Archive for the ‘Microsoft’ category

SQL Server 2016 SP2 Cumulative Update 12

April 1st, 2020

SQL Server 2016 SP2 Cumulative Update 12 contains some useful fixes:

SQL Server can shut down when you hit the max number of sessions
SQL Server can shut down due to lock conflicts during error message processing
“SQL Server crashes frequently” when you check a clustered columnstore index for corruption
AGs may have “interruption” – I guess that means the AG stops replicating, but it’s not clear from the KB article.
Stack dumps when transaction replication has a heavy workload on the publication database
Stack dumps when you query persisted computed columns
Stack dumps when you run a batch mode query with multiple joins (that’s columnstore indexes in 2016)
Scalar functions run slower than they did on SQL Server 2008 R2
Non-yielding scheduler when the primary AG replica runs low on memory
AG may think there’s a missing log block when the database isn’t very active
AG automatic seeding may fail
AGs with persistent log buffers: “all of the secondaries in the AG become unavailable”
Change tracking auto cleanup causes access violations and stack dumps
Access violations when Extended Events tries to capture query text on busy servers
Error when stored proc in database A pulls data from database B while being audited in database C
Stack dumps when you alter database-scoped configurations
Incorrect statistics histograms when they’re updated in parallel – which also means that after you apply this CU, you should probably update your statistics.
There’s also a new feature: the default system health Extended Events session can store way more data now, AND you can edit how much it holds!

Counterstrike against Necurs, a massive botnet

March 12th, 2020

Microsoft and an international consortium of partners this week launched a counterstrike against Necurs, a massive botnet that Microsoft had been observing and analyzing for nearly eight years.

Botnets are packs of hundreds, thousands or millions of PCs, sometimes called zombies, that have been infected with malware and are under the command and control of malicious actors. Under-patched and out-of-support Windows 7 computer can be infected with a Trojan that enlists that computer in various nefarious schemes. The zombie PC’s owner may notice nothing at all, or sometimes suspect a decline in performance. According to Microsoft, Necurs has had a role in a lot of those nefarious schemes.

Believed to be controlled by criminals in Russia, the botnet is also thought to have been used directly by its owners, as well as rented out as a botnet-as-a-service fy. One of its highest-profile roles was aiding in distribution of the GameOver Zeus banking trojan.

In the years since it first came to the attention of security researchers in 2012, the network has infected as many as 9 million computers globally. It has left its nasty digital fingerprints on pump-and-dump stock scams, fake pharmaceutical spam, Russian dating scams, Internet-based computer attacks, credential theft schemes, data theft attempts, cryptomining and, of course, ransomware. While botnets can be a key component of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and Necurs has DDoS capabilities, Microsoft says that particular use for the botnet has not been documented.

BitSight, a cyber risk management platform provider that worked closely with Microsoft on the Necurs problem. alleged “From 2016 to 2019, it was the most prominent method to deliver spam and malware by criminals and was responsible for 90% of the malware spread by email worldwide,”

Microsoft on March 5 got an order from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York to take over the systems inside the United States that are used by Necurs for malware distribution and computer infections.

Microsoft and its partners crafted a sophisticated response built on the technical specifics of the Necurs botnet. Having studied the algorithm that Necurs uses to generate new domains, Microsoft used its considerable technical resources to jump ahead of the botnet .e to accurately predict over six million unique domains that would be created in the next 25 months,”wrote Tom Burt, Microsoft corporate vice president for customer security and trust, in a blog post.

The main counterstrike was launched Tuesday from what a detailed New York Times account described as an “eerily empty Microsoft campus” due to most workers having been ordered home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

” “Microsoft is also taking the additional step of partnering with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and others around the world to rid their customers’ computers of malware associated with the Necurs botnet.”

As a concrete step, Microsoft is pointing users to the Microsoft Safety Scanner to help wipe their computers of malware, including Necurs.

Microsoft executives were resigned that any drops in spam, malware and cyberattacks would be temporary at best. In the NYT article, executives described the effort — sadly and accurately — as a game of whack-a-mole.

