Continuous innovation must be at the core of cloud-based software service providers and Microsoft strives to deliver on this premise. Previously, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations clients could be multiple versions behind the latest cloud version. This caused issues as clients might be on versions that could potentially have bugs that were corrected in future versions and or were missing key functionalities that had been added to the latest versions. In order to ensure all users are on the most recent version Microsoft has developed a new, less intrusive way to provide support and updates to its clients.
In this blog I will tell you about One Version, the single version of this cloud software. This enhancement is a continuous update cadence for Finance and Operations users.
All users, One Version
Beginning March 31st, 2019, Microsoft is ending support for prior versions of Finance and Operations. Some users have been automatically updated by Microsoft. But don’t worry if you have v8.2 or a previous one, Microsoft still allows you to schedule the update to One Version. This guarantees a continually stable application and, from the moment you update the system, you will be in full control of your own updates.
You decide when and which updates to run, or allow Microsoft to do it automatically for you, the only condition is accepting a minimum of 4 updates every year. You’ll have tools available in Life Cycle Services to learn about new updates and features. This lets you decide what to install and deploy that will work for your unique business needs.
The One Version system has three basic advantages. First, predictable updates with continuous deployment make reliability a priority. Since last year, Microsoft organized its update release schedule, rolling out major releases in April and October, but making certain updates throughout the whole year. Second, early visibility of upcoming changes grants access to comprehensive release notes and videos demonstrating new capabilities and updates. This way users know what to expect and what is most useful for their companies. Lastly, testing new capabilities ahead of time allows certain Finance and Operations users to try the new updates before the official release so they become familiarized with them.
The essential innovations
The purposes of the One Version update cadence are to lower updating costs, to provide access to the latest features, capabilities, and improvements, and to offer a better support experience for customers. Microsoft understands the importance of letting customers validate software updates before they deploy and have full control of when to install those updates. So, to accomplish this goal, Microsoft has developed six essential innovations for One Version:
Safe deployment rings
Each update has to go through certain security rings, starting at internal Microsoft deployments and all the way until full deployment. Every ring collects information, making sure the update only moves to the next stage if it has successful results.
Regression Suite Automation Tool (RSAT)
This tool allows customers to try regression tests of pending updates in their sandbox environment, making sure the update adapts to their specific organization needs, before actually deploying it.
Release Validation Program (RVP)
This program lets customers send their RSAT to Microsoft. Microsoft then runs a shadow of their sandbox environment through the deployment rings. This extra level of verification of customers’ own specific tests within Microsoft is another crucial point of quality assurance.
Enabling new features
One Version allows you to manage when to install new capabilities that change business processes or user experiences. This level of control over new features is fundamental for Microsoft customers and their companies.
Control of update timing
Every business has critical periods when system updates can’t be performed. So, One Version gives you control over the timing of production environment updates, even allowing you to postpone selected updates.
Reduced downtime updates
With every update, there is a time investment to be made. One Version strives to reduce downtime during updates, so your productivity and availability don’t falter.
Hopefully, this information has been useful for you, especially if you’re a Finance and Operations customer. We at Pangea know certain changes can be confusing, so contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need assistance in managing your new One Version updates.
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