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Featured News


Dynamics 365 October ‘19 Release Plan

Dynamics 365 (online) delivers new capabilities and functionalities through two major updates a year in April and October. Release plans (formally release notes) will be published months prior to each major release update to help customers and partners plan for the new capabilities.

The October ’19 Release Plan for Dynamics 365 is now publicly available. This document provides updates on the new features that will be releasing from October 2019 to March 2020 for Dynamics. You can view the Release Plans for both Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform here.

In addition to the release notes, there are Dynamics 365 roadmaps to help customers and sellers understand the product direction.

Key Dates for the October ’19 Release

Milestone

Date

Description

Early Access Available

August 2, 2019

Validate the new features and capabilities that will be a part of the Oct ’19 Release.

General Availability

October 1, 2019

Production deployment for the Oct ‘19 release. Specific deployment dates for each country, region or instance will be communicated in advance.


Microsoft Opens Two Datacenters in the Middle East and Africa

For the first time, Microsoft cloud services are now being delivered from datacenters in the Middle East, with the general availability of two new cloud regions in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. They join the recently unveiled cloud regions in Johannesburg and Cape Town, bolstering Microsoft’s investment in digital transformation and economic growth across the Middle East and Africa (MEA).

As of June 2019, Azure and Office 365 are available from the new datacenters in the Middle East, forming part of a growing portfolio of integrated cloud infrastructure, platform, data, application and collaboration services. Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform, offering the next generation of intelligent business applications and tools, are anticipated to be available from the cloud regions in UAE by the end of 2019.

For more information review Microsoft opens two more datacentre regions in the Middle East and Africa, strengthening its cloud footprint in the region.


Dynamics 365 Premier Field Engineer Service Offerings

The Microsoft Premier Field Engineering team offers a catalog of proactive services that Premier Support customers can use to optimize their Microsoft IT environments and ensure highest value, lowest cost implementation and maintenance. The catalog consists of 3 key types of services:

  • Assessments: proactive monitoring services to pinpoint inefficiencies and risks
  • Education: exclusive IT staff education to increase their knowledge and productivity
  • Operations: guidance on design, development and deployment best practices

 A list of the Dynamics 365 Service Offerings can be found here on the Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement in the Field blog. These services are available to Premier Support customers. Contact your assigned Technical Account Manager (TAM), Premier Field Engineer (PFE), or Microsoft representative for more information.


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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 60 (9.1.0.6014 or higher) resolved issues include:

  • A product's sequence number in a bundle did not change when the sequence number of the bundle itself changed.
  • Dashboards could not be switched in Unified Client when a form was added to the App Module.
  • Contracts containing an email address stopped synchronizing when the email address was removed.
  • Appointment start times and end times could not be changed in Unified Client.

 Service Update 62 (9.1.0.6201 or higher) resolved issues include:

  • Existing email templates could not be edited
  • Entities that were exported to Excel possessed a GUID instead of a proper name.
  • No results displayed when conducting lookup searches for offline entities.
  • Authentication failed for mailboxes configured for users without user principal names.

 Service Update 64 (9.1.0.6407 or higher) resolved issues include:

  • When creating an activity (email, appointment, etc.) the main form loaded instead of the Quick Create form.
  • A custom URL used to direct users to a help page was not functioning in Unified Client.
  • Incoming emails were not auto-promoted to Dynamics 365.
  • An error occurred when opening or creating a rule item (Error: "This rule item can't be created here…")

 Service Update 66 (9.1.0.6604 or higher) resolved issues include:

  • Forms loaded with missing fields in the Edge v40 browser
  • The Recalculate button on a Rollup field in Unified Client did not function.
  • The App Name could not be changed through a translation file import.
  • A "Ribbon Xml Validation Error" occured when performing an advanced contact search.

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.

Service Update 0.5 (9.0.5.5) resolved issues include:

  • A field label was missing from the Route Queued Item window.
  • In Web Client, grey filled panels caused layout trashing when a subgrid was present
  • The Marketing list member count did not update when those members were added using Advanced Find.

Service Update 2.7 (8.2.7.13) resolved issues include:

  • A report would remain the same size and a large blank space appeared at the top of it when a window was resized.
  • Files attached to a meeting could not be downloaded.
  • In Unified Client, signatures did not display on emails when a change was made in the language dropdown.

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Dynamics 365 Customer Insights release for July 2019

The Dynamics 365 Customer Insights team is happy to announce the availability of the July release.

New Features Include:

  • Cloud Solution Provider program (CSP): Dynamics 365 Customer Insights is available for partners to resell through the CSP program.
  • Delegated Admin privileges (DAP): Delegated administration refers to the ability for a CSP partner to administer a customer tenant on behalf of the customer.
  • Admin on behalf of (AOBO): Admin-on-behalf-of is the functional execution of the delegated admin privilege.
  • Export to Azure Blob storage: The new Export Destinations tab allows customers to configure output destinations to Azure Blob storage and configure entities to export.
  • Measures results (preview): Customers can view all the information on their created measures right from the measures screen, and can easily download the data.

