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Featured News

Announcing self-service purchase capabilities for Power Platform products

Over the past week, we’ve been listening to customer feedback regarding the rollout of our self-service purchase capabilities for Power Platform products (Power BI, PowerApps and Flow).

Based on the feedback, we’re making the following changes to our plan:

  • On November 19th, we will provide IT admins a way to turn off self-service purchasing on a per product basis via PowerShell. More details will be forthcoming.
  • To provide more time to prepare for this change, we are updating the launch for self-service purchase capabilities for Power Platform products to start with Power BI on January 14th, 2020 for all commercial cloud customers in the United States.
  • The intent of the self-service purchase option is to enable end users to develop their own solutions to unlock productivity and drive business impact, while respecting organizations’ data governance and compliance.
  • This capability will not be available to tenants that are government, nonprofit, or education, at this time.
  • IT administrators have full visibility as to who has made a self-service purchase and which users on their tenants have been assigned a license from a self-service purchase.
  • Additionally, all data management and access policies, which your organization has enabled, will continue to apply to self-service purchased enabled services. Organizations can then rely on their own internal policies, procedures and communications to ensure that those individuals making self-service purchases are complying with company policies.

Learn more about the self-service capabilities for Power Platform products here on Microsoft docs website.

New Backup and Restore Capability

Protecting your data in model-driven apps in Dynamics 365, such as Dynamics 365 Sales and Dynamics 365 Customer Service and providing continuous availability of service are important.

Be aware of the recent changes/updates to the organization backup/restore process and related improvements are available through the Power Platform Admin Center now.

System backups

These automated backups take place without you having to do anything.

  • All your environments are backed up.
  • System backups occur continuously.
  • System backups for production-type environments are retained up to 28 days.

  Other environment-type backups are retained up to 7 days.

Manual backups

  • A backup is created for you when we update your environment.
  • You can back up production and Sandbox environments.
  • Sandbox backups are retained for up to 7 days / Production backups are retained for up to 28 days.
  • You are not limited in the number of manual backups.
  • Manual backups do not count against your storage limits.

Learn more on Restore a system backups, Create, Restore & Delete manual backups and information from the FAQ section on this page on Microsoft docs website.

Dynamics 365 CE: Required update to Dynamics 365 for phones and tablets that use the apps on iOS devices.

Which versions are affected?

Versions of the iOS applications between 13.19022.10 (released February 2019) and 13.19081.22 (released August 2019) are affected and must be updated to at least version 13.19091.20 (released September 2019).

Note: The Dynamics 365 for phones and tablets applications for Android are not affected.

What’s changing?

On October 15, 2019, a change will be made to improve the reliability and performance of the Business Applications Discovery service used by the Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement mobile applications for iOS:

· Dynamics 365 for phones (for iPhone)

· Microsoft Dynamics 365 (for iPad)

Older versions of these applications will no longer be able to reach the Business Applications Discovery service, which will result in an empty app list within the iOS application.

What should I do?

Customers should stay or update to the latest version of the D365 app.

Learn about the options of suggested actions on the post on the Dynamics 365 blog.

Dynamics 365 Industry Accelerators:

New scenarios added to Dynamics 365 Higher Education Accelerator

Dynamics 365 Higher Education Accelerator is another new expansion of our Dynamics 365 Industry Accelerators initiative to provide pre-built Common data model entities, forms, dashboards, sample data, and workflows that align with common industry scenarios to rapidly build solutions and accelerate time to value for a range of customer scenarios.

We have now enhanced the Dynamics 365 Higher Education Accelerator with use cases for internships, scholarships, grants, accomplishments, and more. It enables access to a data model including students, faculty, courses and test scores for rapid development of solutions for Higher Education institution.

Dynamics 365 Higher Education Accelerator is available on AppSource.

For more information, review this post on Dynamics 365 blog.

