Earlier this year, Microsoft published their 2022 release wave 1 plans for Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform, a compilation of new capabilities that are planned to be released between April 2022 and September 2022. Although it's the first release wave of the year, it offers hundreds of the newest features and enhancements across applications like Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, Finance, and more.
While the features included in these updates can help power your digital transformation on Dynamics 365 and Power Platform, they can also impact your data in unintended ways, whether through new data being captured and stored, changes to data that already exists, or data getting removed by way of legacy deprecations.
To help you better understand the impact of the new features, we’ve reviewed all of the release wave updates (you can save yourself a ~600 page read!) and highlighted the ones that are more likely to impact your data. We also recently hosted a webinar on this topic, which you can watch on-demand.
Power Apps - Grid Control Inline Editing
The short story: A previously read-only grid control now encourages users to be more productive by letting users edit values directly in grid views and subgrids.
Our take: There’s no question that the new Power Apps Grid Control Inline editing will function to accelerate operational efficiency. Admins should consider the fact that this will simultaneously increase the risk for end user error and data corruption. The ability to restore granularly would help in scenarios like these.
Power Apps - Rich Text Formatting (RTF)
The short story: Microsoft will now allow you to include rich text descriptions in your appointments, including links to online meetings. It is included for all model-driven apps and is now a default standard for email activities and appointments.
Our take: Rich text formatting has been a long-standing feature gap that is now getting resolved. This will require customers who have created work-around solutions to turn off those customizations and potentially retrofit legacy data to meet the new standard and work in the new UI. Data retrofitting (e.g., RTF to HTML) is often a cause for corruption and loss, so having an accessible backup with the ability to restore is key.
Power Apps - Intelligent corrections
The short story: Many Microsoft products (like Excel) use Program Synthesis using Examples (PROSE) to automatically suggest a fix for errors found in a given formula. What used to require days of labor can now be completed in just a few seconds.
Our take: Intelligent formula corrections with PROSE might result in “auto-correct” style errors in formulas that change the face of data in Power Apps. PROSE based intelligent formula corrections could cause lazy app design and ‘autocorrect’ downstream data errors. This accentuates the need for the ability to query backups and restore the affected data.
Power Apps - Power Fx
The short story: Power Fx removes the need for variables to be manually started and maintained. This alone drastically simplifies app writing and allows apps to perform better because the system is free to defer loading data and calculating values until needed.
Our take: The use of Power Fx to replace calculated fields will enhance this area of functionality, but the RW1 documentation does not discuss what will happen with existing calculated fields, implying a potential risk to any prevailing calculated fields experiencing data corruption.
Power Apps - Offline
The short story: Using Power Apps Mobile in offline mode, will typically cause data to be downloaded in the background.
Our take: Enhancements and additions to run Power Apps in offline mode will present common challenges with offline to online synchronization. This is where data corruption by way of conflicts typically occurs and presents the need to restore from backups.
Power Apps Portals - Image Columns
Our take: Adding the ability for external portal users to upload and add images and file attachments will drastically increase the usage of Dataverse tenant storage, so this new data will require additional safeguards with backup and recovery.
The short story: Azure Synapse Link for Dataverse enhancements will include Delta Lake format and rollback capability. It’s tentatively set for preview in June and GA targeted for September.
Our take: The time interval from preview to GA as well as rollback capability validate the importance of being able to snapshot and rollback (recover), however, documents don’t specify if the intended rollback will apply to actual Dynamics environments or if it will only rollback in its native state of Azure storage (Synapse). It also does not specify hierarchical options or the ability to rollback to production or not. Many feature nuances are missing in the description so it cannot be fully assessed until preview is available.
Pro Development - Connectors
The short story: In this release, Microsoft drives efficient application lifecycle management for custom connectors to enhance the way we deploy solutions to environments.
Our take: Power Platform Connectors will enable more capabilities for pro dev users to work in C# and potentially even add trigger based models to custom connectors for incoming payloads. This presents a potential risk to data if the custom connectors are used in conjunction with the Dataverse connector.
Deploy new features with confidence using Own
As a leading SaaS data protection company, Own helps customers minimize business disruption when enabling new enhancements by proactively protecting Dynamics 365 CE and Power Platform data.
With Own, run daily, scheduled backups of all of your data, and attachments with the click of a button to back up any or all data at any time instantly. If you suspect data did get changed inadvertently, or you made an error, we make it easy to pinpoint additions, deletions, or changes. Then, should you need to restore data, you can go back in time to restore the exact data you need without bringing down production during a full database restore.
Get started with a custom demo to learn more about how Own can protect your mission-critical data during a migration or implementation.