Manage updates

Applies to Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement apps version 9.x

On July 6, 2018, we announced some optimizations to how we deliver Dynamics 365 updates: Modernizing the way we update Dynamics 365. Microsoft will continue to support older versions of Dynamics within the timeframe of the details in our Update policy.

Tip

Many update questions are answered here: FAQ for Dynamics 365 Update Policies.

You have options for when you update your Dynamics 365 Online organization to Dynamics 365 (online), version 9.x. To prepare for a smooth process, use the information in this topic.

You, as a Dynamics 365 system administrator, decide when to install Dynamics 365 (online) major updates for your organization. To update to the latest release of Dynamics 365 (online), complete these two steps:

  1. Review the information in the Updates page in the Dynamics 365 (online) Administration Center (https://portal.office.com > Admin centers > Dynamics 365 > Updates tab) to find out what instances are ready to update, and the schedule.

  2. Approve the update.

    Important

    An update in this document refers to a major version release, such as upgrading from Dynamics 365 version 8.2 to version 9.x. Service updates do not require approval and are applied automatically to your instance.

    For major version updates, your instance will not be updated unless you approve it. This means your organization will go without the latest features and functionality until you explicitly give approval for the update to happen. Keep in mind, we do have an update policy that will make some updates mandatory, with no approval required. Please see Update policy below for further details.

    You’ll receive an email before the update is available with a scheduled update date. This email will also include instructions about how to reschedule the update, if you choose. You’ll receive reminders 90, 30, 15, and 7 days before the update begins. The update will happen during a 12-hour window, and during that time your organization might be unavailable for several hours. Most updates typically take 2-4 hours. We’ll let you know when your organization is updated and ready to use. For more information, see the Schedule for update communications later in this topic.

Continuous updates for Dynamics 365 (online)

We are transforming how we do service updates for Dynamics 365 (online). We will deliver two major releases per year - April and October - offering new capabilities and functionality. These updates will be backward compatible, so your apps and customizations will continue to work post update. New features with major, disruptive changes to the user experience are off by default. This means administrators will be able to first test then enable these features for their organization.

In addition to the two major updates, we will continue to deploy regular performance and reliability improvement updates throughout the year. We are phasing deployments over several weeks following safe deployment practices and monitoring updates closely for any issues.

If you're running Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, please review the following:

Update policy

Since every customer will be updated on the continuous delivery schedule, your organization needs to update to the latest version.

For customers who are currently running older versions of Dynamics 365, we will continue to provide you with the ability to schedule an update to the latest version and want to make sure this effort is as seamless as possible through continuous improvements in our update engine. We will send reminders to schedule your update to Dynamics 365 administrators.

  • For Dynamics 365 (online) customer engagement applications, we sent update communications in May to all customers running version 8.1 and have scheduled updates.
  • Dynamics 365 (Online) version 8.2 will be fully supported until January 31, 2019. Customers running version 8.2 should plan to update to the latest version prior to this date.
  • From February 1, 2019, onwards, we will only support the latest generally available version.

Here are the recent versions.

Version Name
n 9.x Dynamics 365, version 9.x
n-1 8.2 Dynamics 365, version 8.2
n-2 8.1 Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update 1

Update scenarios

Your Dynamics 365 (online) update process depends on what version you have and how you’d like to update. Consider the following scenarios.

Note

For information on Dynamics 365 (online) instances, see Manage Dynamics 365 (online) instances.

This scenario applies to those who have Production and Sandbox instances of CRM Online 2016 Update 1 (n-2).

For version information, see: Dynamics 365 (online) releases

Version Update to
Sandbox (n-2) One-way sync arrow (right) in Dynamics 365 Sandbox (n-1)
Sandbox (n-1) One-way sync arrow (right) in Dynamics 365 Sandbox (n)
Production (n-2) One-way sync arrow (right) in Dynamics 365 Production (n)

n = current version, Dynamics 365 (online), version 9.x

Update approach one (recommended)

CRM Online 2016 Update 1 – Approach Two

This scenario applies to those who have Production and Sandbox instances of CRM Online 2016 Update 1 (n-2).

