In order to be able to renew Dynamics 365 as a platform even faster and to maintain it now and in the future, Microsoft has announced the 'One Version' principle as of 1 April 2019. This means that Dynamics 365 as a real 'app' updates continuously on a monthly basis and gets new functionality with every release. This new path will be revealed with the release of the next version of Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (D365FO), version 10.0 (April 2019). How will this change impact your company? We’ve discussed these developments with Jurgen Heinis, Sales Manager and Herre Schop, Solutions Architect at Schouw Informatisering.
Having one version means that there will be no more big upgrades in the future. Once customers get onboard the latest version, they will get monthly minor updates and major updates twice a year (April and October). There will be no more data migration or code migration, as new development technologies enable extensions to be used instead of intrusive development. This means that all customization will work in the next versions. There will be no breaking changes. New functionalities will be turned off by default and can be turned on when desired and tested. The main advantage is here is that all new functionalities will be ready to be used and implemented for our customer on a monthly basis.
This will be the next step in ERP: One Version (essentially the last version of D365FO). In this sense, we are getting closer to true software as a service. With the latest release of Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations the platform has shifted to continuous updates and has brought along new functionalities and capabilities. You as a customer will always be on the latest and greatest version of Dynamics 365 for F&O. The new features will not be limited to D365FO alone, but will also help to unleash the power of the Azure platform, such as artificial intelligence and cognitive services, as well as the power platform, offering low-code or no-code solutions for building apps and the reporting capabilities Power BI. D365FO brings together global financials and operations and allows for fast and informed decision making while adapting to the ever-changing demands of the market.
In order to be ready for continuous updates, customers will have to go through change, as a better understanding of Microsoft Lifecycle Services (LCS) is required. Additionally in order to be able to test each release, automated testing is essential. Microsoft has releases a tool called Regression Suite Automated Testing (RSAT), that enables automated testing. For this automated testing the power of Azure Devops is used together with the business process modeller from LCS and task recordings from D365FO to create test scenarios. These scenarios can be played back and validated with each new release. If you need any help on getting this up and running or additional training to deal with the one version, Schouw will be ready to assist with these matters.
Customers can rest assured that we will go through these changes together and we will support our customers with what they need, either with automated testing or making sure that their customizations are up to date. We understand our customers’ needs and we offer the support they require with this new approach. We went from installing software and getting back to it with an upgrade over 3 years to updating to a new version almost every month. This is a big change that we need to adapt to and get used to. This change might raise some concern on the customers’ side, but this is the way forward.
Customers can choose their patch ‘Sunday’ to be the first, second, third Sunday of the month (it can also be another day of the week). Microsoft is moving forward to a situation where a new version can be installed with zero downtime. This means that each update will have minimal impact on the availability of the Dynamics 365 for Finance & Operations, especially important for customers with 24/7 operations.
Prior to this, we can ensure automated testing on the customer side using the RSAT automated testing tool from Microsoft. With this tool you can recall your business processes and, after the installation, a test can be run to compare the results. All in all, whether you as a customer want to run an automated testing or need help with setting up testing environments, we will be there to support you all the way.
Foodware 365 will also be a single version software and we are committed to support the latest version of D365FO when it is released by Microsoft. We are working hard to ensure that the customer experience remains seamless. To make this happen we have enrolled in the PEAP program of Microsoft to have early access to the latest version and be able to make the necessary adjustments (if any) to make sure that Foodware 365 is up to date and supports the latest version of D365FO. For more information on this matter, please save your seat for the upcoming Blitz session.
With the new service update, the platform will gain improved performance and stability as well as making new features available a lot faster. And since everyone will be on the same version, interaction and collaboration among the community will continue to flourish.