Welcome to my next blog. I this post, I have some good news related to the new trial environment options. Some changes were done by Microsoft which will now give you broader options to try out the Microsoft Dynamics 365 applications Finance, Supply Chain Management and Commerce.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Trial environment

For prospects, but also starting partners, there is an option to try out several Microsoft Dynamics 365 applications. Visit the Microsoft Dynamics 365 trials page to get started.

Trial environment

For Finance and Operations, first select the box with this option. Then you can provide your organizational account, business phone number and click Get started. You will then be guided where Microsoft will setup an environment for you. This can take 15-20 minutes. There after you will receive an email and get access to the demo.

Useful tip: If you are not able to remember the environment URL or if you want to directly spin off a trial for Finance and Operations, you can use the URL https://aka.ms/axtry.

What’s new in the trial environment?

In the past, when a demo was deployed for you, you had only access to one company containing a dataset equal to “Contoso Entertainment System USA”. The company ID was a number. I do think multiple trial users did work on the same machine, each having another legal entity. For this reason, it was not possible to have access to global features like user and security management. Many other global features were read only.

When I recently did create a new trial environment for myself, I noticed a difference in the URL and also several forms like All customers appeared empty. It turned out that I had my user in a ‘DAT’ company which contains all global data. In the new trial, you can now find all legal entities which are also available in a demo or development deployment. To be able to try out features, you first have to switch to another legal entity. To do so, you can click on the word ‘DAT’ in the top bar at the right. Then you can select another legal entity.

Trial environment

There are some different localizations and industry focusses setup in the different companies. Apart from some exceptions, you can use the next logic to see which legal entities might have some experimental data for you.

The first two characters of the legal entity indicates the country. It contains some localized setup. The last two characters define a type of company:

  • MF: Manufacturing company; also setup for logistics and warehouse management
  • SI: Service industries. The setup is mainly focused on project based scenarios
  • RT: Retail. The setup contains examples for retail and commerce.

There is more…

As it looks now, you have a complete environment for your own trial without having to share it with other trial users. For this reason, the next features are opened. The list is a summary of my findings. It might not include all features which are opened now.

  • You can access the Security Framework; add users and configure security roles
  • All features for Data Management are enabled. You can import and export data using data entities. Even more, you can try to setup entity export to BYOD.
  • Odata. You can use the environment to read from and write to entities from other applications. (exception: see below)
  • Open in Excel is also possible; however I’m not sure if this was already an option in the past.
  • Maintain records in the global address book and global products.

Limitations

There are also some limitations on the current trial environment. Below a list of features which can’t be used

  • Activate new financial dimension (needs to have the environment in maintenance mode)
  • Change license configuration keys (needs to have the environment in maintenance mode)
  • Customizations in Visual Studio or apply deployable packages
  • Use the environment in the Power Platform

I had tried to create a Flow using Microsoft Power Automate or a canvas app in Power Apps, but the connector is not recognizing this trial environment. Providing a manual value for environment in the connector did not work while testing the flow. Probably, this will be enabled in the future, but I don’t know the plans. At least, you can also try the Power Platform for free, but at this moment not integrated with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations.

Conclusion

It is good to have a trial environment which now is suitable to try out more type of companies, more localizations and more options enabled. On the Microsoft Dynamics Community forum, we recently got questions about options to try out more. Mainly on the connectivity part which is key for cloud based applications, in my opinion. For this reason, I do hope that Microsoft will also open this option.

When you need to try, demo or use all features of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations, you have to deploy a machine in the cloud or download a VM for local development from Lifecycle Services (LCS). If your organization does not have access, as a partner or customer you can sign up for a preview subscription.

One last tip at the end of this blog: As the company ‘DAT’ is not containing any examples to try out your business scenarios, I would recommend to change the default company on the user options. This will save you from changing the legal entity every time you open the trial environment. If you start a trial for Human Resources, the standard company is already ‘USMF’.



I do hope you liked this post and will add value for you in your daily work as a professional. If you have related questions or feedback, don’t hesitate to use the Comment feature below.


That’s all for now. Till next time!

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