Previewing the 2022 Release Wave 1 for Microsoft Dynamics 365 & Power Platform
Microsoft has published its release plans for the next cloud update wave across the Power Platform and Dynamics 365.
The 2022 Release Wave 1 will span April to September 2022, commencing with regional deployments from 2 April. Prior to this, some features will be available from February for early access.
In this post...
Below we've listed some announcements that caught our eye, these mainly focus on end-user feature updates for Dynamics 365 customer engagement / CRM users.
- Model-driven apps - new features applicable across all model-driven apps including Dynamics 365
- Dynamics 365 Sales - including new extended entitlements for Sales Enterprise users
- Dynamics 365 Marketing - featuring new capabilities for email design and authoring customer journeys
- Dynamics 365 Customer Service
- Dynamics 365 Field Service
- Power Apps Web Portals
- Power BI
As with any pre-release information, this content is subject to change!
The introduction of some features and release dates could be pushed back and additional feature announcements may be made, so we'll aim to keep this post updated. Once these features are released, we plan to create further content, so to stay up to date, please join our mailing list, or follow Preact on LinkedIn.
If you have questions about this release and any of these features, please get in touch.
Although this is a long post, we are only scratching the surface in covering the full range of capabilities announced for this release wave. We've provided links to the release plans which provide the full detail across all Dynamics apps and the Power Platform.
The release plans enable customers and partners to learn about the new capabilities that Microsoft will be rolling out across Dynamics 365 modules and the Power Platform between April and September.
In these guides, Microsoft shares its vision for each product and details the timeline of each new feature release. As referenced above, these timings may change, and some features will initially be introduced in a public preview.
The 2022 Release Wave 1 plans are now available to download:
- Dynamics 365 - 2022 Release Wave 1 Plan: Microsoft Docs and PDF
- Power Platform - 2022 Release Wave 1 Plan: Microsoft Docs and PDF
A summary is available on the Microsoft Product Roadmap page.
From 31st January, administrators have an opportunity to try out some new capabilities in non-production environments that Microsoft will make available for Early Access. These cover impactful features that will be enabled by default in production instances when the release wave is generally available.
These features are being actively developed, and may not be complete. They are initially released on a preview basis so customers and partners can test and provide feedback. Preview features are not meant for production use and may have limited or restricted functionality.
The 2022 Release Wave 1 will be automatically rolled out to production and non-production cloud environments from 1 April, regional cloud deployments are due to commence on 2nd April. This will continue with subsequent updates throughout the release period until September 2022.
What's New in Model-Driven Apps?
New capabilities & updates for Dynamics 365 & all model-driven Power Apps
Modern advanced find
Microsoft is preparing to replace the legacy advanced find experience, so the new Release Wave will introduce a modern advanced find with a new view management experience. This includes:
- An advanced find entry point through the global Dataverse search bar
- An enhanced selector enabling users to search for a view
- Simpler personalisation of views including options to hide and reorder views across all devices
- Exploring any table in a model-driven app through structured search and filters
(Public Preview from February / General Availability from April)
New activity dropdown showing only relevant activities
The new dropdown will only show contextual activities that are relevant to each app. Activities which aren’t included in the app metadata will be hidden by default. (Public Preview from February / General Availability from April)
From April this capability will be generally available enabling administrators to configure notifications within apps as an alternative to email alerts and push notifications.
New read-only grid control is the default grid for read-only usage
Initially released during the 2021 Release Wave 2, the new Power Apps read-only grid control will be the default read-only experience in the next release wave. This applies to grids in view pages and sub grids in forms. By default, the alphabetical jump bar row from the earlier experience is not visible, but this can be enabled as required. (Early access from February / GA from April)
Editable grid control support
A new editable grid control will be released in preview during this release wave to handle inline edits within views and sub-grids. This will also introduce infinite scrolling allowing users to continue scrolling to get to the required grid row(s) without the need to navigate through pages. (Public preview from April)
Create & join Teams meetings from in-app appointments
A new toggle control for appointment records will enable users to create a Microsoft Teams meeting from these entries and join the Teams meeting with a single click directly from the appointment or in the timeline. (Public preview from February / GA from April)
Appointment description supports rich text
A new rich text editor will be supported for all model-driven apps, and from this release wave, will be the default editor for appointments and email activities. This control will enable links, lists and other rich text to be added within an appointment description. (Public preview from February / GA from April)
Build forms entirely using the modern form designer
Microsoft is planning to deprecate the legacy form designer and it says the upcoming Release Wave will bring parity between the modern form designer and the classic experience. With this update, administrators and app makers will be able to customise forms using all controls in the new designer without the need to work in the legacy designer. (General Availability from April)
Easy record sharing
A new record sharing experience (currently available in public preview) will reach general availability in the 2022 Release Wave 1. Initially this is only available for Account, Case, Opportunity, and Contact tables, enabling users to share records similarly to Office documents with other users who have sufficient record permissions.
