Get ready for the next release

New features are continually becoming available! If you administer, configure, or install Microsoft Dynamics products and services, watch this page for information about ongoing and upcoming releases — and how to prepare your organization.

We're excited to announce that:

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Service Pack 1 is now available.

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update 1 is available for new and existing customers.

For a complete list of new features in Dynamics CRM, see the following resources:

You can also watch a short video (2:14) on the spring wave of features


On this page:

What's new in Microsoft Social Engagement 2016 Update 1.8

What's new in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update 0.5

How to get and prepare for updates

Staying informed

Support

What's new in Microsoft Social Engagement 2016 Update 1.8

Simplified editing for keyword-based search rules

We have improved the workflow to enter keywords, inclusions, and exclusions for keyword-based search rules in search setup. Words you enter will be displayed as individual items, which allows easier deletion and editing of search rules as well as better readability. Entering a comma or pressing the Enter key will transform the keyword into an easily-removable item. Every separated item acts as an OR operator, which was formerly represented as a comma (,).

To work with this feature, go to Search Setup, and then create a new Keywords rule or edit and existing one.

Set a Label action for automation rules

Automation rules now let you set a label on posts based on the defined filter criteria. This allows you to automatically triage incoming social posts by setting appropriate labels on them.

To work with this feature, go to Settings > Automation Rules, and then create a new rule or edit an existing one.

Manage search topic ownership

We introduced the ability to change the owner of a search topic, so you can ensure every search topic is owned by the appropriate user in your organization. Users with the Power Analyst role can only edit owned search topics. This means you can empower these users by giving them ownership of search topics they manage. You must be an Administrator to change search topic owners. For reference, see the Understand user roles help topic.

To change the owner of a search topic, go to that search topic in Search Setup, and then edit the owner.

Include or exclude groups from the Assignee filter

We have extended the filtering capability for the Assignee filter by letting you specify whether to include Office Groups. When you filter on a post assigned to a user, you can now specify whether you want to include posts assigned to any groups that the user is a member of. Previously we included posts assigned to groups a user is a member of along with posts directly assigned to that user.

Multiple search rule creation for Instagram, custom sources, and private messages

To quickly create search topics with several rules, you can now create multiple rules for Instagram accounts, custom sources, and private messages at the same time. You'll be able to create multiple rules at once for those source types, similar to Twitter profiles and Facebook pages. The selected profiles will be saved as individual rules under the selected search topic.

To work with this feature, go to Search Setup, create a new Instagram, custom sources, or private messages rule, and then add multiple rules.

Improved UI for filters

Filters are now easier to view and use. When you open the filter editor, you'll see that active filters are now bold, collapsed. and show the number of active filters, so you can easily see all of your filters. We also reduced the need to manually scroll when you open filter dimensions. In Analytics you can now conveniently view and open a specific active filter by clicking it at the top of the Analytics page.

What's new in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update 0.5

Include custom subscription centers on landing pages

Add any of your existing subscription center plug-ins to any landing page to let contacts sign up for newsletters when they register. You can customize your subscription centers to make sure they include only those mailing lists that are appropriate for each landing page’s target group. In previous versions of Dynamics Marketing, you could add a default subscription center (which included all available subscription lists), but you couldn't select a customized plug-in like you can now.

Use relative date/time arithmetic in query criteria

Create dynamic marketing lists (queries) that include relative date/time arithmetic and inequalities among their selection criteria. Use the updated TODAY placeholder to do date-based arithmetic that finds contacts based on date/time values such as birthday, sign-up date, or payment date. For example: TODAY+4D (four days from now), TODAY+5M (five months from now), or TODAY-2Y (two years ago). Inequalities (such as less-than or greater-than) are also supported by the updated TODAY placeholder. (The TODAY placeholder was available previously, but has been significantly improved for this release.)

Leads views and direct engagement links are now supported by the seller portal

The seller portal provides salespeople working in Dynamics CRM with a view of which communications from Dynamics Marketing have been (and will be) sent to their contacts and accounts. The seller portal was already available from contacts and accounts views in CRM, but now it's also available from leads views. In addition, the seller portal now provides direct links from the contacts, accounts, and leads views in Dynamics CRM to the customer-engagement display in Dynamics Marketing. In CRM, links to the seller portal and engagement view are labeled as View Marketing Portal and View Marketing Engagement, respectively.


Important

After you install this update, you must reset the seller portal in Dynamics Marketing by disabling and re-enabling it in the Site Settings.


Improve authentication performance in your SDK solutions

Use the new shared access signature (SAS) method to improve authentication performance when you communicate through your Azure Service Bus queues to and from the Dynamics Marketing SDK endpoint.

