I had such a fun time taking part in the Dynamics 365 October Wave 2 virtual event yesterday. It was great to get together with other community members and to “ride the wave” of all the new features Microsoft are releasing to the Business Application suite of products this month. In particular, I enjoyed attending the following sessions:
- Marc Trotman’s crash course presentation on the Power Platform, which showed attendees how to construct various elements of the Power Platform, including a Power Virtual Agent, a model-driven Power App and Power Automate flows. His blog is worth a follow.
- Antti Pajunen’s Introduction to Dynamics 365 Project Operations. Antti showcased his true fall to the ERP dark side in this talk. 🤣 Nevertheless, it was beneficial to see the complete, end-to-end story with Dynamics 365 Project Operations played out and find out more about the capabilities of the solution for new customers and existing Project Service Automation users. Antti produces amazing content in both of these areas, in both his blog and YouTube channel.
- Guro Faller gave us a very detailed overview of the Dynamics 365 Marketing product, highlighting some of the areas where it is now meeting or exceeding available competitor products. Guro is yet another Marketing whizz from Norway, and it was great to see some of the new capability of this product in action.
- Beth Burrell provided an in-depth session around what to expect when upgrading your on-premise/online Dynamics 365 instances, sharing some great pointers from her experience across multiple projects. As highlighted during the session, end-user training and early testing are essential to ensure your upgrades go as smooth as possible.
- And finally, Éric “Ze Power Diver” Sauvé talked us through some of the new capabilities as part of AI Builder within the Wave 2 release. Of particular interest is the latest preview capability around automated receipt scanning, which I’m sure will please those submitting expense claims regularly. Éric also has a great blog that is worth a follow, especially if you are interested in AI Builder features.
A huge thank you to Tricia Sinclair, Dian Taylor, Victor Dantas and everyone involved as part of the Power Community for organising and moderating all sessions during the day. If you’ve missed out any of this content, then be sure to subscribe to the Powerthon YouTube channel, as all videos will soon be uploaded to there.
I was fortunate to also present a session myself on the day, where I talked through and showcased some of the new capabilities coming into Power BI as part of the Wave 2 release. The whole talk will soon be viewable on the above YouTube channel, but I have also uploaded the presentation to my GitHub page as well if you are interested. If you are in a hurry, then some of the key takeaways from me as part of this release include:
- The introduction of the TDS/SQL endpoint and DirectQuery capability when working with the Common Data Service. This will not only allow us to generate real-time reports using Power BI but also enforce the same security privileges inherited from the Common Data Service. Regrettably, the public preview for this feature was pulled by Microsoft (for more details on this, check out this excellent post from Mark Carrington), but we should hopefully see this restored shortly.
- The ability to call Power Automate flows from directly within a Power BI Report. With this capability added, we will be able to utilise both our canvas Power Apps and flows within the same report, thereby creating an end-to-end Power Platform solution in a single report page - nice!
- Although it may seem like a minor change, it is interesting to note that the on-premise gateway is now being referred to as the Power Platform Gateway as part of this release. I think this now makes the importance of this tool unquestionable if you are looking to leverage all aspects of the Power Platform alongside any on-premise resources you have.
- As blogged about previously, I am giddy with excitement about the new Power BI Premium Per User license offering, and the hope that this will unlock some great features at a reduced price point. You can find out more about this offer in my post covering my highlights from Microsoft Ignite 2020.
If you have any questions about the Wave 2 release, then let me know in the comments below. Hope to see you all again at the next virtual event!