Microsoft’s free cloud-to-cloud migration tool, Mover, available to Microsoft 365 customers worldwide,

March 3rd, 2020

Microsoft’s free cloud-to-cloud migration tool, Mover, is “now available to Microsoft 365 customers worldwide,” Microsoft announced earlier this month. Mover is both a tool (a Web app that runs in a browser) and the name of the company based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada that Microsoft bought in October. Typically, it’s used to move content and file shares from a cloud service to Microsoft’s OneDrive and SharePoint Online services.

The Mover migration tool can be used by organizations as a “self-service” solution for moving so-called “third-party” (non-Microsoft) cloud-based content to Office 365 services. Mover and Microsoft’s FastTrack partners also offer migration support services for some organizations.

The Mover tool supports other cloud services, as well. Box, Dropbox, Egnyte, Google G Suite and Amazon WorkDocs are supported. It’s described by Microsoft as a free tool for all Microsoft 365 customers. Likely, Mover is not a free tool when moving content to non-Microsoft cloud services, though.

Currently, Mover doesn’t have support for Office 365 government cloud moves, according to Microsoft’s announcement.

Microsoft’s FastTrack partner service, offering onboarding and migration support for moves to Microsoft 365 services, uses both the Mover tool and the SharePoint Migration Tool (SPMT), . FastTrack can be used by all Microsoft 365 subscribers and by Office 365 subscribers with more than 150 seats, according to this Microsoft FAQ document.

. Mover is just for cloud-to-cloud migrations. SPMT is used for moving SharePoint Server content (on the customer’s servers or “premises”) to SharePoint Online. Currently, the SPMT supports moving SharePoint Server 2013 and SharePoint Server 2010 content. Sometime this year, Microsoft expects to also have support in the SPMT for moving SharePoint Server 2016 and SharePoint Server 2019 content.

Microsoft introduced its Migration Manager tool during the November Ignite talk. Migration Manager, accessible via the SharePoint Admin Center portal, is still at the preview stage.

Currently, Migration Manager “does not support the migration of content from SharePoint Server,” according to the document (although that’s part of Microsoft’s stated roadmap plans). In addition, Migration Manager “currently supports only the migration of file shares.”

Migration Manager is designed to solve the difficulties that organizations have when carrying out SharePoint migrations across multiple machines. It’s used to set up clients and create a list of migration tasks. Migration Manager also has reporting capabilities, and it permits IT pros to monitor the progress of a migration.

Microsoft’s three migration tools — Mover, SPMT and Migration Manager — are somewhat siloed. Microsoft’s general aim is to make large migrations easier for organizations, .

SQL Server 2016 SP2 Cu12 is available

March 1st, 2020

There’s a new feature: the default system health Extended Events session can now store a lot more data and you can edit how much it should hold.

Several hotfixes
• SQL Server can shut down when you hit the max number of sessions
• SQL Server can shut down due to lock conflicts during error message processing
• “SQL Server crashes frequently” when you check a clustered columnstore index for corruption
• AGs may have “interruption”
• Stack dumps when transaction replication has a heavy workload on the publication database
• Stack dumps when you query persisted computed columns
• Stack dumps when you run a batch mode query with multiple joins (that’s columnstore indexes in 2016)
• Scalar functions run slower than they did on SQL Server 2008 R2
• Non-yielding scheduler when the primary AG replica runs low on memory
• AG may think there’s a missing log block when the database isn’t very active
• AG automatic seeding may fail
• AGs with persistent log buffers: “all of the secondaries in the AG become unavailable”
• Change tracking auto cleanup causes access violations and stack dumps
• Access violations when Extended Events tries to capture query text on busy servers
• Error when stored proc in database A pulls data from database B while being audited in database C
• Stack dumps when you alter database-scoped configurations
• Incorrect statistics histograms when they’re updated in parallel – which also means that after you apply this CU, you should probably update your statistics.

Cumulative updates (CU) are now available at the Microsoft Download Center.

Only the most recent CU that was released for SQL Server 2016 SP2 is available at the Download Center. Each new CU contains all the fixes that were included togetrher with the previous CU for the installed version or service pack of SQL Server.
•Microsoft recommends ongoing, proactive installation of CUs as they become available: •SQL Server CUs are certified to the same levels as Service Packs, and should be installed at the same level of confidence.
•Historical data shows that a significant number of support cases involve an issue that has already been addressed in a released CU.
•CUs may contain added value over and above hotfixes. This includes supportability, manageability, and reliability updates.

