Archive for the ‘Microsoft’ category

April 9th, 2018

The newest update to Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operation, now version 8.0 (specifically build number 8.0.30.8020).comes with release notes fthat run to 222 pages,

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/unified-operations/fin-and-ops/get-started/whats-new-changed-8-0-april-2018

The Dynamics technology platform now has easier integration from Dynamics 365 Enterprise to other Dynamics products such as : Dynamics Talent, Field Service and Project Service Automation.
In addirion to the Common Data Service (CDS) for Apps which includes templates that are easily configured rgere is also a new Data Integrator tool for Dynamics 365 Enterprise provides thtat makes it easier way to work with the Common Data Service .

Microsoft is leveragign the scalaeability and data mining powers of the clud to use Telemetry acorss ts products. We will now get knowledge-base (KB) recommendations that help Microsoft support to understand how well hotfixes have solved an issue and rhen to proactively push out hotfixes to customers. This proactuve approach will allow customers to spend less timesearching for hotfixes for solutions to problems that already have a published hotfix. after all isn’t that the job of the software author – to provide code that works and for support to fix it when it doesn’t? Aggod example of how Aiis alreaqdy changign things.

Previous posts have hgihglighted of Business Productivity Improvements. Let’s recap:

Alerts – As with Ax 2012 client-based alert functionalityis now availbale for a user to define alert rules on business events, such as when master data is changed or an invoice is paid or a customer changes an address.
Optimization advisor – Uses telemetry to analyze customers’ business processes, finds optimization opportunities,and uses application data to quantify the opportunities, and then recommends solutions.
Project timesheet mobile – Employeescreate and submit project timesheets. Out-of-box mobile app for submitting timesheet. Nnow we have saved favorites. We can also copy from a previous timesheet ffir mire raOid entry rapid, accurate time entry.
Project resource managers can edit the default hours as part of the project booking fulfillment process. Thhey can also now eserve project resources past the task end date
A Person search report – to find a person and their personal data in Finance and Operations.
Data sharing for customer and vendor tables – Data can be shared across customer and vendor tables and many related tables across multiple legal entities.
One voucher deprecation – One voucher is turned off by default, through a General ledger parameter.

Supply Chain Management Updates

Vendor collaboration – RFQ process – Enhancements to tell who entered a bid (a vendor or a procurement department).
Partial shipment of a load (split load) – Allows single loads or multiple loads to be fully or partially loaded.Immediate replenishment of locations – Used during wave execution wjen allocation fails for a location directive line that has a replenishment template.
Add Reason codes to warehouse counting and adjustment – Users can add a reason code when performing counts and when making an adjustment for better control and audit
Batch balancing is enabled for advanced warehouse module processes.
New Cost administration and Cost analysis Power BI workspaces/

Power apps
Ability to embed PowerBI and PowerApps directly in forms without writing code using a host control. User select in form from the menu bar.an option to add PowerApps

There are also improvements regarding Lifecycle Services and environment management. There is also a new channel to report production outage to escalate a support issue with Microsoft should your Production environment not be available. Financial reporting enhancemtns for (Management Reporter) is alo included.

Another important change is upgrade automation- to upgrade non-production environments.

Dynamics 365 Business Applications Spring 2018

April 3rd, 2018


Take a look into new PowerApps capabilities added during Business Applications Spring 2018 Launch

Office 2019 and Office 365

April 2nd, 2018

After Office 2019 is released in the 2nd half of this year – that will be the last version of Office sold without an office365 subscription.

Microsoft will shorten the lifecycle for all the existing versions of office so everyone who wants to use office tools will need to buy an Office365 subscription at some point.

In 2017, Microsoft slashed the rights of users running non-subscription Office when it announced that perpetual-licensed versions of Office 2016 will be barred from connecting to Microsoft’s cloud-based services, including hosted email (Exchange) and online storage (OneDrive for Business) after Oct. 13, 2020. Under the new rules, owners of a perpetual license for Office 2016 can use those services only during the first half of their 10-year support lifecycle, the portion Microsoft dubs “mainstream.” Office 2016′s mainstream support ends Oct. 13, 2020.

