Archive for the ‘Dynamics 365’ category

The first Microsoft cloud datacenter regions in the Middle East are now available!

June 20th, 2019

On the 19th June 2019, Microsoft launched two new cloud data centres in the United Arab Emirates – in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
These new cloud regions join Microsoft’s global cloud infrastructure – one of the largest and most innovative in the world.

Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Office 365 are now available from the new cloud regions in the UAE and give local access for Middle East organizations, enterprises and developers to scalable, available and resilient cloud services to bring applications closer to users, while maintaining data residency, security and compliance needs.

These new cloud regions in the UAE are the dawn of a new era, driving digital transformation, economic growth and job creation,” said Sayed Hashish, Regional General Manager, Microsoft Gulf. “We are committed to empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Now, more customers in the Middle East can move with confidence to the trusted and intelligent Microsoft Cloud. They will be more competitive as they start their digital transformation journeys – engaging customers, empowering employees, optimising operations, and reinventing products and services.”

Azure, is an ever-expanding set of cloud services, that offers computing, networking, databases, analytics, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things (IoT). Office 365 provides email, collaboration, conferencing, enterprise social networking and business intelligence.

Dynamics 365 and Power Platform, offer the next generation of intelligent business applications and tools, and are anticipated to be available from the cloud regions in the UAE by the end of 2019.

Microsoft provides expertise in data protection, security and privacy as well as the industry’s broadest set of compliance certifications to helpmanage compliance with supported industry standards and regulations such as ISO 27001/27018, SSAE 18 SOC, and GDPR.

Data residency in the UAE will help enable government organizations and enterprises to comply with in-country regulatory frameworks and decrease the obstacles for cloud adoption. This allows, for example, public sector departments to revitalize their service delivery with the ability to improve data gathering, promote teamwork, portal development and analytics.

Regional organizations of all sizes from across all industries have placed their trust in the Microsoft Cloud. These include the Emirates Group, Emaar Properties, Majid Al Futtaim, Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts, Landmark Group, Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM), Miral, Daman Insurance, RAK Ceramics, Imdaad, Gulf Air, Viva, Kuwait Finance House, and Dubai World Trade Center.

Entities from sectors such as government, aviation, financial services, manufacturing and healthcare are among those that are already benefiting from the new cloud regions. These include Dubai Airports, Etihad Airways, Mubadala Development Company, Mashreq Bank, The First Group, Network International, and Shelf Drilling.

Microsoft has been working closely with Abu Dhabi Digital Authority (ADDA) and Dubai Electronic Security Center (DESC) to enable compliant adoption of Cloud Services by the UAE government and semi-government entities. Microsoft is the first cloud service provider in the UAE to achieve DESC’s Cloud Service Provider certification.

Power BI advanced analytics and AI

June 19th, 2019

There is a huge demand to get more insight from the data using AI and advanced analytics.
See how to use visuals in Power BI to get more insight from your data and how to use embedded AI features in Power BI.

Power BI is about helping our customers embrace a data culture, where every employee can make better decisions based on data. The growth of Power BI has been staggering – customers ingest more than 20PB of data to Power BI every month, lighting up over 30M reports and dashboards, and the Power BI service processes over 12M queries per hour.

Gartner named Microsoft a Leader in the Magic Quadrant for Analytics and BI Platforms for 12 consecutive years.
Power BI has led the way in infusing AI with BI through capabilities like Quick Insights which help unearth trends in data and Q&A which enable business users to get answers by simply asking questions.

Microsoft recently announced the general availability of Azure Cognitive Services and Azure ML dataflows integration, to provide analysts with a toolkit of powerful AI functions:

● Azure Cognitive Services are sophisticated pre-trained machine learning models for intelligent applications. Analysts can use these models to extract insights from images by detecting objects. Text fields like customer feedback can be analyzed for positive and negative sentiment as well as have key phrases extracted. All these AI enrichments can be easily consumed by end users through interactive Power BI reports.

● Azure Machine Learning is a powerful platform where data scientists can develop machine learning models. These models can now easily be shared and used by analysts. Power BI automatically discovers which models an analyst has permissions to and provides an intuitive point and click user interface to invoke them. Analysts can now easily collaborate with data scientists as well as visualize and use insights from the model in their reports.

Learn more about the general availability for cognitive services, Azure ML and the AI workload in Power BI Premium.

Some exciting new capabilities that will be available soon:

● Two new AI visuals—Distribution Changes analyzes what makes a distribution look different, and the Decomposition Tree enables users to drill into any dimension to understand what is driving a key metric.

● Expanding Power BI’s vision and text analytics capabilities and adding entity detection and text and handwriting recognition, enabling one-click transformations for insights on unstructured data.

● For enterprises that need custom lifecycle management or further tuning, models created in Power BI can be exported to Azure ML

● Extending Power BI’s natural language capabilities. The new updates include the ability to train Q&A so it understands and adapts to company-specific language like synonyms, phrasings, or specific domains, and the ability for report authors to see every natural-language question asked so they can adjust how Power BI responds.

Template apps are integrated packages of pre-built Power BI dashboards and reports, configured to connect to specific data sources. With them, Microsoft partners can quickly provide analytics for the apps and services they provide. Partners can also manage the Template Apps development lifecycle, from dev to marketplace to updates. With template apps, users can immediately begin exploring, learning, and acting on key data with off-the-shelf apps. Today, Template Apps become generally available. Users can find and install template apps on AppSource.

Embedded analytics keeps evolving

With Power BI embedded analytics, you can extend the value of Power BI Premium and Power BI Pro. Embed analytics in internal websites, applications, and portals to empower your organization to make data-driven decisions. Here is some of the exciting news we are sharing today:

● Service principals with Power BI are now generally available. With service principal, application developers can authenticate an external application to embed Power BI content or manage and automate Power BI operations with Power BI using an app-only token. Read the full article.