•Just as for SQL Server service packs, we recommend that you test CUs before you deploy them to production environments.
•We recommend that you upgrade your SQL Server installation to the latest SQL Server 2016 service pack.

Microsoft’s Office App for iOS and Android phones

February 22nd, 2020

Microsoft’s new Office App for iOS and Android phones is now generally available worldwide, the company announced this week.

The Office App for phones can be downloaded from the Apple store for iOS devices, or from the Google Play store for Android devices.

The app is also “available for download on Android tablets with limited support,” but it’s not fully optimized yet, Microsoft’s announcement explained.

The Office App combines Excel, PowerPoint and Word into a single downloadable application that’s said to take up less space on a mobile device, and is optimized for smartphone activities.

Internet Explorer 10 browser on both Windows Server 2012 and Windows Embedded 8 Standard support to end on 11 Feb 2020.

February 4th, 2020

Support for the Internet Explorer 10 browser on both Windows Server 2012 and Windows Embedded 8 Standard is due to end on Feb. 11, 2020.

That means the end of free patch support for IE 10,all updates, paid assisted support options, and technical content updates for Internet Explorer 10 will be discontinued though the browser will still continue to run.

That will make IE 10′s at risk and organizations using Windows Server 2012 or Windows Embedded 8 Standard should upgrade to Internet Explorer 11.

Microsoft will push down IE 11 via the Windows Update service as an “Important” update to Windows Server 2012 and Windows Embedded 8 Standard users. Important updates typically are automatically installed for organizations that use the Windows Update service without management controls. IE 11 also will arrive as an “Optional” update for those Windows users that use Window Server Update Services to manage Microsoft’s updates.

Enterprise Mode can emulate IE 10 behaviors within the IE 11 browser.

For Windows Server 2012 and Windows Embedded 8 Standard, the end of “extended support” dates will be Oct. 10, 2023 and July 11, 2023, respectively. Microsoft changed its browser support policy with effect from January 2016, and only the most current version of Internet Explorer available for a supported operating system will receive technical support and security updates.

IE 11 however was released on Nov. 13, 2013, which didn’t result in an end to IE 10 because the new policy took effect in, 2016. The IE 11 browser will be the last and the new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser should be compatible with all supported versions of Windows and macOS, which implies that the new Edge browser will run on the Windows Server 2012 and Windows Embedded 8 Standard OSes.

Currently Chromium Edge preview looks a promising ‘zippy’ new browser that seems to perform better than IE, Edge, Bing, or Chrome.

Microsoft Edge based on Chromium – Release Milestone

January 28th, 2020

The first “stable” release of Microsoft’s Chromium-based Edge browser is now commercially available, Microsoft announced recently.
This new Edge browser (version 79) is based on the open source Chromium Project’s engine, largely fostered by Google, which is also central to Google’s Chrome browser.

Microsoft kicked is now a Chromium Project code contributor. The older EdgeHTML-based Edge browser still exists (Microsoft now calls it “Microsoft Edge legacy”), and it is going to get replaced at some point by the new Chromium-based version.

The new Edge browser is currently available for “all supported versions of Windows and macOS in more than 90 languages” and also is available for use on Android and iOS systems. Capabilities for Microsoft Edge including AAD support, Internet Explorer mode, 4K streaming, Dolby audio, inking in PDF, Microsoft Search in Bing integration, support for Chrome-based extensions, and more.

. When you do make the switch, your favorites, passwords, form fill information and basic settings will carry over to the new Microsoft Edge without you having to do anything. IT administrator, will need to download an offline deployment package to pilot within a corporate environment—the new Microsoft Edge will not automatically deploy for commercial customers. Additionally, none of the Microsoft Edge preview channels will update to the new Microsoft Edge, as they can be used side-by-side for testing and validation.

The new Edge is much faster and web sites load quickly in it, even with multiple tabs, . The new Edge doesn’t slow down the longer you use the browser, especially when you have multiple tabs open. When you leave IE or Chrome running with multiple tabs in use, it becomes so sluggish you need to close the browser down –not with the new Edge.

Dynamics 365 Wave 2 April 2020 start planning……..

