Apps Source, Power Apps, and Flow, and the release of Dynamics 365 -tomorrow!

October 31st, 2016 by Stephen Jones Leave a reply »

AppSource already has a number of apps from developers and Microsoft Partners – with many more to follow. Microsoft confirmed it was likely that even rivals like SAP would have apps on the marketplace.

Microsoft PowerApps and Microsoft Flow will reach general availability on November 1.

Corporate vice president James Phillips announced this morning via a blog post that both services will be available “around the world and in 42 languages” and will gain new integrations, more administrative tools and controls, and native use of what Microsoft is calling its Common Data Service, previously known as the common data model and related connectors and gateways. The releases coincide with the official release of the first round of Dynamics 365 apps, including the new SMB Financials package (formerly known as Project Madeira), as well as the Operations package (formerly known as AX 7) and the customer experience apps, formerly grouped together as Dynamics CRM Online.

PowerApps and Flow will be included in Dynamics 365 plans and Office 365 Enterprise, Business Premium, and Essential packages.

In addition to connectors for Dynamics 365 and Office 365, Microsoft says connectors are available or in the works for hundreds of popular business applications and database systems. And the tools will support on-premise connectors through an on-premise data gateway.

Some of the newest capabilities for PowerApps and Flow have added a level of enterprise-grade management tools that IT teams are more likely embrace, including “environments” and new AppSource tie-ins.

PowerApps introduced environments into preview last week. They are “spaces to store, manage, and share your organization’s business data, apps, and flows and help manage scale out across the enterprise.” Environments are bound to an Azure AD tenant and are bound to a datacenter’s geographic location.

There will also be an administration center for managing security, life cycle of resources, and data loss prevention policies.

Flow will also add connectors for a dozen new services in November including Bit.ly, Campfire, Cognitive Services Text Analytics, Instapaper and Pinterest, according to a Microsoft spokesperson.

PowerApps can be published as apps to the new organization gallery on Microsoft AppSource, Microsoft’s market place for line-of-business SaaS apps. With this new capability, an organization can easily share apps across all it users.

The changeover to Common Data Service will bring “improved entity modeling, better security, integration with Microsoft Office, and support for PowerApps environments,” according to Microsoft group program manager Jono Luk in a blog post last week. The changeover from CDM to CDS also required Microsoft to freeze the ability for customers to create new databases for a few days. Presumably, this freeze will lift with the general availability milestone.

In his blog post announcing the general availability of PowerApps and Flow, Phillips had this to say about the Common Data Service:
The Common Data Service stores your key business data in a secure Microsoft Azure-hosted database, organizing it in a standardized but extensible form – customer, lead, opportunity, employee, invoice, inventory item, product, task, contact, calendar and so on. This standardization makes it easy to create new applications and workflows that derive value from your data. And PowerApps, Flow and Power BI are natively aware of this common data model, making it that much easier.”

Over 160,000 users from 71,000 organizations in 145 countries have tried PowerApps and Flow since its public preview, writes Phillips.

Dynamics CRM App for Outlook was first introduced in CRM 2016. The next generation of the app—Dynamics 365 App for Outlook, which will also be available in the l release of Microsoft Dynamics 365. With the new app, you can view Dynamics 365 information about all your email recipients, link an email message to a Dynamics 365 record with one click, and quickly view your most recently used Dynamics 365 records. All this without leaving your Outlook inbox. Use the Outlook user interface you already know and do it faster than ever!
Composing the same type of email message over and over is a waste of time. Now you can take advantage of Dynamics 365 email templates so you don’t have to enter the same information over and over. When you’re composing an email message, you can also attach knowledge articles or sales literature from Dynamics 365.

It’s not just about email. Now you can also track Outlook meetings and appointments, and create Dynamics 365 activities, such as phone calls and tasks—all without leaving your inbox. Track your Outlook contacts, link them to Dynamics 365 accounts, and keep these contacts completely in sync. Do all this through the new Office add-in—you don’t have to use the old Outlook COM add-in anymore

The next generation of Dynamics 365 App for Outlook is integrated with Dynamics 365 online, as well as on-premises, whether you use Exchange online or Exchange on premises. It’s supported on Outlook for the desktop, Outlook for Mac, Outlook Web Application, and soon on the Outlook app for iPhone.

Watch this video to learn about the exciting capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics 365 App for Outlook.
- See your Dynamics 365 data in the familiar Outlook app. Set regarding records with one click.
- Add Outlook tasks, phone calls, and appointments directly to Dynamics 365.
– Use Dynamics 365 email templates for emails that you send often.
- Brand new in the December 2016 Update for Dynamics 365—track your Outlook contacts and link them to Dynamics 365 accounts.

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