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Announcing monthly channel for model-driven apps

Today we are launching Release Channels for model-driven apps in public and sovereign clouds. Release channels provide more choice for adopting new features in model driven apps and Dynamics 365 apps.  Rather than only being able to receive updates twice a year during the wave releases, you can choose some or all users to receive more frequent updates through monthly channel.

Release channel support is bringing Power Apps and Dynamics 365 in line with the channel capabilities already available in Microsoft 365. Through Microsoft 365, we have found business users are happier on the monthly (vs semi-annual) update channel.  Based on extensive studies, we believe this is due to the combination of getting more frequent feature enhancements as well as features being delivered in smaller increments, rather than all coming in two semi-annual updates.

Managing Release Channels

In the initial release, we are providing the ability for an admin to set the environment’s release channel and it applies to all users and apps within that environment. In coming releases we are looking to provide user level override, app level override, and deferring a feature.

The default setting is Semi-Annual Channel, which is the current twice-yearly updates in the release waves. The new release cadence applies when an admin switches an environment to Monthly Channel. The same build has all the semi-annual and monthly features within it. It is the release channel that controls which updates are enabled for a user. An environment can switch between channels at any point and the user will see the experience for the selected channel when the session is started. Learn more about release channels at Release Channel Overview.

The features in a monthly release are published 4 weeks before arriving in production to allow validation. See the features listed in Model-Driven App Monthly Channel Releases.

The ability to change the release channel through Power Platform Admin Center (PPAC) is gradually rolling out now. When the PPAC update arrives, the release channel can be changed in the environment’s Settings > Behavior page.

graphical user interface, application
Power Platform Admin Center setting behavior for Release Channel

In addition to PPAC, the environment can be set programmatically by updating a configuration table or with a URL parameter &channel=monthly. These additional ways to change the channel are fully rolled out already. Learn more at Changing Release Channels.

For diagnostic purposes, end users can see the channel and channel release in the About dialog available from Settings.

graphical user interface, text, application
About dialog shows Channel

Coming soon

We are delivering the updates for the monthly channel release process gradually and looking for feedback along the way to make this easy to use.

User level override: Next up is enabling the environment admin to override the release channel for an individual user through PPAC or programmatically. This provides flexibility to start with a smaller group of users when the environment is set to semi-annual channel or setting some users to semi-annual channel the overall environment is on monthly channel.

App level override: After that we are looking at enabling makers to override the release channel. App level control enables new apps to start with monthly channel or targeting a part of the environment.

Defer a feature: With changes coming every month and enabled by default, there will be some features that might need more time for validation, training, or updating customizations. We are looking at allowing makers or admins to temporarily deferred a feature in monthly channel.

We look forward to your feedback on making the Monthly Channel easier to use! Let us know your thoughts and suggestions within the community post Feedback on Monthly Channel.