A Quick Guide to the 2022 Release Wave 2 for Dynamics 365 & the Power Platform
Microsoft has published its release plans for the next major cloud update across Dynamics 365 applications and the Power Platform.
In these documents, Microsoft shares details about the new features, improvements and capabilities that will be released for these products between October 2022 and March 2023. This post summarises the main Release Wave 2 announcements focusing on the Dynamics 365 CRM modules and model-driven apps.
Some of these will initially be released in public preview, allowing administrators to test these in a non-production environment. A selection of features will also be available to try from August 2022 before they are enabled by default in October.
As always, the information about pre-release features is subject to change, but we will endeavour to provide updates as soon as these are announced.
Another way to keep up to date with upcoming features and see what new features are available to test is to visit: experience.dynamics.com/releaseplans.
Release Wave 2 Timeline
Work on related records in multi-entity forms
Multi-entity forms allow model-driven app forms to be rendered on another form so users can work on related records in these form components without navigating away from the main record. Microsoft shows an example of a contact form rendered within the main account form in its release plans. (Public preview from August. General Availability from October)
Improved record link copying
A new share button allowing users to copy record links and quickly email these will be auto-enabled across all records. (Early access from August)
Power BI quick reports in model-driven apps
Prior to this release wave, Microsoft has brought forward the general availability of Power BI quick reports. Using quick reports, Dynamics 365 and other model-driven app users can create interactive reports in a single click from a list view to easily explore data on grids without the effort of creating a Power BI report from scratch. (Available now)
Watch our demonstration of Power BI quick reports
Modern advanced find enabled by default
The modern advanced find experience was introduced in the 2022 Release Wave 1, featuring new controls to run queries and manage personalised views. By default, modern advanced find is enabled in the upcoming release wave to replace the legacy experience. (Early access from August)
View colleagues presence
By default, user profile photos will be displayed in the online presence for record owner fields, and all grids where usernames are displayed. (Public preview from August. General Availability from October)
Use Teams chat in apps
Recent releases have added embedded Teams chat to Dynamics 365 apps enabling users to start chats without needing to navigate away from the Dynamics interface. This functionality will also be available for all model-driven apps in the upcoming wave. (Public preview from October. General Availability from March 2023)
Dynamics 365 Sales
Deal Room Teams dashboard
A new deal room dashboard in Microsoft Teams provides a single pane of customer insights, activity coordination, and activity recommendations for specific deals.
Using this collaboration spaces dashboard, everyone working on a deal can check the activity, featuring the latest account and opportunity information, access associated documents, check intelligent insights about the relationship health, and see the next best actions. (Public preview from November. General Availability from March 2023)
Using a new seller dashboard, sellers can better track their daily progress and access insights based on the activities across their contacts, accounts, leads and opportunities. (Public preview from October. General Availability from December)
Track linked Teams chat as activities in the timeline
Teams chats associated with a particular record can be linked as activities that appear in the timeline. With each chat connected as an activity entry in the timeline, recent chat events, such as new conversations or uploading documents, are easily discovered. (General Availability from October)
Sharing records in emails & chats
Release Wave 2 includes a series of updates to share records and surface CRM data in Outlook emails and Teams chats.
- Use @mention to insert Dynamics 365 data in emails and chats the same way you insert people references. Use @mention to search and insert sales data into Outlook emails and Teams conversations. (Public preview from November. General Availability from February 2023)
- Insert Dynamics 365 records into Outlook emails as information cards that display preview information in the email body. Using the messaging extensions add-on for Outlook, users can insert adaptive cards for desktop and web access emails to let recipients view the summary detail within the message. (Public preview from October)
- Securely collaborate on live data in chats and emails by typing @dynamics to add records as info cards and take quick action on these within these communications. (Public preview from November)
- Preview shared records when pasting URLs enabling recipients to access summary information about records within the chat or email content without needing to install any messaging extensions. (Public preview from November)
Sales Accelerator Updates
The Sales accelerator platform was recently extended to Sales Enterprise customers to support sales teams and streamline workflows. In 2022 Release Wave 2, updates to the accelerator include.