● Use the AI-based ‘Key Influencers’ visualization in your application to allow end users to see which factors affect the metric being analyzed and contrast the relative importance of these factors.

Microsoft showcases power Apps with AI at the Atlaata Business Application Summit

June 15th, 2019

Microsoft is in Atlanta is hosting its Business Application Summit where it is announcing three significant updates to its Power Platform to give users new tools and more advanced features.
- AI Building and PowerApps Portal,
- updated AI capabilities for PowerBI,
- enhanced cognitive/AI capabilities in Microsoft Flow.

Microsoft’s narrative is to democratize AI and ML f to eliminate the need for years of coding experience to properly utilize the technology in your application or at your company – ‘Citizen developers’.

Power BI’s new UI is more closely aligned to other Office 365 applications
• Text and image analytics in Power BI powered by Azure Cognitive Services, and the ability to invoke Azure ML models are now generally available.
• Microsoft announced two new AI visuals—Distribution Changes analyzes what makes a distribution look different, and the Decomposition Tree enables users to drill into any dimension to understand what is driving a key metric.
• Microsoft is expanding Power BI’s vision and text analytics capabilities, and aiso also adding entity detection and text and handwriting recognition, to enable one-click transformations for insights on unstructured data.
• For custom lifecycle management or further tuning, models created in Power BI can be exported to Azure ML.

The PowerApps Portal is a new tool that was previously in Dynamics 365 wall but is now available directly with PowerApps to enables customers to create websites that can be accessed by external users with a wide variety of identities, including personal accounts, LinkedIn, and other Azure Active Directory organizations, and enable anonymous access to content.

The Microsoft Flow, app will have AI capabilities and In conjunction with AI Builder, Flow users can extract data from images and text to drive logic in their processes to make more informed decisions.

Making AI more accessible in the power applications means that rather than have to model your application around an AI framework , AI and ML can be built around your application.

Enhancements to the production order release process in Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations

May 30th, 2019

When you release a BOM or formula line to the warehouse, the system first determines whether material is already available at the production input location on the shop floor where the material will be consumed for the production process.
• If the material is available at the production input location, then it’s picked from that location immediately after the signal is given for the release of material to the warehouse.
• If the material isn’t available at the production input location, then the material release indicates that material must be moved from locations in the warehouse to the production input location. The material is moved via warehouse work for raw material picking. Therefore, warehouse processes for raw material picking must be configured. For more information, see Replenishment and Control warehouse work by using work templates and location directives.

Configure the release of BOM and formula lines so that it occurs as part of the release of a production order or batch order. Alternatively, control the release either by a batch job or as a manual interaction.

The method that is used to release BOM and formula lines is controlled by the Production line release parameter. You can find this parameter at Production control > Setup > Production parameters.

If you release materials by using the On production order release parameter setting, then when you do a manual release, you have two options for controlling the material release:
•Release material per operation number.
•Release material in proportion to the amount of finished goods. You can release raw material for a partial quantity of finished goods . For example, a production order is created and scheduled for 1,000 pieces (pcs.). The shop floor supervisor is planning the production of 100 pcs. for the next shift and wants to release materials only for that shift. In this case, the supervisor can use the Quantity field to release materials for the 100 pcs. that are planned for the next shift.

•To release raw material in a specific unit, select Production control > Production orders > All production orders, select a production order, and then, on the Warehouse tab, select Release to warehouse. Then use the Unit field to select the unit of the finished good to release material in. The units that are available are defined in the unit sequence group ID of the finished good.

General Availability of Unified Service Desk 4.1

May 22nd, 2019

Many new features.

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/usd/2019/03/08/public-preview-of-unified-service-desk-4-1/

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/customer-engagement/unified-service-desk/admin/whats-new-unified-service-desk-administrators?view=dynamics-usd-4.1

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/customer-engagement/unified-service-desk/what-s-new-in-unified-service-desk?view=dynamics-usd-4.1

Unified Service Desk has an annual release cadence for the major version upgrades. Customers on Unified Service Desk 3.2 or a lower version, should plan to migrate to the latest/supported release of Unified Service Desk. Some features of earlier versions will be deprecated from earlier versions ofUnified Service Desk

Going forward, Unified Service Desk will support the last three releases (N-2 format). On the release of the next version of Unified Service Desk, the oldest supported version will be deprecated. For example, with the release of Unified Service Desk 4.2, Unified Service Desk 3.3 version will stand deprecated.1.) Unified Service Desk 3.2 and any lower versions

Hosted controls
• Hosted Control and Web Hosted Application of CCA Hosted Application
For the CCA Hosted Application type of hosted control, there are four types of Hosted App Type. Out of those, Hosted Control and Web Hosted Application are deprecated.

If you are using Hosted Control Hosted App Type of CCA Hosted Application, then use the USD Hosted Control type of hosted control.

Similarly, for Web Hosted Application Hosted App Type, use the Standard web application type of hosted control. The Web Hosted Application uses the paradigm of UII Web Application Adapter (UII action protocols) to talk and interact with Unified Service Desk. With the direction to use the Standard web application type of hosted control, use RunScript actions.

CRM Dialog hosted control
The CRM Dialog hosted control type is used to work with Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement apps dialog. Microsoft is deprecating the CRM Dialog hosted control. As an alternative to Dialogs, use Business Process Flows or Canvas Apps.
In the Unified Service Desk, either use Unified Interface page ,or Standard Web Application type of hosted control. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/get-started/whats-new/customer-engagement/important-changes-coming#dialogs-are-deprecated

•Interactive Service Hub Page hosted control
The Interactive Service Hub Page hosted control is used to host interactive service hub forms within Unified Service Desk. Upgrade to Unified Interface forms and use the Unified Interface Page hosted control.

end-of-life for Dynamics Field Service (online) legacy versions by February, 2020

May 22nd, 2019

Last week Microsoft announced the retirement of all legacy versions (web client and mobile) of Dynamics 365 for Field Service (online) by the end of February, 2020. This change aims to provide all users access to the latest capabilities and improvements, and offer a better support experience.

