6 Months FREE Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service Licences, Power Apps, Power Automate, Power Apps Portal and Power Virtual Agents due to Corona & COVID-19

Fantastic news! Microsoft has just announced that they are offering 6 months of FREE Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service Licences, Power Apps, Power Automate, Power Apps Portal and Power Virtual Agents!

Microsoft said in the announcement: “We are making Power AppsPower AutomatePower Apps portals and Power Virtual Agents available for a free six-month product offer, that includes all premium capabilities for customers in the healthcare, education, non-profit, and government sectors.”

The announcement is also saying:

“during the COVID-19 crisis, Dynamics 365 Customer Service (including Digital Messaging) is available free of charge for up to six months.”

 

Here is the Offer Criteria:

Power Platform:

  • In healthcare, government (any level or branch), nonprofit, or education sectors
  • Implementing a Power Platform solution in response to COVID-19, either a Microsoft-provided template or custom implementation

Dynamics 365:

  • Implementing a Dynamics 365 Customer Service or Dynamics 365 Remote Assist solution in response to COVID-19, either a Microsoft-provided template or custom implementation

Full announcement can be found here:

https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/bdm/2020/03/26/resources-and-support-for-our-global-customers-impacted-by-covid-19/

Due to Coronavirus and COVID-19, Microsoft will relax the deadline for deprecating legacy web client by two months to December 2020

More good news from James Phillips announcement about helping Business continuity for Microsoft Business Solutions customers.

Microsoft is relaxing the deadlines for deprecating the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement legacy web client by two months to December 2020.

As we know, Microsoft was due to end the legacy web client for Dynamics 365 Online organisations from October 2020 and have asked all Customers to move to use Dynamics 365 Unified Client Interface (UCI). This has now been delayed to December, which is good news for those business still struggling to move to UCI.

James Phillips, President of Microsoft Business Solutions, has today announced a number of actions by Microsoft to support businesses globally due to the current difficult times caused by Corona Virus and COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement is part of Microsoft’s commitment to help ensure business continuity for its Customers and Partners especially those using Microsoft Business Solutions such as Dynamics 365 CRM (Customer Engagement) and Microsoft Power Platform.23

Here is a link to the full announcement:

https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/bdm/2020/03/23/our-commitment-to-customers-to-help-ensure-business-continuity/

 

 

Announcing the deprecation of Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM Outlook COM Add-in for D365 Online

Today, 25th March 2020, Microsoft announced the deprecation of Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM Outlook COM Add-in.

This is the second time Microsoft announces that! First time was in 2017 until James Phillips, President of Microsoft Business Solutions, announced the “un-deprecation” during his Q&A session with me as part of his keynote of our 365 Saturday event in London in January 2018. (I’m obviously very proud of this exclusive news I got at the time! – you can see and read it here )

Back then, James announcement was very welcomed as many organisations relied heavily on the Outlook COM Add-in. This time, Microsoft is differentiating Online organisations from On-premise ones. The deprecation and end of support only applies to D365 Online and not on-premise organisation.

The announcement says: “we are announcing the deprecation of the Outlook COM Add-in. Customers should make the move prior to October 1, 2020. Microsoft will continue to provide support, security and other critical updates to the Outlook COM Add-in until October 1, 2020.”

It also says: “This announcement applies to online organizations, but we recommend our on-premise customers also take advantage of the benefits of Dynamics 365 App for Outlook and upgrade from the Outlook COM Add-in at the earliest.”

So in summary, the announcement is saying:

  • Outlook COM Add-in is now officially deprecated for Online D365 organisations
  • Outlook COM Add-in support ends on 1st October 2020
  • Outlook COM Add-in is still available to on-premise customers but they are highly encouraged to move to the modern D365 App for Outlook.

Full announcement is here: https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/the-future-of-outlook-integration-for-dynamics-365-and-power-apps-customers/

The Rise of Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform in the Real Estate, Property and Housing Market

I have recently published an article on MS Dynamics World discussion the rise of Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform in the Real Estate, Property and Housing Market. I also discuss the reasons for this and why other old-time established vendors are unable to compete. Keen to hear everyone views on this (no swearing!).

The post is inspired by our own firm’s experience (TechLabs London) in the Dynamics 365 platform and in the Property and Housing Industry through our solution (iProperty Cloud)

Here is a link to the article – feel free to comment below or on the article itself:

https://msdynamicsworld.com/story/rise-dynamics-365-real-estate-property-and-housing-market

 

 

Due to Coronavirus and COVID-19, Microsoft will defer mandatory uptake of 2020 Wave 1 to May instead of April

James Phillips, President of Microsoft Business Solutions, has today announced a number of actions by Microsoft to support businesses globally due to the current difficult times caused by Corona Virus and COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement is part of Microsoft’s commitment to help ensure business continuity for its Customers and Partners especially those using Microsoft Business Solutions such as Dynamics 365 CRM (Customer Engagement) and Microsoft Power Platform.

