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Featured News

Microsoft expands cloud services in Europe and into Middle East

Microsoft is thrilled to announce the plan to deliver the Microsoft Cloud from our first datacenter locations in Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates and expand the cloud options for customers in Germany. The Microsoft Cloud in France is officially open with the general availability of Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Office 365. Dynamics 365 will follow in early 2019. Over the last three years, Microsoft has more than doubled the number of Azure regions available. As of today, Azure has more regions than any other cloud provider. We’ve announced a goal to be in 50 regions across the globe, including plans for 12 new regions.

Office 365 and Dynamics 365 also continue to expand the data residency options for customers with 17 geographies announced. The two products are the only productivity and business application platforms that can offer in-geo data residency across such a broad set of locations. Each datacenter geography, or geo, delivers a consistent experience, backed by robust policies, controls and systems to help keep data safe and help comply with local and regional regulations. Learn more in this announcement from Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Azure, Jason Zander.

Dynamics 365 is first SaaS solution granted JAB High P-ATO

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Government has been granted a FedRAMP High Level Provisional Authority to Operate (P-ATO) by the Joint Authorization Board (JAB) for its Customer Engagement services. This is the highest level of FedRAMP certification available.

FedRAMP provides a standardized methodology for assessing, authorizing, and monitoring cloud services for US Government agencies. Any agency that hosts federal data in the cloud must do so in a FedRAMP authorized cloud service provider (CSP) per the OMB memorandum on Security Authorization of Information Systems in Cloud Computing Environments. There are two ways to authorize a cloud service through FedRAMP: a Joint Authorization Board (JAB) provisional authorization (P-ATO), and through individual Agencies. The JAB consists of the CIOs from the DOD, DHS, and GSA.

The “high” designation allows agencies to use cloud environments for high-impact data. The high security requirements are used to protect some of the government’s most sensitive, unclassified data in cloud computing environments.

For more information, review this blog post.

Information about the upcoming Dynamics 365 Update 9.0.2

Microsoft is excited to announce the Spring 2018 release for Dynamics 365 and the Business Application Platform. Customers can expect a wave of innovation across the entire product line with hundreds of new capabilities and features in three core areas: business applications, intelligent capabilities infused throughout, and transformational application platform capabilities. Learn more in this announcement from Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Business Applications Group, James Phillips.

Watch the Business Applications spring launch event on-demand.

The Spring ‘18 release for Dynamics 365 (Update 9.0.2) is for Dynamics 365 online v9.0 and will be applied starting in April 2018. Key things you need to know can be found here.

A few things to note:

  • Any new organization created on or after April 2, 2018 will be provisioned on the updated version. Any updates from version 8.x to version 9.0 that are scheduled on or after April 2 will automatically get this update and no change of schedule is needed. For existing orgs running Dynamics 365 (Online) version 9.0.1 or higher, the update will start deploying on April 7 through the normal deployment process.
  • The update is primarily focused on performance and reliability improvements, but it also contains some new features. The new features are opt-in and will not change your default experiences. Download the Release Notes for more information on the new features.

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Updates & Releases

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Online Releases

The March 2018 Service Updates for Dynamics 365 online versions 9.x and 8.x are now available. Click the hyperlinks below for more details.

Service Update 3 (v resolved issues include:

  • Importing a solution fails due to a BulkOperationLog.createdobjectidname.Length exception
  • Navigating through form tabs using Dynamics 365 for Mobile causes a blank page to be displayed in some areas
  • Knowledge Articles display HTML tags around content, causing the article to not display properly

Service Update 4 (v resolved issues include:

  • Opportunity Actual Close Date (actualclosedate) is incorrect after closing An Opportunity.
  • Unable to revise a Quote if the record is owned by a team
  • An Editable Grid appears blank when editing an in-line filtered view
  • A Form does not load if the form configured custom control was created in version 8.0, or 8.1, and then updated to version 9.0

Service Update 5 (v resolved issues include:

  • An Unsupported Type Conversion exception occurs when qualifying Lead records
  • Delete button doesn't render properly in sub-grids
  • Summary tabs on forms do not render expansion and collapsing properly
  • Adding a Marketing List to a Campaign Activity that is owned by a Team results in an exception

Service Update 5 (v resolved issues include:

