Sunday 1 April 2018

What’s new in Media Platform in Dynamics 365 Spring 18 Release - Microsoft Dynamics 365 Update 9.0.2

Microsoft Stream is a service that enables your employees to create, discover, and share videos securely across your organization, right inside the collaboration apps they use most, such as Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, Office 365, and Dynamics 365. Intelligence capabilities provide more ways to find and interact with videos, and help people access relevant content quickly and easily.

Microsoft Stream provides accessible, enterprise-grade security for organizations of any size, and uses artificial intelligence (AI) to convert speech to text, and face identification for smarter search.

Microsoft Stream empowers organizations to:

  • Build an easy-to-use video experience that is familiar, appealing, and secure. Microsoft Stream minimizes the learning curve for employees to do more with video at work.
  • Integrate tightly into the business applications people use daily. Microsoft Stream takes video to the productivity apps where people spend their time, and delivers a seamless, embedded experience. Additionally, embedded video in business applications brings video directly to apps where people work with customers.
  • Create their own content. Content creation tools allow employees create and publish content to Microsoft Stream. For example, videos created via meeting recordings in Microsoft Teams can be published and shared with others. AI techniques extract insights about the content and enable business users to make informed decisions.

Main features and enhancements in Media Platform for Dynamics 365 Spring 18 Release:

  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) investments address requirements imposed by the European privacy law. 
  • Public anonymous playback – In Dynamics 365 for Marketing, users can watch videos without needing access credentials on websites.
  • Tier-C compliance – Microsoft Stream is a certified Tier-C service for compliance standards such as ISO and SOC2.
  • Spotlight videos on the Stream home page and groups pages – Admins and group owners can highlight (or spotlight) videos to make them more visible to employees.
  • Cloud recording for meetings in Microsoft Teams – Record and share meetings in Microsoft Teams.
  • Seamless single sign-on with Microsoft Teams and Yammer – Single sign-on for users of Stream videos, and channels is embedded in Microsoft Teams and Yammer.
  • Edit transcripts and curate people timelines – Edit automatically generated transcripts, and curate people timelines.

What’s new in Data Integration in Dynamics 365 Spring 18 Release - Microsoft Dynamics 365 Update 9.0.2

Data Integration provides the connectors and gateways that make it possible to bring any external data into the Common Data Service and store the data in Common Data Model (CDM) form. This makes it easier for customers to integrate their data in a single place for business applications and analytics. Data Integration is based on Power Query, the same technology millions of people use daily in Power BI and Excel.

Data Integration provides direct connectivity to hundreds of business-critical data sources, including:

  • Hybrid connectivity via the On-premises data gateway.
  • Integration into Power BI, PowerApps, Logic Apps, Flow, Azure Analysis Services, and Office 365 (Power Query in Excel).

Main features and enhancements in Data Integration for Dynamics 365 Spring 18 Release:

  • Enhancements to major connectors, such as SQL, SAP BW, and SAP HANA.
  • Improved capability for partners to create and distribute their own connectors.
  • Extensibility enhancements that enable lightweight connectors to be deployed to Power BI.
  • Gateway improvements on the desktop and in the cloud, including DirectQuery support.

What’s new in Business Intelligence Platform in Dynamics 365 Spring 18 Release - Microsoft Dynamics 365 Update 9.0.2

Organizations can use Power BI to translate a wealth of data into actionable insights.

Main features and enhancements in Business Intelligence Platform for Dynamics 365 Spring 18 Release:

  • Analytics and exploration experiences. Features include an improved SAP HANA connector that treats SAP HANA as a multi-dimensional source, and capabilities for analysts to improve productivity with unique ways to visualize data. For example, users can use canvas tooltips to express more detail in context. Excel users who use the matrix visual receive measure-driven conditional formatting, and the ability to expand or collapse sections of the visual.
  • Natural language analytics for everyone. Authors can use some of the improvements to Q&A natural language experiences to add domain-specific language and phrasing tailored for their domain. Users can ask questions in the context of their workflow, which includes Cortana and reports in Dynamics 365. Users can identify trends or changes in their data using Smart alerts and enhanced Quick Insights.
  • Enterprise-grade trusted platform. Governance improvements include additional administrative controls, access to user content, and reporting. With Power BI Premium, you get improved scalability support with larger node sizes, incremental refresh for faster data loads, and deployments that span multiple geographic regions worldwide.

