with version 9.3.4.x here.

Portal Capabilities for Microsoft Dynamics 365 | Release Updates | Preview features

This is the Release updates page where you can learn about the new features that have recently released and new features that will be releasing over the next few months on Power Apps Portal.

2021 Release Wave 1 | Check out what’s new and planned for Power Apps Portals in 2021 Release Wave1 Plan

This Release includes:

Get notified about new releases

  • To know the release schedule for your specific Portal, check the Office 365 message center (on Microsoft 365 Admin center) for message related to Power Apps Portals release notification which will include the Portal URL and Date.
  • Notifications are sent around 2-5 business days ahead of the release.
  • Each notification provides details of the type of update and the date/time it will be rolled out along with the link to release notes.
  • You might receive more than one O365 message center notification in case you have different regions.

Test Updates Early

  • To test these Updates Early, Opt-in your test or development Portal instance into the Early Upgrade for Portals.
  • Early upgrades are rolled out at least one week before the global rollout of any release.
  • Tips: As you cannot opt-in in the same month, consider your opt-in ahead.

Terminology changes in Power Apps portals

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Additional Information


Power Automate | Approvals in Microsoft Teams updates with more features

Approvals in Microsoft Teams enables everyone, from frontline workers to corporate headquarters employees, to easily create, manage, and share approvals directly from your hub for teamwork.

We’ve been listening to your feedback and have added lots more capabilities to make creating, managing, and sharing Approvals even easier!

  • Create an Approval template for your organization
  • Create an Approval Request from a Template
  • New attachment capabilities
  • Markdown support

Get the most out of approvals in Microsoft Teams using these resources: Training videos and check this page on Power Automate blog.


Power Automate | Announcing changes to Power Automate’s native integration with Microsoft Dataverse

  • Last year we announced Microsoft Dataverse for Teams to reshape the future of work, along with a set of low-code tools to build apps, bots and automated processes.
  • We are now making a series of naming, branding and discovery improvements to the Common Data Service connectors to help you seamlessly bring together the power of Microsoft Dataverse, Power Automate, Power Apps, Power Virtual Agents and the rest of Microsoft 365 and more.
  • The Common Data Service (current environment) connector, featuring a native integration between Power Automate and Dataverse, will now be known as Microsoft Dataverse.
  • Names of triggers and actions, and their options and descriptions will be updated to match the revised terminology.

Learn more on this page from Power Automate blog.


Power Automate | Desktop flow queues now generally available

  • Desktop flow queues enable you to easily scale your RPA solutions across one or multiple machines in your business.
  • With priority management and sophisticated workload distribution and balancing, Power Automate provides the tools you need to scale your desktop flows and monitor them all in one centralized location.

Check this page on Microsoft Power Apps for more details.


Power Platform Adoption | Best Practices |

Power CAT Adoption Maturity Model: Repeatable patterns for successful Power Platform adoption

  • The Power CAT team (Customer Advisory Team) is a team of solution architects within Microsoft Power Platform engineering focused on helping customers accelerate their Microsoft Power Platform adoption.
  • In collaboration with some of our most successful customers, we have identified consistent themes, patterns, practices and behaviors that underpin the progress of successful organizations as they implement comprehensive digital transformation with Power Platform. The result of this work is the Power CAT Adoption Maturity Model.

Learn more on these updates on this page of Power Automate blog.


Power Automate | Power Automate Desktop April 2021 Update

The April 2021 update of Power Automate Desktop has been released!

New features and updates have been added, it includes:

  • Refresh button is available in console
  • Save as new flow functionality is available in the flow designer
  • The action copying mechanism has been improved
  • Desktop recorder now supports image-based recording
  • Improved interaction with Java-based apps and applets
  • Learn more about the April 2021 Update here on Power Automate blog.

Learn more about Power Automate Desktop in our documentation

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Learning and Training Corner


Features enabled in 2021 Release Wave 1 | Dynamics 365 & Power Platform

  • Check the list of Power Apps 2021 Release Wave 1, Automatically-enabled and Admin-enabled features here.
  • Check the list of Power Apps Portals 2021 Release Wave 1, Automatically-enabled and Admin-enabled features here.
  • Check the list of Power Automate 2021 Release Wave 1, Automatically-enabled and Admin-enabled features here.
  • Check the list of Dynamics 365 Sales 2021 Release Wave 1, Automatically-enabled and Admin-enabled features here.
  • Check the list of Dynamics 365 Field Service 2021 Release Wave 1, Automatically-enabled and Admin-enabled features here.
  • Check the list of Dynamics 365 Customer Service 2021 Release Wave 1, Automatically-enabled and Admin-enabled features here.

Power Apps Portal | Table permissions using Portals Studio | Preview feature

REMINDER on Power Apps Portal Portal Security

  • In this article, you'll learn about configuring the table permissions using Power Apps portals Studio.
    • This is a preview feature.
    • Preview features aren’t meant for production use and may have restricted functionality.
  • Tutorial: Configure table permissions using portals Studio

Power Apps Portal | Portal Studio or Portal Management

When editing a Power Apps portal, there are a couple of different interfaces that one will work with.

One recurring question, is when to use the Portal Studio versus when to use Portal Management.

  • The Portal Studio is a no-code, WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) designer that allows makers to create and manage website content.
    • This is new as of late 2019 and allows makers to see their edits immediately in a Preview format.
    • The intended audience for Portal Studio is the Citizen Developer, front-end designer, and functional consultant/user. That said, developers can expand the code panel to work directly with the source (HTML/CSS/Liquid).
  • The Portal Management is a model-driven app that is deployed when the Power Apps portal is provisioned, and is the original interface for portals customizations.
    • The intended audience for Portal Management are Dynamics 365 advanced configurators, developers, and administrators.

Learn more about this, on this page on Dynamics 365 Community.


Dynamics 365 | Disable Smart Matching EmailHashBase table population for Dataverse

  • For anyone that has been using Server-Side Synchronization and automatic email correlation, you may be familiar with the term Smart Matching.
  • Smart Matching is a legacy email correlation method from as far back as CRM 4.0.
  • Now, there are newer methods of Email Correlation that use an Exchange item's ConversationIndex to correlate that email to an existing thread. This does not require Smart Matching or Tracking Tokens.
  • Read this article to understand and intentionally determine your usage of SmartMatching.

Learn more here  about SmartMatching to drive Smart Matching usage intent or not for your environments and how to disable it efficiently.


Power Platform | Monitoring the Power Platform: Dataverse - Continuous Monitoring with Availability Tests

  • Continuous monitoring allows enterprises the opportunity to ensure reliable performant services are immediately available to its users.
  • Platforms need to be able to keep up with demand in such a way that its seamless to a user.
  • Systems that become unreliable or unusable are quickly disregarded or abandoned. One sure fire way to ensure uses won't use a service is if the service is unavailable. To account for this, enterprises looks to service level agreements and business continuity strategies. Part of this strategy includes testing for availability.

Learn more about the Application Insights Availability Tests on this page of Dynamics 365 Community.


Podcast

EP18: May 2021 Monthly Update

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