January 28th, 2020

The first release wave of 2020 for Dynamics 365 in April will contains hundreds of new features across Dynamics 365 applications including: Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Field Service, Finance, Supply Chain Management, Human Resources, Commerce and Business Central.

During April 2020, Microsoft will turn on all environments to receive the 2020 release wave 1 features.
The updates will be deployed on your environments automaticallyfollowing their Safe Deployment Process (SDP).

Dynamics 365 Finance, Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, or Dynamics 365 Commerce:
- You can configure the maintenance day and time windows in Lifecycle Services (LCS).
- You’ll receive an email if you opt in to receive LCS notifications.
- You’ll be able to select the designated tier 2 sandbox for the update.
– The sandbox environment will be updated followed by the production environment.

You’ll have five business days for testing and validation.

So its important to consider testing and training with previews beforehand.

If you need consulting resources to assist, with testing and training in new features during April there is only a 5 day window and all customers will be upgraded in April so plan ahead to schedule any consulting resources you may need,

The downloadable PDF will be available on January 31, 2020.
Highlights from Customer Engagement applications include:
Dynamics 365 Sales continues to focus on user experience and sellers productivity improvements.
Dynamics 365 Sales Insights expands focus to include inside sales scenarios and enhances conversation intelligence capabilities. New features include deeper conversation analysis with emotion detection to enable sellers with the information they need, when they need it.
Dynamics 365 Customer Service expands agent productivity tooling to help organizations evolve a proactive and predictive service model.
Dynamics 365 Customer Service Insights optimizes the customer service experience through AI with new capabilities including richer integration with Power Virtual Agents and access to the insights data for in-depth analytics.
Dynamics 365 Field Service improves effectiveness through a new resource scheduling dashboard, integration with Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, and technician time entries.
Dynamics 365 Marketing remains focused on enabling marketers by enhancing product usability, personalized marketing capabilities with dynamic content for contacts, and integration scenarios with third-party content management systems and Microsoft Forms Pro.
Dynamics 365 Customer Insights enhances data profiling enrichment and segmentation capabilities, helping organizations better understand their customer data and derive actionable insights to drive business processes.

Highlights from Dynamics 365 Operations, Finance, Commerce, and HR applications include:
Dynamics 365 Human Resources expands capabilities for human resources professionals, employees, and managers in leave and absence and benefits management programs.
Dynamics 365 Commerce strengthens the personalized, omni-channel experience for consumers by adding e-commerce, providing smart product recommendations, and enhancing clienteling.
Dynamics 365 Fraud Protection helps merchants increase revenue and reduce fraud losses and costs while improving the consumer’s online check-out experience by releasing two new services, account protection and loss prevention.
Dynamics 365 Finance releases enhancements to: country-specific tax, invoicing, payment formats, and regulatory reporting capabilities to help global organizations stay compliant with newly introduced local regulations.
Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management helps organizations reduce operational costs by: introducing customer self-service experiences, enhancements to asset management, and the new on-hand inventory service for inventory visibility across Dynamics 365 and other legacy systems.

Power Platform
New Power Platform capabilities combine Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate, Power Virtual Agents, and the Common Data Service into an unmatched palette of tools to analyze data, build solutions, and automate processes. This release includes robotic process automation (RPA) capabilities in Power Automate, to automate rule-based tasks with point-and-click simplicity supporting on-premises or cloud-based apps.

Power Apps gains significant improvements for developers of all skill levels, improving the sophistication and usability of apps that are created across the web and mobile devices.

Microsoft business intelligence simplifies how organizations derive insights from transactional and observational data. It helps organizations create a data culture where employees can make decisions based on facts, not opinions. In this release wave, Power BI invests in four key areas including: intuitive experiences, a unified BI platform, big data analytics, and pervasive artificial intelligence (AI).

Early access available Feb 3, 2020
Test and validate new features and capabilities that will be a part of the 2020 release wave 1, coming in April, before they get enabled automatically for your end-users

General availability April 1, 2020 Production deployment for the 2020 release wave 1 begins. Regional deployments will commence on April 3, 2020.

