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Featured News

Dynamics 365: Web Client Migration to UCI

The web client migrations to UCI are about to be scheduled. 

There will be some scheduled for December 2019, and significantly ramping up in early 2020.

To help support team this transition, a RunOne App has been created, and this can be found here

Found below the procedure to gain access to the portal and see the date assigned for auto-transition:

  • Visit https://runone.powerappsportals.com.
  • Sign in with the admin credentials of the tenant you want to manage.
  • Select My Environments, and review all environments that have a target date assigned.

Visit this page for FAQs on Unified Interface Transition process.

Public Preview of Custom Help Panes (formerly Learning Path) for Unified Interface

We recently announced the public preview of Custom Help Panes for Unified Interface available with version

  • Use custom help panes and guided tasks to give your Unified Interface application a custom in-product help experience that is tailored to your organization.
  • Use custom help panes to provide entity, form, and language specific help and guidance that includes rich text, content links, images, and video links.
  • Custom help panes replace the previous learning path guided learning feature used with legacy web client apps.

Custom help panes provide the following key features that are not available with learning path:

  • Free-form rich text – including bullets and numbering.
  • Visibly linked coach marks and help balloons.
  • More options for video sources – including private sources.
  • Storage of help content in the Common Data Service as part of your solution.

Custom help panes don’t provide the following key features that are available with learning path:

  • Sequential help balloons.
  • Help pages per role.
  • Help pages for per device form factor, such as smartphones.

For more details, check the PowerApps Community blog.

Microsoft Ignite 2019 Session Recap: Microsoft Power Platform enhancements

Learn more of the major updates to the Microsoft Power Platform that unlock new possibilities introduced at Microsoft Ignite 2019 from these sources:

  • Review this page on Power Apps blog for sessions recap.
  • There is also an option to watch on the sessions catalog all sessions on-demand from Microsoft Ignite for a deep dive into the new Power Platform capabilities.
  • Browse the release notes on the Power Platform release plan for all new features releasing from October 2019 through March 2020.

Product Updates - October Updates for Microsoft Flow (Power Automate)

Several updates in the month of October and November 2019 have come:

· The new Power Automate name for Microsoft Flow

· The new UI flows feature, bringing Robotic Process Automation (RPA) into the platform.

There are several other updates in the month of October that we would like to share including:

  • Building a Parent and Child Flow to automatically handles processes in Power Automate that need dozens or hundreds of steps.
  • Trigger flows based on your location.
  • Twenty-eight new connectors and more connector improvements.
  • You can now create flows in the France region and the Power Automate US Government – GCC High environment, which provides compliance with US government requirements for cloud services (find more information at Power Automate US Government).

Learn more about each one of these updates for Microsoft Flow on this page on Power Automate blog.

Introducing Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in Power Automate with the new UI Flows capability (Preview)

One of the biggest challenges’ organizations face is scaling and automating business processes—from digitizing pen and paper processes, to automating complex processes that span legacy and modern applications.

Robotic process automation (RPA) has rapidly become a key technology to address many of these scenarios but generally requires a patchwork of automation services that need integration and management before the real work can get done.

Today, we are announcing more major features and updates to the Microsoft Power Platform that unlock new capabilities in the Robotic Process Automation in Power Automate with the new UI Flows. 

These new features include:

  • Microsoft Flow is being renamed to Microsoft Power Automate, to better align with the Microsoft Power Platform.
  • Robotic process automation (RPA) has been added to Microsoft Power Automate, delivering an end-to-end automation solution that spans AI, APIs, and UI on the Microsoft Power Platform.
  • UI Flows (Preview) is the new RPA capability in Power Automate. Creating a UI flow is a simple and familiar point-and-click, low-code experience that makes it easy for users to turn manual tasks into automated workflows by recording and playing back human-driven interaction with software systems that don’t support API automation.

Take a closer look at UI flows in Power Automate  and sign up today for the UI flows preview.

Power Virtual Agents: Enable anyone to build a no-code/low-code virtual agent (Preview)

Microsoft Power Virtual Agents is a no-code/low-code offering that allows anyone to create and deploy intelligent AI-powered virtual agents.

As introduced in our last newsletter:

  • Microsoft Power Virtual Agents (formerly Dynamics 365 Virtual Agent for Customer Service), now in preview, enables subject matter experts in your organization – such as customer service, sales, marketing, finance, or HR – to easily create virtual agents using a guided, no-code/low-code point-and-click graphical interface without the need for data scientists or developers.
  • Customer service questions and other types of external or internal inquiries at an organization can be serviced by a virtual agent, freeing up staff to focus on more complex tasks.

Learn more about Power Virtual Agents here from Microsoft docs website and sign up for the preview.

Introducing Power BI data protection, a Power BI security enhancements to help protect data wherever it’s accessed.

We are announcing brand new capabilities in Power BI data protection.