By releasing Office 2019 this year, Microsoft will give enterprises a year or so to migrate from Office 2016 (or an earlier edition) before the cloud service cutoff. Rather than the usual decade of support – the first five in what Microsoft dubs “Mainstream,” the second five as “Extended,” which provides security-only updates – Office 2019 will get only seven years. “Office 2019 will provide 5 years of mainstream support and approximately 2 years of extended support,” said Spataro in the Feb. 1 announcement. “This is … to align with the support period for Office 2016. Extended support will end 10/14/2025.”

That’s the same day Office 2016′s support expires.

The simultaneous retirement of the two perpetually-licensed suites is the strongest signal yet that Microsoft plans to shut down the one-time purchase option after Office 2019. By shortening 2019′s support lifespan – something Microsoft has never done to Office for Windows – it will be able to wash its hands of both suites at the same time, ending the decades-old purchasing option and making the subscription-based Office 365 the only way to license the applications.

Office 2019 will be supported only on Windows 10.

February release update for Dynamics AX 2012 R3 CU13 – ask Synergy Software Systems

March 27th, 2018

The February release for Dynamics AX 2012 R3 version is now available in LCS on the updates tile inside your R3 project.
This update is a collection of smaller functional improvements and technical fixes.
Bugs were fixed in all areas, with enhancements found in Warehouse & Transportation, Master planning, Service Management, Procurement, Sales, Client, Server, SI, Project Accounting, Inventory, Retail, DIXF, APAC, Europe and LATAM localizations, Production, Cash and Bank, Expense, and Tax updates

This release is a cumulative package including all other fixes released in the prior CU13 update as well as the recent monthly updates.

• Primary Build: 6.3.6000.4901
• Number of Application hotfixes: 121
• Number of Binary hotfixes: 16

Details of the install process can be found here: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh538446.aspx#PackageR3

for more information contact Synergy Software Systems tour Dubai based Dynamics Ax partner.

#Dyn365FO Spring 18 release

March 24th, 2018

The release is due out in April and brings many new features:

Business productivity
Alerts – Client-based alert functionality enables a user to define alert rules based on business events, such as when an invoice is paid or a customer changes an address.
Optimization advisor – Uses telemetry to analyze customers’ business processes, finds optimization opportunities, uses application data to quantify the opportunities, and then recommends solutions.
Project timesheet mobile - Employees can create and submit project timesheets. The use of saved favorites and the ability to copy from a previous timesheet facilitates rapid, accurate time entry.
Edit default project fulfillment hours – Project resource managers can edit the default hours as part of the project booking fulfillment process.
Reserve project resources past the task end date – Project resource managers can fulfill resources on tasks past the current task planned end date..
Person search report - You can find a person and their personal data in Finance and Operations.
Data sharing for customer and vendor tables –share Data across customer and vendor tables and related tables across multiple legal entities.
One voucher deprecation – One voucher is turned off by default, through a General ledger parameter.

Extensibility and customization
Customizations through extensions only - Migrating customizations from one release to the next has been simplified by moving away from over-layering to the use of extensions.
Extensibility requests - Customers can submit a request to Microsoft for extension support to be added to the product for a needed scenario. The Spring ’18 release enhances this feature by moving it to Lifecycle Services.
Extensible project work breakdown structure – Enables customization of the project work breakdown structure using extensions. This replaces the hierarchical grid control used for the project work breakdown structure with a standard grid that supports hierarchical data.
Embedding PowerApps in workspaces and forms – Use PowerApps to embed data from external sources into Finance and Operations data.
Custom fields - Organizations can add custom fields to tailor their application to their business requirements, using a no-code extensibility experience.

Integration
Integration with Common Data Service (CDS)
Integration with Dynamics 365 for Field Service - Provides data integration to support scenarios where Field Service activities are done outside Finance and Operations, leveraging the data integrator.
Integration with Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation - Supports scenarios where project and resource management activities are done outside Finance and Operations, and the project accounting activities are done in Finance and Operations, leveraging the data integrator.
Integration with Dynamics 365 for Talent (Public Preview) – Provides data integration of the appropriate HR information into Finance and Operations.