  • An Unexpected Error occurs when using the SharePoint integration on Account entity records with names longer than 200 characters
  • An Invalid Parameter exception occurs when linking an Article to a Case record
  • Custom icons do not display properly on sub-grids
  • A change to a different Business Process Flow stage does not trigger Business Rules in the mobile client

Service Update 6 (v resolved issues include:

  • A Query Build exception occurs when accessing attachments on Appointments
  • The incorrect date and timestamp displays on OneNote pages opened via Dynamics
  • Date and Time rollup fields cannot be recalculated until the record is refreshed
  • Hyperlinks inside iframes are not able to be opened under certain conditions

Service Update 16 (v resolved issues:

  • Settings options are unavailable in the mobile client under certain conditions
  • The back button is not visible when searching for records on the Case entity in certain circumstances
  • An Unexpected Error occurs when configuring Dynamics for Tablets
  • Users are unable to change filter in the Option Set column for Editable Grids

Service Update 17 (v resolved issues include:

  • Workflow messages do not display properly when using the mobile client
  • An Unexpected Error occurs when opening or creating Application records in certain circumstances
  • Hyperlinks in iFrames are not able to be opened under certain conditions

Service Update 18 (v resolved issues:

  • Changes to increase performance on specific SQL queries
  • An Access Denied error occurs when reparenting Account and Contact records under certain conditions

Dynamics 365 App for Outlook version 9.0

The Dynamics 365 App for Outlook version 9.0 is generally available to all customer organizations on Dynamics 365 (online) version 9.0. Some of the new features in the App for Outlook include:

  • View tracked email or appointments in the App
  • Quick Create function to create new records without leaving Outlook
  • Pin and dock the App in Outlook desktop
  • Search in Dynamics 365

For more information on best practices for migrating from Dynamics 365 for Outlook (Outlook Client) to Dynamics 365 App for Outlook and additional links to comparisons and user guides, review this blog post.

Microsoft Social Engagement 2018 Update 1.3

Microsoft Social Engagement 2018 Update 1.3 is now available.

New and updated features:

  • The author tags filter now lets you exclude specific author tags from your data set.
  • Twitter extended its support for longer messages in November. For most languages, the same limits were in place. This update adds support for Korean, Thai, and Simplified Chinese language.
  • Social Engagement now supports retroactive deletion of posts that were acquired and deleted on the source afterwards. Posts from Twitter, Tumblr, and WordPress are now removed from Social Engagement when the author removes them from the source.

Visit Social Engagement Help & Training for more information.

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Portal Capabilities version

Portal capabilities version for Microsoft Dynamics 365 is now available. This release includes an updated portal host only. The portal host will be automatically updated by Microsoft.

This update resolves the issue with the login not working for users who were using a local login and had the Authentication/Registration/LocalLoginByEmail site setting set to true.

Deprecated: Portal capabilities for Dynamics 365

The following features are being deprecated from portal capabilities for Dynamics 365:

Web Page Tracking

Web Page Tracking logs a record when a user views a web page in a web browser. The date/time and user's IP Address are logged along with the identity of the user viewing the page. If the user is authenticated, the log is associated with the contact record related to the user, otherwise the anonymous identity is recorded. This functionality has a negative performance impact on portals.

Recommendation: Customers should use analytics technology like Azure Application Insights to capture this information.

Web File Tracking

Web File Tracking logs a record when a user downloads a web file in a web browser. The date/time and user's IP Address are logged along with the identity of the user downloading the file. If the user is authenticated, the log is associated with the contact record related to the user, otherwise the anonymous identity is recorded.

Recommendation: Customers should use analytics technology like Azure Application Insights to capture this information.

Authentication/LoginTrackingEnabled site setting

Enables or disables tracking the user's last sign-in. When set to true, the date and time are displayed in the Last Successful Sign-in field on the contact record. By default, this is set to false.

Recommendation: Customers should use analytics technology like Azure Application Insights to capture this information.

Portals solution versus 8.1.x.x

Solution version deprecation means that Microsoft will not be testing backward compatibility of these solutions with the latest version of portals code in future.

Recommendation: It is recommended to upgrade your 8.1.x.x solution to the latest version.

For more information on the deprecated features of Dynamics 365 portals, see this blog post.