All customers must update to Field Service version 8.x by February, 2020

These versions are impacted:
• Field Service web client versions 7.x and 6.x
Field Service mobile (2017) on all platforms including iOS and Android

Regular updates on these versions will continue until October, this year and Microsoft will continue to provide support until December, 2019.

This change does not impact Dynamics 365 for Field Service (on-premises) versions.

Most of the Recent improvements are only available in Field Service version 8.x onwards, so organizations using earlier versions are missing out on new capabilities such as:
• Improved scheduling experiences
• Improved IoT scenarios and enablement
• Multi-resource work orders
• Crew scheduling
• Pools
• Facilities-based scheduling
• Geo-fencing
• SLA improvements
• Entitlements
• and more…

Field Service 8.x has been available via opt-in on the insider portal (https://experience.dynamics.com/insider) since last August. There are significant changes to the user interface as part of the move to the Dynamics 365 Unified version. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/customer-engagement/admin/about-unified-interface

Consider:
• Do not install this directly on your production environment. This upgrade should initially be done in a non-production environment with change management and release controls.
We don’t anticipate any breaking changes, but i test to ensure that no customizations are impacted by the upgrade process. Run the Solution Checker to assess potentially problematic customizations.
• Field Service version 8 relies entirely on the Unified Interface. All navigation is controlled by model driven apps.
Field service version 7 had significantly different navigation which will no longer be available when using Field Service.
• Field Service mobile in version 8 takes advantage of the new Field Service Mobile app and a new mobile project.

Use of previous project templates or mobile apps, including Field Service Mobile (2017) and Field Service Mobile (2016), on Field Service version 8 is not supported.

Plan to follow Microsoft’s detailed steps to build a derivative mobile project against the new project template and then move your mobile users to the new app.

• Update internal documentation and conduct internal training to manage the organizational impact of changes from the navigation, mobile app, and any potential functionality impacts discovered by testing or the Solution Checker.

• Once ready, enable on your production environments.

Note. There is a trials version. When Field Service is not installed on an org, then you can install the Field Service Trial from App Source. However, do not attempt this on an org with Field Service version 7 because this install will fail. It is blocked by Microsoft to protect organizations from accidentally upgrading to the latest version, without an understanding of the impact of this upgrade.

Dynamics 365 – LCS updates April 2019

April 28th, 2019

New features in Lifecycle Services (LCS) enable you to configure when you get updates to your production environment and how you can pause an update when you are unable to take the update due to a critical business activity.

These features were only available to customers using version 8.1 and above. From today these features will also be available to customers that are using version 7.3. For customers that are on 7.3, LCS will update their sandbox and production environments to the latest Platform update each month.
For customers that are on version 7.1, 7.2 and 8.0, you can apply the latest platform update manually using the servicing flows.

With the features now available in LCS, you will be able to do the following:
• Configure whether to get Platform updates for your production environment in the first, second, or third week of the month and in what time zone.
• Pause updates through LCS if you are unable to take the update. You can pause a maximum of 2 continuous updates. However, if you are more than 2 releases behind, then you will not be allowed to pause updates. For example, if you are on Update 23 and the currently available platform update is Update 25, then you will be able to pause. But if you are on Update 22, then you will not be allowed to pause.
• Get notified about upcoming service updates through LCS.

Changes that will affect the servicing flows that will be released in the May 2019 update of Lifecycle Services (LCS).

Sign off on maintenance operations triggered through LCS

From today, on completion of any maintenance operation (servicing, database movement, upgrade, and putting system in maintenance mode) you have the option to sign off, or to sign off with issues as the last step to indicate completion of the operation.
Only after you indicate sign off, is your environment ready for the next operation.
The following changes we will be made to streamline the sign off process:
• Going forward the environment will be ready for the next operation after the current operation has been successfully completed. This means that sign off is no longer the terminal state, but rather it is the completion of the operation. Operation completion states are now Successful, Rollback Successful, or Aborted.

• The Sign off button will be moved to the Environment history page, so after the operation is complete, you can navigate to the Environment history page to indicate sign off if you want to validate and capture this information.

• The release candidate check for moving packages from sandbox to production will continue to check whether the package was successfully applied in a sandbox before you can move it to production. It does not depend on you signing off on the update.

•T he sign off will only apply to a servicing operation, because that is the main operation where you validate the environment state to verify whether there are any issues. For other operations, such as database movement, upgrade and maintenance mode, sign off does not apply and will not be visible.

• For service updates pushed by Microsoft, whenthe environment is not in a terminal state (environment has a pending sign off), then LCS will not apply the update. There are often instances where customers forget to sign off on a previous operation and because that is the terminal state LCS skips the environment and doesn’t apply the update. As a result, customers ask us why LCS didn’t update their environments. With this change, sign off is managed separately, so if your environment is in a Deployed state then LCS will apply the update.

Provide a single package containing all customizations and ISV solutions
One recommended best practice is to provide a single package containing all customizations and ISV solutions when doing updates to your environment. With a single package because it contains all of the changes it is easy to recreate the environment and you don’t need to worry about the order of packages applied.

This also helps with the CI/CD pipeline and provides reliability when doing the updates, because all of the dependencies are included in the package.

However, LCS doesn’t have any validation checks that enforce this best practice. Soon LCS will addi a warning check for Application deployable packages to highlight that there is a difference in the modules that exist on the environment and what is available in the package that is provided during deployment.

