New Dynamics 365/CDS update policy

Give people a way to procrastinate, and they shall procrastinate. These procrastinators who don't keep reasonably current cost additional resources to support taking away precious time that could be spent by Microsoft adding new features or responding to security needs etc. because Microsoft's resource are spread across multiple versions.

Today, Microsoft announced (read here) that for Dynamics 365 (online) and the platform (which means Common Data Service for Apps (CDS) as well) they will be modernizing their update process and moving to

One version, with all users on the latest available version

This is not an overnight change, Customers running v8.2 should plan to update to the latest version by January 31, 2019. Don't procrastinate otherwise Microsoft will schedule the update for you in your maintenance window.

Part of the responsibility of deployers is now more than ever to stay away from any unsupported techniques because in the past they could ride a version for a couple of years to avoid possible breaking changes. Moving to where all would be upgraded at the same time, there would be a higher risk of unsupported changes breaking quicker. Stay supported.

Off at update, admin enables

Microsoft will do two major releases per year – April and October, plus a continuous set of updates for reliability and performance. You've probably have noticed they've picked up the pace of these to an almost weekly cadence. New Features that are disruptive will be off by default and admin enabled.

One of my favorite things they did in the April release was publish a 200+ release note document. That will become new regular part of the update cycle, with the October 18th being released at the same time as the Business Application Summit later this month. Take the time to review and provide feedback, don't wait until your update is on the way to get engaged!

Got questions? Start with the FAQ here

Overall, I think this is a good change, and it will take some customers a bit of getting used to.