The year is coming to an end and a new year with new possibilities is ahead of us. There will be new Release Waves to embrace and new Release Plans to dig into. There will be new challenges, i.e. new possibilities to grow as a professional and as a person. But before we jump into the next year with excitement for where it will take us, let us do a recap of this past year.
In this blog post I will look back to what this year meant to me professionally as well as in the grey zone. The grey zone being what we all know as Community, the combination of work life and private life. That special place where I get so much inspiration and positive energy from Community friends nowadays.
Before I let you in on what Community meant for me this year, let me take some time and write about the Power Platform. After all, what I know as Community starts with the products and services from Microsoft so from my point of view, that is what brings us all together.
From Dynamics CRM/365 to the Power Platform
I know the Power Platform and its new cloud-based services has been here for more than this past year, but still this heading belongs to this blog post. This year I’ve really jumped on the bandwagon and learnt so much about the Power Platform. I have created my very first flow and my very first Power App. I’ve created a few Canvas Apps and lots of Model-Driven Apps.
I have enjoyed working with the Dynamics CRM/365 platform for the past 10 years. In 2018 I started the journey from working mostly with onprem customers to working more and more with online customers and with that I also started to explore and learn about the possibilities that comes with the Power Platform. This year I have worked mostly with online customers and the Power Platform, lucky me!
I have mentioned this before in this blog post – if you are like me, i.e. comes from the Dynamics CRM and onprem world – spend some time to read the e-book from Alex Shlega ”Migration to the cloud”. It is a great place to start if you are still quite new to the Power Platform. You find it here.
Power Platform in 2019
During this year new features and improvements in existing areas came to us in two Release Waves. New concepts like AI Builder, Power Apps Portals, UI Flows and Power Virtual Agents were introduced into to the Power Platform. Well, new concepts within the Power Platform at least, some of them have existed in other places/other formats before). Creating chat bots and leveraging AI in your Apps became easier than ever and has been made available for citizen developers or with another word – for all the ”makers” out there.
Microsoft gave us completely new possibilities to make changes to Model-Driven Apps by releasing the Power Apps Component Framework. First for Model-Driven Apps and then also for Canvas Apps. Guido Preite made an amazing job inventing the PCF Gallery. There has been some crazy creativity within this area from Community people all around the world. In October Guido announced that he had added the 100th PCF control to the gallery. Incredible!
A lot has been done in the Data Integration area, in the maker portal we now have Dataflows and also the possibility to export CDS data to Azure Data Lake. Dual Write was introduced during the year, which means that the Dynamics Finance & Operations data now easier find its way into the Common Data Service and with that it has been made easier to integration Finance & Operations with Sales.
We have seen some rebranding. Data integration in maker Portal rebranded to Dataflows. Microsoft Flow rebranded to Power Automate. PowerApps is now Power Apps. That last mentioned brought consistency to the Power Platform product/services family, now the main building blocks are Power BI, Power Automate, Power Apps, Power Virtual Agents.
2019 – It was all about Community
I often find myself thinking: “Kollegor kommer och går, Community består”.
“Kommer och går – består” – it is something we say when one thing just come and go but the other thing always remains. I am not sure if there is a way of saying this is English. 🙂 Bing translator tells me the translation is “Colleagues come and go, Community consists” I would prefer Colleagues come and go, Community remains. Anyway, it sound much better in Swedish.
More than once I have had a colleague who meant much to me (in the meaning – we helped each other out and had an equal interest – nerdy level – for technology in general and the Power Platform and related stuff in particular) who all of a sudden changes company. Community helps us to stay in contact and continue to grow together even though we are not at the same company anymore.
During this year I have found my way into the world of Communities. I have had Twitter and LinkedIn for a long time and I’ve been following many other professionals for years, reading their blogs and following e.g. Dynamics Weekly. But during this year something has awakened inside of me. I really want to be a bigger part of different Communities. I see so much value in it and I gain so much positive energy and inspiration from following others and meeting with other like-minded persons, i.e. other enthusiasts – who are just (or almost) as nerdy as me when it comes to the Power Platform and techy parts in general.
I also have an urge to give more from myself. After all, 10+ years with Dynamics CRM – I know quite a lot about what we nowadays call the Power Platform. Both pro dev stuff and citizen dev stuff. I also have an interest in learning new things and learning is more fun when you do it together. I love to see people in the Community wanting each other’s best and lifting each other. Who does not want to be a part of that?
This year Sweden got its third (and first female) Business Application MVP when my awesome friend and former colleague Sara Lagerquist got her MVP award. Congratulations Sara! Well-deserved and I am so happy for you my friend. That really was an awesome happening this year! 🙌
One other equally awesome happening was that Sweden got its own Power Platform Community when the same Sara Lagerquist started up Power Platform Community Sweden. I am happy I have been able to help with planning and stuff even though we are not in the same city. ❤️
Our first meeting was held in September and wow, we had some legends visiting us! Chris Huntingford gave us a demo about the AI Builder. There were some crazy alien facts reviled. Among other things he checked a photo of Jonas Rapp. How much alien is Mr. Rapp? If I’m not mistaken – about 60 %. 😊 Both Chris Huntingford and Mark Smith talked about Communities in general and how to get started with a new one. I really like and what stuck into my mind is how they talked about inclusion and to be forgiving. It should be a safe and forgiving environment and how it is OK not to know the answers to everything.
When it was time for our second meet-up, which was in November, I was asked to present Release Wave 2 highlights. So I did and we also had a session about licenses. An important topic, which is not always easy to keep up with. I am so much looking forward to meeting with my former colleagues, community friends and hopefully also new faces during next year’s meet-ups. It will be awesome! Thank you Sara for starting this Swedish Community, you are the best!
More about Sweden – For the second time Sweden hosted a Power Platform Saturday. Power Platform Saturday Sweden was held on the 5th of October. I was so happy to be a part of it and also to attend as a speaker. Read more about it here – the first of two blog posts about the same topic.
I’m very grateful for all amazing new people I have gotten to know through the Community this year – you know who you are! ❤️
Carina Claesson started a blog
In April I took the step and started this blog. That was something I had been thinking about for years so it was about time. Let us take a look at some statistics.
I like how WordPress presents the statistics for your blog. So I have had visitors from 109 countries.
Here are the views from the top 20 countries.
In the next chapter we will look forward and think about what 2020 will bring. But before we do that, there is one last thing that I want to do and that is to say THANK YOU to someone who is always so encouraging, inspiring and simply full of amazing ideas and positive energy. You have helped me a lot this year Jonas Rapp, encouraging me in writing blog posts and preparing for sessions. See you next year my friend!
What will 2020 bring?
I have registered for Mark Smiths Microsoft Business Applications 90-day Mentoring Challenge, which will start in January. I have already started to connect with the other participants and I’m very much looking forward to the sessions with Mark, our tasks and to get to know the other participants more and to grow together!
On the 29h of February I will attend the the Scottish Summit as a speaker. It is held in Glasgow and it will be an amazing event with 96 speakers and currently there are 611 tickets claimed! Taking a look at the speakers list, wow, it will be so hard to choose what sessions to attend!
During my session we will look at different techniques for getting data from APIs into Power Apps and the overall theme is Deep Space! Get ready for a Deep Space + Power Apps session where you will learn about Virtual Entities as well as Dataflows and Power Apps. If you are in the area of Glasgow in February or have the possibility to go there, go and get your free ticket today before all the seats are taken!
I am really looking forward to continuing writing blog posts and to attend more Community events and meet-ups. I am so ready for 2020 and all new challenges it will bring, just bring it on and I hope to see you out there in the Community next year, virtually or in person.