Tip #910: Start planning around deprecated features

With the imminent release of the next major version of Dynamics 365 (v 9.0), it’s time to do some forward planning to utilize new features. Quite often new features mean better ways to do old tasks and sometimes that’s going to be the only way forward. Yes, I’m talking about deprecated features.

Don’t be alarmed, deprecated does not mean removed, it only signals the intention. As documentation explains,

“Deprecated” means we intend to remove the feature or capability from a future major release of Dynamics 365

While it’s not the time to panic yet, use the deprecation announcement to plan the upgrade and the replacement if you use any of these features. Short, slightly out of order reference list is below, refer to the announcement for more details.

Good riddance

This is category of features that were buggy, incomplete, and where the people using these features quite often regretted doing so.

Feature Comments
Parature knowledgebase Good riddance. ‘Nuf said.
Project Service Finder app Did anyone actually use it? I’m genuinely curious about the companies where people “search” and “bid” for their next project.
Contracts, Contract Line Items, Contract Templates If you ever used these, I feel your pain. Entitlements are the way to go.
Announcements You can say that again. Good intention but who would have thought people need to customize the way messages are broadcast to their users?!
Silverlight (XAP) web resource Silver what? 2007 called, they want their tools back.

Some assembly required

These are natural evolution, though handful come as a suprise. Some of the features maybe deeply embedded in your implementation and used on a daily basis – time to start planning.

Feature Comments
Dynamics 365 for Outlook (Outlook client) I was never a huge fan of the Outlook client due to its instabilities. App for Outlook is the way forward.
Service scheduling Some people managed to get it working but it was cumbersome at best, Unified Resource Scheduling (included with Field Service) is much more robust and flexible alternative.
Dialogs That’s a surprise one. As one of my customers observed: “Dialogs like pugs, they are ugly but some people love them to death”.  We’ll see if the suggested mobile task flows and business process flows are viable alternatives.
Standard SLAs With the Enhanced SLAs in place since 2015, no reason to hang onto these.
Relationship Roles Connections have been available as a viable alterntive since forever. Move on.
Mail Merge Server-side document generation using Word templates is better but mail merge was a fairly popular choice so I can see some pain coming.
Ready-to-use business processes It was a good collection of samples (you didn’t use any of those “as is” in production, did you?!). In any case, it looks like the change in the distribution mechanism, that’s all. That’s right, App Source is the place to be.
Some client APIs This one is a natural API evolution, some methods are new, some are obsolete, others are just tidying up the libraries. Developers should get busy.
EntityMetadata
.IsInteractionCentricEnabled
That metadata property defined if an entity is enabled for the Interactive Service Hub. With ISH making way for Unified interface, neither the customization setting nor this metadata property will survive.

Time to get busy!

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2 thoughts on “Tip #910: Start planning around deprecated features

  1. Rocky says:

    Will be nice to see the back of these as they necessitated the use of paracetamol!

  2. Allison says:

    Any thoughts on how to replace Excel dynamic worksheet functionality? Since this relies on the Outlook client, it seems likely it will go away as well.

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