(Now available in Public Preview / General Availability from April)
Co-presence in records
Towards the end of this Release Wave period, this feature currently available in preview will reach general availability. This identifies any colleagues who are currently working on a record and includes their current online status, so users can start a Teams chat or send an email.
Similar improvements will made to the record owner field to check their online status, email or initiate a chat.
Initially, these features will be available for Account, Case, Opportunity, and Contact tables only.
(Now available in Public Preview / GA from September)
Power Fx formulas for column calculations in Microsoft Dataverse
Power Fx is the new low-code language that will be used across Microsoft Power Platform. Low code Power Fx formulas expand what can be expressed in calculated columns and rollups to add the capability for performing calculations in real time with Today() and Now() functions. (Now available in Public Preview / GA from May)
What's New in Dynamics 365 Sales?
Sales Premium features accessible with a D365 Sales Enterprise licence
Selected Dynamics 365 Sales Premium features will be available to customers with a Dynamics 365 Sales Enterprise licence, subject to monthly capacity limits. This includes:
- Conversation intelligence with three hours per user / month
- Access to the sales accelerator workspace with up to 1,500 records connected to a sales sequence per environment / month
- Predictive scoring with up to 1,500 leads or opportunities scored per environment / month
Sales Hub preinstalled on all environments
In this release wave, Microsoft will make the Sales Hub available and preinstalled in all existing and new environments. This will only be visible to users with specific security roles including system admin, system customizer, salesperson and sales manager.
Announced updates include:
- Capability for sellers to toggle a full year, and year to-date, forecast views which support comparisons between organisational targets and actual YTD performance across multiple periods.
- Updating quotas with inline editing and rollups.
- Filter underlying opportunities in a forecasting using column-level filter controls.
- The ability to monitor stagnated deals, using the number of days stuck in the current stage, and understand their impact on the predictive score.
(All General Availability from April)
Discover accounts and contacts from email interactions
This updated ‘who knows whom’ feature is designed to help sellers identify hidden relationships that exist within an organisation based on interactions tracked in Dynamics and Exchange Online.
This supports queries on contacts and accounts that colleagues may have interacted with over email to identify related contacts and potential connections. It will also be supported by an interaction score that reflects the engagement strength of a relationship between the contact or account and a colleague.
(Public preview from April)
Capture phone contacts and recent calls
Enabling data to be more easily captured, this feature will provide a one-click process to add phone contacts to Dynamics 365 Sales and log calls from recent mobile phone calls. (Public preview from August / GA from September)
Log information using mobile phone camera
This will provide an improved experience to capture business cards and scan handwritten notes using a phone camera to extract digitised text into Dynamics 365 Sales. (Public preview from August / GA from September)
Outlook deep-link integration
In this release, Microsoft is improving the Dynamics 365 Sales mobile app to provide deep-link integration with Outlook and make it context-aware. This will include support for email templates when composing emails and auto-filling relevant information from the Dynamics mobile app in Outlook emails. (Public preview from August / GA from September)
What's New in Dynamics 365 Marketing?
Raise triggers from a journey to run another journey or flow
Within real-time customer journey orchestrations this new capability will provide greater flexibility to trigger custom processes and Power Automate flows. A new journey tile will be available in the designer to prompt an event trigger so that any connected journey or flow will be run when a customer reaches this point. (Public preview from February / GA from April)
Unified customer activity across apps
Real-time and outbound marketing activities will be accessible within the Dynamics 365 unified timeline alongside interactions captured in other apps including D365 Sales and Customer Service. This will include a timeline filter for marketing-only activities.
(Public preview from April / GA from June)
Built-in Microsoft Teams chat for Marketing
Inline Teams chat capabilities will be accessible within entities across Dynamics 365 Marketing, these will include email template and landing page editors to support greater team collaboration.
(Public preview from February / GA from September)
Easily personalise emails with predefined dynamic field text
To quickly personalise messages using dynamic text, marketers will be able to access a list of the most commonly used predefined field tokens, without the need to navigate database structures to apply personalisations for first / last name, email and other field values.
(Public preview from February / GA from April)
Create custom journeys with event trigger conditions
Using connected data stored in Dataverse, new event triggers will be available to start and drive customer journeys. This will support common operations, such as when a row is added or a value updates, without the need for custom development or integration. These triggers can reference any audience table in Dataverse, such as contact, opportunity, account, and leads, as well as custom tables.
Marketing teams will also be able to apply additional conditions to an event trigger that define when a customer should qualify for a specific journey. Without the need for custom development, this enables one or more filter conditions to be added to an event trigger to control what type of action to start, branch, exit or measure journey goals.