Improved support experiences
Telemetry-based KB recommendation - Telemetry from a production environment can be used to identify the application hotfixes that apply to a tenant.
• KB recommendations when entering a support case - LCS provides telemetry-driven KB recommendations.
Report production outage – Provides a quick and effective channel to escalate issues to Microsoft Support if the services in a production environment are degraded or become unavailable.

Supply chain management
Vendor collaboration – RFQ process – Enhancements make it easy to tell who entered a bid (a vendor or a procurement department).
Partial shipment of a load (split load) - Allows single loads or multiple loads to be fully or partially loaded.
Immediate replenishment of locations – Used during wave execution if allocation fails for a location directive line that has a replenishment template.
Reason codes added to warehouse counting and adjustment – Users can add a reason code when performing counts and when making an adjustment.
Batch balancing enabled for advanced warehousing processes.
Analytical workspaces with embedded Power BI for Cost management – new Cost administration and Cost analysis workspaces

Globalization
India localization – project and upgrade – Users can manage India Goods and Services Tax (GST) for the Project management and accounting module, and AX 2012 customers can upgrade to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations.
Enhanced configurability - New features include import and testing scenarios, and also broader support for configurability without coding.
Translation Service - In addition to supporting user interface translation, Dynamics Translation Service (DTS) now supports documentation translation in Microsoft Word and HTML formats (.docx, .html). DTS features can also be accessed directly from various development environments by using the DTS API.
• Regulatory service – configuration (available at the end of April) – Regulatory service targets a no-code programming approach, allowing users to configure electronic reporting formats or tax rules rather than write code for them in the underlying application.
Integration

Servicing, performance, and deployment
Improved delivery of platform and financial reporting updates – Enhancements to how software updates are provided, to improve deployment time and the reliability of servicing.
Upgrade automation – Upgrade automation makes major version upgrades a self-service operation for the customer, using LCS for non-production environments.
Service hardening – Added service monitoring and alerting for core business processes, and improved form load performance of the most commonly used forms.
Lifecycle Services sandbox self-service automation and RDP lockdown.
On-premises deployment updates. Much awaited!

Compliance
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – Investments address the European privacy law’s requirements. Go to the Trust Center to learn more and find resources to help you comply. See our previous posts on the importance of this new legislation.
Accessibility enhancements – Go to the Trust Center to learn about industry-leading accessibility standards.

Finance Insights: Credit and collections

Credit and collections insights provides analytics that help organizations effectively manage their credit and collections processes. It provides:
• Aggregate views of credit and collections across all designated companies.
• Data broken down by company, customer group, and customer.
• Credit overview report.
• Collections report.
• Credit and collections details for a variety of dimensions.
• Predictive analytics to help identify trends.

Lots lots more : Retail, cds, flow, Power bi etc

For more information contact your Dynamics 365 Dubai partner Synergy Software Systems 009714 3365589

Dynmaics 365 Finance and Operations Enterprise 7.2 platform 12 on-premise enhancements

March 19th, 2018

The much anticipated release of on-premises deployments of Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Enterprise edition 7.2 with platform update 12 includes features that will enables you to keep your on-premises deployment up-to-date at cloud speed.

Major improvements in this release include:
• Apply Microsoft-released platform and application updates, and code customizations, to your environment post-deployment through Lifecycle Services (LCS) for on-premises customers.
• Infrastructure setup automation improvements that enable much faster setup for most common topologies.
• Optionally disable experiences that depend on internet connectivity on the client machine, even when the client is connected to the internet . To enable this via a simple configuration update from the application functionality, you must download KB 4091763 from LCS.

We also expect the release 7.3 and Data import/export framework (DIXF) for recurring integration support to be released soon.

As always, there may be some changes in the release schedule.

Microsoft public preview of Azure SQL Database Managed Instances – running SQL Server workloads in the cloud

March 10th, 2018

Microsoft released the public preview of Azure SQL Database Managed Instances – a new option for running SQL Server workloads in the cloud.

Managed Instances (or Azure SQL Database Managed Instances, are a new PaaS database offer that joins the Azure SQL Database and Elastic Pool services. Within this PaaS family, Managed Instances take care of operational aspects like ensuring: high availability, backups, and applying patches, making these simpler and less time-consuming to administer.

