My favourite PowerApps/Dynamics CE features in the October 2018 Release

Yes it's that time of the year again when we get to see the new features planned in the next major release of Dynamics 365 CE/PowerApps. I've already said how excited I about the changes to the release strategy announced earlier this month and now we can see what's on the roadmap.

There are over 250 pages of content spanning all the Dynamics 365 products, but here are my top 5 features that I'll be blogging about in the coming months:

  1. Dynamics 365 AI for Sales app
    We've all been there where someone asks for 'AI' but what they really need is an if/then statement - but this feature promises to offer natural language processing Q&A and predictive lead/opportunity scoring. Can't wait to see what new sales scenarios this will support. The great thing about this technology is that it will be ready to use rather than needing expensive development work using services such as Azure Cognitive Services.
  2. Increased Unified Client coverage
    We are going to see a tonne of new features added in the Unified Client, closing the gap between the 'classic' web UI. Notably, Advanced Find, Run Workflow, Grid Filtering, Service Administration
  3. Dependent optionsets in the Unified Interface
    Proving the point that new features will come to the UCI and not the 'classic' web UI - we now have the ability to create dependent option sets in the UCI.
  4. Custom controls in Business Process Flows
    The Custom Control Framework promises to be amazing, but this enhancement opens up many new scenarios in the Unified Client
  5. Faster Model Driven Apps!
    Performance improvements have been traditionally overlooked in new releases - but the already snappy UCI will be even faster and reliable!
  6. SharePoint Documents available on Portals
    This has been an ask for a long time and now we can surface documents stored in SharePoint through the Dynamics integration already available today.
  7. get's solution support - no more 'classic' solution explorer!
    Whilst the default CDS Solution will still be there - we can now use solutions to manage our CDS configuration, exporting from one environment to another. This is massive because the new solution management experience includes a new WSYSIWYG form designer and so much quicker than the 'classic' solution explorer.
  8. Embedding Canvas Apps and Flows in solutions
    Application Lifecycle management with Model Driven Apps is already mature with it's use of solutions, where Canvas Apps and Flow has been lagging behind. Now we will see the ability to include these along side Model Driven Apps in solutions, and export from one environment to another. The ability to run flows and embed Canvas Apps inside a Model Driven App now means that we can start to really use these features, safe in the knowledge that they can be deployed to UAT/PROD from DEV.
  9. Unified experience for Flow, PowerApps and CDS
    These three complimentary products will be unified so that they are managed in the same experience. This can't come soon enough because I've found many people confused about how they fit together.
  10. Solution Checker
    Lastly, this new feature is interesting and offers advice on use of legacy features that will be deprecated in the future.

Go check out the October 2018 release notes now - 

Comments (1) -

  • Great list, Scott.

    I'm building a solution for my company in UCI only, so all the 'new' features added in the Unified Client, closing the gap between the Classic UI are more than welcome.

    And it seems that we're getting some of the capabilities not yet on Unified Interface ( soon, according to this roadmap ( posted by Andrew Butenko on Twitter.

    I am particular pleased with the Custom Controls in Business Process Flows. Being able to use these custom controls across forms and BPFs will improve the user experience.

    Coming from Salesforce, I am also pleased to see Dependent Option Sets in the Unified Interface. This is an OOTB feature in Salesforce, so it has been a big miss in D365 for me. The big question is now - will the dependent option sets work in Business Processs Flows - or will it be the same as Filtered Lookups which are currently not supported in BPFs?

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