For version information, see: Dynamics 365 (online) releases

Version Update to
Sandbox (n-2) One-way sync arrow (right) in Dynamics 365 Sandbox (n-1)
Production (n-2) One-way sync arrow (right) in Dynamics 365 Production (n-1)
Sandbox (n-1) One-way sync arrow (right) in Dynamics 365 Sandbox (n)
Production (n-1) One-way sync arrow (right) in Dynamics 365 Production (n)

n = current version, Dynamics 365 (online), version 9.x

Update approach two

December 2016 update for Dynamics 365 (online)

This scenario applies to those who have Production and Sandbox instances of December 2016 update for Dynamics 365 (online) (n-1).

For version information, see: Dynamics 365 (online) releases

Version Update to
Sandbox (n-1) One-way sync arrow (right) in Dynamics 365 Sandbox (n)
Production (n-1) One-way sync arrow (right) in Dynamics 365 Production (n)

n = current version, Dynamics 365 (online), version 9.x

Follow the process in the dashed box in the flowchart above.

Recent versions of Dynamics 365 (online)

To determine your version, sign in to Dynamics 365, and in the upper-right side of the screen, click the Settings button User profile Settings button > About.

For recent versions, see Dynamics 365 (online) releases

How will I know my organization is ready to update?

Dynamics 365 system administrators will be informed of updates to Dynamics 365 (online) in multiple ways.

Check your instances in the Dynamics 365 Administration Center

  1. Sign in to https://portal.office.com.

  2. In the Office 365 admin center, click Admin > Dynamics 365.

    Dynamics 365 option in the Admin center drop-down list

  3. On the Instances page, click Updates, and then review the update status for your Dynamics 365 (online) instances.

    Note the following:

    • Instances that are eligible to update will see Update is Available.

    • Clicking Schedule your update lets the admin select a target release and then do the scheduling.

    Manage Dynamics 365 Online instances

Update notification emails are sent to admins

Dynamics 365 system administrators will receive an email from the Dynamics 365 (online) Team. You can use the links in the email to learn more about your update or reschedule it.

Deciphering the update information

The “Manage your Dynamics 365 updates” page is your source for useful information and actions to take regarding your update.

Deciphering update details

Note

If you are eligible to update to multiple versions of Dynamics 365 (online), you’ll see an option Change target version. Large companies with extensive and complex customizations to their Dynamics 365 may choose to upgrade to a later release instead of the first available. So you get the most up-to-date features and fixes, we highly recommend you upgrade to the latest version when available.

Approve an update

You must be a Dynamics 365 system administrator to approve updates.

  1. Sign in to https://portal.office.com.

  2. In the Office 365 admin center, click Admin > Dynamics 365, and then on the Instances page click Updates.

  3. Choose the instance to approve.

  4. Click Approve Update to approve and proceed with the update.

Note

Once you approve an update, you can still reschedule it as long as the update has not started.

Reschedule an update

You must be a Dynamics 365 system administrator to reschedule updates.

  1. Sign in to https://portal.office.com.

  2. In the Office 365 admin center, click Admin > Dynamics 365, and then on the Instances page click Updates.

  3. Choose the instance update to reschedule, and then click Reschedule update.

    Click Reschedule to reschedule an update in Dynamics 365

  4. If you are eligible to update to multiple versions of Dynamics 365 (online), you’ll see a page to select a target version. Select a version, and then click Next.

    Note

    Large companies with extensive and complex customizations to their Dynamics 365 may choose to upgrade to a later release instead of the first available. So you get the most up-to-date features and fixes, we highly recommend you upgrade to the latest version when available. Keep in mind, if you are two versions behind the current version you will have a mandatory update. See Update policy for more information.

  5. Select new preferred and alternate dates and times for the update, and then click Next.

    Select new preferred or alternate dates and times

  6. Review the new dates and times, and then click Approve Update.

    Approve the new schedule dates and times in Dynamics 365

  7. The Status column will indicate your update is approved.

Update status

To better track and manage your Dynamics 365 (online) updates, we added more granular update status to the Updates page. At the date and time of your update, the status for your instance will show Updating instance.

