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Featured News


Dynamics 365 and Power Platform | 2020 release wave 2 timeline

  • We deliver new capabilities in two six-month release waves. Each release wave comprises hundreds of new and updated capabilities for products across Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform.
  • Stay up to date on Dynamics 365 and Power Platform product updates for the latest release wave details.
  • To help plan for the next release wave, we are announcing the key dates for the second release wave of updates planned for 2020, starting October 2020.

We encourage our customers and partners to reference these dates to plan and prepare for the upcoming release wave with confidence.

  • July 8, 2020: Release plans available
    • Learn about the new upcoming capabilities for Dynamics 365 and Power Platform
  • August 3, 2020: Early access available
    • Try the new features and capabilities that will be part of the October update of the 2020 release wave 2 before they are enabled automatically.
  • October 1, 2020: General availability
    • This is when the production deployment for the 2020 release wave 2 begins. Regional deployments will commence October 2, 2020.

For more details, see this page from Microsoft Dynamics 365 blog.


Dynamic 365 Sales bot is deprecated

  • Effective June 2, 2020, the Dynamics 365 Sales bot, a feature that enables users to retrieve sales information through a bot within Dynamics 365 Sales app for Teams will be deprecated.
  • Until July 31, 2020, Microsoft will continue to provide support for the feature, but won't release any additional functionality beyond what is already present.
  • After July 31, 2020, you will no longer be able to receive responses to conversations. The bot won’t be available for new customers; existing customers may still be able to access the bot from the Chat, however the bot will not respond to questions.

It is our goal to deliver a powerful bot experience that allows users to retrieve and manage information. Based on usage data and feedback from our customers, we will be working on a powerful, extensible set of capabilities and features that will allow you to intuitively access and interact with sales information—among other entities—through a bot interface.

  • We will keep you updated on timing for when this will be available.

For more details, see this page on Microsoft docs


Reminder: Making the move to Dynamics 365 App for Outlook and Unified Interface

  • Following our previous announcement on the deprecation of Dynamics 365 for Outlook ( also known as Outlook COM Add-in) now is the time to make the move to Dynamics 365 App for Outlook prior to October 1, 2020.
  • Microsoft will continue to provide support, security and other critical updates to the Outlook COM Add-in until October 1, 2020.
  • Keep checking ‘Important changes coming in Power Apps’, for a complete list of all deprecation announcements.
  • Check here, the detailed guidance Outlook COM playbook which should help you plan the next steps of your transition and cover any frequently asked questions.
  • A snapshot of why make the move to Dynamics 365 App for Outlook and some of the benefits:
    • Unified Interface: Dynamics 365 App for Outlook is built on the Unified Interface framework, which uses responsive web design principles to provide an optimal viewing and interaction experience for any screen size, device, or orientation.
    • Global search or multi-entity search: Use global search to search for a keyword in multiple entities at the same time. Global search uses the quick find view for the various entities to search for records.
    • Forms: View and edit forms the same as what you see in the mobile experience.
    • Dashboards: View and edit dashboards the same as what you see in the mobile experience.
    • Cross platform: Dynamics 365 App for Outlook is built using the modern Office add-ins, and supports Windows, Mac desktop clients, iOS and Android phones, and Outlook web access on all major browsers.
    • Deployment: Centralized deployment and distribution by configuring users to the app makes it easy to onboard to App for Outlook.

Other key reminders

  • The deprecation of the legacy web client. Customers should make the move as soon as possible to Unified Interface.
  • The deadline date has been updated to December 1, 2020.

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


Power Platform | Governing Your Digital Transformation with the Power Platform

Learn more about how the Power Platform helps admins govern these low code application environments.

Go Deeper on Power Platform Governance

For more reference points, check this page on Power Automate.


Power Automate | Announcing the availability of Microsoft RPA (UI flows) in a Day

We announce the availability of the ‘Microsoft RPA (UI flows) in a Day‘ training.