While many organizations have benefited from using Azure SQL Database for new applications, it has been a significant challenge to migrate existing workloads because of key functionality gaps versus on-premises SQL Server.

Managed Instances address that problem, by providing vastly improved compatibility. Organizations can therefore more easily migrate existing on-premises SQL Server workloads to the cloud while retaining many of the manageability benefits of a PaaS offering.

Managed Instances require less operational oversight compared to traditional on-premises SQL Server,. Use of the service however, doesn’t free you from the responsibility for checking availability or ensuring that security is configured appropriately. It also remains the DBA’s responsibility to optimize performance, and to handle other operational concerns like making sure jobs complete successfully, or general troubleshooting – its platform as a service. High availability, automated backups, point-in-time restore, automatic plan correction, threat detection, vulnerability assessment, and other intelligent features are built-in into service without any additional charge. OS patching and database upgrades are handled automatically and do not require any action.

In addition to built-in monitoring and maintenance features, you can use any 3rd-party tool to monitor and manage your instance, because most of the system views are exposed.

Connectivity

Azure SQL Managed Instance is not a service on public endpoint. Azure SQL Managed Instance is placed on private IP address in your VNET. It is just hosted and managed by Azure cloud.

Currently, Azure SQL Database PaaS has two main offers for the customers who use SQL Server database and want to migrate to PaaS:
1.Managed Database – isolated and self-contained database service that has database scoped functionalities.
2.Elastic pool – a group of Azure SQL databases that share the same resource.

However, current Azure SQL Database offers don’t provide entire SQL Server “Instance as a Service” as PaaS model. As a result, some of the instance-level features in Azure SQL Database PaaS such as SQL Agent or linked servers are not supported because they are not applicable on the database level.

Currently, the only way to get the full SQL Server instance in Azure is to use Azure SQL VM that handles underlying infrastructure (e.g. disks), but still not have some SQL PaaS features as Azure SQL Database.

Managed Instance is a SQL Server Instance in Azure cloud that shares the same code with the latest version of SQL Server Database Engine and has the latest features, performance improvements, and security patches. It has most of the SQL Server 2017 features (excluding some on-premise Windows features such as Windows logins or potentially harmful features such as extended stored procedures) and enables you to put almost any database that you have in on-premises SQL Server instance. Every instance is fully isolated from the other customer instance and placed in your dedicated subnet with assigned private ip addresses.

Security/Isolation. Managed Instance is a resource in your network hosted by Azure cloud. You have to create Azure VNET and a dedicated subnet where the instance should be deployed. There are networking constraints for the VNET/subnet that you should review before you create a managed instance.

There is no public IP address dedicated to the Managed Instance. Only applications in customer network can access Managed Instance. Network administrators have the full control and can configure access to Managed Instance using standard methods such as Network security Groups and firewalls.

Choose how many CPU cores to use and how much storage you need. You can create a Managed Instance with 16 cores and 500GB storage, and then increase or decrease these numbers depending on your needs. Changing CPU or storage in instance can be done via Azure portal using simple slider.

Managed Instance has split compute and storage components. There are compute nodes with 8, 16, or 24 cores, that work with database files stored on Azure Premium disk storage. Every database file is placed on separate Azure premium disk, that guarantees that database files cannot be lost. Although Managed Instance relies on Azure Premium disks, it also has separate backup mechanism that ensures that even if something would happen with the files, platform would still be able to restore files from backups.

SQL 2008 Extended support ends July 2019

March 4th, 2018

A remdnder that Mainstream Support for SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 ended on July 8, 2014. – Support Lifecycle policy, found in http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle.

Customers are encouraged to prepare and execute on their upgrade and/or sustained engineering plans as early as possible for these SQL versions. Remaining current on your SQL Server version ensures that your product remains supported per the Support Lifecycle policy. Additionally, your software benefits from the many enhancements, fixes, and security updates provided through the latest releases.

For both SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2, Microsoft will continue to provide technical support which also includes security updates during the duration of extended support. See the table below for extended support end date. Non-security hotfixes for these versions will be offered only to customers who have an Extended Hotfix Support agreement.

SQL Server 2017 Cumulative Update 4

March 4th, 2018

Last month Microsoft released SQL Server 2017 Cumulative Update 4, which is Build 14.0.3022.28.