This will initially be a soft-check but will later become a hard check that will prevent you from applying updates when all of the modules on the environment are not accounted for in the package and in the list of modules to delete. When there are modules that are listed in the ModuleToRemove file, then those will be deleted.

With the new self-service deployment feature, it is required that you use a single package. Whatever is available in the package overwrites what is on the environment.

Today, self-service deployment is available only to new customers signing up for Finance and Operations; however, existing customers will be soon be migrated to this feature based on their Azure region. This new check to help with this transition and enforce the recommendation. From today you can manage customizations and third-party models from your build server.

In the near future LCS will also add a feature that allows you to create such a package from your development environment.

Document management Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations

April 21st, 2019

Document types are used to categorize the documents that you attach to records or the templates that you create.
Each document type can be stored in a unique location.
A default set of document types is provided. You can use these document types to categorize an attachment as a file, image, note, or URL.

By modifying the list of file extensions that are allowed, you can control the types of files that users can attach to records.

The File and Image default document types are configured to use Azure storage as the location. Microsoft SharePoint Online is one of the storage locations that are supported natively. Currently, only SharePoint Online is supported. Support for on-premises SharePoint (a local SharePoint server) may be added in the future. SharePoint communication works for the current user only if the following conditions are met:
• An Office 365 license is associated with the user’s account.
• The user is a typical user on the tenant, not an external user (for example, a user from another tenant).
• There is a SharePoint site for the tenant (for example, Contoso.SharePoint.com).

A good improvement is the document preview pane. This does exactly what you’d expect, show a preview of the attached at hand. Whether it’s an image, PDF file or in example a Word document, a preview of the file will be shown allowing you to quickly check the attachment. The preview pane is not just a fixed preview thumbnail, but allows you control over the file by for example, scrolling or zooming in and out of the preview.

The attachments preview uses the Web app Open Platform Interface (WOPI) that is provided by Microsoft Office Online Server. On the Document management parameters page, on the General tab, in the Office Web Apps Server field, specify the Office Online Server instance to use for attachment previews. The default value is https://onenote.officeapps.live.com. This value points to the cloud-based WOPI server.

Introduced with Platform Update 11, when viewing a record, the system will indicate the number of attachments on that record by showing a count on the Attachments button. This number will indicate that there are attachments associated with the record, without having to navigate to the attachment details form. The count will show up to 9 attachments, with more than 9 attached documents being represented as “9+”.

Microsoft opens first cloud data centres in Africa and signs agreements to support U.A.E. Smart solutions

April 15th, 2019

A landmark achievement for the MEA region. 6 March 2019 saw the launched of the first Microsoft datacenters in Africa. which opened in both Cape Town and Johannesburg. This world-class cloud infrastructure will power emerging cloud, AI and edge computing innovations across the African continent. Microsoft is the first global provider to deliver cloud services from datacenters in Africa, and has announced 54 Azure regions worldwide, more than any other cloud provider.

According to the Cloud Africa 2018 report, use of the cloud among medium and large organisations has more than doubled from less than 50 percent in 2013 to pervasive use in 2018. While Kenyan and Nigerian businesses see business efficiency and scalability as the most significant benefits of cloud computing, South African companies view time-to-market and speed of deployment as the greatest advantage. The security and reliability of cloud services are pivotal when discussing digital transformation. At the same time, cloud services help with compliance for evolving laws around data protection, which have become increasingly focused on data residency requirements.

Today the Abu Dhabi Smart Solutions and Services Authority (ADSSSA) today announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Microsoft to establish a ‘Cloud centre of Excellence’ that will aim to build its capacity for the delivery of cloud services and platforms, as well as upskill the emirate’s public sector workforce. Microsoft’s collaboration with ADSSSA will focus on the establishment of a Cloud Centre of Excellence. Under the agreement, Microsoft will provide instructor-led training for 240 government employees from various departments and agencies. The training will be distributed across 11 tracks, and will encompass all Microsoft skill levels, from 0 to 300. Instruction will ensure that Government of Abu Dhabi employees are well-versed in such technologies as Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, Office 365, data, AI and Dynamics 365. Through Cloud Society in Box, Abu Dhabi Government employees will receive access to an online training portal hosted on ADSSSA Azure Tenant that can be customised to assign and track training paths. Microsoft specialists will be on hand to deliver regular support to all training delegates and guide them on their upskilling journeys.

Yesterday Smart Dubai today announced a landmark collaboration with Microsoft to achieve the goal of making Dubai the happiest city on Earth. The move aims to accelerate digital transformation across the emirate and empower government employees to innovate faster. Under the terms of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by H.E. Dr. Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director-General, Smart Dubai, and Sayed Hashish, General Manager, Microsoft Gulf, Microsoft will support Smart Dubai in its digital transformation journey by accelerating adoption of Microsoft Cloud technologies, and will conduct targeted training sessions as well as upskilling workshops in cloud and other associated technologies.

Smart Dubai was formed under the guidance and vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai a knowledge hub and the happiest city on Earth. The organisation’s strategy is to urge participation and counsel from a wide array of city stakeholders, including residents, visitors and business owners.

“We all have a responsibility to accelerate towards the vision established by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister & Vice-President of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, to create a Dubai that shines as a beacon for others to emulate,” said H.E. Dr. Aisha Bin Butti Bin Bishr, Director-General, Smart Dubai. “Through this collaboration with our trusted partner Microsoft, we are taking another decisive step in that journey. By upskilling and empowering our people, we are building a platform for change and innovation that will serve our citizens, residents, visitors and businesses for decades to come.”

Under the MoU, Microsoft’s UAE datacenters that are expected to open this year, will be used to support the Government of Dubai’s digital transformation efforts through the adoption of a range of Microsoft technologies. Microsoft will train departmental staff in those technologies, empowering them to achieve more in their roles, and accelerate digital transformation across the emirate of Dubai.