What’s new in Microsoft Flow in Dynamics 365 Spring 18 Release - Microsoft Dynamics 365 Update 9.0.2

Microsoft is modernizing business processes across productivity, CRM, and ERP applications, which makes it easier for every business to transform how people work. Microsoft Flow, the Microsoft workflow and business process management platform, is core to the success of this mission. It's the connective glue that’s used by users and app developers alike for digital transformation, no matter what application they’re using. Flow, together with PowerApps and Power BI, makes up the Business application platform.

Main features and enhancements in Microsoft Flow for Dynamics 365 Spring 18 Release:

  • Create a business process flow. A business process flow is a new type of stateful, human-interactive flow based on the Common Data Service for Apps. Use these new flows to define a set of stages and steps for people to follow. They can move forward and backward as needed.
  • Business process flow entity customization. Business process flow entities can appear in the system, so that entity record data can be made available in grids, views, charts, and dashboards.
  • Add an action to a business process flow. In a business process flow, add a button that triggers an action or workflow that runs processes on your data.
  • Repair recommendations sent in email for failed flows. If a flow fails, have detailed repair recommendations sent right to your inbox. These step-by-step recommendations are linked directly to the information you need to fix the most common failures.
  • Request for sign-off flow built into SharePoint. When you select a file or item in SharePoint, you’ll see a new Request for sign-off flow. This flow, which doesn't require any configuration or setup, sends a sign-off request with a single click.
  • Customize SharePoint content approvals with Flow. For SharePoint page libraries, site administrators can take advantage of Flow for content approval workflows.
  • Flows “owned by” SharePoint lists and libraries. Flows that work with SharePoint lists (and libraries) can be shared with those lists, so instead of being shared with individuals or groups, they’re shared with everyone who has access to the list. As membership of the list or library changes, users are automatically given access to the flow.
  • Test your flow by using sample data. Creating a flow might require some trial and error during the development process. Use sample data to test your flow as you build it, so you know that the flow will run as expected.
  • Build and run flows from Excel. With the new Flow button (accessed from the ribbon’s Data tab), you can create and trigger automations from Flow on your table data in Excel. Automate data processing or the copying/importing of data.
  • Create a flow for Microsoft To-Do in Outlook Web App. If someone is @mentioned in Outlook Web App, they’ll see a shortcut to create a flow. This flow automatically creates tasks for the @mentioned person in Microsoft To-Do, based on the content of the email.
  • Return data to PowerApps from a flow. Build flows that can be called from an app built with PowerApps, and return data back to the app. Use the visual drag-and-drop flow designer to build the logic you need for the app.
  • Quick access to help and support. Open support tickets in the context of an issue encountered in Flow, such as when your workflow is failing. Automatically provide Microsoft support engineers with failure details for quicker resolution.
  • GDPR compliance. To support the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), administrators can now submit a request to export or delete all of the data about Flow users.
  • Access modern approvals in the Common Data Service for Apps. Modern approvals data in Flow is built on the latest version of the Common Data Service for Apps. This means that you can build flows that are triggered by or read the status of the approvals you send or receive.

What’s new in Common Data Service for Apps in Dynamics 365 Spring 18 Release - Microsoft Dynamics 365 Update 9.0.2

The Common Data Service for Apps is how PowerApps, Office, and the Dynamics suite of products integrate with a single system of record for business data. The Common Data Service for Apps is the native system of record for:

  • Dynamics 365 for Sales.
  • Dynamics 365 for Service.
  • Dynamics 365 for Field Service.
  • Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation.
  • Dynamics 365 for Marketing.
  • The Dynamics 365 for Talent family of applications.
  • Standalone IT business apps.