There are 55 hotfixes in the public fix list. Run the special T-SQL script in the release notes if you are using Query Store and previously ever had SQL Server 2017 CU2 installed (and you were using Query Store on any of your databases at that time). The script will look for any plans that were forced while you were running SQL Server 2017 CU2, and if it finds any, it will unforce those and then clear those from Query Store.

There are several updates both for Columnstore indexes and for Availability Groups.

There will not be any Service Packs for SQL Server 2017, so test and deploy SQL Server 2017 Cumulative Updates as they become available.

SQL Server 2017 and later versions will no longer receive SPs
The Modern Servicing Model (MSM)

Starting from SQL Server 2017:
• SPs will no longer be available. Only Cumulative Updates (CUs) and critical updates (GDRs) will be provided.
• CUs will contain localized content if it’s necessary as what SPs have done.
• CUs will be delivered more frequently at first and then less frequently: every month for the first 12 months, and then every quarter for the final four years of the five-year mainstream lifecycle.

Note The MSM only applies to SQL Server 2017 and later versions.

Earlier versions of SQL Server are not affected by this SP policy change. Service Packs (SPs) will continue to be provided for the reminder of mainstream support for SQL Server 2014 and SQL Server 2016.

February 24th, 2018

Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Enterprise is Microsoft’s flagship cloud-based ERP system, Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations is optimized to deliver improved global visibility, scalability and digital intelligence.

Overview

Financial dimensions

Workflows

Journals

Dynamics 365 FO platform update changes

February 22nd, 2018

The next platform update (which is Platform update 13) will be generally available in April 2018. Platform updates are backwards compatible and do not require any change in your customizations.

For customers who purchase subscriptions to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations after April 1, 2018, Platform updates will be continual updates, and will now be managed by Microsoft rather than optional updates.

• If you purchase subscriptions to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operation after April 1, 2018, then you willl automatically begin receiving continuous updates.
• If you are an existing customer and have Platform Update 11 or earlier installed, then you will be asked to move to Platform Update 12 by April 1 2018.

By July 1, 2018 all customers will receive continual Platform updates managed by Microsoft. (See the Microsoft Modern Lifecycle support policy).

The cloud brings new operating paradigms, no longer do we need for major upgrade every few years to get new features. Such upgrades for an enterprise system are major projects. The new platform aims at a more agile approach of incremental updates. That requires Customers to have a different mind set and processes of on-going testing, own code alignment and new feature adoption. The move from layered code to extension is to support this sea change.
Over-layering means you can change any code when want and move it up to the next layer. This works well in on-premise, isolated code bases. However, it is a high maintenance driver for cloud application, where code purity is the key to scale.
Extension technology does not change the original code base. it provides entry and exit points in the code framework to extend it. These are called pre and post hooks. So, to get a value in a table that is not retrieved in standard code, add code to the post hook to get that value, without ever changing the standard code. Thus the standard code is intact, scalable and can run at high performance using hyper scale computing power.

However, it is not always possible to use pre and post hooks. You may want to alter the value in the process before retrieving it and to interact in the code itself. That was the situation in Ax 2012 and the so called Ax 7
Microsoft provided a new concept in D365 FO called “chain of command” to take extensibility to the next levels.
The goal is better customer experience, faster time to value, better process speeds in large processes, that used to take forever, like master planning or billing.
Rather than 5 year big bang upgrades we will see rolling monthly updates.
In the long run containerisation and micro-ervices are the new paradigms. That’s how Amazon works. Containerised code can even run without an OS.

However, moving from over-layering to extensions is effectively a rewrite of all Dynamics Ax code. Thus, it is a task of epic proportions for those with legacy major vertical extensions. At the end of the work we are going to be in a better place. Release speed will improve and with less dependency on standard code, new and updated solutions will be able to release faster to keep up with the new Microsoft releases

Additional information
• Starting with the April 2018 release, Platform updates for both on-premises and online deployments will be available together.
• Continual updates will be applied first to the sandbox environment and then applied on production. Detailed plans about the process will be shared in the coming weeks.
We have taken several steps in the last few months as we continue this journey to create a robust yet flexible cloud ERP. We believe these changes will result in gains for you in the long term to take advantage of the cloud innovation and capabilities. The timeline below captures recent and upcoming changes.