  • This beginner-level training is designed to on-board and train everyone. No matter if you are a business expert or IT developer, you will learn to develop RPA automation in a single day using UI flow.
  • The hands-on, step-by-step lab exercises guide you through building a modern end to end business RPA scenario to process incoming invoices. Inside the labs, you will use Power Automate capabilities such as UI flows and API connectors to automate a business process

Download the training content from https://aka.ms/RPAinaDayPackage to get started today.

For full details, check this page on Power Automate blog.

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Updates & Releases


Microsoft Dynamics 365 Online Release

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

Note:

Service Update naming convention has been revised to clarify the link between the version number and Service Update number. For example, Service Update 150 will now correspond to version number 150xx. Occasionally a Service Update will be canceled, and all associated fixes will be rolled into a subsequent Service Update. For this reason, Service Update numbers may not always increase incrementally.

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 198 (9.1.0.19802 or higher) resolved issues including:

  • Platform Services:
    • The "IgnoreInternalEmails" system setting caused some other emails to be rejected.
  • Unified Interface:
    • The user interface did not display the flyout menu when selecting the Help button in the Account section.
    • Navigating IFRAMES would add new history entries. *

Service Update 195 (9.1.0.19516 or higher) resolved issues including:

  • Platform Services:
    • When creating an opportunity with a child entity and adding a contact record, the child entity was no longer present within the user interface and access to that entity was revoked.
    • When attempting to create a new AAD Security Group team, the user interface did not display all of the required form fields.
  • Unified Interface:
    • The user interface did not display all the record entities within a hierarchical tree list for a custom entity.
    • When attempting to load a form in an Opportunity entity, the user interface displayed the form with blank form fields and some missing form ribbons.

Service Update 192 (9.1.0.19209 or higher) resolved issues including:

  • Platform Services:
    • In Outlook, the user interface did not display the selected time zone when creating an all-day appointment and synchronizing with the Exchange app.
    • The Fax and Phone Call subject was reverted in CRM after being updated in CRM and not syncing with Exchange after multiple sync cycles. *
  • Unified Interface:
    • When modifying a quick view form, the user interface did not display the label for the switch control button.
    • In the Accounts section, the user interface did not apply a filter to the data within an editable data table.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 On-premises 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 0.17 (9.0.17.8 – June 2020) resolved issues including:

  • Repaired Functionality
    • An unsaved modifications message would not trigger when modifying a form.
    • In the Chrome browser, the user interface for the ribbon menu in the Dynamics Workplace homepage was unresponsive when attempting to select the menu buttons.
    • Overlapping page elements were present while viewing Account entities.

Cumulative updates available for Microsoft Dynamics 365 8.2

Service Update 2.19 (8.2.19.13- June 2020) resolved issues including:

  • Repaired Functionality
    • Single quotes were added to downloaded file names.
    • In the Chrome browser, the user interface for the ribbon menu in the Dynamics Workplace homepage was unresponsive when attempting to select the menu buttons.

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- [No new update in June 2020]

This article describes the features and enhancements that were included in this update, as well as the scope of the release.

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 9.2.2.x resolves the following issues and more:

  • Portal Timeline control doesn't honor "Allow multiple files" option on Entity form and only allows a single file to be uploaded at a time. After this change, Portal Timeline control will honor the setting and will enable multiple files to be uploaded at once.
  • "Rebuild Search Index" button is shown on /_services/about even when Search is disabled on Portal. After this change, button would not be shown if search is disabled.

Power Automate | UI Flows June 2020 update Available

We are glad to announce that UI flows June 2020 update is now available.

Here are the main features included in June update:

      • UI flows are now available in Government Community Cloud (GCC) and GCC High. In order to use gateway in GCC/H (which is a requirement for running UI Flows triggered from the cloud) the tenant needs to be whitelisted as described here.
      • Retry and timeout policy configuration from the portal. This feature provides the ability to configure timeout and retry policy for an individual step within UI flows. This can be used within an automation that contains certain steps that are likely to fail or may take longer duration to complete.
        • For more details, please see here
    • New WinAutomation connector in UI flows. Now you can have a cloud orchestration experience on WinAutomation Process from Power Automate.
      • For more information, please check out here.
  • We also fixed an issue where the GetText action in UI flows within (If-Else) Condition block fails when more than one Get Output actions were added in a nested scope
  • To try out the new features in June release, please upgrade your UI flow by following instructions here.