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Additional News

Improve On-Prem Dynamics 365 Performance with SQL 2016 Configurations

The following settings can help improve Microsoft Dynamics 365 application performance and should be configured on the SQL Server 2016 instance where the Microsoft Dynamics 365 organization databases are serviced:

  • Install the SQL Server 2016 Cumulative Update 2 (CU2)
    Server & Tools Blog: Cumulative Update #2 for SQL Server 2016 RTM
  • Configure the SQL Server instance where the Microsoft Dynamics 365 organization database is maintained with Trace Flag 1224. This setting disables lock escalation based on the number of locks and helps reduce CPU usage on SQL Server 2016. To determine the existing trace flag 1224 setting run the following T-SQL statement. A return value of 0 for status in the output indicates trace flag 1224 is not enabled:


To set trace flag 1224 as a startup option, add the SQL Server database engine startup option -T1224. For more information: Database Engine Service Startup Options.

  • Configure Microsoft Dynamics 365 organization databases to use compatibility level 110, which is the compatibility level for SQL Server 2012. For more information: View or Change the Compatibility Level of a Database.
  • Configure the Microsoft Dynamics 365 organization database to use indirect checkpoints and a target recovery time of 60 seconds. By default, new databases created with SQL Server 2016 use indirect checkpoints and have a default target recover time of 60 seconds. For more information: Change the Target Recovery Time of a Database (SQL Server)

To determine the existing target recovery time, run the following T-SQL statement, where is the name of the organization database. A return value of 0 indicates a target recover time has not been set:

SELECT target_recovery_time_in_seconds FROM sys.databases WHERE name = ‘

To set the target recover time of a database to 60 seconds, run the following T-SQL statement:


What’s new in the Dynamics 365 admin center

With the introduction of Common Data Services for Apps, which leverages the same platform as Dynamics 365 for Customer engagement, PowerApp users are able to create Common Data Service instances that can be controlled and managed by the Tenant or Dynamics 365 Administrator. Customers with multiple environments and instances now have the ability to filter the instance list to Production, Sandbox, Trial or other instance types. For more information, review this blog post.

Knowledge Base Usage Analytics with Azure Application Insights and Power BI

When managing a self-service knowledge base in Dynamics 365, understanding how customers and employees are searching for and consuming self-service knowledge is an important part of ensuring your content remains relevant and useful for end users.

Dynamics 365 includes a number of in-built capabilities to help analyze the usage of the knowledge base, including:

  • Tracking of article views by source
  • Tracking of article ratings and feedback
  • Tracking of case deflections from knowledge
  • Tracking of articles associated with, or used in resolving cases

In some instances, you may wish to extend beyond the built in capabilities, to understand usage patterns to a greater depth: what your users are searching for, which searches are not returning any results, and how users are navigating through your Dynamics portal, for example. These metrics can be captured using Azure Application Insights and Power BI.

Take a look at this blog post for more details.

In-place upgrade of ADX 7.x to Dynamics Portals 8.x

The Product Group released a migration guide to move from Adxstudio v7 Portals to Portal Capabilities for Dynamics 365. Customers also have the option to do an in-place upgrade from ADX 7.x to Dynamics Portals 8.x. The guide goes into great detail on several migration options including reimplementation both self-hosted or Microsoft hosted as well as an in-place upgrade both self-hosted or Microsoft hosted. There are a few things to consider as part of the in-place upgrade such as clean up prior to the upgrade, determining installation order, finding dependencies and CSS class differences.

Review this blog post for more information on these considerations.

Blog Posts of Interest

The new business model: Relationship Selling

Relationship sales isn’t just for selling—How marketing can make an impact

Announcing Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central: greater impact with an end-to-end view

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Training Corner

Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Features

The Microsoft Docs site is the home for technical documentation, code examples, quick start guides and tutorials for developers and IT professionals. To learn more about the Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement features, applications, solutions and related services, visit the doc’s site here.

Dynamics 365 Portals 101 – Features, Use Cases and Best Practice

If you’re interested in using Dynamics 365 Portals, but don’t know where to start, take a look at this video that reviews the out-of-the-box features and use case scenarios for various portal templates. See capabilities of styling, configuring and customizing Portals via a demo and pick up a few tips, tricks, and best practices along the way to make your Portal projects a success.

Ideas for Microsoft Dynamics 365

Help us improve Microsoft Dynamics 365 and its family of products and solutions by discussing ideas, providing suggestions, and giving feedback. Use the forums listed on the Ideas page to share your thoughts. Search through the existing ideas, before suggesting a new one, and you can vote on them to help increase visibility.

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