What’s New or Changed in Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations 8.0 April Release - Series 1
This article will give a brief understanding of What’s new or Changed in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations 8.0, April release. Some of the key areas that we would be discussing in this blog are extensions, updates to the platform, what’s changed with the CDS, some of the global features that’s been added, minor change in Finance, couple of mobile experiences around project management and some key areas around trade and logistics.
Let’s look at the extension section, as many of you know, starting in version 8, we are in extension only development forever, there’s no more over-layering possible. The other key thing Microsoft is thinking about is how you give them information when they’re missing an extension point, an API, a class etc., that you would like to extend. Their medium-term strategy is to add something inside of LCS where you actually submit an extendibility request and describe what you’re trying to do and why you need the extendibility request and then they will help manage that process. It’s not available just yet, but sometime in summer we’re anticipating that this site should go-live and we should be able to start putting in our extendibility requests.
Why do the extension matter? It matters because it is important to look at it from a customer’s point of view and understand what benefits the customer gets out of it. One of the key things for both Microsoft and ISVs is the ability to do cumulative hotfix roll-ups instead of individual hot fixes and it’s a lot easier to do these than it was before. So, if you are an ISV, you want to consider moving to this model because we cannot overlay Microsoft code but only extend it. Ideally, the same should be true for ISV’s where customers are not over-layering your code, they’re only doing extensions to your code as well, in order to make this hotfix story simpler and easier for them to be on the latest version.
One of the benefits this gives everybody is, when you’re doing cumulative hotfixes, you can test all of it together. It’s a lot harder when customers are getting individual one-off hot fixes, essentially it means they are on one special unique version when compared to a cumulative hotfix roll-up, where in you can make sure everybody is still on the same overall version. So, this is something to look into as you’re thinking about the deployment and the benefit of the extension model. Certainly, from a code perspective when you move to extensions, it’s easier to upgrade. SAGlobal has a product called Projects+, a solution which is built natively within the Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, which was fully extended in version 7.3 and then while extending it to version 8.0, there was one issue and that is significantly less issues when compared to the past upgrades. So, the timeline for us to upgrade came down from roughly 4-6 weeks to 2-3 weeks while moving from version 7.3 to 8.0, and that 2-3 weeks was primarily a test cycle to make sure everything was done and working fine. That’s a benefit from customer’s perspective too because once all their code is extended, they should also be able to easily upgrade to releases, and of course when you do have that ease of upgrade, you’re getting the latest features which is what everybody wants at the end of day.
Stay tuned for my next bog, where I would continue to discuss about version life-cycle and impacts of frequent platform updates.
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About the Author
Dhananjayan K J is Senior Digital Marketing Manager for SAGlobal, where his role is to primarily develop and implement digital marketing strategies for Microsoft Dynamics products and services. Dhananjayan has over 12 years of enterprise marketing experience with strong background in digital marketing across industries.