Model-driven apps in Dynamics 365: The 2020 wave 1 release does not apply to customers of Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (on-premises). The 2020 release wave 1 release will be applicable for the customers of both commercial and the Government Cloud.
Dynamics 365 Finance, Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, Dynamics 365 Commerce, or Dynamics 365 Business Central: The 2020 wave 1 release is applicable for customers of Finance + Operations (on-premises) as well. You can opt in to preview the new functionalities similar to online.
industry accelerators are included in this wave:

Nonprofit accelerator enables you to develop nonprofit solutions based on entities and attributes that nonprofits commonly leverage for constituent management, fundraising, awards, program delivery, and impact tracking.
Financial services accelerator enables you to quickly develop solutions based on entities and attributes that banks commonly leverage for customer experience and other business processes. These entities include banks, branches, financial products, loans, referrals, limits, requested facilities, and more.
Health accelerator allows you to build solutions and create new use cases and workflows with entities focused on enhanced care coordination and the ability to segment patients and providers based on Electronic Medical Record (EMR) data.
Automotive accelerator enables you to quickly develop solutions based on entities and attributes that dealerships and OEMs commonly leverage for customer experience and other business processes. These entities include deals, sales contracts, specifications, fleet, warranties, inspection, test drives, branding, business, customer-vehicle relationship, vehicle and equipment, lead, service and after-sales management, and more.

Azure Misconfiguration Exposes 250 Million Microsoft Customer Accounts

January 24th, 2020

Microsoft warned its users this week that their customer support case information might have been exposed at the end of 2019 due to security misconfigurations in an Azure-hosted database. According to Microsoft’s investigation, customer data was left unprotected from Dec. 5, 2019 through Dec. 31, 2019.

Most of the personally identifiable information in these customer support records was “redacted” or obscured by “automated tools.”

However, some customer information, if it was slightly off-format, may then have been exposed. Microsoft’s example of such exposed data is a URL that contained extra spaces. The records contained logs of conversations between Microsoft support agents and customers from all over the world, spanning a 14-year period from 2005 to December 2019. All of the data was left accessible to anyone with a web browser, with no password or other authentication needed.

Microsoft took swift action to secure it. ‘I immediately reported this to Microsoft and within 24 hours all servers were secured,” said Bob Diachenko who led the Comparitech security research team that discovered the issue. “< em>I applaud the MS support team for responsiveness and quick turnaround on this despite New Year’s Eve.”

Comparitech also gave this good advice:
the dangers of this exposure should not be underestimated. The data could be valuable to tech support scammers, in particular.

Tech support scams entail a scammer contacting users and pretending to be a Microsoft support representative. These types of scams are quite prevalent, and even when scammers don’t have any personal information about their targets, they often impersonate Microsoft staff. Microsoft Windows is, after all, the most popular operating system in the world.

With detailed logs and case information in hand, scammers stand a better chance of succeeding against their targets. If scammers obtained the data before it was secured, they could exploit it by impersonating a real Microsoft employee and referring to a real case number. From there, they could phish for sensitive information or hijack user devices.

Microsoft customers and Windows users should be on the lookout for such scams via phone and email. Remember that Microsoft never proactively reaches out to users to solve their tech problems—users must approach Microsoft for help first. Microsoft employees will not ask for your password or request that you install remote desktop applications like TeamViewer. These are common tactics among tech scammers.

This follows many high profile beaches e.g.:
•267 million Facebook user IDs and phone numbers exposed online
•2.7 billion exposed email addresses from mostly Chinese domains, 1 million of which included passwords
•Detailed personal records of 188 million people found exposed on the web
•7 million student records exposed by K12.com
•5 million personal records belonging to MedicareSupplement.com exposed to public
•2.8 million CenturyLink customer records exposed
•700k Choice Hotels customer records leaked

If you need to improve your system security call Synergy Software Systems on 0097143365589 to learn more of our solutions.

End of support deadlines -Microsoft

January 15th, 2020

Businesses running Microsoft’s business software are facing all sorts of end-of-support deadlines at the start of 2020.

Major premises-installed business products are falling out of “extended support” this year, which means they’ll no longer get patches, including security updates, from Microsoft. It’s considered potentially risky to continue to use such “unsupported software” after their end-of-support milestones.

IT pros may have already reacted to address many of these milestones, but some workloads remain as problems to address.
Crashing deadlines are very near this month for organizations using Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008, but other important milestones loom, as well.
Windows 7 Client and Server Deadlines – Jan. 14, 2020 end-of-support date for Windows 7. That support deadline also applies to Windows Server 2008/R2, Dynamics CRM 2015, Dynamics GP 2015 R2, Dynamics NAV 2015,Dynamics SL 2015.
Later this year Office 2016 , and Outlook 2016 versions will also go out of support.