(Public preview from February / GA from April)
Conditional dynamic content with no-code experience
A new conditional content experience will simplify the process for marketers to personalise emails using dynamic content rules. Without the need to rely on IF, ELSE or other coding rules, this enables sections of content and images to be personalised to a specific attribute and preview each variation in the email designer. (Public preview from April / GA from June)
Reusable content fragments for emails
This new capability will enable marketers to save content blocks from emails which can be reused in other messages. Asset library content fragments can include text blocks, buttons and layout elements which can then be dragged onto a new email message template. (Public preview from April / GA from June)
Use SMS replies to branch customer journeys
This enables responses to SMS messages to continue the conversation within the context of a customer journey. Use this new capability to define keyword rules based on SMS responses that will branch the journey and trigger additional messages and / or other actions. (Public preview from March / GA from April)
Reimagined segmentation builder
An updated segment builder will be expanded to cover attributes for leads, including leads which are not associated with a parent contact. Searches across attributes for contacts and leads can will be accessible using a new sidebar pane.
(Public preview from June / General Availability to be confirmed)
Easily create journeys with reminder messages
To remove the need to create cascading branches in Customer Journeys, this new capability will check for qualifying action after each step or can be used to specify conditions with more than two possibilities. This simplifies the journey logic for scenarios when there is a need to remind customers until they complete a call to action.
(Public preview from April / GA from June)
What's New in Dynamics 365 Customer Service?
New Customer Service admin app
A new consolidated administration centre will be introduced to unify tasks across the Customer Service Hub, Omnichannel admin and app profile manager. (Public preview from February / GA from April)
Enhanced email template experience
This includes a new insert template gallery that will provide multiple views and search capabilities to compose messages using existing templates. (General availability from July)
Also, Microsoft will bring a new email template creation experience in this release wave. (Public preview from May / GA from July)
The inbox feature released last year with the D365 Customer Service and Omnichannel for Customer Service workspaces will be extended with additional capabilities. This is designed to assist agents in managing multiple conversations and working through issues. Enhancements in the 2022 Release Wave 1 include support for an email conversation channel and enablement of real-time conversation translations. (General availability from April)
Dynamics 365 Customer Service Community App
This new app will provide community managers and moderators with additional tools to capture customer ideas and quickly respond to feedback on products and services. This is accompanied by a modern community web portal template. The Community app is expected to reach GA in April.
Analytics for knowledge articles and search terms
New capabilities will include knowledge post historical usage trends and key word search phrases. (General availability from April)
Knowledge search control for app side pane
Knowledge search will be another control that will be configurable in the side pane within the Customer Service workspace. (Public preview from February / GA from April)
SLA usability enhancements
Service level agreement improvements include the ability to customise display text for the Succeeded and Expired display text of the SLA timer. Success conditions can also be defined in greater detail using a related entity in addition to the primary entity. (General availability from April)
Embedded Microsoft Teams
New features will enable users to chat with contacts within Dynamics, access recent chats and link chats to case and conversation records. (General availability from April)
Enhancement in default queues for unified routing
Administrators will be able to set a default queue for every workstream. For work items that don't match any defined routing conditions, or work items that encounter any error during routing, will be routed to the default queue. (General availability from April)
Unified routing diagnostics enhancements
Errors and exceptions that occur during the routing process will be better accessible to admins to understand why some items are unassigned. (General availability from April)
What's New in D365 Field Service?
Mobile usability enhancements
Further enhancements to the mobile experience will include customisable quick action shortcuts from the booking calendar control and asset details shown within the booking form. (Early access from February and GA from April)
What's New in Power Apps Web Portals?
Dataverse search integration in portals
This Release Wave will introduce a new option to use Dataverse record search across tables and columns in portals in line with security permissions. This will be the default experience for all new portals and Microsoft says Dataverse search will eventually replace the long-standing search experience, but no timeline has been announced at the time of writing. (General availability from April)
Relevance search integration for knowledge management in portals
Relevance search is replacing the current portal global search functionality. The new capabilities include additional filter controls and content level access to provide an added layer of portal access control to knowledge articles. (General availability from April)
What's New in Power BI?
Create Power BI reports with new data sources
In this initial public preview, additional data sources will be added to the Create page in the Power BI service. These includes Excel, CSV and SharePoint to automatically create reports from these sources without copy / paste or connecting using Power BI desktop. (Public preview from April)
Quick measures using natural language
A further public preview will introduce the ability to generate Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) measures using natural language statements. This will cover routine mathematical operations and time-based calculations that will provide measure suggestions. (Public preview from April)
Power BI integration in Outlook & Office Hub
The Power BI personal app will be fully integrating with Outlook and the Office hub, enabling reports to be included directly in emails that open within Outlook to reduce application switching. (Public preview from May)
Embed Power BI scorecards in PowerPoint presentations
This capability will allow users to embed and use live Power BI scorecards within PowerPoint presentations. (General availability from September)
We are looking forward to learning more about what Microsoft will be releasing in the coming months and sharing this information. We will update this post as more updates are announced, and we are excited to bring you further content about what's new in the 2022 Release Wave 1.
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