Opt in to early access updates

Power Platform and customer engagement apps (Dynamics 365 Sales, Dynamics 365 Customer Service, Dynamics 365 Field Service, Dynamics 365 Marketing, and Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation) deliver two major releases per year (April and October) that offer new capabilities and functionality.

Because the major releases include features that affect the user experience, you can opt in for early access to self-update to the new release, and start testing and validating the new features before they're automatically enabled for your users.

Tip

Check out the early access features for Power Platform and Dynamics 365 to know the features that will roll out to the users automatically when you opt in for an update.

Early access availability

For each of the major releases, you can opt in for early access updates approximately two months before the major release is automatically enabled in your region.

For example, for a wave 1 major release that's planned to be automatically enabled starting in the first week of April, you'll be able to opt in for early access updates in early February. Similarly, for a wave 2 release that's planned to be automatically enabled starting in the first week of October, you'll be able to opt in for early access updates in early August.

The following is an example of an early update availability timeline.

Opt-in timeline for 2020

Note

Once a release wave is generally available, the updates status in your environments will be set to On to automatically receive all planned features and updates throughout the release.

To learn more, see release schedule and early access.

Environments available for early access updates

The early access updates are available for all types of environments, including trial, sandbox, and production. However, the best practice is to enable the updates in trial or sandbox environments before production environments.

Tenant to tenant migration is not supported for early access updates. 

Important

Although you can enable early access updates in a production environment, we highly recommend that you create a copy of your production environment as a sandbox environment to try out the new features first. The updates can't be reverted after they've been enabled; therefore, if you test and validate the updates in a sandbox environment before enabling them in a production environment, you can determine the impact they'll have on users in your organization.

Be sure to:

How to enable early access updates

  1. Sign in to the Power Platform admin center.

  2. Select the environment to update.

  3. Under Updates, you'll see that the new release wave is available. Select Manage.

    Manage opt-in update
    An example screenshot. May not be current wave.

  4. Select Update now, and then proceed through the confirmation dialog boxes to enable the new features and capabilities of the release wave.

    Opt-in update now
    An example screenshot. May not be current wave.

  5. After the update is complete, all early access features will be enabled for your model-driven apps in your environment.

Note

  • All available updates to your environment will be initiated at once.
  • After they're enabled, the updates can't be reverted. Be sure to update your sandbox or trial environment before updating the production environment.
  • Only the apps that you currently have licenses for will be updated; no new apps will be installed.
  • It might take a few hours to complete the updates. All applications in the environment will still be available during the update, though you might experience slightly reduced performance.

Additional requirements to enable early access updates

Some apps require additional steps to enable early access features. If you have any of the following apps, after enabling the early access updates on the Power Platform admin center, you'll need to take the following manual steps.

Early access apps Description of manual steps
Dynamics 365 Marketing Run the Marketing setup wizard to update your environment. This will install both the new release for production updates and the early access features when you run it on an environment where early access is enabled. For instructions, see Rerun the Dynamics 365 Marketing setup wizard.
Dynamics 365 Field Service If you have Dynamics 365 Field Service version 8.8.6.0 or newer, you'll automatically receive the early access updates. If you're running on an older version of the Field Service app, you'll need to perform an upgrade. See Upgrade Dynamics 365 Field Service.
Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation If you have Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation version 3.10.2.0 or newer, you'll automatically receive the early access updates. If you're running on an older version of the Project Service app, you'll need to perform an upgrade. See Upgrade home page.
Dynamics 365 Resource Scheduling Optimization If you have Dynamics 365 Resource Scheduling Optimization, you will need to update or deploy Resource Scheduling Optimization in the Power Platform admin center. For instructions, see Manage Dynamics 365 apps, Update RSO, and Deploy RSO.

Important

Be sure to enable the early access updates in the Power Platform admin center first. If you run the Dynamics 365 Marketing setup wizard to update your Marketing app to a new release wave before activating the early access updates in the Power Platform admin center, you must run the Dynamics 365 Marketing setup wizard again after opting in to install and enable the early access features.

Update status and Retry

To check the update status, sign in to Power Platform admin center and select the environment. From Updates, you'll see the update process of each of the applications.

Retry

If an application update failed during the opt-in update, you can use the Retry button to restart the update for the failed application.

