I wanted to take a minute to write an article about some of the more generic updates in the Dynamics 365 applications. For example, I noticed there are some additional changes to the forms in Dynamics 365 model driven apps that were not really mentioned in any of the release notes, so I figured I would write about that as well.
Once you install the early access features for 2022 Release Wave 2 you’ll notice immediately that there are some cosmetic changes that have occurred on the (main) form pages. When you open a form in Dynamics 365 CE, (and it doesn’t matter from which app) you’ll see that the form has had a bit of a facelift. Not a major one where you can’t even recognize the person anymore but a very subtitle refresher that makes them look slightly younger. If you compare the forms from the early access with the forms prior to 2022 release wave 2 you’ll notice the following:
Sections on the form are a lighter color than the form background and now have a shadow so they stick out more on the form. You’ll also notice that the lines around the sections have been removed. The sections almost look like cards that sit on top of the form. I have to say I really like this new look and I like how the sections stand out a bit more due to the contrast the shadow brings.
Form fields are no longer separated by lines. This is a bit funny to me, in earlier versions the lines were removed too, and the complaint was that the form looked too white, so the lines returned. I guess we are removing them again, because the new forms don’t have horizontal lines separating one field from another anymore. I guess this is ok because the shadow of the sections gives us some depth and makes the form look less ‘white’ overall. As long as you don’t use one large tab with one large section in it…?
It’s interesting to note that we’ve seen this form layout before in the Dynamics 365 apps. If you open a dashboard in any of the Dynamics 365 CE applications, you’ll notice the same look and feel that were added to the main forms: the different color background, no lines around the sections the charts and lists sit in and the added shadows to the sections. It makes sense for Microsoft to upgrade the forms to look similar. If you look at the quick create forms in the application, you’ll notice a slight change here are well. No shadows separating the different sections, but the lines between the fields have been removed here as well.
The Timeline also looks like it had a bit of a refresher. I noticed that if you view the timeline on a record in a model driven app, it shows a lot cleaner. The auto posts are showing a lot different from the other records on the timeline. This allows users to quickly differentiate auto-posts from other records on the timeline. I also noticed that below the activities on the timeline there is now a link to the regarding record showing as well. Keep in mind I only noticed this for the account table when roll up activities from related records are turned on. I assume this will also work if you have a main contact with related child contacts but I haven’t tried this. It looks like this shows users the actual record populated in the regarding field of the activity. Users can also click on the regarding record from the timeline to open them. You’ll also have the ability to display only one (current) email message in the timeline with the option to expand the full thread. This will keep the timeline a lot less cluttered, and still give us access to all of the information!
Another great addition is the ability to add one or more attachments to new posts or post replies in the application. Users can click on any of the attachments from the timeline to download a copy. Supported file types can even show a preview of the file! It’s interesting to me that these features are listed under the Dynamics 365 Customer Service features and updates for this release, even though they affect all the apps. I wonder if you will be missing out on these features if you are not using Dynamics 365 Customer Service?
One last thing I wanted to mention here is the ability to let notes roll up on account, contact, and opportunity form timelines (just like activities can be configured to do today.) I feel this is a very important one, so I am happy this is something that’s going to be added. Keep in mind that this is something that needs to be enabled by a system administrator.
Wild card search in quick find views
This was a weird one! I noticed that when you are trying to use the wild card (*) as the first character from a quick find view in any of the Dynamics 365 apps, this has been disabled. You’ll notice a warning message stating that * can’t be the first character in the search bar and you won’t be able to perform the search. The docs site tells us when Dataverse search is enabled, invalid queries, such as searches that begin with an asterisk are blocked, which is because of performance issues. Keep in mind, this is only if Dataverse search is enabled. I would recommend keeping this turned off, and using Dataverse search instead. If you want to turn this warning/blocking of search starting with a wild card off, you can by navigating to the Power Platform Admin center > affected environment > Features and turning off the option to ‘Prevent slow keyword filter or quick find terms of view pages‘.
A good thing to note is that Microsoft is adding the ability to use Dataverse search on a single table which is currently set to GA in September of this year. More information can be found here.
Another thing to note with this release wave is that a lot of settings that previously needed to be enabled by an administrator will now be enabled by default. A good example of this is the modern advanced find functionality, which some organizations might not be ready for! Enabling 2022 Release Wave 2 will disable the legacy advanced find experience, which means users will no longer be able to use the familiar pop-up advanced find window in the application. So, the question then arises can you turn the modern advanced find off? Even though the modern advanced find went GA on April 1st of 2022, today you can still turn it off and use the legacy advanced find. Keep in mind though that this is something that will most likely go away in the (near?) future so I would recommend starting to prep your users on using the modern advanced find functionality.
For organizations who use Dynamics 365 Field Service, the new schedule board will now be the default schedule board for all deployments. This is probably a good thing since the legacy schedule board will be deprecated on April 1, 2023.
We hope you found this article as informative as we did!