“The intelligent cloud has become a cornerstone of digital transformation, and Dubai’s government has led the way in its adoption,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, EVP and President, Microsoft Global Sales, Marketing & Operations. “We remain a steadfast partner to the Government of Dubai in its journey to become a smart city. As strong proponents of lifelong learning, we are uniquely poised to reskill and upskill public sector employees in cloud, allowing them to add immeasurable value to Dubai’s excellence e-government services.”

Microsoft experts will also collaborate with Smart Dubai on use cases and adoption scenarios, and will work jointly on roadmaps for rolling out new platforms to other government entities. Microsoft will also conduct awareness sessions on its cloud technologies for government entities and guide those entities on how best to benefit from online Microsoft courses and certifications.

Last week HE Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence confirmed that the UAE government adopts an integrated and dynamic model for the utilization of artificial intelligence that supports industry growth, development of new sectors as well as strengthening governance and ethics frameworks, ultimately anticipating future challenges and creating a positive change for humanity.

This came during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Sayed Hashish, Regional General Manager, Microsoft Gulf, to enhance joint cooperation in the field of artificial intelligence development, governance and ethics in the UAE, as well as developing a set of concepts, strategies and future ideas and study implementation mechanisms then implementing them. HE Al Olama said: “The UAE government focuses on enhancing innovation in modern technology applications and employing them in achieving sustainable development, and realizing the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai”

The focus of this collaboration will be on four key areas: identifying and developing technological solutions based on artificial intelligence to achieve the United Nations goals of sustainable development, enhancing the use of artificial intelligence in all government bodies in the UAE, establishing an integrated and global framework for governance and AI ethics, contributing to achieving the outputs of the UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence.

Dynamics 365 Sales Insights- now available for MEA region

April 11th, 2019

In November 2018, Dynamics 365 AI for Sales (Now called “Sales Insights”) was made available in North America. We are happy to announce that Dynamics 365 Sales Insights has expanded availability to also include Europe, Middle East and Africa. Customers can join the product preview, start a trial as well as purchase licenses to empower users across the sales organizations with Dynamics 365 Sales Insights.

Dynamics 365 for Customer Service is a “next-generation” application of big data and machine learning.

Region and language availability for Dynamics 365 for Sales

Before November 2018, we used the term “international availability” to capture multiple intentions: the physical location of the data, where the data is stored (“Region”), and the language in which information is displayed (“Display language”). Following the release of the new Dynamics 365 Sales Insights, there is a new intent: the Model language, specifically the language of the data that is parsed by the model to produce insights.

Region

With Dynamics 365 for Sales, System Administrators can specify the region where customer data will be stored. In the process of creating a new org, customers can select a geographic location (“Geo”) to determine where data will be stored. Data will not move from one geo to another, and Microsoft will not limit the geos/locations where customers, or their end users, can access data.

Dynamics 365 Sales Insights is now available across multiple geos, including North America, Europe and the UK.
We expect availability to additional: Australia, Asia Pacific, South America, Canada, India and Japan, also by end of April 2019.

Display language

When creating a new org, System Administrators need to select a base language for the org. The base language determines default regional and language settings for the org. Once base language is selected, System Administrators can enable additional languages for display as well as for assistance (“Help”). Dynamics 365 for Sales currently supports 45 display languages.

Currently, Dynamics 365 Sales Insights for Sellers supports all 45 display languages.

Model languages in Dynamics 365 Sales Insights

With the new Dynamics 365 Sales Insights, some features use natural language algorithms to derive insights. Those capabilities analyze text (such as email communications or notes) as well as voice utterances (from call recordings), to develop relevant and actionable insights.

From the full list of Dynamics 365 Sales Insights capabilities, two features are still limited to North America. These include Who Knows Whom and Relationship Analytics from Exchange. However, Customers in Europe, Middle East and Africa can still benefit from Relationship Analytics, to analyze the health of their customer relationships, based on activities within Dynamics 365 only.

Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement apps v 9 – User Session Timeout Management

April 11th, 2019

The maximum user session timeout of 24 hours is being removed. This means that a user is not forced to sign in every 24 hours to use the Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement apps and other Microsoft service apps, like Outlook, that were opened in the same browser session.

Honor Azure AD session policy

By default, the Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement apps leverage the Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) session policy to manage the user session timeout. Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement apps uses the Azure AD ID Token with Policy Check Interval (PCI) claims. Every hour a new Azure AD ID Token is fetched silently in the background and Azure AD enforces the Azure ID instant policy. For example, if an administrator disables or deletes a user account, Azure AD instant policy will force a user password reset and revoke the refresh token.

This Azure AD ID token refresh cycle continues in the background based on the Azure AD token lifetime policy configurations. Users continue to access the Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement/Common Data Service data without needing to re-authenticate until the Azure AD token lifetime policy expires.

Resilience to Azure AD outages

In an event that there are intermittent Azure AD outages, authenticated users can continue to access the Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement/Common Data Service data if the PCI claims have not expired or the user has opted in the ‘Stay signed in’ during authentication.

Set Custom Session timeout for individual environment

For environments that require different session timeout values, administrators can continue to set the session timeout and/or inactivity timeout in System Settings. These settings override the default Azure AD session policy and users will be directed to Azure AD for re-authentication when these settings expire.

Dynamics 365 ‘One Version; April 2019 release – what’s new?.

April 11th, 2019

Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations unifies global financials and operations to empower people to make fast, informed decisions.
Finance and Operations helps businesses adapt quickly to changing market demands to drive rapid business growth.

The April ’19 release will bring users together on One Version (version 10) for Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. This release marks a monumental shift in supportability based on a common codebase and continuous update cadence. that’s till allows for customers to build extensible solutions for Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations.

