Microsoft makes available previews of features coming to Dynamics 365, Power Platform starting in October

Microsoft is making available early-access previews of some Dynamics 365 and Power Platform 'wave 2' features ahead of their official rollout this fall.

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Credit: Microsoft

In mid-July, Microsoft made available its release plans for the 2021 Wave 2 set of features coming to Dynamics 365 ERP/CRM and the Power Platform. Today, August 2, Microsoft is releasing a number of the Wave 2 features in "early access" form, ahead of the start of their rollout on October 1 and continuing into March 2022.

Microsoft is adding "hundreds" of new features to its Dynamics modules in Wave 2, including Finance and Operations, Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Commerce, Business Central, Field Service, Supply Chain Management, Human Resources, Connected Store, Customer Insights, Customer Voice and Project Operations. It also is adding some additional features to some of its Industry Clouds, including the Cloud for Healthcare and Cloud for Nonprofits and Cloud for Financial Services as part of Wave 2. And as part of this wave of features, Microsoft is adding more to Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate, Power Virtual Agents and AI Builder, as well.

Most of these new features appear to be incremental (to my amateur eye). The full release plans listing the features announced to date for Wave 2 are available for download. The Power Platform Wave 2 plan is here. The Dynamics 365 Wave 2 plan is here.

Microsoft is rolling out a number of these new features via Teams, as the company is trying to integrate Dynamics and Teams increasingly tighter. At its Inspire partner show, Microsoft announced it would make Dynamics 365 data available to Teams users for no additional cost.

Speaking of Field Service, Microsoft is going to discontinue Dynamics 365 Field Service on-premises on June 30, 2022. Microsoft is advising customers to move to Dynamics 365 Field Service in the cloud before that time. After June 30 next year, users will still be able to access the on-premises version if they've installed it already but no new Field Service on-premises installations will be available.

And on the topic of Power Apps, I haven't yet blogged about is Microsoft's plan to cut in half its Power Apps pricing (!) as of October 1 for both Power Apps per user (from $40 per month to $20 per month) and Power Apps per app (from $10 per month to $5 per month). Microsoft's Power Platform pricing and licensing has been among the most confounding of any Microsoft product family -- and that's saying a lot. So the coming price cut may help with customer adoption and with Microsoft meeting its own internal goals for its low-code/no-code products.