For more information, see this page on Power Automate blog.

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Additional News


PowerApps | New AI Builder models are now generally available

Three AI Builder preview model types are now generally available. Models that are generally available are considered production ready.

  • The Entity extraction prebuilt model identifies and classifies key elements from text into pre-defined entities.

You can use the prebuilt model out of the box in power apps and power automate.

More information: Entity extraction prebuilt in AI Builder

  • The Entity extraction custom model enables you to identify and classify key elements from text into your domain-specific custom entities that you define. You can train the model by creating custom entities with a few examples or tailor prebuilt entities to suit your business needs.

More information: Entity extraction in AI Builder

  • The Category classification custom model helps you classify text into your own domain-specific categories.

You can train the model with a small set of examples. More information: Category classification in AI Builder

For more details, read this page on PowerApps blog.


Power Apps Portal | Convert existing add-on portals to new capacity-based licensing model

This feature allows users to seamlessly migrate from their portal add-on licenses to the new capacity-based licensing model.

  • What licensing model i am in?
    • If your portal uses add-on based license, you’ll see “add-on” suffix to your portal type. You can check your portal type from the Portal Details page.
  • Convert existing portal to capacity-based model
    • If you’re using capacity-based licensing model, you’ll see “Change License” notification on Portal Details page.
    • Select “Change License” to convert your licensing model.
    • IMPORTANT: Review the considerations before changing your portal license.

See documentation here for detailed overview and instructions.

For details, check out this page on PowerApps blog.


PowerApps | Authoring formulas with dynamic schema in Power Apps

  • We announce the experimental feature release of the ability to work with dynamic schema in Power Apps formulas.
  • Power Apps formulas traditionally require that the set of fields returned by a data source call is fixed.
  • However, there are a number of services that may return a different set of fields based on the specific parameter values in the service call.
  • These service calls are said to have “dynamic schemabecause the schema, or set of returned fields, changes dynamically based on how the service is called.
  • For instance, with Azure Dev Ops users may add custom fields to work items. Because these custom fields are not available on all work items, some calls to Azure Dev Ops are considered dynamic. You will potentially get a different set of fields depending on which team’s work items you query. Power Apps, until this point, could not work directly with these types of service calls.
  • Now, as part of the formula authoring experience, when a formula author encounters an warning indicating the return schema of a call is dynamic, an author may “capture schema”. This will lock the schema for that particular call with the set of values it is called with. And you will be able to use the dynamic schema service call as part of your Power App.

Review the instructions with examples on this page on PowerApps blog.

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Power Automate | Introducing AI Builder dedicated actions in Power Automate

In the May 2020 update of Power Automate, we introduced dedicated actions for AI Builder.

  • Most of the AI Builder model types now have their own actions in Power Automate. You can find these actions when you search for the type of action you want to automate.
  • If you search for “AI Builder” when creating a new step in Power Automate, you will be able to select the AI Builder group icon. This group contains all the available actions based on AI Builder models.
  • You can also look for the kind of action you want to automate and pick the AI Builder action that fits your need.
  • These new actions also include improvements such as dropdown lists for languages and document types.

For more information about AI Builder, and the models supported by these new actions, see AI Builder in Power Automate overview .

Review this page on Power Automate blog for more details.