This release also enhances the user experience of the solution with Net Promoter Score (NPS) feedback as a primary driver. The targeted areas of t enhancements include: performance, compliance, automation, and supportability of the service.

Financial management

The April ‘19 release for financial management provides capabilities needed to comply with IFRS 15 and for responding to the guidance on accounting for revenue recognition on contracts. An enhanced expense report entry experience with a new header and details expense report, together with an automated settlements processin the general ledger completed periodically. Bank foreign currency revaluation I also added..

Supply chain management

Product information management and inventory management

Inventory management performance improvements. The April ’19 release, introduces the ability to configure and apply unit of measure (UoM) conversions for product variants so that UoM conversions at the product variant level are supported throughout the application.

In future releases, new classes of products and production processes will evolve the product definition . The inventory valuation capabilities will be expanded to support scenarios where multiple valuation methods and multiple currencies are required—for example, in case of different managerial reporting and statutory reporting requirements. Inventory on-hand information will be more readily available in distributed scenarios, such as the retail industry.

Warehouse management

The Warehouse Management System (WMS) has been gradually enhanced since its introduction in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, and a large suite of additional enhancements has recently been licensed from an ISV. With the April ’19 release, the integration of these enhancements will begin, and the ability to handle catch weight (CW) products in WMS processes will be added.

The suite of 30-plus distinct features will partially be integrated as preview for the April release and its subsequent monthly releases. For example, a feature like enabling label printing during wave adds flexibility in configuration and operation.

Sales and procurement

Usability enhancements in sales and procurement will allow Super users will be able to propose filtered views and build forms where unnecessary fields or actions can be removed. Super users knowledge can thus be more easily disseminated to the organization and all skill levels of users can benefit from targeted views, crafted for the task at hand.

Going forward expect to see: supplier collaboration, extended self-service, data sharing and maintenance capabilities, and improved business support within integration scenarios such as : purchase requisition, request for quotation and purchase ordering relative to data flow and accounting distribution constraints.

A primary focus will be improvements to track and account for goods in transit.
There will also be enhanced support to kit to stock, as well as kit to order, and to enhance sales price and promotion management with extended price management flexibility.

Manufacturing

In the April ’19 release, the focus is on optimizing the resilience of master planning toward platform and infrastructure errors, as well as to deliver incremental master planning performance improvements.

To support the connected, intelligent operations of modern manufacturer integration with the intelligent Microsoft Azure IoT service will support manufacturing customers close the digital feedback loop with close to real-time information from the shop floor with business data to generate events and actionable insights.

The future road map includes enterprise asset management capabilities to track the total cost of ownership of operations assets, nd to manage the ongoing maintenance of those assets. .

Globalization

Microsoft Dynamics for Finance and Operations is localized for 37 countries/regions and provided in 42 languages directly.

To operate in many countries or regions, businesses need to quickly respond to changing regulatory requirements and meet very specific requirements of industries and verticals. The April ’19 release, will expand the areas of configurable localization to simplify this process. Configurable engines for both Electronic Reporting and Global Tax, are accessible through Regulatory Configuration Service, so that users can extend Microsoft-delivered regulatory configurations or build new configurable features from scratch.

The invoice layout is one of the most-customized areas by customers who deploy globally, in the April ’19 release there are more configurable invoice layouts beyond the Free Text Invoice layout that shipped in the October ’18 release.

Platform

Several improvements to the developer tools will be previewed in the next 3 months.
-Development of more than one application on the same environment will be possible.
- Build automation will not require build virtual machines and will enable automated deployment to Lifecycle Services (LCS).

The Web Client introduces new features guided by user productivity, usability research, and customer feedback. This includes personalization of forms and workspaces, interacting with large data sets (with better filtering), and mobile device responsive capabilities.

An improved workflow experience, including integration with Microsoft Flow, will be available.

Analytical Workspaces support new personalization options and power user editing tools of Power BI reports within the Finance and Operations client. Power users can extend reports and do data mashups using PowerBI.com functionality without any developer intervention.

New tools for management of network printers are also introduced. The Entity Store is supported for on-premises deployments.

Integration

Customers will be able to seamlessly link to Common Data Service (CDS) for Apps from Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. A breadth of Finance and Operations entities will be available in CDS for Apps.

Entity Store will be staged in a customer’s Azure Data Lake. Microsoft will keep the data fresh with incremental syncs.

Event-driven integrations is a new capability that provides a framework to allow Finance and Operations business and workflow events to be consumed by Microsoft Flow and external systems. For example, this will enable a PO confirmation to trigger fulfillment by the vendor earlier; or enable a receipt of a damaged part to trigger the vendor claim process in real time.

Cloud operations and lifecycle services

Microsoft will manage the continuous updates of Platform, Application (Finance and Operations, Retail), and Financial Reporting . A set of tools and experiences to support this experience (called One Version) will be made available in Lifecycle Services and will enable predictability, reliability, and continuous delivery.

The service will also be made available in the China Sovereign Cloud with all customer data maintained within the region.

Diagnostic assistant enables an IT administrator to diagnose user-reported issues or performance issues using a guided troubleshooting experience in Lifecycle Services (LCS). The administrator selects from a list of predefined issues and provides a set of inputs to narrow down the search results. The inputs could vary based on the issue selected. They will then be guided on a drill-through experience that correlates multiple sources of information to help the administrator identify the root cause quickly and efficiently. Today, a lot of this information is available in LCS, but you need an expert to correlate the different pieces.

To troubleshoot the issues that arise from customization, activity monitoring, SQL insights, critical health metrics, and live view are made available to the IT administrator. The goal of this feature is to help simplify this experience. Once a potential root cause is identified, the administrator can choose from a set of predefined actions that they can take to mitigate the originally reported issue.

