The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Update to ‘One Version’ and Why You Should Care
Microsoft continuously enhances Microsoft Dynamics 365 with new functionality to provide businesses a tool to accelerate their digital transformation. As a leader and major player in the ERP and CRM landscape, it is obviously important for Microsoft to do so to stay ahead of the competition. However, a big challenge is that companies cannot benefit from enhancements if they are not on the latest version. With the upcoming update to ‘One Version’ called ‘Evergreen’, Microsoft is convinced it will resolve this need.
Microsoft used to release two major updates per year, one in April and one in October. In October 2018 Microsoft released Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations version 8.1 and in November a monthly update cadence that includes application and platform updates started. From April 2019 forward, all Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations customers need to be on the same version, version 10. Compare to earlier releases, this is a significant difference in this so-called ‘One Version‘, which will always be up-to-date.
With the April 2018 release, Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations moved to an extensions model as the only way for customization, making it easier for customers to update while still having the ability to personalize their business applications. Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement (previously CRM) already used a monthly update cadence, and users were allowed to skip one update if they were working on a module or extension development on that particular instance. When Microsoft releases a newer version, a customer needs to update to the latest Dynamics version to stay within the product support criteria. With the upcoming update to One Version, Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations will join this product life cycle and fulfill the fundamental need of companies to keep their ERP at a constant pace with advancements in technology. Read more in the Microsoft Dynamics 365 release schedule and the One Version service updates FAQ.
While the upcoming update to One Version will provide businesses a competitive advantage to innovate and meet ever-changing customer demands, a faster-paced update cadence also poses challenges for customers. When updates become a more frequent requirement, minimizing the effort and investment needed to keep your system up to date is crucial. A helpful tool is the Regression Suite Automation Tool (RSAT), which can be used to assure a newer version of your application still supports core functionality. HSO Innovation uses RSAT to create automated regression tests in DevOps for our products and solutions. Customers can do the same covering their own relevant processes. This enables you to automatically create test cases including test steps in your Azure DevOps projects. Azure DevOps can then serve as a configuration and management solution where you can use targeted test plans, manage execution and investigate results.
It is safe to say that no two customer environments are the same and we can imagine that you may have questions regarding the ‘One Version readiness’ of your specific environment. As you may know, HSO Innovation has been a Microsoft Inner Circle member for numerous years, and in that respect, we also have been able to anticipate and prepare ourselves for the many changes our applications have gone through. Contact us if you are curious about the possible consequences of the update to One Version for your environment through our contact form or give us a call on +31 (0)318 507 800. We are glad to help!
If you are an HSO Innovation customer and are using one of our solutions on your live environment, you should be aware that you need to be on the latest available version before upgrading your Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations to the ‘One Version’. Please contact your implementation partner or us to verify this!