Dynamics 365 Tech Conference, March 12-15: The event to access deep developer-based education exclusive to Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations. Learn from and get inspired at the Dynamics 365 Tech Conference while interacting directly with Microsoft engineering, the people that build Dynamics 365 for Operations..

Today I went to a session “Microsoft Appsource: Software as a Service (saas) Business Apps Marketplace Strategy“. Presented by Shefy Manayil Kareem.

A little blurb from the session description, “Microsoft AppSource is the destination to help business users find, try & use line-of-business SaaS apps from Microsoft and our partners. Users can also discover content packs and add-ins for Microsoft business apps, like Dynamics 365, Power BI, and Office 365 and more. Join us to hear more about Microsoft AppSource, including your opportunity to market and distribute your apps by taking advantage of Microsoft’s global reach, flexible infrastructure and the intelligent cloud platform. Unfortunately, many organizations struggle sourcing SaaS apps tailored to their users, business and industry overall. Microsoft is working to simplify this process – making it easier for business users to find and evaluate apps that drive their business”.

My takeaway from this session was that Microsoft is going to provide a place to publish your solution, basically an AppStore of sorts, it is even possible to let interested business users have a “trial run”. Microsoft would spin up an instance for the interested users to actually run the solution for some time. In fact, in some form AppSource is available now, but users are reporting that the publishing experience is somewhat rough, Microsoft is working on the new publishing portal currently. It would be good to eventually see Sierra Systems Wood Products AX product listed in AppSource.

Another remarkable session was “Dynamics 365 for Operations Deployment of Choice“, presented by Jesper Theil Hansen, Christian Wolf and Sarvani Sathish Kumar.

This session focused on the deployment options and architecture available for Dynamics 365 for Operations, which are:

  • Cloud (currently available)
  • Cloud + Edge (Edge is a new fancy word for on-premises) – this is a sort of hybrid solution, where the majority of a customers environment lives in the cloud, but a portion of it is available on-premises too. The on-premises portion could be offline for up to 24 hours, then upon restoring the connection it re-syncs automatically with the cloud portion (a very nice feature). The data separation is by “DataAreaID” – basically, the data from a particular company can reside on premises.
  • Local Business Data. This is an on-premises only solution. In this deployment option functionality is normally provided by the cloud (PowerBI etc) is not available.

My takeaway from this session was that new deployment options are a work in progress.

Another remarkable session was “The Future of App Development with the Common Data Service“, presented by Peter Villadsen and Nima Kamoosi.
This was basically a presentation of the new SDK for rapid development of applications feeding off the data provided by the Common Data Service. We are already somewhat familiar with Power Apps – the “low to no code” applications that could be created by non-IT personnel. The new SDK is for the creation of similar applications – but containing a lot more code and created by developers. Basically, this SDK is for PowerApps on steroids. This is a very interesting direction, I’ve got a feeling that we are going to spend quite a bit of time working with this SDK in the near future.