Power Automate | New Connectors Released in May 2020

We have over 345 connectors available on the platform, enabling further automation scenarios for even more cloud products and services. Here are some of the new May 2020 Connectors additions:

  • Azure IoT Central
    • Azure IoT Central is an app platform that makes it easy to connect, monitor, and manage your IoT devices at scale.
    • With the IoT Central connector, you can trigger workflows when a rule has fired, and take actions by sending commands, updating properties, getting telemetry on devices, and more.
    • Visit the Azure IoT Central documentation to learn more about the connector.
  • Microsoft 365 message center
    • The Microsoft 365 message center connector enables you to sync your M365 admin center messages to Planner, helping you stay on top of your messages.
    • Visit the Microsoft 365 message center documentation to learn more about the connector.
  • Office 365 Groups Mail
    • The Office 365 Groups Mail connector allows users to work with data located in an Office 365 Group mailbox.
    • The functionality in this connector works independently from a single user’s personal mailbox and allows users to work with any Group they can access within their organization.
    • The connector works off the Microsoft Graph API, and uses terminology specified in the Office 365 Groups documentation within the Graph API.
    • Visit the Office 365 Groups Mail documentation to learn more about the connector.
  • Virus Total
    • Virus Total allows you to analyze suspicious URLs and files for malicious content like malware and share the results with the wider security community. With the Virus Total connector, you can automatically leverage the power of Virus Total in your flows to help identify malicious content to keep you and your organization safe.
    • Visit the Virus Total documentation to learn more about the connector.

For more details, check this page on Power Automate blog.

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Training Corner


Power Platform | Learning Corner

Monitoring Tools

With Power Automate & PowerApps growing at a rapid rate, here are some interesting monitoring guidance put together by Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement in the Field Engineer on various topics.

It includes:

Monitoring the Power Platform: Power Automate - Run Time Part 1: Triggers, Workflows and Actions

Monitoring the Power Platform: Power Automate - Run Time Part 2: Tracked Properties and Error Handling

Monitoring the Power Platform: Power Automate - Run Time Part 3: Implementing a Monitoring Strategy

Monitoring the Power Platform: Custom Connectors - Building an Application Insights Connector


PowerApps | Learning Corner

Top tips | How to build your first Power Apps solution

What advice to give to those building their first app. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Power tip #1: Don’t start from scratch
    • Start by using a template. Templates act as a great starting point you can build off of to add the additional functionality that your organization needs.
    • New users start by reverse-engineering an existing template which can be found in the Power Apps user community.
    • There are a ton of simple, easy to build-off of templates available to download for free.
    • Check out and explore what already exists—you can often modify or expand on a template to create what you need.
  • Power tip #2: Think before you build

Think through these three things first:

  • Data source: Are you replacing an existing system?
    • If so, the data you need to access is already being stored somewhere.
    • For example, if the date is stored in Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. That means you already have a backend, database, tables, schema, etc.
    • The basic work of storing the data has already been figured out for you.
  • Decide on your form factor.
    • Determine if you should build a desktop, tablet, or mobile app.
    • Think about how your app will most commonly be used because while Power Apps has a lot of great responsive design capabilities, tablet and desktop apps can’t be used on mobile devices.
  • Find the simplest path forward.
    • Finally, don’t try to build a heavy-loaded app.
    • Start with determining the bare-bones functionality of what your app needs to do and where the data is going to be stored, then go from there.
  • Power tip #3: Standardize naming conventions
    • Why? Applying standard naming to all of the fields and collections within your app will save you a ton of time when you have to go back, edit, or troubleshoot.
    • Get into a regular practice of renaming all of your screens, controls, groups, and local variables from their default values.
    • As your app becomes more and more complex, this will help you describe and identify what those controls do simply by looking at the names.

For more details, check this page on PowerApps.

For more great tips from Power Apps users, watch these videos.


Developer | Learning Corner

Use Monitor to debug your published app

  • Reproducing and debugging issues that happen in your published app or in your live environments can be complex and time-consuming. It may be that the amount of data in your live system has grown in your app? Or performance has slowed down unexpectedly, and you need to understand why? Or a defect was introduced in your latest update?
  • Debugging and understanding the events happening in your published app is our latest feature addition to Monitor.

See full documentation here with instructions from Power Apps blog.

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Podcast

July Monthly Update