As customers empower every employee with Power BI, it is critical for them to ensure that they better protect their data no matter where it is accessed. These enhancements take advantage of Microsoft world-class security capabilities, enabling organizations to:

  • Classify and label sensitive Power BI data using the same familiar Microsoft Information Protection sensitivity labels used in Office.
  • Enforce governance policies even when Power BI content is exported to Excel, PowerPoint, or PDF, to help ensure data is protected even when it leaves Power BI.
  • Monitor and protect user activity on sensitive data in real time with alerts, session monitoring, and risk remediation using Microsoft Cloud App Security.
  • Empower security administrators who use data protection reports and security investigation capabilities with Microsoft Cloud App Security to enhance organizational oversight.
  • Now in preview, these capabilities engage when Power BI is paired with Microsoft Information Protection and Microsoft Cloud App Security.

Read more about all of these Power BI security enhancements and to learn how to gain invaluable insights while keeping sensitive data more secure here from Dynamics 365 blog.

Microsoft Power Platform and Microsoft Teams Integration

Bringing Power Platform applications to Teams means users’ dashboards, apps, and automations are available within Teams, so they are easier to find, share, and use on an everyday basis.

The conversational nature of Teams enhances how users interact with Power Platform applications.

  • Power Apps creators can now publish their apps directly to their company’s app library in Teams, making them more discoverable to users and improving the experience of adding these apps to Teams.
  • New triggers and actions for Power Automate  ( formerly Microsoft Flow) are now available within Teams. These capabilities streamline the completion of common team and personal tasks, such as scheduling focus time and automating document approvals.
  • New features coming to Power BI in 2020 include the ability to create rich adaptive cards in Teams conversations, which help users see and act on their data.

Learn more about the enhanced Power Platform integration within Teams here on Microsoft Teams blog.

A new set of prebuilt models for AI Builder

AI Builder AI Builder is a new low-code Power Platform capability to easily automate processes, predict outcomes, and improve business performance bringing the power of Microsoft AI to a simple point-and-click experience.

For business users, having prebuilt AI models means they don’t have to gather data, build, or train their models.

We are introducing a new set of prebuilt AI models for the Power Platform.

Now available in preview, these prebuilt scenarios include:

  • Key phrase extraction— identifies the main talking points from your text
  • Language detection—identifies the predominant language from your text
  • Text recognition—extracts embedded, printed, and handwritten text from images into machine-readable character streams
  • Sentiment analysis—detects positive, negative, neutral, or mixed sentiment in social media, customer reviews, or any text data

Learn more about the new prebuilt scenarios on Power Apps blog

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Updates & Releases

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Online Release

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.

Service Update 114 ( or higher) resolved issues including:

  • When navigating home, dashboards sometimes did not display until the Home button was selected or the app was reinstalled.
  • A horizontal scrollbar appeared on some dialog windows.

Service Update 111 ( or higher) resolved issues including:

  • An expired key error occurred when creating an appointment or account.
  • The App Module icon did not display in offline mode.

Service Update 109 ( or higher) resolved issues including:

  • Intermittently, duplicate contacts were created.
  • Some records added to a subgrid were not visible.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 On-premise Updates

The Service Updates for Dynamics 365 on-premise version 8.2 and 9.0 are now available in some regions and coming soon to others. These cumulative update rollups include all the hotfixes that were released for limited distribution.

Cumulative updates available for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 9.0

Service Update 0.10 ( resolved issues including:

  • The command ribbon did not display on the Discount List form.
  • After adding the same user twice in the Sales Team subgrid, a duplicate detection error did not appear.

Service Update 0.9 ( resolved issues including:

  • The wrong organization's data was returned when performing a RetrieveMultiple.
  • Account records could not be merged when the Address entity was present in an associated view.

Cumulative updates available for Microsoft Dynamics 365 8.2

Service Update 8.2.12 (8.2.12) resolved issues including:

  • SLA was not calculated correctly when the start date and a holiday fell on the same day of the week and the SLA's duration was longer than one week.*
  • After setting up an async workflow to create an email when an account is created, and then creating an account, the body of the email that was generated was empty.*

Service Update 8.2.11 (8.2.11) resolved issues including:

  • When performing a RetrieveMultiple response, the organization context switched intermittently, and the wrong organization's data was retrieved.

Portal Capabilities for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Releases

Version Check and Upgrade Information

  • To determine the version of a particular portal deployment, please reference to this KB #3166126.
  • For instructions on how to upgrade the solutions within Dynamics 365 when a newer version is available, please reference to this KB #3192042.

Latest Portal Capabilities Update

  • The Latest Portal capabilities Power Apps Portals Version (December 2019) for Microsoft Dynamics 365 is in early upgrade phase.
  • This release includes only an updated portal host and no solution package updates.
  • The portal host will automatically be updated by Microsoft.
  • For a full list of all portal updates released to date and their corresponding KB articles, please reference this KB article.

The latest Portal host Version resolves the following issues and more:

  • If the duration field on the form has a custom value, it shows as blank in portal entity form.
  • Autocomplete attribute is missing on email fields on Portal forms.
  • Clicking on validation error message for Date Time field does not redirect to that field.

