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

March 9th, 2019 by Stephen Jones Leave a reply »

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.

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