Dynamics 365 Virtual Agent for Customer Service is in Preview

Currently in preview, it will be enhanced with new authoring capabilities to more rapidly test and deploy AI-powered chat bots to free agents to focus on more complex issues, while providing deep insights into customer satisfaction metrics.

The key capabilities from integration of virtual agents with Chat include:

  • Routing incoming chat requests to virtual agents created with Dynamics 365 Virtual Agent for Customer Service.
  • Enabling seamless escalation of conversations from virtual agents to a human agent.
  • Providing complete context to human agents by making available the full transcript of virtual agent conversations while human agents engage with customers.

Review some other features through this short video.

Also get latest update on the release date by checking this post on Microsoft docs website.

Product Deprecations

This is a reminder of the latest product deprecations as shared in our previous newsletter.

Note that deprecated means we intend to remove the feature or capability from a future major release.

The feature or capability will continue to work and is fully supported until it is officially removed.

This deprecation notification can span a few years.

After removal, the feature or capability will no longer work.

We are notifying customers now so they have sufficient time to plan before the feature or capability is removed.

  • Legacy web client
  • Task flows & Process dialogs
  • Legacy process related attributes in entities (StageId, TraversedPath, etc.) & Some client APIs
  • Voice of Customer
  • Dynamics 365 for Blackberry
  • Service Scheduling
  • Parature Knowledge Management
  • Contracts, Contract Line Items, and Contract Templates
  • Relationship Roles, Standard SLAs, Mail Merge, Announcements

More information can be found here on Microsoft docs website.

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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 105 ( or higher) resolved issues include:

  • Selecting a link within a page did not open the link in a new tab.
  • When a tracked email regarding a record was sent, the email displayed as tracked but the regarding object was missing.*

Service Update 103 ( or higher) resolved issues include:

  • Queue processing sometimes stalled.
  • The card list was missing when an invalid card type was present. *

Service Update 101 ( or higher) resolved issues include:

  • The ribbon and timeline took over eight seconds to load.
  • When an Email entity had a regarding in Dynamics 365, the regarding of that entity was reverted to an older value.*

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 0.8 ( resolved issues include:

  • Unified Interface: Categorized searches could not be performed.
  • Unified Interface: Out-of-box dashboards contained large gaps where panels should have been displayed.

Service Update 0.7 ( resolved issues include:

  • The Ribbon command bar does not display when you add a new SLA item.
  • The icon of a sitemap area can't be changed through the SiteMap Editor.

Cumulative updates available for Microsoft Dynamics 365 8.2

Service Update 8.2.10 (8.2.10) resolved issues include:

  • Unified Interface: Emails did not contain a language ("lang") definition in the "body" tab of their HTML, resulting in problems with using screen readers to read them.*
  • Unified Interface: The print preview window did not appear automatically when the print icon was selected.

Service Update 8.2.9 (8.2.9) resolved issues include:

  • SLA times were calculated incorrectly when holiday schedules spanned across multiple days.
  • When a solution was exported, single quotation marks were added to its file name.

Portal Capabilities for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Releases

The Latest Portal capabilities version for Microsoft Dynamics 365 is now globally available for all Portals.

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 Capabilities Update Portal host Version resolves following issues and more:

  • Filters added dynamically to Power BI embedded doesn't work sometime.
  • Entity List for Entitlement entity does not honor Page Size and Pagination
  • SharePoint grid fails to load when any of the related entity contains special characters

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Additional News

Rules feature in canvas apps is deprecated

Effective October 14, 2019, the rules feature in canvas apps in PowerApps is deprecated.

Rules in canvas apps is a feature that let you record actions to be performed under a condition which you can write an expression for. It was a feature marked as experimental

Few people have made use of rules in their canvas apps. From feedback collected through research and discussions with makers of PowerApps, the rules feature was confusing, and expressions were easier to learn, use, and debug.

For more information about the rules feature deprecation, see Blog on how to turn off and remove Rules from your app: Canvas Rules feature deprecation.

