Latest Power Platform Release Wave: Updates & Timing
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Sep 26, 2023 12:49 PM

Latest Power Platform Release Wave: Updates & Timing

by HubSite 365 about Ben den Blanken (Power Addict Ben) [MVP]

Microsoft Business Applications MVP, Power Platform Lead at Dynamic People

Pro UserPower PlatformM365 Hot News

Explore the exciting new features in Microsofts Power Platform release wave - UI improvements, Maker productivity, and more. Stay ahead with us!

Another release wave for Power Platform is here! As always, these plans are subject to change and should be seen as a guideline for what’s to come. This is a continual evolution of the platform, not a sweeping change. Microsoft typically saves significant announcements and transformative features for their larger events, so don't anticipate any revolutionary developments in this wave. Yet, there are still some exciting forthcoming updates worth taking note of.

The first key announcement pertains to the planner itself. The Release Planner tool is now generally available, and users are encouraged to utilize it. It allows you to create your personal list of features and easily track changes. You can also share it with your team to stay updated on new features required for your solution. This is an excellent example of dogfooding, as it is built on top of Power Pages.

This release wave comes with four primary areas of improvement: UI enhancements, Maker productivity, Application Lifecycle Management, and Power Pages.

Introducing the Fluent UI

The Power Platform community has been looking for ways to make Canvas Apps more accessible and provide a better UI. Thankfully, Fluent UI components will soon be coming to Canvas Apps. Fluent UI is a UX framework designed by Microsoft, containing many modern components. These should make apps look more contemporary.

Additionally, there are also improvements in layout containers with the addition of the drag and drop functionality, making it easier for developers to customize their pages. These improvements will play a major part in the convergence of the apps, where Canvas and Model can be used more effectively together.

Features to Assist Every Maker

Later this year, Power Fx formulas will be reusable by creating functions, improving readability and simplifying complexity. When adding a column to your data model in Dataverse, you currently need to open every form and view to add that column. However, a newly announced feature will allow the addition of the column to the form and view while in the creation stage, saving time and reducing clicks.

ALM Improvements

For larger solutions developed on the Power Platform, Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) plays a crucial role. ALM handles multiple iterations, consistently adding new features. With Power Pipelines announced in the last wave, ambition is increasingly geared towards adding CI/CD capabilities to the core Platform. To streamline quality control, Microsoft revealed 'Test Engine' to help automate regression testing new versions of your solution, due in public preview this May.

Power Pages Wave Features

Power Pages will see several new features. First is the ability to use Cloud Flows in your Power Page, bringing low-code automation. We will also see a public preview of Bootstrap 5 in June, enhancing UI capabilities. Power Pages configuration will soon be solution aware, simplifying deployment from development to production. Finally, improvements are also coming to the Visual Studio code for the Web editor.

These are just the highlights for this release wave, and we're looking forward to exploring these updates further.

Read the full article Release wave time for the Power Platform again!

Power Platform - Latest Power Platform Release Wave: Updates & Timing

Learn about Release wave time for the Power Platform again!

The Power Platform's new release wave is here! The initial wave of attributes for the upcoming year gives us a sneak peek. We should bear in mind that these plans are likely to be altered and are just a general roadmap of what lies ahead. This isn't a major overhaul of the platform, Microsoft generally reserves significant announcements for bigger events, so don't anticipate groundbreaking changes. However, it's always worth it to delve a bit deeper into the interesting upgrades and features ahead.

There's a key announcement about the Release Planner tool, which is now generally available. Users can create personalized lists of features they're excited about and quickly observe what's changed since their last visit. The tool allows for collaborative features tracking within a team and facilitates the solutions' development. Development of Release Planner itself stands as proof of dogfooding since it is built on the robust base of Power Pages.

The first category in my highlight list includes improvements in User Interface (UI) and Maker productivity, Application Lifecycle Management, and Power Pages, which I will discuss in this blog post. If you belong to the community, you must have noticed numerous efforts to enhance accessibility in Canvas Apps and improvise their UI. Since Power Apps' default controls are aging, Fluent UI components, a UX framework designed by Microsoft, are coming to Canvas Apps next month. This will probably simplify the process of giving a contemporary look to our apps.

Besides, we get welcomed enhancements in layout containers which will become more drag-and-drop friendly. I use these containers quite often in Custom Pages and these improvements in responsiveness are a step in the right direction. However, we'll need to wait until July to preview this feature.

Every custom app developer will appreciate the additions in this release wave. Later this year, we'll have Power Fx formulas which will let us create more understandable logic and promote readability. Currently, my technique for creating a function-like feature is by building a custom component and adding logic to it. However, functions like this will highly maintain your apps while simultaneously lowering the learning curve of Power Fx.

Next in line are improvements in Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) which is dearly crucial when developing significant solutions on the Power Platform. Solutions like these are generally created in multiple iterations consistently adding new features. Power Pipelines, announced in the last wave, demonstrates the aspiration to incorporate CI/CD capabilities at the core of the Platform. Expectedly, it will be generally available in June.

Quality assurance gets bolstered as regression testing of new solution versions becomes easier. During the Power Platform conference, Microsoft announced its Test Engine, which will facilitate this process. As of now, we can use Power Fx to write test cases for Canvas Apps. But in May, we'll also be able to write tests for Model-Driven Apps and Custom Pages. This will subsequently be integrated into the Power Platform for automation and writing tests.

Coming onto Power Pages, a disclaimer, the last time I used this product, it was called a Power App! Yet, I certainly have some positive feedback to share. The product team painstakingly works on creating an excellent low-code designer. The next time you use Power Pages, you'll notice new features as more capacity is devoted to enhancing it. Notable changes include using Cloud Flows on your Power Page for low-code automation, configuration of Power Pages to be solution aware for simplifying deployment, and improvements in Visual Studio code for the Web editor.

These were my highlights of this release wave. I hope you find them valuable. I'm keen to hear your thoughts on both my highlights and what you are looking forward to!

More links on about Release wave time for the Power Platform again!

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