The Microsoft Power Platform and Dynamics 365 Roadmap is found here. There are small updates to the platform regularly, you can read about weekly updates here. Two times each year Microsoft releases a major update. Both are rolled out in “Wave 1” and “Wave 2”, i.e. there are two Release Waves each year. The roll-out for Release Wave 1 is April to September and for Release Wave 2 October to March. The documentation for these waves is put together in what is called Release Plans. The Release Plan describes all new features that are to be rolled out as well when and for whom and are released 3 months prior to the roll-out of the wave. The release plans are found here.
There is a concept called Early Access and a concept called Early Opt-in. Early Access means that some features are available 2 months before everyone starts to get updates (before the wave is “turned on”). Early Opt-in means that you can “turn on” the wave before it is mandatory for everyone and pushed into all environments. Read more about the concepts here.
There is also a Release Schedule for each wave, which describes when the wave becomes mandatory and “pushed out” to all environments. It is done at certain dates and it differs depending on your region. Take a look here for an example for the 2020 Release Wave 1.
Here follows a few things that are good to know about Release Plans.
In the Release Plan there is a section called Change History. Keep an eye here, you might find changed in dates for when the different features are made general available as well as information about that certain features have been added or moved to a later wave.
There is also a section for features that are made available as Early Access – study them and think about what needs to be verified in your customers’s/your environments.
All changes that are coming are either turned on automatically or needs to be turned on manually. In the Release Plans this is mentioned for each and every new feature. Changes are presented as in the below picture:
When you are familiar with how Release Waves works, then make it a habit to follow the below guidelines.
- Read through the Release Plans when those are made available (keep an eye on the Roadmap page for dates).
- Find out what features will be available as Early Access.
- Utilize the Early Opt-In in development environments.
- Embrace the wave without fear – prepare, explore, learn and share.
- For Microsoft partners – let customers test current solutions with the new wave.
- Keep an eye on the Change History.