Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations One Version is here, and it is green!
For any organization it can be quite disruptive to remain up to date or upgrade to the latest version of their ERP or CRM system. These are projects on their own, take time and effort, have an impact on operations and pose a considerable risk to business continuity. And with the rapid pace that Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (D365FO) is being enhanced and improved, it is hard for organizations and partners to keep up. Not only update wise, but also making sure that (regression) testing is taking place and employees remain productive.
Microsoft’s announced changes to this update process about a year ago. Previous changes, including moving towards an extensions model for customizations and no-code/low code extensibility (e.g. PowerApps), have paved the way for this continuous (update) deployment model. Meaning that organizations can still personalize the application where necessary but always remain current (and supported) with seamless D365FO platform and application updates.
What does this mean for organizations that use D365FO?
In October 2018, Microsoft released D365FO version 8.1 and in November that same year started the monthly update cadence that includes application (including financial reporting) and platform updates. And yes, new experiences are opt-in, meaning your systems administrator can turn them on when the end-users are ready. Besides this, Microsoft will release two major updates per year. One in April and one in October, which will contain new capabilities and functionality. And from April 2019 forward, all D365FO customers will need to be on the same version (version 10). This is the One Version mentioned above and as it is always up-to-date, we can call it evergreen!
One of the prerequisites for this, is that organizations will need to upgrade to version 8.1 by March 2019 to make sure that they’re ready for the release of version 10 in April and from there on benefit from the continuous delivery schedule. From there on Microsoft will only support the latest generally available version. Support for previous version will end except for customers on version 7.3 with unfulfilled extension request. This version will be supported until April 30, 2020. Microsoft has also released a regression testing tool this January to assist organizations in keeping up with this update cadence. This tool makes use of the task recorder in D365FO to record business tasks and convert them to automated tests. This is supported by Lifecycle services (LCS), the business process modeler (BPM) libraries and integrated with Azure DevOps for test execution.
A lot of improvements are ready to be released for D365 customers in the coming months!
Read the April 2019 release notes published by Microsoft or reach out to Sierra Systems to help assist and support you to be ready for the very green one version of D365FO!