Voice of the Customer is deprecated

The Voice of the Customer solution was used to create and send surveys for collecting feedback. As of July 1, 2019, the Voice of the Customer solution is deprecated. Existing Dynamics 365 customers with a Voice of the Customer entitlement will maintain the ability to create and distribute new surveys and collect responses from live surveys for a period of 12 months, ending on July 1, 2020. Access to Voice of the Customer – including the ability to create new surveys and collect responses from live surveys – will be unavailable after July 1, 2020. However, existing survey data will continue to remain stored and available in Dynamics 365.

All customers who use Voice of the Customer are encouraged to transition to Microsoft Forms Pro, now generally available. Microsoft Forms Pro is a simple to use, yet robust enterprise-survey solution that integrates with Office 365, Dynamics 365, and the Power Platform. It’s built on Microsoft Forms for Office 365 with new, advanced survey capabilities to further support business survey solutions. Key features include point-and-click simplicity to create and send custom surveys, integration with business processes, and AI-assisted features that provide a deep-level of insights across transactional and behavioral data.

For more information, review Voice of the Customer deprecation, Capture and analyze feedback with Microsoft Forms Pro and Microsoft Forms Pro and Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (CE) – FAQs.


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Additional News


App for Outlook Update: Microsoft Edge WebView for Office Add-ins

Since the creation of the Office Add-ins framework, add-ins running in Office on Windows (including the App for Outlook) used a web viewer control that leveraged elements of Internet Explorer 11. While it was cutting edge at the time, web development standards have continued to evolve.

As announced at Build 2019, to improve support for web standards Microsoft is moving to an updated WebView control that is based on the current version of Edge. Beginning with Office 365 version 16.0.11629 (C2R) and Windows 10 version 1903, Office Add-ins running on Office 365 for Windows will use a Microsoft Edge WebView as the runtime. This includes Dynamics 365 App for Outlook.

For more information on the change and its enhancements, review this post on the Office 365 Developer blog.


New! Dynamics 365 Virtual Agent for Customer Service (Preview)

Microsoft is pleased to announce the Dynamics 365 Virtual Agent for Customer Service is in public preview. This is the latest Dynamics 365 AI-based end-to-end solution that enables organizations to easily transform customer service through the power of artificial intelligence.

Virtual Agent for Customer Service is built on top of the Microsoft Bot Framework. It enables customer service experts to easily create and enhance bots with AI-driven insights. With an easy to use no-code graphical designer, customer service agents can focus on building delightful user conversations that guide their customers to solutions. Integration into existing systems is managed out-of-the-box with Microsoft Flow and its ecosystem of connectors so the journey from signing up and creating a bot to deploying it is streamlined and hassle-free.

For more information on the Dynamics 365 Virtual Agent for Customer Service, review this article and watch this introduction video. Additional resource: Overview of Dynamics 365 Virtual Agent for Customer Service April '19 release.


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Training Corner


Watch on-demand sessions from the Microsoft Business Applications Summit 2019

Microsoft Business Applications Summit is the place for Dynamics 365, Power BI, PowerApps and Microsoft Flow users to connect, collaborate and learn. The 2019 Summit is over, but the event content is now available on demand for the community, giving you the opportunity to explore 200+ session recordings, download presentations, ask questions, and collaborate with the speakers and experts.

Get started by selecting one of four communities from the Product Category dropdown—Dynamics 365, PowerApps, Power BI, and Microsoft Flow—then browse or search for content that interests you. As a supplement to the event content, be sure to review the Dynamics 365 and Power Platform product roadmap.


Automatically validate Dynamics 365 Solutions

A number of customers have automated their build and release pipelines for Dynamics 365. Since announcing the general availability of Solution Checker, a frequent ask is for the ability to run checks outside of the user experience and in an automated manner. This is now possible with the new PowerApps Checker PowerShell module, now in preview. Using the module, customers can directly check solutions from their pipelines and receive a detailed report of issues. Teams can also validate their solutions locally by using the interactive login mode to access the checker service.

For more information, review Automatically validate your solutions using the PowerApps checker PowerShell Module on the Dynamics 365 blog.


Generate PDF quote documents from standardized templates

When a customer is ready for a formal proposal that contains the most current pricing information and product quantities, they are generally presented with a quote. Until now, a Salesperson using Dynamics 365 for Sales could generate quote documents only in Word format using Microsoft Office templates. They then would need convert the Word doc to PDF manually before sharing with customers. With PDF generation from quotes now generally available in Dynamics 365, Salespeople can quickly create PDF quote documents based on standard templates to share with customers.

For details on how to generate a pdf quote, review this post on the Dynamics 365 blog.


Updates to Dynamics 365 Backup and Restore

Protecting Customer Engagement data and providing continuous availability of service is important. To support this, customers have multiple options for backing up and restoring their Customer Engagement instances:

·         Daily system backups happen automatically and are available for 3 days.

·         Customers can take on-demand backups. These are retained for up to 28 days.

Backups can only be restored to Sandbox instances so production instances would first need to be converted to a Sandbox instance.

Note: Obtaining a copy of a database backup is not available. For customers who want to move online data to a Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement on-premise instance, this would require a data migration.

For more information on database backup and restores, review this article on the Microsoft Docs site.


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