Teams is coming to Office 365 ProPlus and 365 Business……..

January 11th, 2020

Microsoft will turn on Microsoft Teams for Office 365 ProPlus or Office 365 Business tenancies that follow the semiannual channel update model starting on Jan. 14, 2020. unless it’s blocked beforehand by IT pros. The “semiannual channel” refers to Microsoft biannual update model, where feature updates typically arrive in the spring and fall. Teams will get delivered to organizations using version 1908 or later of Office 365 ProPlus, Microsoft explained, so the version of the product matters.The Teams update process is different from the update process of other Office apps such as Excel or Word.

Organizations using Office 365 ProPlus or Office 365 Business also have an option to follow a monthly feature update model. Those subscribers already may have received Teams months ago, as Microsoft had kicked off Teams for subscribers using version 1906 of those productivity-suite products back on July 9.
Microsoft’s original plans to deliver Teams to Office 365 ProPlus and Office 365 Business subscribers were described back in June. At that time, Microsoft had explained that it was delivering Teams to Office 365 Business users even though they don’t have the use rights for Teams. The version of Teams that Office 365 Business users get is a free one-year trial version, which is called the “Microsoft Teams Commercial Cloud Trial.” Teams gets delivered to Office 365 Business users even if they did not request getting the trial.To block the arrival of Teams for these Office 365 products requires Group Policy settings or the Office Deployment Tool.

After Teams arrives, it’ll start getting feature and quality updates, which will arrive “approximately every two weeks,”

Microsoft yesterday announced plans to establish a new cloud datacenter region in Qatar

December 15th, 2019

Microsoftannounced plans to establish a new cloud datacenter region in Qatar to deliver its intelligent, trusted cloud services and expand the Microsoft global cloud infrastructure to 55 cloud regions in 20 countries. The new region is anticipated to be available starting with Microsoft Azure in 2021, and Office 365, Dynamics 365 and Power Platform to follow.

The announcement was made by HE Minister of Transport and Communications Jassim Saif Ahmed Al-Sulaiti and EVP and President, Microsoft Global Sales, Marketing and Operations, Microsoft Corp., Jean-Philippe Courtois. HE the Minister said in his opening remarks, “This collaboration with Microsoft comes as part of accelerating the efforts led by the Government of Qatar to implement the country’s digital transformation agenda and build a knowledge-based economy as laid down in the Qatar National Vision 2030.”

Government entities, organizations, public and private enterprises and developers will have access to scalable, highly available, and resilient cloud services to accelerate their digital transformation journeys – better engage customers, empower employees, optimize operations, and transform products and services – from the new cloud region in Qatar. The new cloud region is anticipated to play a pivotal role in bridging the skills gap in Qatar. Microsoft is also collaborating with the Qatar Digital Government to launch a nationwide upskilling program that will train government employees enhancing their technical acumen in cloud technologies.

The new cloud region will adhere to Microsoft’s trusted cloud principles and become part of one of the largest cloud infrastructures in the world, already serving more than a billion customers and 20 million businesses. Microsoft’s cloud services are compliant with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and are certified for a large portfolio of international security and privacy standards, some of which form the basis of Qatar government policies, including the Ministry of Transport and Communications’ National Information Assurance Policy and the Cloud Security and Information Privacy Protection regulations.

The new Microsoft region in Qatar will offer Microsoft’s scalable, trusted and reliable cloud services combined with in-country customer data residency. Microsoft will help empower customers through its deep expertise in protecting customer data to meet extensive security and privacy requirements as well as the broadest set of compliance certifications and attestations in the industry.

This news follows the recent announcement at QITCOM 2019, where MOTC announced its choice of Azure as its preferred cloud platform – a collaboration the two sides see as an opportunity to encourage government entities and institutions in Qatar to embark on or continue their digital transformation journey.
Microsoft Azure is an ever-expanding set of cloud services that offers computing, networking, databases, analytics, and Internet of Things (IoT) services. Office 365 enables cloud-based productivity with email, collaboration, conferencing, enterprise social networking and business intelligence. Dynamics 365 and Power Platform is the next generation of intelligent business applications that enable organizations to grow, evolve and transform to meet the needs of customers and capture new opportunities.

