Did you know that the next update to version 10 will be the first compulsory update? Previously you will have had the flexibility to skip an update.

This article will give you full details on being successful with managing your update to Version 10 or if you are on Support and would like us to assist you, skip the article and simply contact us for a full hand holding experience to cover all the steps needed.

Step 1 – Reading the release notes

Read the release notes here

The first step in the update is make sure you are familiar with the release notes which also highlights new features. The release notes are a live document that are constantly being updated and it is important to check for changes as you approach the roll-out. To make your life easy, Cloud9 did a summary round up of the release notes when they were first confirmed, which you can see here.

Example of one of the new features

One important new capability in the latest version of Dynamics 365 is a brand-new user experience called the Unified Interface.

Unified Interface Dynamics

The Unified Interface is a new client interface that provides consistent experiences across all applications and devices. All your existing forms and supported customisation will just work in the new interface, making upgrades easy. We have a more detailed post on the Unified Interface here.

By checking out the changes and new features, you’ll be able to understand what may be different to your current version and what benefits you’ll get from this update.

Step 2 – Updating your other systems components

Next, check if your other integrated apps are compatible. If you are using any of the Microsoft Dynamics client components such as Unified Service Desk, Outlook Client, Plugin Registration Tool (PRT), ADX Portal, Email Router, Dynamics Connector, or any other custom integrations, you need to download the latest version of these components. You can find additional information and the supported versions for client components here. By making sure this happens, you’ll reduce the risk of any components getting left behind in the update and allow for a smoother transition.

Step 3 – Checking the availability of a Sandbox Instance & testing

Starting with the April 2019 update, best practice would be to validate the impact of major updates in one of your sandbox instances in advance of the roll-out. This will help you assess productivity and efficiency gains of the new capabilities, as well as train your end users about new features.

The main things that tend to fail after a major update are the customisation in the system. You should have a testing plan that is aware of this and tests the customisation thoroughly.

To preview the features in a non-production environment, you need to copy the production environment into a sandbox environment. You can find instructions on how to do that here. Once you create the sandbox instance, you can follow the instructions here to enable the upgrade preview in it.

The image below shows where you would find the Sandbox Instance.

Sandbox Screen Shot - Dynamics 365 Unified Interface

Step 4 – Support for fixes

As with any update there is always a risk of breaks and the need for tweaks. Having experts to hand that can help you adjust these can make the process a lot smoother. By signing up to Membership Support, all users benefit from expert knowledge through unlimited one to one training on any topic. Cloud9 can tweak Dynamics 365 to ensure continuous alignment to your processes, and help you make the most of new features  – perfect for this April update.

Membership Support members can contact the Cloud9 Support team by logging into the Support Portal and logging a ticket, calling +44 (0) 1273 921 448 or email support@cloud9insight.com. Those who don’t have Membership Support can still contact our support team who will be happy to help facilitate you with half an hour of free support. Further information about the Cloud9 Insight support contract with Cloud9 can be found on our website, click here.

Step 5 – Ready for upgrade day

The last step is to make sure you are ready for the upgrade day. Depending on your region, your roll out day will differ. The release is completed in waves and differs for each area. The latest schedule can be found in the release notes.

Over the course of April all environments will be turned on to receive the April 2019 features. You’ll be able to proactively enable the switch yourself, at any time during the month of April (for example, on April 9 at 6am), before the switch is applied automatically on your environment. However, by the end of April, all production instances will have had the switch turned on.

In case you missed Microsoft’s post on the April 2019 update, give Cloud9 Insight a call and we can help you.

In time for this April release, and to make sure that the process is as smooth as possible for you, Cloud9 are offering up to half an hour of free Membership Support for new members until April 30th.  Give us a call today on +44(0)1273 921510 to find out more.

Key points have been pulled from the document above – FAQ for Dynamics 365 Update Policies