Main features and enhancements in Common Data Service for Apps for Dynamics 365 Spring 18 Release:

  • Support for additional data types. Additional data types support more complex entity definitions and provide richer experiences. (Applies to canvas and model-driven apps)
  • Improved entity creation and customization. Create and customize entities in the Common Data Service for Apps right from The refreshed experience includes improved performance, a more user-friendly UI, and helpful features such as in-line option set creation. (Applies to canvas and model-driven apps)
  • Server-side logic for validation. Create server-side business rules for validating data entered into the Common Data Service for Apps. (Applies to canvas and model-driven apps)
  • Calculated and rollup fields. Create calculated and rollup fields in Common Data Service for Apps entities directly from (Applies to canvas and model-driven apps)
  • Improved Excel add-in for the Common Data Service for Apps. The Common Data Service for Apps Excel add-in now supports the upgraded Common Data Service for Apps features.
  • Software Development Kit (SDK). Developers can use the Common Data Service for Apps Software Development Kit (SDK) to create code-based customizations for the Common Data Service for Apps.
  • Application Lifecycle Management (ALM). Solutions in the Common Data Service for Apps allow customizations to be organized, exported, and imported between environments to support Application Lifecycle Management scenarios within organizations, and between ISVs and their customers. (Applies to model-driven apps)
  • Common Data Service OData Web API. Advanced users can access data stored in the Common Data Service for Apps through a new OData Web API.
  • Import data into Common Data Service for Apps with Power Query. Use Power Query on the web to directly import data into the Common Data Service for Apps from multiple sources.

What’s new in PowerApps in Dynamics 365 Spring 18 Release - Microsoft Dynamics 365 Update 9.0.2

PowerApps is the high-productivity application development platform from Microsoft. In this release, we’re combining the richness of Dynamics 365 with the agility of PowerApps to create a single unified platform. The PowerApps platform is now the platform that the Dynamics 365 for Sales, Service, Marketing, and Talent applications are natively built on. This release also includes major advancements to the Common Data Service for Apps (the data platform that comes with PowerApps) and client UX creation tools. These new capabilities are backward-compatible with the Dynamics 365 platform (frequently called the xRM platform), which means that Dynamics 365 customizers and partners can use already-acquired skills to create apps with PowerApps.

PowerApps is also tightly integrated with Office 365. You can use the same set of tools to customize and extend an increasing number of Office 365 apps, and also build standalone business applications connected to more than 200 data sources.

Main features and enhancements in PowerApps for Dynamics 365 Spring 18 Release:

Model-driven apps
You can build a new type of application with PowerApps: model-driven apps. Create and customize model-driven apps directly from by using the app designer. Bring together entities, forms, views, dashboards, charts, and business processes to automatically generate powerful line-of-business applications. It's easy to get started building model-driven apps. Switch to model-driven mode, learn the basics, and then explore one of our great sample apps.

  • Entity forms. Create and customize sophisticated forms for Common Data Service for Apps entities directly from model-driven mode on Create forms with visual drag-and-drop designers by using a host of custom controls that are available from a rich control library.
  • Entity views. Create and customize views for Common Data Service for Apps entities directly from model-driven mode on Use point-and-click tools to create filters, set the sort order, and choose which columns to display.
  • Business process flows. Associate one or more business process flows with your model-driven app to focus your users' experience through a specific set of guided steps.
  • Dashboards. Build and use custom interactive dashboards with rich chart controls that use data from Common Data Service for Apps entities. Embed Power BI dashboards in model-driven application dashboards for deeper cross-system data analysis directly from the application.
  • Metadata-driven responsive user experiences. Model-driven application user experiences are automatically generated upon entity creation. A navigation model, basic forms, and a subset of views are available for customization. User experiences are responsive and metadata-driven. Applications provide consistent functionality across all surfaces, including web and mobile and support for right-to-left (RTL) languages.
  • Accessible apps out of the box. Model-driven apps built using the Unified Interface infrastructure meet Microsoft accessibility standards (go to the Trust Center to learn about our industry-leading accessibility standards). The applications enable users, including keyboard-only users and touch-only users, to perform key tasks. The apps work well with screen readers and won’t block other accessibility tools, such as one-click devices.
  • Mobile player. Run model-driven apps on mobile devices. For tablets and phones, applications are automatically optimized for the device.