The true value of a cloud service is realized through continuous updates that can provide both improved reliability and new features, while minimizing operational impact.

Microsoft is optimizing the way it w ll deliver updates. A monthly update cadence aims to provide predictability, lower upgrade costs, user access to the latest product capabilities and performance improvements, and a better support experience. the ONE-V update experience available to customers and partners. You first need to Onboard: This is a one-time activity in LCS Project Settings to configure the environments for the update, configure the date and time for the production update, or select to pause updates up to three months, and to sign up for any first-release programs.

Tools to support the continuous testing process include:

Impact analysis tool: This tool provides insight into the usage, churn, and feature areas that can help assess risk and drive smarter testing.

Regression Suite Automation Tool (RSAT): Customers and partners can use this tool to validate business processes by using the web client without having to write code. This tool relies on the task recording framework that allows functional users to record business flows and play them back.

Data Task Automation: This tool allows the automation of data import and export tasks by using a data task manifest and data project definition, which therefore provides a robust framework for regression testing of data integration scenarios.

Power BI updates April 2019 – ask Synergy Software Systems

April 10th, 2019

We have delivered many Power BI models, reports and training sessions over the last two years, and it has been enthusiastically adopted by customers. Microsoft is continually adding new features.

– Power BI Report Builder, is the latest companion application for Power BI that lets you author Paginated Reports is a free, standalone Windows Desktop application that can now be downloaded from the Power BI website. As the name suggests, paginated reports can run to many pages. They’re laid out in a fixed format and offer precise customization. Paginated reports are .rdl files. You can store and manage paginated reports in the Power BI Report Server web portal, just as you can in the SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) web portal. You create and edit them in Report Builder or Report Designer in SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT), then publish those to a web portal. Report readers in your organization can then view the reports in a browser or in a Power BI mobile app on their mobile device.

Power BI Report Builder enables you to:
•Use the Report Builder ribbon to quickly add items your reports, launch table, chart, and map wizards, and format your report data.
•Add data from built-in data providers.
•Create and use report parameters and other interactive features.
•Preview reports in HTML or print format.
•Export reports to file formats such as Microsoft Excel or PDF.
•Save your report locally
•In a future update, you’ll be able to both open and publish from/to the Power BI Service

To download and install Power BI Report Builder, you can click on the COG icon in the title bar of Power BI site and select the Report Builder option.

The March 2019 release of Power BI Desktop has brought us keyboard accessible visual interactions. One of Power BI’s natural strengths is that you can click on a data point within a visual and have it cross-highlight or cross-filter the other visuals on a page. Keyboard-only users weren’t able to use this feature until now. Interact with a visual using keyboard commands. Notice you can select specific data points within the line chart, and the other charts on the page filter based upon the selection.

Dynamics One Version – nearly here… and then what lies ahead?

April 1st, 2019

Customers at User Group Summit Europe this week listened intently to guidance on updates delivered by Microsoft MVP Andre Arnaud de Calavon who explained the One Version approach. He suspects that while some customers have a good understanding, others still do not, both in terms of Microsoft’s policies and the responsibilities they will put on the customer as opposed to the partner.

“If you look at DevOps and split it, there is the development part operations part. The partner can do the development part and then hand it over. The customer has to do verification, the acceptance tests, and when you have done that then you will decide when and if you are going to apply [updates] in production.”

His message to AX and D365FO users was to prepare to own the operations of their own systems, especially as it relates to evaluating, preparing for, and deploying updates on a monthly or at least quarterly basis.

Historically customers have been unwilling to make frequent updates when they knew a system was working well enough. One Version forces them to do just that. The new paradigm is agile response to disruptive digital change. However, many have moved to the cloud in order to ‘outsource it’ not to be a software testing site. The move to extensions has eliminated the problems of code merges, but it does not mean that updates will be lights out and painless.,

Microsoft continues to converge its planning across Dynamics 365, PowerApps, Flow, and the Common Data Service. It has an Application Platform as a Services (APaaS) approach. industry accelerators will be delivered to these guidelines:
• Microsoft will provide the components that are the most universally applicable to a vertical. Country-specific, or micro-vertical, and other niche capabilities will be left as white space for customers t build a competitive edge with their partners/
• The architectural model will build on the state of the art for Microsoft today and will include the Power Platform, Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2, and other Azure service use cases thatinclude even more Microsoft products like Teams and Office 365 and Linked in features.

Flow will become the workflow engine of choice over time for D365CE. A Microsoft presenter spoke against the idea of continuing with processing-intensive workflows that queue up within a relational CRM database, and slow down the cloud service. reality of this change – customers will pay for the privilege of making Flow a core component of their CRM architecture, as with Dynamics Finance and Operations for any serious volume of use, and as is the case with Power BI once you want to use it seriously.
Its an Enterprise solution that comes at an Enterprise cost and it with azure it has the enterprise architecture to deliver.

Because access to the production instance is controlled by Microsoft analytics for Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (D365FO) analytics had to use Entity Store and BYOD data sources. Expect a move to azure data lakes and the use of ADLS Gen2. The approach will replace today’s options, while putting more importance on PowerBI.com. This means customers will be required to buy seats of PowerBI.com Pro or Premium for all report consumers, plus renting their own ADLS Gen2 service. Pricing for data lakes will vary. Microsoft introduces a new class of enterprises to the use of cloud data lakes for their data optimization and reporting needs. As with the case above of Customer Engagement’s use of Flow, eliminating the expense of the Entity Store databases may not result in any comparable direct savings to offset the added expense of ADLS Gen2. Its m ore about the potential for value add of enhanced analytics.

