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Microsoft October Release Notes

Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations October 2019 Release Notes

Hitachi Solutions > Blog > 2019 > 08 > Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations October 2019 Release Notes

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations unifies global financials and operations to empower people to make fast, informed decisions. Finance and Operations helps businesses adapt quickly to changing market demands and drive rapid business growth. In this blog, I’ll be looking at some of my top picks of the features being introduced within the 2019 release wave 2.

Please note that some of these features might still be planned for release between October 2019 and March 2020 or might be in a public preview state at present. For a full list of features planned for release between October 2019 and March 2020, please see the official What’s new and planned for Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations Microsoft article.

Financial management - Intelligent insights in financials

This looks to be an important new feature whereby Microsoft are providing the ability for end-users to optimize their cash flow by providing insights into when a customer will pay their invoices. Microsoft have introduced transaction types for specific journal scenarios, and the data model has been changed to reflect these.  This change communicates the intention of a specific journal entry, which is currently an open and over-flexible experience.  

There are many aspects to this feature which are being introduced here including:

  • Pre-predictions to run predictions in batch. You can then save this data in Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations to use later.
  • Options available to embed predictions on list pages and workspaces.
  • Predictions per invoice – such as ‘Open invoices list page’, ‘Collection details’, ‘Customer transactions.’
  • Predictions per customer – such as ‘All customers’, Customers on hold’, ‘All sales orders.’

Life Cycle Services

There are several key new features in this area. Firstly, there is the continuing migration of Microsoft’s customer environments to self-service deployments. The default sandbox is migrated first, followed by the production environment seven calendar days later. However, customers can reschedule through an online form in extenuating circumstances.

With 2019 release wave 2, customers will be added to the zero-downtime update flow for Microsoft monthly service updates. Customers with zero downtime enabled are now able to configure an update window during which the update will happen. Interactive users will not normally experience any connection loss during the update. Any running batch jobs will be terminated during the preconfigured update window, and then restarted when the update completes. New batch jobs can also be started in the update window and status updates will be sent via email and through LCS update history.

Secondly, Microsoft are introducing Cross-Project Management in LCS to assist those partners, system integrators and ISVs who manage multiple customer environments and large customers who also have multiple environments. A new cross-customer workspace will be introduced within LCS to make it easier to manage multiple functions and monitor health. For example, this workspace will allow you to view usage and issues that arise with environment monitoring, as well as manage updates across projects. 

Thirdly, Implementation Metrics are being introduced into LCS via a new mandatory phase in the lifecycle for partners and system integrators to evaluate their implementation. Metrics, based on both static and runtime analysis in sandbox and production environments, will be made available to partners. The analysis and detailed logs will include errors and warnings, and unresolved errors will prevent the code from being moved and deployed to production. In addition to this, specific performance benchmarking will also be available.

Platform

There are two key features being introduced here. Firstly, there are User Productivity and Experience Enhancements. Below is a summary of those I believe are the most important:

  • Saved views will become generally available, and several improvements to this feature will follow as part of monthly updates, such as saved view support for workspaces and dialogs, as well as improved management of modified views.
  • A new grid control will be made available with capabilities for displaying totals for numeric columns in tabular grids, as well as the ability to group data based on the values in one or more columns. You will also be able to have the ability to freeze a column, so it doesn't scroll out of view.
  • The management of batch jobs and batch queues will be greatly improved. This will give administrators the ability to prioritize batch jobs by business processes. This is great because they will no longer need to manage batch groups.

Moreover, power users of Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations will be able to embed Microsoft Power BI reports directly in application workspaces. There will also be no service interruptions required to distribute updates, giving customers greater flexibility to publish, at their own pace, enhancements to analytical solutions hosted on Power BI.

Project Management for Service Industries

This area sees several interesting new features. Firstly, URS-based Resource Management for Projects in Finance and Operations is being introduced in the project management area of the Service Industries (SI) module. This greatly enhances resource bookings, availability calendars, resource requirements, skills and competencies, and resource search for scheduling resources to projects. 

In addition, the two dependencies on Project Group and Project Type are being removed.

  • ‘Project Group’ will become an optional grouping mechanism for projects. A new entity, ‘Project Revenue profile’, will be created that will contain the configuration related to work in progress (WIP)/revenue accrual and revenue recognition for fixed-price projects.  The project revenue profile will be set on the contract line.
  • ‘Project Type’ need no longer be set at the project level, i.e. a project will no longer have a type of Fixed-price, Time and material, Cost, Time, Internal, or Investment. Instead, the project contract line will determine whether a project is ‘Fixed-Price’ or ‘Time and Material’, allowing for the same project to have both a fixed price component and a time-and-material component.  

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Paul Mackender

Paul Mackender works for Hitachi Solutions (UK) as a Lead Technical Consultant in the Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations delivery team for Hitachi Solutions. He has worked for Hitachi for over 6 years and has over 10 years of experience working with Microsoft Dynamics. Paul takes a keen interest in the technical advancements that are taking place within Dynamics 365, and how they can be best utilised for the benefit of client projects.

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Author Spotlight

Paul Mackender

Paul Mackender works for Hitachi Solutions (UK) as a Lead Technical Consultant in the Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations delivery team for Hitachi Solutions. He has worked for Hitachi for over 6 years and has over 10 years of experience working with Microsoft Dynamics. Paul takes a keen interest in the technical advancements that are taking place within Dynamics 365, and how they can be best utilised for the benefit of client projects.

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