Nov 2017 Network security group lock down to control access to a set of known clients.
Dec 2017 Sandbox for Dev and Test on MS subscription restricted to non admin access.

Feb 2018 Reduction in package deployment downtime.
Feb 2018 Necessary sand box service operations available through Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services (LCS) such that Azure SQL Server administrative access to all sandboxes will not be required.
April 2018 All sandbox service operations available through LCS such that RDP access to sandbox will not be required.
April 2018 Microsoft managed Platform updates for new customers.
July 2018 Microsoft managed Platform updates for existing customers.
Please note that this information is subject to change without notice.
For more information on the new features ask your Dubai Dynamics partner Synergy Software Systems

EAM, field service, IOT and Holo lens -ask Synergy Software Systems, Dubai

February 17th, 2018

The digital world is already here and what seemed science fiction few years back we now accept as everyday. Voice activated commands on our smear phone now also query our databases and update our dashboards, remote medical checks are done at an atm, artificial intelligence and big data influence our live every time we log onto google, amazon, facebook or ring a callcentre.

We have been investigating IoT for over a year, particularly with regard to condition monitoring for asset management and several of our team were involved in recent training that included a hands on session for Microsoft Field Services. This is built on the Dynamics 365 platform as an extension of CRM and offer comprehensive features for field service: help desk, engineer scheduling and mobile operations. Field service is aimed at service companies with a large field force of service engineers and is typically integrated with erp systems and thus the overall project can be quite complex. To reduce the risk and implementation time we offer a proven accelerator.

We also offer a Enterprise Asset Management suite which is successfully deployed in several leading UAE companies for a number of years particularly for asset tracking.

In Dynamics 365/2012 for Ax EAM also needs to consider that both engineers and equipment may be sued is production or on projects. Thus engineering and maintenance scheduling also has to consider in house planned and breakdown maintenance and servicing and more complex overhauls and asset structures, the impact of equipment downtime on production schedules and much more. We offer a Microsoft certified isv integrated suite of EAM modules built on the Ax 2012/D365 platform that covers both field service and mobile as well as in in house maintenance.

Predictive maintenance and SCADA integration and extensive condition monitoring., embedded and Power BI analytics are no longer rocket science.

At a recent client 4 day workshop we demonstrated HOLO lens assisted reality to support engineers. This can for example be used to provide step by step guidance or for collaboration from the field with an OEM a remote manufacturer, or your chief engineer.

“Meltdown” and “Spectre and azure.”

February 10th, 2018

Last month as reported on this blog, Intel revealed two critical vulnerabilities they found in Intel chips. These vulnerabilities allow cyber-attackers to steal data from the memory of running apps. This data can include passwords, emails, photos, or documents. Intel dubbed these as: “Meltdown” and “Spectre.”

Microsoft released a patch for Azure the very next day. Just as well because Microsoft Azure is a shared-computing environment by default. One server hosts applications and development of applications, and various Virtual Machines tap into the server to allow employees to and others to access these applications. As such, the Meltdown vulnerability allows an attacker to compromise the host and read all the data from every operating system tapping into it. Around 3-10 million physical servers host Azure, and these servers in turn host tens of millions of Virtual Machines. So impressively Microsoft developed deployed a patch for these vulnerabilities in less than a week’s time. Azure is a cloud-based application and so Microsoft could focus their security team to work on the cloud servers and only the cloud servers. This way, these millions of servers and users had a patch and all applications hosted on the Azure cloud-platform were immediately protected.

A good business case example for business to move to Azure cloud services.

Malware developers are still out there. German antivirus testing firm AV-Test reported 139 samples of malware trying to attack the Meltdown vulnerability in January to exploit those who have not patched.

Microsoft patched their cloud servers, but non-Azure users (as well as all Windows users, period) still need to apply their operating system patches to ensure complete protection. This is one vulnerability you definitely don’t want cyber-attackers to exploit, whether it’s your personal computer or your business’s server.

