Well today is a day of announcements, and what a day it was to be a Dynamics 365 User, Partner or ISV.
Microsoft have made a few (major) announcements with regards to their Dynamics 365 platform as a whole and there ultimately will be a few posts on this by various members of the Dynamics 365 Community over the next few weeks.
I will briefly summarise these points, Microsoft have announced the Dynamics 365 Spring Release which includes some new functionality/additions and changes to the Dynamics 365 Business Application suite.
- Dynamics 365 for Marketing will come out of preview with this release.
- Dynamics 365 for Sales Professional has been announced which is a cut down “Streamlined” version of the current Sales Application in Customer Engagement.
- PowerBI Insights App and the Common Data Service for Analytics
- PowerApps and the Common Data Service for Apps are now built on-top of the Dynamics 365 (XRM) platform!
So there is already a lot to digest, consume, collect thoughts and finally discuss (which I will do in a future article or two!) after today’s announcements. But another small announcement also snuck in…
Under the Radar
Microsoft also announced that the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook V9.0 has finally come out of Preview (I have not yet got access to an environment the new version yet).
This means that any Organisations on V9.0 will be able to use the new version of the App for Outlook (assuming they meet the existing requirements and are using Server Side Synchronisation) and will not have to go through the additional steps of enabling the preview.
Microsoft have added a few new useful features, such as the direct link to View the email in Dynamics 365, Pinning the App for Outlook pane and Search!
Turns to (sorry its a bad picture!):
I previously wrote a few articles regarding the App for Outlook and highlighting some of the new features and also how to configure the Preview version. I will not go into these details again as the articles can be found here:
- Introduction to the App for Outlook – Dynamics 365 July Release Preview
- Introduction to the App for Outlook – Dynamics 365 July Release Preview: Part 2
- How do you install the ‘Dynamics 365 App for Outlook Preview’
The un-deprecation of a deprecation announcement
Back in January, Microsoft made an announcement regarding the “Continued support of the Outlook Add-in” (Dynamics 365 for Outlook) which was due to be replaced by the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook. This decision was made after taking on-board the response from the Dynamics 365 Community and Microsoft’s customers who rely on the Outlook client heavily as part of their interaction with Dynamics 365.
Microsoft have stated that they are going to continue to invest in the Outlook Client to improve its performance and stability, but will not be adding an new features. This however, did raise the following question – what is next for the App for Outlook?
Unified User Interface (UUI)
The App for Outlook is based on the UUI, which is the new interface for Dynamics 365 released for version 9 and is the future of the platform (well except now for PowerApps and CDS V2!). Microsoft are working hard at making this the default interface to eventually replace our beloved web client (which also will mean the end of the Outlook Client as they share a common rendering engine), the un-deprecation announcement means that this is someway off yet.
The functionality of the App for Outlook will be brought in-line with the Outlook Client (i.e. Task Synchronisation/Tracking); Organisations currently have to choose between the functionality that the Outlook Client provides vs the compatibility of multiple devices that the App for Outlook supports. Bringing the features in-line will hopefully eliminate that decision (for Exchange customers) and the App for Outlook will become the preferred method (as Microsoft will tell you now!).
I will be giving my two cents regarding the other announcements over the coming weeks!
Thanks for reading,