Dynamics 365 release schedule and early access

This topic provides information about the 2019 release wave 2 (October 2019 - March 2020) schedule and early access.

Key dates for the 2019 release wave 2

Here are the key dates for the 2019 release wave 2.

Milestone Date Description
Release plans available June 10, 2019 Learn about the new capabilities coming in the 2019 release wave 2 (October 2019 – March 2020) across Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform.
Early access available August 2, 2019 Try and validate the new features and capabilities that will be a part of the 2019 release wave 2, October update, before they get enabled automatically for your end-users.
General availability October 1, 2019 Production deployment for the 2019 release wave 2 begins. Specific deployment dates for each country or region or instance will be communicated in advance.

Early visibility through release plans

On June 10, 2019, the release plans (formerly known as the release notes) were published with the initial list of features for Dynamics 365 and Power Platform. The release plan provides you with early visibility to get ready for the updates planned from October 2019 to March 2020.

Early access to mandatory end-user impacting features

Customers and partners can validate the upcoming features and capabilities months in advance before they’re enabled automatically twice per year, during the April and October updates. Early access enables you to try and validate these new features in a non-production environment and get ready to roll out the changes with confidence to users. Early access for the 2019 release wave 2 October update will start on August 2nd, 2019.

Frequently asked questions

Why should I opt-in and test the features ahead of time?

As part of the new Dynamics 365 release cadence, we are deploying 2 release waves per year Release wave 1 (covers features releasing from April through September) and Release wave 2 (covers features releasing from October through March) to all of our customers and partners. The early access provides you with an opportunity to validate the update in your sandbox environment before it is applied to your production environment. The early access also gives you an opportunity to experience the new features in advance and confidently roll them out to all your users.

How do I enable the early access features in an environment?

If you are using Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement apps (Sales, Service, Marketing, and Field Service), you can enable the preview features from the Power Platform Admin center.

More information will be provided in July.

If you are using Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations or Dynamics 365 for Retail, you can enable the preview features through the First Release program in Lifecycle Services.

More information will be provided in July.

Which environments do I use for previewing the features?

You can choose to preview the features in one of your sandbox environments. In addition to the sandbox environments, if you are a customer of Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement apps, you can preview the features in production environments.

We highly recommend previewing these features in a sandbox or trial environment prior to production. To get the full experience of the new features, we also suggest that you create a copy of your current production environment or database (for Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations or Dynamics 365 for Retail) as a test or sandbox environment to try out the new features and experiences.

What features and experiences are available for early access?

The early access features and experiences are listed in the Dynamics 365 2019 release wave 2 plan and Power Platform 2019 release wave 2 plan. By opt-in the 2019 release wave 2 features, you'll be able to try out the new features in Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement platform and apps (Sales, Service, Marketing, and Field Service), Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, or Dynamics 365 for Retail.

How do I report bugs in early access features?

You should follow the current process of reporting bugs through Microsoft Dynamics 365 support. We will prioritize and fix the blocking bugs before we deploy the update in production.

What happens to these preview features in October 2019?

The preview features will become generally available on October 1, 2019, and by default will be deployed in all customers’ environments over the month of October. In the coming months, we will publish the specific date of when the features will be enabled for each region.

How will the features in early access be deployed in production?

  • Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement apps: Over the course of October 2019, all environments will be turned “on” to receive the 2019 release wave 2 features. The updates will be deployed on your environments automatically following our Safe Deployment Process (SDP). If you want to enable the 2019 release wave 2 features before the update reaches your region, you can enable the updates yourself by opting in to the preview between August 2, 2019, and the date your region will be scheduled to have the features turned on. However, by the end of October 2019, all instances will have had 2019 release wave 2 features applied.

    This gradual rollout is a last safety measure to catch any potential issues as we apply the changes to all instances. It is the same approach we do for our regular patches and updates. In the coming months, we will publish the specific date of when the features will be enabled for each region.

  • Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations or Dynamics 365 for Retail: You can configure the maintenance day and time windows in Lifecycle Services (LCS). You'll receive an email if you opt in to receive LCS notifications. You'll be able to select the designated tier 2 sandbox for the update. The sandbox environment will be updated followed by the production environment. You'll have five business days for testing and validation. See the One Version service updates FAQ for more details.

Will the 2019 release wave 2 release be applicable to on-premises?

  • Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement apps: The update does not apply to on-premises customers. The 2019 release wave 2 release will be applicable for the customers of both commercial and the Government Cloud.

  • Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations or Dynamics 365 for Retail: The 2019 release wave 2 release is applicable for on-premises as well. You can opt in to preview the new functionalities similar to online.

How does Microsoft ensure the reliability of these features?

  • Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement apps: The quality of our releases is paramount to ensuring our customers’ satisfaction. We have multiple parts to how we approach quality as we release to our global audience.

    We begin our process with a series of automated and manual tests across a wide variety of scenarios. This progresses to the group of customers in multiple regions participating in our First Release program, where those customers work in conjunction with the FastTrack program on validating key scenarios on the builds scheduled to be deployed.

    This is followed by our robust Safe Deployment Process (SDP) that phases deployments over several weeks, gradually rolling out changes across the entire customer population. The Safe Deployment Process allows us to continue to validate and monitor the release as it progresses, and provide slip-streamed fixes, if needed. This provides the flexibility to quickly respond to any issues that might be found, and to update a build before it reaches additional customers.

  • Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations or Dynamics 365 for Retail: We ensure the quality of the release by adhering to a fundamental principle that’s enabled through a series of progressive, rigorous, and automated validations as described in Standard and First release service updates.

If I have further questions or feedback, where can I post them?

For any questions or feedback, we recommend that you join the discussion at the Release Readiness Forum in the Dynamics 365 community.

Note

2019 release wave 1 was called April 2019 release notes. Our new naming convention is to help add clarity to the evolution of our new release plan cycle.