Canvas apps
You can now build two types of applications with PowerApps: canvas apps and model-driven apps. The term “canvas apps” refers to apps built through the WYSIWYG screen design that provides complete control over the interface. With a canvas app, you start with a blank canvas to create a very tailored user interface. Then you connect that user interface to your choice of 200 data sources. You can build canvas apps for web, mobile, and tablet applications. With a model-driven app, you start with your data model. Build from your core business data and processes in the Common Data Service for Apps to model forms, views, and other components. Model-driven apps automatically generate a great user interface that’s responsive across devices.

  • Controllable delegation limits. Control delegation limits for non-delegable data sources that have up to a maximum of 2,000 records. This allows client-side operations to work on larger datasets.
  • SQL views. To avoid performance issues, use SQL views to combine data in SQL Server before bringing it into PowerApps.
  • Simplified access to entities through foreign key relationships. Intuitive access to entities included in a relationship (foreign key) in entities that are stored in the Common Data Service for Apps makes it significantly easier to use related entities in canvas apps.

Improved app sharing experience 
The improved experience for canvas apps makes it easier to view the data sources used by an app and easier to set up user permissions to access that data. For model-driven apps, share apps by assigning appropriate security roles that provide user access to the entities and data in the Common Data Service for Apps.

Apps connected to SharePoint lists can include attachments
Apps connected to SharePoint Online can now be used to view and upload attachments, including images and documents.

Improved support ticketing for admins
Request help from a Microsoft support representative from the new Business platform admin center.

GDPR compliance 
To support the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), administrators can support data subject rights requests for PowerApps users.

Automate governance with PowerShell
The administrative capabilities of the Admin Center are now available programmatically to admins through the release of the PowerApps PowerShell cmdlets.

What’s new in Business Central in Dynamics 365 Spring 18 Release - Microsoft Dynamics 365 Update 9.0.2

With the Spring ’18 release, Dynamics 365 Business Central brings the full power of Dynamics NAV to the cloud in 14 countries or regions and replaces Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Business edition. Existing Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Business edition customers will be automatically upgraded to Dynamics 365 Business Central at the next upgrade of their service.

Dynamics 365 Business Central is the next generation of Dynamics NAV, one of the leading Microsoft business application products, which has served 140,000 customers and millions of users worldwide. Dynamics 365 Business Central is an extremely flexible solution, easily adaptable to the needs of geographies, industries, and individual customers.

Main features and enhancements in Business Central for Dynamics 365 Spring 18 Release:

Broad regional availability
  • 14 markets - Dynamics 365 Business Central is available in 14 markets.

Full suite of application functionality
  • Essential - Includes a broad range of functionality that most businesses need to run their business.
  • Premium - Adds Service management and Manufacturing.

Look and feel
  • Modern user experience - A refreshed and modern user experience, optimized for insights and productivity.

Easy to extend
  • App Source - Customize your experience with apps from App Source.
  • Power BI, PowerApps, and Flow - Combine with PowerApps and Microsoft Flow to compose new applications and extend existing business processes. Integrate with Power BI for custom dashboards and configurable reports.
  • Extensions - Many improvements have been made to the extensions technology, so that you can extend, customize, and build solutions in an upgradable fashion, decoupled from the base application.
  • Individual customizations - As a user, you can personalize your experience. As a partner, you can apply customizations to one or more customers' experiences.
  • Business API - Integrate with external systems and services by using the robust API.
  • Modern developer experience - File-based development environment and a new development language.

  • 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.
  • Accessibility enhancements - Go to the Trust Center to learn about our industry-leading accessibility standards.
  • ISO and SOC compliance.

What’s new in Talent – Onboard in Dynamics 365 Spring 18 Release - Microsoft Dynamics 365 Update 9.0.2

The focus for Spring '18 updates has been to streamline onboarding at the department level through more robust templates, reporting, and automation. Based on customer feedback, Onboard has been enhanced with collaborative capabilities to allow more individuals to create and implement onboarding experiences. Onboard now also includes template authoring workflows to enable template updates to be rolled out to all instances instantiated from the template.