The retry will only restart the update for the failed application. If multiple applications failed during the update, you'll need to retry for each of the failed updates individually.
The updates might take a few hours. If multiple retry attempts fail after 24 hours, contact Support for assistance.

Note

The retry experience is only available for the early access opt-in updates. After a release wave is generally available, the updates of the release wave will be automatically enabled for all environments; thus, no manual action is required.

Confirm update complete

To verify that a release wave is enabled, open the environment, go to Settings (Settings) > About to see the release wave that's enabled.

In Unified Interface In the web client interface
Opt-in status
An example screenshot. May not be current wave.
Opt-in status webclient
An example screenshot. May not be current wave.

Note

You need to select About from a Dynamics 365 apps page that's displayed in the Unified Interface, such as Sales Hub or Customer Service Hub pages.

The server version won't be updated to the next version after a release wave is enabled.

Features available in the early access updates

Each release wave includes features and functionality that are enabled for different types of users. They're categorized as the following three types of features:

  • Users, automatically: These features include changes to the user experience for users and are enabled automatically.
  • Admins, makers, or analysts, automatically: These features are meant to be used by administrators, makers, or business analysts and are enabled automatically.
  • Users by admins, makers, or analysts: These features must be enabled or configured by the administrators, makers, or business analysts to be available for their users.

By opting in for early access updates, you'll get features that are mandatory changes that are automatically enabled for users. For more details, check the Enabled for column in Dynamics 365 and Power Platform release plans.

Prepare for a release wave

The following checklist provides the general guidelines to help you prepare for a release wave.

  1. Review the release plans as soon as the early access updates are available. This will help you learn about the early access capability and features that will be automatically enabled for the end users.

  2. Create a sandbox environment from the production environment. After a new release wave is enabled for an environment, it can't be reverted. Thus, we strongly recommend enabling a new release wave in a sandbox environment that's a replica or copy of the existing production environment. This will allow you to test and validate the new features in the sandbox environment without affecting the current production environment.

    Note

    If you don't have a sandbox copy of your production environment, you can create a copy in the Power Platform admin center.

  3. Opt in to the early access updates from the Power Platform admin center to enable the new release wave in the sandbox environment. Check Additional requirements to enable early access updates if your apps require manual steps.

  4. Validate that key scenarios work as expected in the sandbox environment after the update is completed.

    • Update the customizations in your applications, if any, to leverage or respond to the new capabilities as needed.
    • You might also need to update internal readiness materials (training and communications) for your organization based on new features or user experiences.
    • If you find any issues during the validation—such as regressions, or functional or performance issues—contact Support or get help from Dynamics 365 forum.
  5. Enable the early access updates in your production environment. We recommend enabling the updates in your production environment during business downtime.

Early access updates FAQ

Will an environment that previously opted in for the early access updates automatically get the early access update of the new releases?

An environment opted in for the previous early access will not be automatically opted in for the next early access release. Each early access release will need to be opted in explicitly. When a release becomes generally available, all environments will be automatically updated to the latest release throughout the release wave.

After updating to a new release wave, can I export solutions?

Yes, you can export solutions to other environments that have also been updated to the same release wave.

Will the version number be updated with each release wave?

No, the version number is not necessarily going to change with a release wave.

Will Microsoft provide a free sandbox environment at no charge for testing updates?

No. You're responsible for creating a sandbox environment from a copy of the production environment for testing and validation, at your own cost.

When will the updates be available for testing in the sandbox environment?

See Early access availability.

How do I report issues with updates?

Create a support ticket.

Can I skip or postpone an update?

No. To ensure you get the best quality of the new features and capabilities, all customers are required to update to the latest release as scheduled.

What happens to the environments after a release wave becomes generally available?

If you've enabled the early access updates in your environments, you'll continue to get updates throughout the release wave.

If you didn't opt in for the early access updates in your environments, after a release wave is generally available, all environments will be automatically turned on to receive mandatory updates of the release wave. For regional deployment, see General availability deployment

Throughout a release wave, your environments will be updated during one of the maintenance windows over a weekend based on your environments' region. The specific dates when the updates will occur will be published to the Message Center. Each notification will include the dates, the maintenance window, and the Release Plan reference for the list of optimizations, fixes, and enhancements. Each environment should see the new features and build numbers by Monday morning, local time.

See Policies and communications.

See also

Dynamics 365 release schedule and early access
Dynamics 365 and Power Platform Release Plans
Policies and communications