Microsoft has accelerated the pace of global expansion with the opening of cloud regions in five new markets in 2019, including being the first global cloud provider to deliver services from datacenter regions located in Africa.

What will happen to your Windows 7 PCs on 15 January 2020?

December 12th, 2019

Microsoft pushed a full-screen warning to Windows 7 users who are still running the OS after January 14. . After14 January 2020, they’ll get no more security updates to the operating system for free. Even though users will be able to continue to run Windows 7 after that date, they’ll be more susceptible to potential security problems. Microsoft delivered this new, nag notification, to Windows 7 users by making it part of a patch rollup. The coming notification was embedded in monthly rollup KB4530734, which Microsoft made available to Windows 7 SP1 users on December 10 as part of its Patch Tuesday set of updates.

Those who see the full-screen warning will have three options: Remind me later; Learn more; or Don’t remind me again. If users don’t click on the “Don’t remind me again” button and just dismiss the screen, they will continue to get nag warnings.

Dynamics HR, and Talent, recent updates- December 2019

December 7th, 2019

Microsoft will continue investing in operational HR solutions with the erp version with a Dynamics 365 Human Resources to be released early next year on February 3, 2020.

This builds on the current core HR capabilities that are in Dynamics 365 Talent today
. It’s a branding and marketing change for core HR capabilities.
Microsoft will also be incorporating the ‘Ax’ partner adds on from Dynamics partners Four Vision, and Elevate, to further enhance the offering within leave and absence, time and attendance, and benefits administration. These new capabilities will begin rolling out within Dynamics 365 Human Resources in early 2020.

Expected updated licensing.

Microsoft recently announced, via a blog post. the decision to retire the Dynamics 365 Talent: Attract and Dynamics 365 Talent: Onboard apps on February 1, 2022, They will transition Attract and Onboard customers to a solution of their choice. This does not affect those who only use the core Talent module.

To allow time to opt-in, Dynamics 365 customers that are entitled to but are not currently using Attract or Onboard will have until February 3, 2020 to notify Microsoft that they intend to implement Attract and/or Onboard. You can opt- at any point between December 6, 2019 and February 1, 2020. If you are not currently using Attract and/or Onboard and want to opt-in to ensure service availability until February 1, 2022, submit a support ticket before 1 Feb 2020.

Meanwhile Synergy Software Systems continues to implement and support its own GCC localised HR and Payroll module built inside both Dynamics Ax 2012 and Dynamics 365 , and proven with around 50 company implementations.

Power BI update -Gateway recovery key, move to .Net framework 4 – Ask Synergy Software Systems, Dubai’s Power App specialist.

December 5th, 2019

The November update for the On-premises data gateway (version 3000.14.39) is released.

Change Gateway Recovery Key
The recovery key provided by gateway admins during installation of on-premises data gateways in a standard mode could not be changed in the past. This key is used to create the symmetric key which in turn is used for encrypting credentials in data sources/connections using that gateway. With the November release of Data Gateways, you will now be able to rotate this key. More information about recovery keys, detailed description on how to perform this change and associated limitations can be found in the data gateway docs.

November version of the mashup engine
This month’s Gateway update also includes an updated version of the Mashup Engine. This will ensure that the reports that you publish to the Power BI Service and refresh via the Gateway will go through the same query execution logic/runtime as in the latest Power BI Desktop version.

Please note that this upcoming change may impact you:
PB1 will be using .NET 4.8 framework for gateways February 2020 version or higher hence some of the operating systems it used to support may no longer be supported. i.e. for many this change will also force a Windows update.

All .NET Framework versions since .NET Framework 4 are in-place updates, so only a single 4.x version can be present on a system.
In addition, particular versions of the .NET Framework are pre-installed on some versions of the Windows operating system. This means that:
• If there’s a later 4.x version installed on the machine already, then you can’t install a previous 4.x version.
• If the OS comes pre-installed with a particular .NET Framework version, then you can’t install a previous 4.x version on the same machine.
• If you install a later version, you don’t have to first uninstall the previous version.
• The .NET Framework requires administrator privileges for installation.