Opt-In to Preview Dynamics 365 April 2019 Update

Microsoft has announced its next major update for Dynamics 365 Online will enter general availability from 5 April 2019.

First up, is the publication of a release guide on 21 January outlining the features being delivered for Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement and the Microsoft Power platform. You will be able to access release notes here.

The next important date is 1 February. From this time, administrators will be able to test the new version and selected features in the April update by opting in to a release preview.

Using a sandbox instance / environment, administrators will have an early opportunity to explore and test features before they are deployed to production sites in April. The sandbox preview will be available across Customer Engagement apps including Sales, Customer Service and Field Service.

It is understood that the preview release will include updates to existing functions that will be made mandatory from April 2019, as well as some new features that will 'meaningfully' change the Dynamics user experience.

Previously, Microsoft has stated that potentially disruptive changes in major updates will not be enabled by default and it has stressed that this preview will not include new Dynamics features that aren't enabled by default in April.

The precise list of features and updates to be included in the preview will be confirmed when the release notes are published on January 21st. 

Starting from 1 February 2019, admins will be able to opt-in for the April 2019 preview. This will be available in the Power platform admin centre in Environment > Settings > Previews & Updates.

It is recommended that Dynamics administrators enable the preview for their sandbox / non-production environments. These can be reset and restored as new features are tested without impacting production instances.

During the preview, any issues can be reported directly to Microsoft by raising a support case or via its community forum. 

By participating in the preview, administrators will be able to prepare internal readiness content covering the new features and document change management processes prior to the update being applied to live instances.

Once tested across Customer Engagement apps, admins will be able to enable the April 2019 update for their production instance(s). This can be proactively 'enabled' during April so that updates can be scheduled outside business hours rather than having this automatically applied by Microsoft. 

By the end of April, all production instances will be switched on to receive this update. As a result, the April update will see all Dynamics 365 Online customers on the latest version, and with a consistent update schedule as Microsoft has previously announced.

From 5th April, Microsoft will use its gradual region-by-region deployment cadence to enable the new features across its customer base. 

In the event that administrators do not opt-in for the preview, the update will be applied automatically to production environments during the month of April.

Opting in to the preview isn't mandatory but this is strongly recommended. This affords administrators an opportunity to test new features and other changes within your Dynamics environment prior to the update being applied to live instances in April.

April 2019 Update: Key Dates

  • 21 January - April 2019 release notes published
  • 1 February - preview available
  • 21 February - updated release notes with more detail about new features
  • from 5 April - general available for April 2019 update 

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