What we currently see is that more and more power user functionality is introduced step-by-step to make Dynamics 365 ready for the next natural technological step; to become a true SaaS solution built as a Azure service fabric. Check out this video from Microsoft for what I hope is the future and architecture direction for Dynamics 365. But before we get there, there have to be a natural transition of making Dynamics 365 more configurable and less dependent on creating your own customizations and extensions.
Now and then I try to keep an eye on the D365 roadmap for signs on this transition, and today I found these nice features that I think will be highly valuable. I have copied the descriptions from the roadmap, and the release date is not clear, but I look forward to present these great enhancements to my customers.
1. Power users can add custom fields to forms without developer customization
Many application customizations involve adding one or more fields to existing tables and including them in application forms. Most of your customizations may be comprised of adding fields.
Customizations are expensive because they require developer intervention for development, test, and code life cycle management. Customizations also need to be managed and migrated from one environment to another.
We are making it easier to add custom fields to forms in Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Enterprise edition. No longer will developer customization be needed. Instead, a power user will be able to add a custom field to a table and then place that field on the form using personalization. An IT administrator will then be able to share the personalization with others in your organization.
2. Product lifecycle state
The product lifecycle state will be introduced for released products and product variants. You can define any number of product lifecycle states by assigning a state name and description. You can select one lifecycle state as the default state for new released products. Released product variants inherit the product lifecycle state from their released product masters. When changing the lifecycle state on a released product master, you can choose to update all existing variants that have the same original state.
To control and understand the situation of a specific product or product variant in its lifecycle, it is a best practice in Product lifecycle management solutions (PLM) to associate a lifecycle state with a variable state model to products. This capability will be added to the released product model. The main purpose of this extension is to provide a scalable solution that can exclude obsolete products and product variants, including configurations, from master planning and BOM-level calculation.
Impact on master planning – The product lifecycle state has only one control flag: Is active for planning. By default, this is set to Yes for all product lifecycle states. When the field is set to No, the associated released products or product variants are:
Excluded from Master planning
Excluded from BOM level calculation
For performance reasons, it is highly recommended to associate all obsolete released products or product variants to a product lifecycle state that is deactivated for master planning, especially when you work with non-reusable product configuration variants.
Find obsolete released products and products variants – You can run an analysis to find and update obsolete released products or product variants.
If you run the analysis in a simulation mode, the released products and product variants that are identified as obsolete will be displayed on a specific page for you to view. The analysis searches for transactions and specific master data to find the released products or product variants that have no demand within a specific period. New released products that are created within the specific period can be excluded from the analysis.
When the analysis simulation returns the expected result, you can run the analysis by assigning a new product lifecycle state to all the products that are identified as obsolete.
Default value during migration, import, and export
When migrating from previous releases, the lifecycle state for all released products and product variants will be blank.
When importing released products through a data entity, the default lifecycle state will be applied.
When importing released product variants through a data entity, the product lifecycle state of the released product master will be applied.
Note, the ability to set individual product lifecycle states using the data entities for released products or product variants is not supported.
3. Users can pin PowerApps to forms and share with peers to augment functionality
Have you built a PowerApp that uses or shows data from Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Enterprise edition? Or have you been using a PowerApp built by someone in your organization? Would you like to use PowerApps to build last-mile applications that augment the functionality of Finance and Operations?
Your users can build PowerApps without having to be expert developers to extend ERP functionality. PowerApps developed by yourself, your organization, or the broader ecosystem can now be used to augment ERP functionality by including them within the Finance and Operations client.
Your users will be able to pin PowerApps to pages in Finance and Operations. After they’ve been added, these changes can be shared with peers in your organization as personalizations.
Disclaimer: The opinions and views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily state or reflect those of Microsoft, my employer EG or other parties.