If you have been keeping an eye on the Microsoft Documentation site, you will have noticed the "Release Notes" sections. Microsoft started publishing the Release Notes for the Spring 2018 update release as part of their update modernization of Dynamics 365. Also, these release notes will be published several weeks ahead of the new updates.

As of January 21, 2019, Microsoft published the April '19 Release Notes. The breadth of the updates is quite astounding and it will take a while to absorb everything, but I would like to highlight a couple of things that may seem simple, but have impacted the overall user experience for quite a while.

Note: There is a PDF version of the Release Notes if you would like to download it.

Easier Mobile Device Sign-In for Dynamics 365

The current experience on the mobile device is that the user has to input their Dynamics 365 URL, then enter their Username and Password. The new user experience will simplify this sign-in process. According to the release notes, the new process will allow the users to sign into Dynamics 365 by using their email address instead of the server URLs.

This is a nice update that make things easier for the mobile user. Some users don't have the Dynamics 365 URL memorized and typically need to reach out to someone to ask for the URL. Also, having to type in a lengthy URL can be frustrating if something is mis-typed then it can lead to further issues.

Set the Unified Interface as the Default Experience

The new updates coming will allow system administrators and customizers to set the Unified Interface as the default web client. According to the post, it looks as if the Home Page will show all the available model-driven apps. I am assuming the post is meaning the https://home.dynamics.com site.

Ideally, it would nice to have the user directed to the model-driven app site instead of the Dynamics Home Page. So, the idea would be that the user can pick the default app from the home page. The next time the user logs into Dynamics 365, they are auto-directed to the app site. This is the current experience in the mobile app.

We can only assume that additional options for system administrator and customizers will be coming in the future.

Unified Interface as the Experience of Choice

According to the release notes, users can navigate with an updated sitemap. This will allow users to experience the new Unified Interface as their default interface.

However, the post doesn't go into much detail. But, we can hope that the Personal Settings will allow the user to have options to control the experience.

The PowerApps Experience is Streamlined

The current experience in Dynamics 365 has been what I like to call a "transitional" experience. So, this means that the user will see some Classic UI windows pop up from within the Unified Interface.

However, according to the release notes, the users will now have a more consistent way of interacting on the platform. Also, this approach should help end users with their experience with the Unified Interface.

Preview Updates Ahead of Time

Starting this year (2019) you will be able to preview the upcoming updates ahead of time. According to the April 2019 release timeline, the preview will be made available on February 1, 2019.

However, you will need to enable the preview functionality within the Power Platform Admin Center. Once this feature is enabled, customers can create a "preview" environment (instance). Additionally, you can check out this article for more details on this process: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/crm/2018/12/12/previewing-april-2019-release-functionalities-and-updates-for-dynamics-365-for-customer-engagement/

In Closing

There are many more updates included in the April 2019 release, but much of the information on the Release Notes site is lacking in details. So, we will have to wait until the Preview option is made available before we can fill in the detail gaps.


Aaron Back is Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) with many years' experience with Microsoft Dynamics 365 (CRM). He is actively involved with the Microsoft Dynamics 365 UG (D365UG) (User Group) Community. His involvement includes: Serving as Chapter Leader for his local D365UG Chapter, serving on the D365UG Board of Advisors, and speaking at the annual D365UG Summit conference.


ACE Microtechnology, Inc. is a professional services firm committed to delivering Dynamics 365 (CRM) business solutions to small and medium sized organizations. Our focus is on delivering products and services that improve our clients’ business operations. ACE has developed specialties in serving the lite manufacturing, distribution and the hospitality industry.

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