Microsoft has published release plans for its second major wave of cloud updates for 2021 covering Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform. The Dynamics 365 and industry clouds release plan for the 2021 release wave 2 describes new features releasing from October 2021 through March 2022.
The 2021 release wave 2 for Dynamics 365 and industry clouds brings new innovations that provide you with significant capabilities to transform your business. The release contains hundreds of new features across Dynamics 365 applications, including Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, Finance, Supply Chain Management, Supply Chain Insights, Human Resources, Commerce, Fraud Protection, Business Central, Connected Spaces, Guides, Remote Assist, Customer Insights, Customer Voice, and Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, Financial Services, and Non-profit.

Release Wave Quick-Jump Sections

2021 Release Wave 2 Timeline

The first edition of these two release plans was published on 14July. Administrators can now evaluate a selection of the new features and updates in non-production environments before these are enabled by default.



Early Access Preview

From 14th July, administrators will be able to test and validate a selection of new features and capabilities that will be part of 2021 Release Wave 2 before these are automatically enabled for users from October 2021.

General Availability

Microsoft says regional production deployment of the 2021 Release Wave 2 is due to commence from 1st October 2021.


Power Apps

What’s New for Power Apps in 2021 Release Wave 2?

The 2021 Release Wave 2 includes a series of improvements to navigation, accessibility, and search:

  • Improved Site Map – collapsible groups will help users to navigate site maps more easily, and quickly get to items further down. App makers will also have the flexibility to hide the standard Home, Recent and Pinned options using the Power Apps Studio (Early access from August).

  • Advanced Lookup Capabilities for forms – currently available as an opt-in capability, this will be enabled by default in Release Wave 2. This simplifies the process to lookup rows / records on forms by viewing more detail and sorting records and providing greater flexibility to select multiple records and drill into individual items without navigating away. Early access from August).

  • Support for multiple side panes – all model-driven apps will have the ability to support multiple app-level right side panes which are shown in separate tabs alongside the main content. (Early access from August).

  • New experience to edit multiple records – another dependency on the legacy web client will be removed when a modern dialog is released allowing users to edit multiple records in an experience that meets WCAG 2.1 requirements. (Early access from August).

  • Accessibility & responsive improvements – further accessibility improvements will include support for 400% zoom with optimised views for narrow viewports, as well as updated keyboard support access. (Early access from August).

Power Apps Portals

What’s New for Power Apps in 2021 Release Wave 2?

New features and improvements announced for model-driven apps, including Dynamics 365, include:

  • Relevance (Dataverse) search integration – a new option will enable search across multiple tables and columns in accordance with security permissions. (Public preview from October).

  • Power Apps component framework support – enabling custom UI elements used within forms and webpages to be shown on a portal. (General availability from December).

To reduce switching between apps and speed up the flow of work, the following integrations between Dynamics 365 Sales and Microsoft Teams have been announced for Release Wave 2:

  • Teams Meeting integration – this preview feature will include capabilities to create Teams meetings when scheduling appointments in Dynamics, join meetings in a single click from Dynamics, and update records during a Teams meeting and sync Teams notes back to records in Dynamics 365. (Public preview from October).

  • Configure & secure Teams integration – additional admin features will include a new experience to simplify setup, managing integrations and setting Teams created from Dynamics as private or public. (Public preview from August).
  • Configure & secure Teams integration – additional admin features will include a new experience to simplify setup, managing integrations and setting Teams created from Dynamics as private or public. (Public preview from August).
  • Sales mobile updates – improvements announced for Release Wave 2 include (Public preview from December):

    • Active records smart list for mobileView / add contacts from Outlook or phonebook in the mobile sales app
    • Create an activity record from recent phone calls
    • Automatic transcription for Microsoft Teams calls and online meetings.
  • Share and delegate forecast access – with any other Dynamics 365 user that will enable managers to view an individual forecast as one of their team. (General availability from October).
  • Filter users from forecast hierarchy – declutter forecast views by removing users from the forecast hierarchy. (General availability from October).

Dynamics 365 Customer Service

The upcoming release wave will include a new experience featuring:

Embedded Microsoft Teams – collaborate over Teams to resolve service issues without leaving a case where a chat can be linked to the appropriate Dynamics record. (General availability from November).

  • Bring your own data to the timeline – currently, the timeline only shows data stored within an organisation’s environment, but a new virtual data model will enable solutions to be developed that will display data on the timeline which isn’t stored in Dataverse. (General availability from October).
  • Universal Resource Scheduling improvements – additional features will bring parity with the older schedule board, and this will now be the default view. The latest update will include requirement groups to define resource groups for a job and complete a booking by scheduling these within a single search. (Early access from August).
  • Usability improvements in knowledge management – new capabilities include better distinction between internal / external knowledge content in search results and easier access to frequent actions in a reordered article command bar. (Early access from August).

Dynamics 365 Field Service

Updates in the 2021 Release Wave 2 include:

  • Embedded Microsoft Teams – will be introduced within work order processes enabling users to initiate chats within work order forms, without needing to switch to the Teams app. (Early access from July).
  • Customer experiences homepage – a new homepage will serve as the entry point for customers to view their service history, check upcoming bookings and manage service visits. The homepage is a responsive interface built on Power Apps portals and will be customisable to ensure consistency with other web assets. (General availability from October).
  • Schedule service visits – will be accessible from the customer experiences homepage enabling customers to schedule on-site visits, without having to speak to a service agent. Time slots will be offered based on real-time resource availability, location and skills using pre-configured resourcing rules. This process will also be configurable and can prompt customers to provide pre-visit information. (General availability from October).
  • New work order form – improvements will include new tabs organisation, an updated work order summary, a unified view of service tasks, products and services, and an events / activities timeline. (General availability from October).
  • Schedule board enhancements – as referenced in the Customer Service section, Microsoft is adding remaining features that will bring parity between the previous and latest schedule boards. This includes making settings available on the schedule board tab so users can create and configure their tabs, displaying work order custom fields in the schedule board, or displayed as a filter. (Early access from August).

Dynamics 365 Marketing

The Dynamics 365 release plan details a series of new features for the Marketing app that will initially be introduced in public preview during Release Wave 2. These include:

  • Teams Integration – enabling webinar registration pages to be created in Teams that are natively integrated with D365 Marketing to handle approve / decline and other registration management tasks. Added functionality will allow Customer Journeys to be triggered by registration and attendance actions. (Public preview from October).
  • Twilio & TeleSign Integration – new integration will enable SMS messaging through D365 Marketing using Twilio and TeleSign. (General availability from October).
  • Using Power Automate within Customer Journeys – looking further ahead, this preview feature will allow flows to be used within any stage of a Customer Journey to allow broader actions and enable connection with external systems. Capability will also allow Journeys to be triggered within a Power Automate flow. (Public preview from November).
  • Create Segments for Leads & Custom Entities – currently, D365 Marketing only supports contact audience segments but Microsoft plans to redesign its segment builder that will allow attribute and behaviour data to be used in audience definitions for contacts, leads and custom entities. (Public preview from December).

Read more about these updates, and others, that will be available during the 2021 Release Wave 2 for Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform.

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