A key part of this announcement is that Microsoft will now defer the mandatory uptake of 2020 Wave 1 update from April to May. James said in the announcement: “..we will defer the mandatory uptake of the 2020 wave 1 update For Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement by one month to May, instead of April, …”

This is great news and very considerate as businesses globally are struggling with the current Coronavirus related issues such as having all their employees working from home all the time and making sure they have tools and capabilities to do their job remotely. Hence, delaying any upgrade that may impact these businesses, is very helpful.

Here is a link to the full announcement:

https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/bdm/2020/03/23/our-commitment-to-customers-to-help-ensure-business-continuity/

 

 

Connect your Microsoft Azure Function to Dynamics 365 using Server to Server authentication within a Single Tenant

If you are using Microsoft Azure Functions in your Dynamics 365 and Power Platform projects (and you should be), then you should never use a simple username and password authentication to your Dynamics 365. The same applies if you have a web application, website, or any other external solution accessing your common data services (CDS).

You should instead consider using single-tenant server-to-server authentication. This is different from a multi-tenant situation where your web application where the application resides on a different tenant to where your CDS is.

For Single-tenant server to server (S2S) authentication, the process is a bit lengthy but pretty straight forward. Here is a link to the official documentation on how to do this:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powerapps/developer/common-data-service/use-single-tenant-server-server-authentication

You might also want to explore how you can connect your Azure functions using Azure key vault via this article: https://community.dynamics.com/crm/b/crminthefield/archive/2019/05/29/certificate-based-authentication-with-azure-functions-key-vault

 

Microsoft Business Applications Summit is now a Virtual Event – Make sure you register for updates

Due to the Corona Virus and COVID-19 global challenge, Microsoft has decided to change its Business Applications Summit, a virtual event rather than in-person. The summit was due to take place on 6th and 7th May 2020 in Dallas, Texas. However, this is all now switching to be a virtual event. The event focuses on Microsoft Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform, Power Apps, amongst many other applications.

Make sure you register for the event updates via this URL:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/BusinessApplicationsSummit

 

 

Join my YouTube Channel and win a competition!

I don’t think many of the Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform community is aware of my YouTube channel. I currently have few videos including my sessions at Microsoft Ignite in Orlando. You will find videos talking about AI Chat Bots, Azure DevOps for ISV, Power Platform Vs Dynamics 365 and Building a Cloud strategy.

As many of us are now home-bound due to Corona virus outbreak and since my typical hectic schedule of flying to speak at events has now been reduced to 0 (can’t complain really), I have decided to do few Live Webinars and Recorded Videos then post them on my YouTube channel.

However, I would really like to be sure that my Video content will actually benefit the Dynamics 365 and Power Platform community.

Hence, I will much appreciate it if you can please subscribe to my YouTube Channel so you can get notified about my new videos.

Competition:

Moreover, the first 100 subscribers will have the priority (if they would want) to join me as guests on my first 25 Live sessions and Recorded videos and get 5 votes on which videos I should do first. All you need to do is just take a screenshot of your subscription showing current number of subscribers. Basically something similar to the screenshot below.

Subscribe to Mohamed Mostafa YouTube Channel
Subscribe to Mohamed Mostafa YouTube Channel

Microsoft Crisis Communication and Emergency Response Power Platform Template and Power App

With everything happening in the world due to the spread of Corona Virus and COVID-19 illness, organisations need to coordinate information sharing and team collaboration.

For this reason, Microsoft has just announced today the introduction of a Power Platform Template called the Crisis Communication Power App.

The solution combines capabilities of Power Apps, Power Automate, Teams, and SharePoint. It can be used on the web, mobile or in Teams.

Key solution features include employees reporting their work status, organisation admins pushing news and updates, as well as the ability to add RSS feeds from reputable sources such as WHO.

One more bonus from Microsoft: The Power Apps Push Notification premium feature is now a standard connector with no need for a premium licence and until the end of the COVID-19 crisis.

Here is the full documentation to the Crisis Communication Power App:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powerapps/maker/canvas-apps/sample-crisis-communication-app

and here is the full announcement with regular updates:

https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/crisis-communication-a-power-platform-template/

We, TechLabs London, are also working on extending the Crisis Communication Power App for the Property and Housing Industry as part of our iProperty Cloud solution. Watch this space or contact me for more details.

Download Microsoft Power Platform Governance & Administration whitepaper: Planning, deploying and managing an enterprise Power Apps deployment

Microsoft has published a new 117 pages whitepaper that outlines the considerations for planning, deploying and managing an enterprise Power Apps deployment.

The paper has extensive information on the governance and administration of Power Apps in an enterprise environment. It starts by giving a Power Platform overview and usage scenarios then goes into details on the Power Platform Architecture, environments and common data services.

This comprehensive white paper also covers the security, monitoring and alerting of Power Apps and their activities including auditing and logging.

There are also sections for deployment, ALM and Azure DevOps for Power Apps and the Power Platform. The paper then finishes with links to resources for additional information as well as a number of appendices with more details on related subjects such as the on-premise data gateway for Power Platform and CDS security roles.

You can download the full whitepaper free from the following link:

http://aka.ms/powerappsadminwhitepaper