Update Now status

There are four stages of an update:

Status Description
Queued (Not Started) The update is queued and will start at the scheduled time.
Backup The Dynamics 365 (online) instance is being backed up. A copy of the instance is backed up before the update for recovery purposes.
Restore The Dynamics 365 (online) instance is being restored.
Database Upgrade The Dynamics 365 (online) instance is being updated.

Send email notifications to multiple recipients

By default, Dynamics 365 admins will receive update notifications. You can add others to receive update notifications.

  1. Sign in to https://portal.office.com.

  2. In the Office 365 admin center, click Admin > Dynamics 365, and then click Instances.

  3. Choose an instance that has notifications you want to change, and then click Notifications.

    Notifications button in Dynamics 365

  4. Enter the email addresses of people to receive update notifications for the selected instance, and then click Save.

    Send Email Notifications in Dynamics 365

What happens after an update is approved?

When your update has started, you’ll see Update in progress under Status. The Reschedule option will no longer be available.

Reschedule Dynamics 365 Online update in progress

When your update is done, you’ll see Updated successfully.

Successful reschedule of Dynamics 365 (online) update

Prepare your Dynamics 365 organization for the update

Dynamics 365, version 9.x contains a number of exciting changes. To take advantage of new features, you need to ensure any customizations are compatible with this update.

Prepare your users

To prepare your users for the changes to Dynamics 365 (online), visit What's new in Dynamics 365 (online), version 9.

Checklist for the Dynamics 365 (online) update

Most of the update process is handled by Microsoft. However, there are a few things that you must do to prepare.

  1. Know when your update is scheduled.

    You will be informed of a pending update in multiple ways. See How will I know my organization is ready to update? in this topic.

  2. Involve your Dynamics 365 partner.

    If you have a Dynamics 365 partner of record, we strongly recommend that you contact them for guidance and assistance. If you do not have a partner, you may consult the Microsoft AppSource to identify a partner. Please note that there may be charges from partners for their services.

  3. Watch for communications from Microsoft.

    We will send you several communications about this subject to keep you informed about the update. In addition, we send email communications to users who have the System Administrator role in Dynamics 365. Please make sure the email accounts associated with those user accounts are valid and being monitored. Communications will come from crmoln@microsoft.com, or for partners, you will also receive communications from the Dynamics 365 Partner Team: crmteam@microsoft.com.

  4. Verify your customizations are compatible.

    You should take the time before your update to verify that customizations are compatible. You should do this early enough that you have time to fix any identified issues. Additionally, Microsoft will run a number of automated tests, and if any of those tests fail in your instance, we will email the administrator a list of potential issues we have identified.

  5. Create a non-production (Sandbox) instance in which you can test your customizations.

    Ideally, you should test your customizations prior to update. This will also give you the opportunity to verify compatibility of any third-party customizations. If you identify any potential issues, please work with the solution provider to correct any issues that arise. More information: Manage Dynamics 365 (online) Sandbox instances

  6. Notify your users prior to the update of Dynamics 365.

    It is a best practice to notify your users that the system will be unavailable during the update. To get more resources to prepare users for the update, please visit Onboard your organization and users.

  7. Watch for Update Completion or Reschedule emails from Microsoft.

    Once your organization is updated, you’ll receive a notification from Dynamics 365 (online) indicating that your organization is ready to use.

Schedule for update communications

When Recipient In-product alert Email Admin Center
Update scheduled All Admins Yes Yes Yes
90 days before update All Admins No Yes Yes
30 days before update All Admins No Yes Yes
15 days before update All Admins No Yes Yes
7 days before update All Admins Yes Yes Yes
Schedule confirmed by Admin All Admins No No Yes
Update in progress All Admins and Users No No Yes
Update successful All Admins and Users No Yes Yes
Fallback to secondary update All Admins No Yes Yes
Update rescheduled All Admins No Yes Yes

Note

“All Admins” includes Dynamics 365 system administrators and Office 365 Global administrators.

Notice about Online Policies

Please review Notice About Online Policies and Similar Documents.

See also

FAQ for Dynamics 365 Update Policies
Policies and Communications for Dynamics 365 (online)

Manage email notifications