Microsoft started a release train for Microsoft Business Applications. Products like Microsoft Dynamics 365 and related to the Power platform do have two major releases each year. This will always be April and October. In between there are minor monthly releases which has been reduced in the number of releases per year recently. For the major releases, Microsoft creates release notes which will inform the customers and partners in upfront about the upcoming feature improvements. Related to these notes, there is some confusion which I would like to explain from my point of view in this blog post.
The features announced in the release notes are not all available in April and October. The information is intended to inform you about what is coming the next 6 months. The overview pages per product has a Date column which indicates when the feature is expected to be released. For the April release notes, it could be a date between April and September and for the October release a date between October and March.
Note that due to many factors the date may be changed by Microsoft. However, you can download a PDF file from the release notes, these might be changes. So, you have to monitor the release date for the features which are important to you. These release notes are a living document.
Current and upcoming plans
When you go to the Release plans home page, you will see two options. One is the upcoming release (if available already) and the other is about the current release. We have been told that some features initially planned for the April release cycles were moved to somewhere between October and December. Now people try to search in the upcoming release notes for these features. Well, here there is some confusion as well.
The October 2019 release notes (AKA Wave 2) does not contain the features which got postponed, so people are starting to ask questions if they were completely removed from the roadmap. Well, to be able to have a complete overview, you still need to visit the April 2019 release notes. These notes contain overviews where you can read the planned release date which could be even in the October 2019 release train.
To have a complete understanding what happened with a certain feature, also when you are really not able to find it anymore, you can go to the Change history sections. This section will explain you about changes on the date or also if the feature had been removed. In the scenario where it had been removed, you can search for the feature in the upcoming notes. If it is not listed, it might be completely removed from the plans.
Based on feedback, Microsoft is aware of the possible confusion and is working on improvements. E.g. they could move features which got postponed to the new release notes. For now, the Change history sections are helping me in a great way.
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That’s all for now. Till next time!