Business Apps. October ’18 Release Highlights

Microsoft just announced the October’18 Release Notes from the last week’s Business Application Summit conference at Seattle. The first question that might come up is: Why October, aren’t we still in July and October is still 3 months away? The answer is in response to the recent blog announcement about the way Microsoft Dynamics 365 will be updated: https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/2018/07/06/modernizing-the-way-we-update-dynamics-365/. The release notes are made available upfront to allow customers/partners to be familiar to what is coming and plan ahead with the updates.

Now, the official article of the release notes can be viewed here and the actual release notes can be downloaded here. So, after spending the weekend of reading the 239 pages of the release notes I would like to list the highlights of this updates, in particular to the Dynamics 365 CE, Flow and PowerApps. Sorry, ERP-counterpart of the Dynamics 365 family, and Power BI, I’m not the expert on that.

Release_notes.png

So, without further ado, here are the highlights of this October update from my perspective.

Dynamics 365 for Sales

  • Playbook – Seems to be a useful feature, if this can be extensible
  • Microsoft Teams integration!
  • Dynamics 365 AI for Sales Rep… oh WOW!

Dynamics 365 for Service

  • Omni-channel engagement hub
  • Channel Integration Framework – aka bring your own channel
  • BYOB – Bring your own Bot!

Dynamics 365 for Marketing

  • Segmentation enhancement – more operators and hoping for the performance is really bumped up
  • Custom analytics – the current release of Dynamics 365 for Marketing only provides the “Insights” that come from the OOTB package, with this Custom analytics enhancement, really hope that we can create tailored insights, and seems it will open up Power BI reporting

Dynamics 365 Portal

  • Portal Config migration – schema is now going to be provided
  • Embed Power BI on Portal!
  • SharePoint Integration is back!! – oh wait…

PSA

  • Adjustments to approved items! – my wish-list is apparently being implemented 😉

PowerApps & the D365 Platform

  • Embedded canvas app on D365/Model-Driven PowerApps
  • Choose your own size app – closer to the “Pixel-Perfect” slogan
  • Create Canvas Apps with responsive layout – finally!
  • More “integrated” look of Model-Driven PowerApps – within PowerApps studio, instead of the “jumping” experience with the Dynamics 365 CE
  • Improved ALM – looking forward to this!
  • Dependent Option Set – doesn’t tell whether this is for Canvas App only or for Model-Driven Apps as well? If yes, this is awesome!
  • Solution checker – this features from high-level seems to be awesome. Similar to the reports that the PFE guys used to produce 😉
  • Missing features like advanced find, merge records, run reports, run workflows and bulk edit are available in UCI (Model Driven PowerApps)

Microsoft Flow

  • Design Microsoft Flow using Visio – yay! Caveat: need Visio Online Plan 2.

What to expect?

With the above highlights and referring to the “caveat” of the release notes: “Features Releasing from October 2018 through March 2019”, all we can do is to wait and see the update waves to land 😉

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