Main features and enhancements in Talent – Onboard for Dynamics 365 Spring 18 Release:
  • Customizable welcome emails
Managers can personalize the welcome email sent to their new hires when it’s time to onboard. This creates a personal touch and improves email response rate.
  • Due date placeholders
Managers can insert due date placeholders as an offset from a new hire’s start date, such as two weeks after the start date or three days before. Due dates are updated automatically if the new hire’s start date is changed.
  • Export to Excel
Hiring managers can export all the guides they create or contribute to an Excel file that can be used for reporting and Power BI.
  • Import (Public Preview)
Hiring managers can import content from other guides or templates to ensure that the latest content is always reflected. This helps them get started quickly and makes it easier to include the latest content from their manager or department leader. 

What’s new in Talent – Attract in Dynamics 365 Spring 18 Release - Microsoft Dynamics 365 Update 9.0.2

The Spring ‘18 releases expand recruiting management capabilities to include support for career websites and for posting multiple jobs at the same time to simplify the job posting process.

Main features and enhancements in Talent – Attract for Dynamics 365 Spring 18 Release:

  • Configurable hiring process - Customers can define the hiring process on a job-by-job basis.
  • Advanced interview scheduling - Enhanced scheduling of multi-day interviews, last-minute interviewer replacement, and improved communication throughout the scheduling process.
  • Candidate notes - Ability for the hiring team to keep notes on candidate applications. 
  • Assessment activity with Koru integration - Third-party candidate assessment from Koru (
  • Company Career site - Quickly post jobs to a company career site to kick off the application process.
Candidate apply - Candidates can apply for open positions directly from the career site. 
LinkedIn integrations - Apply with LinkedIn, and post openings to LinkedIn. 
  • Assessment activity with Gauge integration - Gauge is a tool for creating assessments for efficient hiring or employee assessment surveys.
  • Configurable hiring process – templates - Create custom templates to guide the hiring process.
  • Offer management - Offer creation and management through templates and workflows.
  • Prospect tracking - Manages all prospective candidates before formal application.
  • LinkedIn Recruiter system connect - Quickly push candidates into Attract from LinkedIn Recruiter.

What’s new in Talent – Core HR in Dynamics 365 Spring 18 Release - Microsoft Dynamics 365 Update 9.0.2

The Spring ‘18 release of Talent - Core HR focuses on General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance, enabling integrations, and adding key capabilities based on customer feedback.

To support best-of-breed payroll functionality and increase the portfolio of customers we can support, we have added payroll integration capabilities, including support for Ceridian Dayforce. In addition, we provide support for open enrollment processing and streamlined processing for employees to initiate qualified life event changes. These updates provide configuration and processing of all changes, together with a workflow to ensure accurate data across Talent for compliance and eligibility, and the ability to export elections to benefits providers.

Enhanced manager self-service capabilities mean that managers can initiate compensation change processes within their organizations. Integrated review and workflow approval processes ensure that changes are accurate and within budget.

Main features and enhancements in Talent – Core HR for Dynamics 365 Spring 18 Release:

  • Manager self-service promotion requests/workflow - Expanded manager self-service capabilities.
  • Attachments - Attachments from the hiring process can be transferred to new hires’ employee records.
  • Contextual filtering of reason codes - Reason codes can be configured for hire, transfer, termination, and compensation processes.
  • Custom fields - This functionality has been enabled across Talent.
  • Streamlined transfer process - When transferring an employee, the job is automatically added to the transfer request.
  • Updated Power BI visuals - The visuals have been refreshed in Power BI reports. Mean and median gender pay metrics have also been added.
  • Default dates - Dates are no longer completed by default for hire, transfer, and termination processes.
  • Rehire flag – A flag for the worker's eligibility for rehire is set as part of the termination process.
  • Integration with Finance and Operations 7.2 and 7.3 (Public Preview) - Integration provides an initial data load into Talent, with ongoing integration to maintain Finance and Operations workflows and HR transactions.
  • Payroll integration - Connect Talent to your payroll system by using out-of-box integration with Ceridian, or connect manually to other payroll providers.
  • Benefits enhancements - Open enrollment and qualified life event changes.
  • Absence management
Working days calendars – Supports the creation of calendars that reflect company holidays.
    Submit time off in days – More flexible increments for entering time off.
      Custom absence accrual dates – Customize time carry-over and time-off accrual capabilities.
      • Position and employee management updates - Provide additional information related to positions and employees, allowing HR professionals and managers to streamline the hiring process.