Dynamics 365 ‘One version’ update 10 April 2019 -some FAQs

March 9th, 2019

In July 2018 Microsoft announced a change to the way it ill deliver Dynamics 365 updates that will help you to stay current in a consistent, predictable, and seamless manner. With Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, you receive new service updates and features monthly instead of doing expensive upgrades every few years.
- You can manage how your organization receives these updates. For example, you can sign up for an early release so that your organization receives updates first.
-You can designate that only certain environments receive the updates. Or, you can remain on the default release schedule and receive the updates later. This topic explains the different release options and how you can use them for your organization.

Service updates contain both application (including Financial reporting and Retail) and platform changes that are critical improvements to the service, including regulatory updates. New features will be included in service updates.

Release processes

Each new release is designed and developed by the Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations team. Any new release is first tested and validated by the feature team, then by the entire Dynamic 365 for Finance and Operations and Retail teams. Extensive testing is done on various test topologies. A compatibility checker also runs tests to ensure backward compatibility. In addition, several customer databases and code are benchmark-tested with automation to ensure no breaks.
Ring 2 is a targeted release. This release is available to partners, customers, and ISVs who opt in through the Insider program and join the Preview Early Access Program (PEAP). During a targeted release, Microsoft monitors telemetry, collects feedback, and further validates quality by monitoring key metrics. During this phase, the release must be deployed on Dev/Test environments. In this preview phase, partners, customers, and ISVs use the release to validate their customizations and provide feedback. This release cannot be used in production.
•Ring 3 is a production-ready, first release for customers who opt in. During this phase, customers have the option of taking the release all the way to production and can choose between Microsoft managing the update or self-managing the update. Participating in the First release program has the benefit of having the Microsoft engineering team closely monitoring the update for any aberrations to ensure a successful update.
Ring 4 is the final, default ring and is available to all customers. Microsoft will manage and update all environments based on the configured maintenance window.

Here are some FAQs to provide clarity on the Finance and Operations service updates, processes, and tools you can use to prepare for it.

Schedule for April 10.0 release The 10.0 release, which will be available in April 2019, will be an update and not an upgrade

Can the update to 10.0 be delayed? A customer can pause or opt-out of the 10.0 release when they are on 8.1.2 or 8.1.3. In early March, the ability to set up this configuration or to pause updates will be available through LCS.

For a release date in early April, which ring is being released at that time? Is it the GA ring? Or will GA be released several weeks later? Standard release/Ring 4 production updates for a monthly release will be scheduled for the first, second, and third weeks in April. Depending on the configuration that you set up in LCS, you will receive updates during that specific week.

For the April 10.0 release, Microsoft will perform updates during the weekends of April 6, April 13, or April 20 based on the configuration that you set up in LCS.
Sandbox updates will always be scheduled a week before the update.
The configuration setup will be available in early March.

Service updates

What product versions are impacted by service updates?

8.1 and later All customers on 8.1 and later will be scheduled for updates monthly with a combined application and platform update starting November 2018. You will be required to have an update that’s no older than 3 months.

8.0 Customers on 8.0 will receive a monthly platform and financial reporting update. You will be required to have an update that’s no older than 3 months. The 8.0 lifecycle ends in April 2019. Customers on 8.0were encouraged to update to 8.1 by December 1, 2018. This process is like a regular package update. For detailed documentation, see the Update environments from version 8.0 to 8.1 topic.

7.x Customers on 7.x will receive a monthly platform and financial reporting update. You will be required to have an update that’s no older than 3 months. You are required to upgrade to 8.1 before April 2019 (unless extensions are not available, the only over-layered version in market will be version 7.3). Starting April 2019, the service will be updated to version 10.0.

What does the update contain?

For 8.1 and later, service updates will contain both application (including financial, reporting, and Retail) and platform changes that are critical improvements to the service including regulatory updates. New experiences will be opt-in. The service updates are backward compatible. There will be a single version representing this update.

What is a regulatory update?

A regulatory update is a new feature or an existing feature change required by law (usually for a specific country/region). The regulatory update is always required by a specific law enforcement date (LED) and should be enabled by this date or earlier.

What’s the upcoming schedule of updates?
Service updates will be available each month and starttd in November 2018. Microsoft will apply the updates monthly, based on the selected maintenance window. You are required to have an update no older than 3 months.

Are there any major updates post 8.1?

There will be 2 major updates in April and in October where new experiences will be enabled. Major updates will not require code or data upgrade.

Breaking changes will be communicated 12 months in advance such that customers can plan accordingly. Such a change will only be introduced during a major update.

What does Backward compatibility mean? This covers binary and functional compatibility. Binary compatibility means that you can apply an update on any runtime environment without needing to recompile, reconfigure, or redeploy customizations. This also means that on a development environment at design time, X++ public and protected APIs and metadata are not modified or deleted.

If Microsoft needs to break compatibility by removing obsolete APIs, then it will be communicated 12 months in advance and follow a deprecation schedule. Functional compatibility is about user experience, all new experiences will be opt-in.

Backward compatibility does not include non-X++/metadata APIs.

Microsoft reserves the right to update versions of any dependencies the product uses, as well as remove dependencies without early warning.
Microsoft does not commit to maintain backwards compatibility of dependent software libraries unless expressly stated

What does end of service mean?

Microsoft will not provide any fixes to issues on versions that have reached end of service. Microsoft will also not investigate or troubleshoot any issue that you may encounter on an older version. If you encounter an issue on a version that has reached end of service, you will be required to update to the latest update and report the issue if it persists.
All environments will continue to be operated by Microsoft. All automatic processes around your environments, such as monitoring or self-healing, will also continue as is.

Will individual hotfixes be supported?

Individual hotfixes will not be supported after 8.1. Customers must update to the latest cumulative update available to apply the fix (such as 8.1.1). Critical fixes will also be cumulative and available through the LCS servicing experience.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations version 10.0 includes Platform update 24.
New APIs have been added to help data integration retrieve errors that occurred during the import execution runs in a data project.