Use fully-customized text colors in the graphical email editor

The graphical editor for designing marketing emails now provides a full-range color picker, allowing you to choose from thousands of colors rather than being limited to the set of predefined swatches provided by earlier versions of Dynamics Marketing.

Use custom page-background colors in the graphical email editor

You can now assign a custom color to the background behind your email body container. which is especially useful when you are using a fixed-width container design.

Establish a white list of permitted from-address domains for marketing email messages

Establish a white list of domains that are permitted in the from-address field for email marketing messages. Any message that does not include a valid and approved from-address domain will be blocked at send time (and reported as such in the performance results). This can help to improve security, prevent typos, ensure conformity to company policies, and increase deliverability by ensuring that from addresses always match your DNS registrations. You can also disable this feature if you prefer to allow all domains in the from field (the default setting).


Note

This was previously a limited-release feature that required a special service request to activate. The feature is now generally available to all organizations who update to Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update 0.5 or later.


Use business segments to better align your marketing initiatives to your organizational structure

Dynamics Marketing already lets you map companies, divisions, and departments to your various marketing initiatives so you can set budgets, organize your records, generate reports, and perform advanced analytics along organizational lines. But in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update 0.5, we have extended support for division and department associations and also introduced support for a new type of organizational structure: business segments. A business segment is a part of a company that is identified by the specific set of products, services, and/or geographical locations it serves. Each business segment typically distinguishes itself from other segments by its unique collection of customers, products, and marketplaces.

In Dynamics Marketing, you set up each business segment using the categories feature, which makes the segments available to the entire site, ensures consistent naming, and establishes a single source for editing and translation. The concept is similar to departments and divisions in that you can use them to divide an organization along logical lines for purposes of management, budgeting, reporting, and other practical concerns. However, unlike departments or divisions, Dynamics Marketing allows multiple business segments to be assigned to a single entity.

Business segments are not hierarchical, so they don't belong to a specific company, division, or department, and they can be assigned across these organizational lines. And unlike divisions or belongs-to company assignments, business segments can be changed at any time and do not add any restrictions to how or where you can use the entities assigned to them.

In addition to the new business segment settings, support for department and division assignments has also been extended to more types of entities. This means that all entities that now support business segments also support departments and divisions (if they didn't already).


Note

This was previously a limited-release feature that required a special service request to activate. The feature is now generally available to all organizations who update to Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update 0.5 or later.


Improved send performance for high-volume email campaigns


Note

This is a limited-release feature, which means that it is considered stable, but it may also be highly specialized and/or narrow in scope. Limited-release features are available on request, but are otherwise hidden by default in the Dynamics Marketing user interface. If you would like to enable a limited-release feature for your site, then please contact Microsoft Support for assistance.


You can now set your email campaigns for high-volume delivery, which significantly improves performance when you are sending to a very large number (such as millions) of recipients.

When you use the high-volume option, Dynamics Marketing does not collect message-sent or message-delivered records on a per-contact basis, but it does provide total sent and delivered values for the campaign. Opens, clicks, and other KPIs are still available per contact. For smaller campaigns, you can turn off the high-volume option and also collect sent and delivered records for each individual contact.

How to get and prepare for updates

Dynamics CRM Online

  • You'll be able to schedule the specific date when your update occurs. We call this a customer-driven update since you “drive” the timing of the update to be the most suitable for your organization. For more information about our update policy and how this works for CRM Online, read TechNet: Manage Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online updates.

Dynamics CRM

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 is available now.

Dynamics Marketing

  • The customer-driven update process will give admins better control over when new updates of Dynamics Marketing will be rolled out for your organization. For more information about how this works, read Manage Dynamics Marketing updates.

Microsoft Social Engagement

  • The listed administrator within your organization will be notified by email about the specific timing of your update to the next version. These updates will happen automatically and Microsoft will send several reminder communications, with the details, as the scheduled update approaches.  

How to prepare for updates

Test the updates in a sandbox environment. We always advise that you preview and test new versions in a non-production environment before you update your live production instances. This will give you the opportunity to verify the compatibility of any customizations that you may have made, or any third-party customizations that are installed. Additionally, testing will also allow you to assess the impact of the upcoming changes on your organization and your users. If you haven't already done so, we strongly advise obtaining a non-production instance. Learn about managing CRM Online sandbox instances.

Staying informed

Service communications

Want more information about the types of emails we send you? Check out TechNet: Policies and Communications for CRM Online Updates.

Support

Connect with Support resources or browse questions and answers in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Forum — or you can always contact your partner.

Here's the list of features previously introduced in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Dynamics Marketing, and Microsoft Social Engagement.

Features introduced in Microsoft Dynamics CRM:

Features introduced in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing:

Features introduced in Microsoft Social Engagement