For full list of deprecations see this page on Microsoft docs website

Model-driven apps: Form new header in the Unified Interface by October 2019 release wave 2

With the October 2019 release of the Unified Interface for model-driven apps in PowerApps, we are introducing several new improvements to the form headers. 

With this release, admins and makers will be able to choose a style of a form header that fits the needs of your customers. 

The new headers allow an admin or maker to choose up to three options to render data:

  • High-density header with read only fields
  • High-density with a flyout to support different types of components including editable, custom controls or web resources (default experience)
  • Low-density header

For more details, see this page on PowerApps Community blog.

Add-on allocation for PowerApps, Microsoft Flow and AI Builder is now available

We announced in July licensing options for PowerApps and Microsoft Flow.

These are available to purchase from the Office admin center and you can now allocate add-ons in the Power Platform Admin center.

After your purchase, we have made it easy and scalable to allocate your add-ons to the environments that need the add-ons.

Here is the procedure for managing add-on allocation for an environment:

  • In the Power Platform Admin center under capacity, a new section will appear if your organization has purchased add-ons.
  • Allocating add-ons starts with clicking “Manage” in the add-on section.

From there, you can control and manage add-on capacity for an environment.

For more details, see this page on PowerApps Community blog

The common Microsoft header is coming to PowerApps

The PowerApps team has integrated the common Microsoft header so that there’s a consistent way to find help, see your notifications, and access your account.

  • The best new feature coming to the header is the ability to pin your favorite PowerApps apps within the app launcher.
  • Additionally, if you’re an administrator, you can set the default theme of the header for your company for both canvas apps and the maker portal (this functionality will come to model-driven apps in the future).
  • This will also allow you to add your company’s logo and colors to the header across all Microsoft products.

For more information on the header, see this page on PowerApps blog.

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Training Corner

Test Automation and EasyRepro: Overview and Getting Started

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 entire EasyRepro framework is Open Source and available on GitHub.

The aim of this article is to walk you through the setup of the Easy Repro framework. Including:

  • How to Consume the EasyRepro Framework
  • Downloading using NuGet Package Manager
  • Clone from GitHub
  • Clone locally from Azure DevOps
  • Review the EasyRepro Source Code Projects
  • Review Sample Unit Tests

For more information on how to get started with Easy Repro, see this post on Dynamics 365 Community blog.

PowerApps component framework for Canvas apps

With PowerApps component framework, developers can now develop their own code components and use them inside canvas apps.

Watch this 1-hour long webinar focused on enabling professional developers to extend PowerApps with custom made visuals.

This webinar focused on:

  • Getting started creating a components using PowerApps CLI tooling, through debug, development, solution packaging, and import all the way to empowering low-code/no-code Makers to use them inside canvas applications.

From the end user perspective, framework components behave just like native canvas components and have access to canvas app capabilities like expressions, data binding, connectors, etc.

Low-code/no-code canvas Makers will have these components available for use inside the PowerApps studio and the implementation code\complexity is masked from them.

For more information about creating custom controls for PowerApps, see this page on PowerApps blog.

Announcements: Introducing Monitor to debug apps and improve performance

Here is a new tool to better understand, debug, and improve your apps. 

Monitor provides a running log of all the activity within your app allowing you to see how declarative formulas are doing their work.

This first version is focused on:

  • Network activity like a network trace in the browser. 
  • You can drill into details of each network call including how long they took, how much data was returned, and if there was an error. 
  • It also provides context for the request by mapping to the formula that made it.

For more technical details, see this page on PowerApps blog.

Notification control using PowerApps component framework and Azure SignalR

There has been great momentum around PowerApps component framework and numerous amazing controls are being created and shared by the community.

This PowerApps component is not UI focused but utilizes Microsoft Azure SignalR to enable real time communication between different PowerApps instances, D365 modules, or any other system.

As a reminder, Azure SignalR Service simplifies the process of adding real-time web functionality to applications over HTTP.

For more information about this specific PowerApps component, see this page on PowerApps blog.

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