Microsoft 2021 Wave 1 Release Power Platform

Microsoft 2021 Wave 1 Release Power Platform Summary

This blog post provides a summary of the new features being released by Microsoft as part of the 2021 Wave 1 release for the Power Platform, focussing on what is important for Pythagoras and our customers.

As the name suggests, this is released as a wave, with features being released between April 2021 and September 2021.

Full details and updates on all features can be found here:

Microsoft Power Platform 2021 release wave 1 plan overview | Microsoft Docs

Please note that all these features are roadmap, and in development, so can be changed, moved to another Wave, or completely dropped.

This blog focusses on the Power Platform roadmap, but you can read our Dynamics 365 Wave 1 2021 release summary here.

There is a lot of content to cover, so feel free to use the links below to navigate to a specific section of the summary.

Governance and Administration

  • Enable/disable tenant isolation - when tenant isolation is turned on in Power Platform Admin Centre, all Azure AD based connectors can no longer be used to create cross-tenant connections from/to your tenant.
  • Tenant scope admin report for Power Apps usage.
  • Tenant-level admin reports for flow usage.
  • Email exfiltration blocking using SMTP headers for Microsoft 365 mail connectors.

Power Apps

Canvas Apps

  • Improved apps discovery and selection in Power Apps mobile.
    • Apps are neatly organized in relevant categories, such as favourites and recent. They are presented in a single view for higher discovery.
    • More relevant apps, such as favourites, are presented front and centre for quick selection.
    • Newly introduced swipe gestures allow you to quickly pin an app to your home screen or add an app to your favourites without multiple clicks.
    • The overall experience is intuitive.
  • Export documents to PDF from a canvas app.
  • Improved debugging capabilities with canvas app Monitor.

Model driven Apps

  • Improved navigation in model-driven apps.
  • UX improvements to sub grids and form tabs in Dynamics 365 mobile app.
  • Async OnSave events - will now wait when they provide a promise, and there is also a new timeout if the promise does not resolve within 10 seconds. If it does not resolve within 10 seconds, the save operation will be blocked.
  • Improved Search.
    • Improved global relevance search experience in model-driven apps.
    • Prominent and easily discoverable search bar in the header on all pages of a model-driven Power Apps.
    • Personalized zero query experience that contains a user’s recent searches and recently accessed records.
    • Suggested results displayed as you type including quick actions pertinent to each result.
    • Intelligent results for all English-language environments in public cloud, with synonym understanding, semantic parsing, abbreviations support and common world knowledge support.
    • Redesigned results page with improved ranking and grouping for better readability.
    • Search quick actions gives you one-click access to frequently used actions from the suggested results for your typed query. Call, assign, or share a contact quickly without a single click and without losing your context.
  • Improved accessibility for business process flows in mobile.
  • Duplicate detection Unified Interface experience.

  • Merging records has been updated and improved in Unified Interface.

  • Multi-line text controls automatically expand in Quick View forms to show all content.

  • Model-driven app in-app notifications shown as a notification toast or notification centre.

Power Apps Portals

  • Support for embedding Power BI dashboards using Microsoft Azure Analysis Services live connections and CustomData function.
  • Simplified entity permissions configuration experience inside Power Apps portals Studio. Makers will be able to:
    • View a summary of entity permissions configured for a portal.
    • Find and troubleshoot the entity permissions for a portal using different views, groupings, and filtering of entity permissions.
    • Create and edit entity permissions in portals Studio.
    • Create and edit nested entity permissions (formerly known as parent entity permissions) in portals Studio.

  • Simplified the web roles experience in Power Apps portals Studio to enable makers to:
    • View a summary of all web roles related to a portal.
    • Find and troubleshoot web roles related to a portal by using different views, groupings, and filtering capabilities.
    • Create and edit web roles inside portals Studio.
    • Add contacts to a web role inside portals Studio.

  • Portals Web API enhancements will add support for:
    • Unbound Microsoft Dataverse custom actions (actions not bound to an entity).
    • Access control for Dataverse custom actions.

Power BI

  • Background validation for dataflows.
  • Quick create, with guided experience.

  • Share links for Power BI reports.

  • Anomaly detection, with explanations (general availability).

  • Smart narratives (general availability).

  • Data lineage, impact, and API enhancements.
    • Data lineage insights empower users to better manage existing dependencies, troubleshoot issues in projects, derive the potential impact of planned changes, and increase confidence in important business KPIs. Data lineage insights also help BI professionals understand exactly where their data comes from and assess usage of various artefacts.

  • Improvements to the data lineage view for better impact analysis, including:
    • Providing impact analysis for datasets, both from the Power BI service and Power BI Desktop. This analysis can be used to evaluate the impact of planned changes and for troubleshooting.
    • Providing impact analysis for connected data sources.
    • Allowing users to act (such as notify contacts) based on the predicted impact.
    • Providing in-place usage information for both impact analysis and data lineage.

Power Automate

Cloud Flows

  • Improved licensing and usage visibility for Power Automate environments and tenants.
  • Trigger flows when a Microsoft Dataverse action is called - improves working with the common events model and even provides better integration with Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations.

  • Search records in Microsoft Dataverse using relevance search. Apart from basic cross-entity search, this action provides support for matches based on Lucene query syntax. This gives you capabilities like Boolean operators, wildcards, fuzzy search, proximity search, term boosting and regex matching.

  • Governance capabilities to prevent data loss, including connector restrictions, connector action restrictions, endpoint filtering, and restrictions for sharing connections.
  • Use connection references to simplify application lifecycle management.
  • Admin reports to show API usage for users and flows.

Desktop Flows

  • Web automation to access cross-domain iFrames.
  • Support UI automation with Citrix - improve support for UI automation on Citrix environments by having a runtime inside the target Citrix environment. This runtime will be able to communicate with the Citrix session and thus directly access UI elements.
  • New Process Advisor - a process mining capability in Power Automate that reveals insights into how people work by providing rich visualisations where users can identify repetitive, time-consuming processes best suited for automation.

Power Virtual Agents

  • Sharing bots with a security group.
  • Seamlessly create bots in Power App Portals and remove friction when transitioning to Power Virtual Agents to edit. Users will also get access to SSO and context sharing business model updates.
  • Insert Adaptive Cards easily from within authoring experience.
  • Use list variables for array outputs.
  • Add variable assignments and formula expressions in topic nodes.
  • Get proactive guidance on topic trigger management.

AI Builder

Form Processing

  • Explicitly tag tables in form processing - if a table is not detected, or is detected incorrectly, you will be able to manually draw the table to teach the AI model how to recognize it.
  • Form processing typed fields - ability to define the field type.
    • Text
    • Text with no spaces
    • Text alphanumeric
    • Number
    • Currency
    • Date
  • Specify which pages to analyse – this will also help improve process and cost optimisation, as AI Builder consumption is per processed page in a document.
  • Signature detection in form processing.
  • Pre-built Invoice processing (general availability).
  • Pre-built Receipt processing (general availability).
  • Pre-built IDs processing (general availability) - supports reading content from international passports and US driver licenses.

Read our Dynamics 365 Wave 1 2021 release summary here.

If you have any questions about the Power Platform roadmap, get in touch at info@pythagoras.co.uk, we are more than happy to help.