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I recently made this diagram for a presentation regarding Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016. Looking at it, I can’t help wondering about the future of Rollups as a package containing bug fixes and new features for On-premises deployments.
Microsoft wants you to migrate to the cloud. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online offers many features which are not available for On-premises deployments. As with version 2015, some new features were deployed Online and were never made available for On-premises deployments. If you wanted these features, you had to migrate Online or upgrade to version 2016. In the last few years, Microsoft released a major version almost every year while the number of Rollups per version dropped from 18 (version 2011) to 1 (version 2015).
What does this mean for On-premise deployments? Are enterprise organizations expected to upgrade their Microsoft Dynamics CRM applications each year to get new and important features?
I think not. I’m guessing Microsoft will change its method for deploying new features for Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Assuming Microsoft will keep offering the On-premises deployment type for a few more years, new features will not be packaged in Rollups anymore, but rather as smaller Solutions with longer backward compatibility span. I also expect major versions will become almost transparent for both Online and On-premises deployments. While Online Organization admins will have an option to activate these solutions, On-premises admins will be able to download and install when required.
Anyway, until we are all in cloud, Online deployment will always have a unique set of features.