- New sequence designer – to provide a consistent design experience across D365 Marketing real-time journeys and D365 Sales sequences. (Early access from August)
- Guide sellers to work simultaneously – allowing multiple sellers to work on different sequences for a specific record simultaneously and use segments to define rules that connect sequences to sellers. (General Availability from November)
- Enable sellers to create sequences – removing the current restriction where only managers and administrators can add or update sequences. (General Availability from January)
Teams collab spaces around sales processes
Collaboration spaces in Teams are an organised workspace created by Dynamics templates to support effective collaboration in Teams. This initial preview release will include scenario-based templates and customisable triggers to control the channel and folder structure to consistently organise this information across Teams. (Public preview from November. General Availability from March 2023)
Dynamics 365 Marketing
New segment builder to support contacts & leads
The new segment builder will reach general availability in October, enabling segments to be created based on attribute data for contacts and leads.
This allows marketing teams to create segments using an updated drag-and-drop builder or natural language queries.
Attributes can be selected in the right pane and added to queries which don’t require specialised knowledge of complex data structures.
Compared to the current process, the new builder will also enable an estimate and preview of member numbers during the creation process. (General Availability from October)
New Analytics dashboard
Marketing teams can access additional analytics using a new out-of-the-box dashboard.
The dashboard will provide visibility of the lead flow through to won opportunities to understand what outcomes are driven by lead generation activities.
Added insights will be provided to assess the top-performing journeys and marketing assets, trend analysis and a funnel visual to track leads moving through the pipeline.
The dashboard will integrate with D365 Sales to provide a shared view across teams. (Public preview from October. General Availability from December)
Support for multiple brands
For organisations with multiple brands, Dynamics 365 real-time marketing will organise emails, forms and other digital assets to reflect these structures. Microsoft says this functionality will build on modernised business units to separate data across these boundaries and provide insights into specific brand performance. (General Availability from October)
Lead capture forms
Real-time marketing will also include a new intuitive form editor, featuring additional templates, intelligent forms to show/hide fields based on previous interactions and advanced form validation. (Public preview from October. General Availability from December)
Add sales actions to journeys
As prospects are nurtured through automation journeys, their interactions may signal a need for sales to follow up. To handle these scenarios, real-time marketing journeys will now include options to create sales activities, trigger sales sequences in D365 Sales, or route leads to sales professionals for urgent attention. (General Availability from October)
Extend outreach with custom channels
In addition to inbuilt real-time marketing channels such as email and SMS, this will enable content to be delivered through custom channels, such as WhatsApp, within the context of customer journeys. (Public preview from October. General Availability from December)
Dynamics 365 Customer Service
Customer support swarming for complex cases
In our recent post, we highlighted how this new integrated Teams feature will enable support agents and subject matter experts to come together and collaborate on specific cases and quickly resolve customer issues. In the latest release wave, this public preview will provide an updated agent experience to improve the swarm creation flow, manage swarm progress and wrap-up activities. (Public preview from October)
Insert records as loops in chats & emails
A public preview will introduce the capability to insert Dynamics 365 records as portable information cards that support inline actions across Outlook emails and Teams chat.
The live cards will be accessible by typing @Dynamics in messages to launch the Dynamics app for Teams or Outlook, or by copying links to Dynamics records. (Public preview from November)
Rich text editor enhancements
Allowing any supported/allowed file to be embedded and previewed, and a default font name and size to be set. (Early access from August)
Timeline maker experience
Upcoming enhancements include options to enable more than one timeline on a form and select which type of actions are displayed. (Public preview from August. General Availability from October)
Additional duration detail for SLA metrics
KPIs will now include active and on-hold duration values to understand better how many business hours elapsed to meet a specific service level agreement metric. (Early access from August)
Announced updates for Release Wave 2 include:
- Routing calls to agents who are idle for the longest duration. (Public preview from October)
- Route items to preferred agents by setting up designated agents for customers who will be assigned work. (Public preview from July. General availability from October)
- Percentage-based work allocation using route-to-queue rules that can output to more than one queue. (General availability from October)
- Overflow management enhancements to transfer calls to alternative queues if agents are available or offer a callback if there is a high volume of unassigned calls in the queue. (General availability from October)
Embedded Teams chat enhancements
As featured in the D365 Sales section, chats can be tracked on the associated record timeline. Users can access recent chat-related events in the timeline, such as sharing a document.