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Additional Information

Power Apps: Exporting CDS data to Azure Data Lake in Preview.

  • The recently introduced Export to data lake service enables continuous replication of Common Data Service entity data to Azure Data Lake Gen 2 which can then be used to run analytics such as Power BI reporting, Machine Learning, Data Warehousing and other downstream integration purposes.
  • Within a few clicks, customers will be able to link their Common Data Service environment to a data lake in their Azure subscription, select standard or customer entities and export it to data lake. All data or metadata changes (initial and incremental) in the Common Data Service are automatically pushed to the Azure data lake gen 2 without any additional actions.

For more information about the export to data lake service, see this page on Power Apps Blog.

Power Apps: Environment variables available in Preview.

  • Applications and Flows often require different configuration settings across environments.

We are introducing the ability to transport your application configuration data from one environment to another with solutions!

Historically, configuration data was stored in custom entities as record data and required various tools such as the configuration migration utility to migrate.

  • Environment variables offer a streamlined way to transport key-value pairs in a solution.

Because they’re solution components, they can be managed in source control along with your other customizations. As an added benefit, performance is much better than using data import.

For more details, see this page on PowerApps blog.

Dynamics 365 Customer Service- New digital messaging offer enhances omnichannel features.

Omnichannel for Customer Service is a configurable, high-productivity interface that extends the power of Dynamics 365 Customer Service. It provides contextual customer identification, real-time notifications, integrated communications, and agent productivity tools, including knowledgebase integration, search, and case creation.

  • With the new digital messaging offering, you are able to further empower contact centers to provide seamless, more personalized customer service across a wide range of channels.
  • Combining a variety of digital add-ons into one end-to-end offering, digital messaging expands the options for how your agents engage customers, including:
    • Chat for Dynamics 365 Customer Service
    • SMS
    • Microsoft Bot Framework integration
    • Facebook Messenger (in preview).

Additional capabilities are coming to Dynamics 365 Customer Service over the next few months:

  • Agent-facing bots that can help agents resolve issues faster by providing quick responses based on conversation context, knowledge article suggestions to share, or suggestions on the next best action the agent can take to resolve the issue.
  • Skills-based routing will ensure conversations are routed to the best-fit agent available, based on a specific agent’s area of expertise. This ensures the right agent with the right skills is quickly resolving customer issues.
  • Macros will enable agents to automate routine responses or repetitive tasks with a single click, such as updating a field, sending acknowledgment emails or performing session wrap-up activities.
  • Agent scripts will help agents accelerate issue resolution, ensure regulatory compliance, and deliver a consistent customer experience. Organizations can create scripts to provide step-by-step guidance to agents and then automate the steps based on session type.
  • Unified entity routing and auto-assignment enables customers who have implemented custom entities to route and automatically assign those activities to agents.

For more details see this page on Dynamics 365 blog.

Canvas App: Easily search, drag and drop from the new canvas insert pane

The new canvas insert pane is the new way to add components to your app.

You can find it by selecting the plus icon in the sidebar. The improvements include:

  • A search button is added to help you find and discover components.
  • No more hunting through menus, just type and search for what you are looking for.
  • We have introduced categories to the insert pane to help group similar components.
  • The insert pane has a Popular category that includes the components that are most used in apps.
  • You can now drag your components into the canvas from the insert pane. Part of the benefit of the drag and drop is the ability to drop the components inside galleries or data cards.

For more information see this page on PowerApps blog.

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Training Corner

Auto-activate Power Automate Flows during Solution import

Since initial release, solution-awareness for the Flow has been enhanced to improve Application Lifecycle Management of Flows using CDS.

This ALM improvement partially addresses a common concern from using Flow.

The concern:Each Flow needs wiring-up connections for trigger(s) and action(s) while importing in target environments”.

Here is the take from experts in the field:

  • Flow can include connectors interacting with external systems. Re-wiring connector is environment owners’ authorization for allowing data streams "from" and/or "to" the external system(s).
  • The ALM of solution-aware Flow mentioned earlier improves the way solution-aware Flow work.

Flows that use Common Data Service (current environment) connector can be automatically activated after you import a Solution into an environment.

Read this post on Dynamics 365 Community to learn more from experts on the field perspective.

Test Automation and Easy Repro

EasyRepro is a framework that allow automated UI tests to be performed on a specific Dynamics 365 organization.

You can use it to automate testing such as Smoke, Regression, Load, etc.

The framework is built from the Open Source Selenium web drivers used by the industry across a wide range of projects and applications. The entire EasyRepro framework is Open Source and available on GitHub.

The purpose of this series of article is to walk through the setup of the EasyRepro framework and deep dive into the larger scope of Easy Repro. It includes:

Default Solution – PowerApps Checker

With the solution checker feature, you can perform a rich static analysis check on your solutions against a set of best practice rules and quickly identify these problematic patterns.

  • It is recommended to avoid using the default solution in the PowerApps checker
  • While it may work for some customers, it is not something we recommend or support. 
  • More information about the PowerApps solution checker can be found here

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