[In the News]: New Flexible Service Updates for Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations

In October 2018, Microsoft introduced One Version, modernizing the service updates for Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. All customers will now benefit from being on the same version with access to the latest capabilities available and continuous updates.

Since that time, Microsoft has automatically applied an estimated 5,000 automatic updates to its customers, both in production and sandbox environments, with a success rate of over 99 percent.

During the same period, Microsoft released and improved its Regression Suite Automation Tool (RSAT) to reduce the time and cost of user acceptable testing, enabling functional power users to record business tasks and convert them into a suite of automated tests without the need to write code.

Here’s an excerpt from an update by Muhammad Alum, Microsoft’s general manager for Dynamics 365:

Choice and flexibility for service updates
During this period, we’ve studied the impact of providing one version for all customers, including those who operate in regulated industries and have seasonality needs. Today, customers can choose to stay updated between 4 and 10 times a year depending on whether they elect to skip updates. Based on feedback and an independent study, we’re providing more flexibility by adding an extra pause option and enhancing our update cadence. With these new options, customers who want to stay continuously updated can still do so and don’t have to change anything.  However, customers such as those operating in regulated industries have the option to pause up to three continuous updates. This, along with a change in when we will ship updates, effectively allows our customers to get into a predictable minimum 2x a year cycle of staying current. To stay committed to this predictability, we will now deliver eight new service updates per year and provide an additional cycle of servicing support for the prior version:

Credit: Microsoft

New additional cycle of servicing
Quality is and always will be at the forefront for what we’re delivering. We will continue to offer programs for early validation during the development cycled Release Validation Program. We will continue to make a preview available for each service update through the Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations insider program. As we move through each phase of our quality processes, we will continue to examine telemetry to determine if hidden regressions in capability or performance are not present. Along with all of that, we will now offer an additional cycle of servicing to allow us to provide critical fixes to customers on an n-1 update. Please review the Service update availability documentation to learn more about the programs and find the release schedule.

Supporting all customers with a single, up-to-date software version delivers on a key promise of cloud software as a service. Microsoft is innovating and investing in Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations to ensure that this can be achieved with the right attention to quality and stability demanded by customers. As Dynamics 365 customers shift to this model, we are seeing improved up-time and a reduction in the volume of service tickets. At the same time, customers are seamlessly gaining access to a continuous stream of innovation. Microsoft, our partner ecosystem, and our customers are spending less time and resources on upgrading software and focusing more on delivering business value. The One Version journey is here – join us.

Read the entire entry on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Blog.