Conversation auto-summarising will be generally available in this release wave, including shareable conversation summaries that are formatted to highlight the issue and proposed solutions. (Early access from August)
Improved knowledge article smart assist
Administrators can select more fields from cases and knowledge article records which can be used to recommend these to agents from an active case proactively. (General availability from October)
Link signature templates to a queue
Allowing admins to set a queue signature template, this will be inserted into emails instead of the queue owner's default template. (General availability from October)
Personalise out-of-box historical analytics reports
Changes made to the historical analysis report can now be saved as bookmarks and reused. (Early access from August)
Monitor support operations near real-time
New dashboards will be released to provide real-time insights across workloads and agents. These will include average wait times, queue lengths and agent capacity. (Public preview from October)
Dynamics 365 Field Service
Mobile app usability enhancements
- Improved navigation to easily switch between form tabs resulting in less scrolling.
- Updated command bar to only contain relevant functions to specific forms and views.
(Early access from August)
Manage relationships with vendors
For work orders that are subcontracted to vendors, this feature will better support these scenarios and allow additional detail to be captured, including vendor rates and skills. (Early access from August)
Manage work order costs using 'not to exceed' function
Apply not-to-exceed values on work order costs and prices based on customers, incident types or location to trigger alerts if these limits are near or exceeded. (Public preview from August)
New schedule board is now default
The legacy schedule board will be deprecated by April 2023. Enhancements to the new board include improved usability, booking tooltips and the ability to bulk change booking status. (Early access from August)
Additional Power Platform Updates in 2022 Release Wave 2
New grid controls
In the previous release wave, a new model-driven app grid control entered public preview featuring infinite scrolling and inline editing within views and sub-grids. A date for general availability has yet to be announced, but Microsoft is adding more grid control capabilities to the preview.
- Nested grids to see related records by expanding rows
- Grouping data based on grid columns to expand and collapse
- Aggregating data on numerical grid columns to see averages, totals, minimum/maximum values
Create & join Teams meetings in-app or from appointments
The ability to create and join Teams meetings from appointment records was recently added to Dynamics 365 Sales. In the 2022 Release Wave 2, this will be available for all model-driven app users. (Early access from August)
Manage business units & teams in the Power Platform admin center
To manage business units and Dataverse teams, reliance on the legacy web client is finally being replaced by a new experience within the Power Platform admin center. (Public preview from October)
Sequential approvals in Power Automate
There is often a need for complex approval processes where multiple individuals must grant approval at different stages. Power Automate will now enable multiple levels/stages to be defined within an approval flow to advance requests through this chain unless an individual rejects the flow at any stage. (General availability from October)
Modern security role editor experience
A new experience will be provided in the Power Platform admin center to manage security roles and privileges. (Public preview from October)
Enable Power Fx in Dataverse business rules
Power Fx is the low-code language for the Microsoft Power Platform. This will provide a new low-code solution to enable business rules beyond basic conditions, without the complexity of rules that require custom development. (Public preview from September. General availability from November)
Power BI Mobile Visual Formatting
General availability of mobile visual reporting for Power BI will provide more flexibility and extra options to design reports optimised for mobile devices, making the visual format pane available in the mobile layout view. (General availability from October)
Microsoft Power Pages was recently announced as a new pillar of the Power Platform, an enterprise-grade, low-code solution to create, host and administer portals. This provides a new design and design templates to deploy process-driven websites. Eventually, Power Apps Portals will move to this new design experience.
Microsoft has not yet confirmed when Power Pages will reach general availability, but during this release wave, it will release new site templates to handle processes for employee onboarding and permit applications.
Connect to external data from Dataverse
Virtual tables have been around for a while but are complex to set up. In Release Wave 2, Microsoft says it will introduce new capabilities to create tables in Dataverse that use simple connections to find and interact with external data. The release plans cite examples of Dataverse tables using data from an Excel workbook in OneDrive or SQL Server in Azure. (Public preview from December. General Availability from March 2023)
Virtual tables between Dataverse instances
For organisations with multiple environments, this update will enable users to create a virtual table in one Dataverse environment and provide access to this data across other instances without duplication. (Public preview from January 2023)
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