Microsoft Office 2019 coming soon but only on Windos 10

February 3rd, 2018

Microsoft launched Windows 10 in June 2015, two and a half years ago.

According to data gathered in January 2018, Windows 10 reached 42.78% in terms of worldwide internet usage, compared to 41.86% for Windows 7, 8.72% for Windows 8.1, and 3.36% for Windows XP.

Windows 7 – end of extended support nearing —January 2020
Office365 might be the jewel in the crown for Microsoft, but a new version of standalone Office has been announced for Windows 10. Office 2019’s desktop applications will only run on Windows 10 – and has shortened support.

In an update published on February 1st, the company revealed that the beta apps for the perpetual version of Office 2019 – as opposed to the subscription Office 365 – will appear in 2018’s second quarter and a final release will ship in the second half of the year.

When the software lands, it will only run on Windows 10 or the next Long-Term Servicing version of Windows Server. For Windows 10 users, only the Semi-Annual or Long-Term Servicing Channel editions of the OS will run Office’s apps.

In the past, perpetual versions of Office were released under the Microsoft Fixed Lifecycle Policy, with a term of 5 years of standard support and 5 years of extended support.Office 2019 will get the usual period of standard support, but just two years of extended support. That will mean the suite’s planned death day is October 10th, 2025. (Which is the same day on which Microsoft will end extended support for Office 2016.)

Microsoft said this is because “As the pace of change accelerates, it has become imperative to move our software to a more modern cadence.” Which is a bit inconsistent with news that Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2018 will land “in the fall of 2018” and get five years of extended support.

Another change Microsoft’s is to make Office 365 ProPlus, the business-oriented version of the service, available only on Windows 10’s semi-annual channel. As of January 14, 2020, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2016 or older and Windows 10 LTSC releases won’t run ProPlus. Nor will unsupported Windows 10 semi-annual releases.

This will keep Windows 10 and ProPlus in synch for security reasons. Those companies that deliver ProPlus to virtual desktops or over remote access will have a chllenge. Later this year, “new Remote Desktop and desktop virtualization capabilities within the SAC release cadence of Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows Server.” Windows Server Insiders will see those changes before other users.

Office 2019 will add new user and IT capabilities for customers who aren’t yet ready for the cloud. For example:
New and improved inking features—like pressure sensitivity, tilt effects, and ink replay—will allow you to work more naturally.
New formulas and charts will make data analysis for Excel more powerful.
Visual animation features—like Morph and Zoom—will add polish to PowerPoint presentations.
Server enhancements will include updates to IT manageability, usability, voice, and security.’

Outlook Add in for Dynamics 365 lives on – ask Dubai Dynamics partner Synergy Software Systems

February 1st, 2018

In June 2017, Microsoft announced the deprecation of Dynamics 365 for Outlook (otherwise known as the “Outlook add-in”) and the plan to replace it with Dynamics 365 App for Outlook. The deprecation announcement meant that although Dynamics 365 for Outlook would continue to be supported, it would be removed in Dynamics 365 version 10.0.

Some feature gaps in Dynamics 365 App for Outlook prevent it from being a viable replacement for the Outlook add-in. Along with many other partners and customers we voiced our concern. Microsoft has announced it is reversing the deprecation of Dynamics 365 for Outlook so that customers who are still on older versions of Dynamics 365 can upgrade and not lose core functionalities on.

Microsoft will still release Dynamics 365 for Outlook with new versions of Dynamics 365. As a result, customers upgrading to a new version of Dynamics 365 will have the same Outlook integration experience as in previous versions.

The Outlook add-in will also continue to be fully supported in current and future versions of Dynamics 365, and bugs will continue to be fixed with improvements to the performance and reliability of the Outlook add-in

From a functionality standpoint, all current scenarios will continue to be supported; we are not planning to add any new features.

The reversal of the deprecation of Dynamics 365 for Outlook does not change the fact that COM add-ins (like Dynamics 365 for Outlook) are an older and slower technology.

The Dynamics 365 App for Outlook is based on newer Office add-in technology. This is an area where the Outlook team is also investing heavily. Unlike COM add-ins, Office add-ins do not have any code physically installed on the user’s device or on the Outlook client. They are easier to deploy and maintain, much more reliable, and work across platforms.