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October 2018 Release Notes Available to Download

A few weeks ago we released the October ’18 releases notes – an in-depth summary of everything we’ll be adding to PowerApps through this Fall and into early 2019. You can now review the list online (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/business-applications-release-notes/october18/ ) or download the full PDF. These release notes will let you plan for the new capabilities that will become available over the next several months.


There’s a lot to digest, so here’s a high level overview of the key themes to be tracking and specific features of note. We are focused on three main areas for PowerApps:

Quality, quality, quality

The team is working hard on application fundamentals like performance, quality builds and reliability. That investment isn’t limited to our service, we’re also focusing on new tools that will help makers deliver higher quality apps and solutions.  Solution checker is a feature that will analyze any solution on demand and call out specific performance or stability risks, with links to documentation on how to follow better patterns.  This will promote higher-quality model-driven apps by helping app makers follow best practices when they customize and extend the PowerApps platform. Another feature that has just released for Canvas apps is the App checker.  The app checker provides a clear list of formula issues in your app, and to provide items to fix to make your app accessible.  Monitoring is also becoming easier to find and manage with the new admin analytics reports.


Continuing platform unification

This past March, we released a massive update to the Common Data Service as well as the ability to build model-driven apps – both of which were capabilities inherited from the platform under Dynamics 365. We are continuing that journey of platform unification by bringing together capabilities from canvas apps, model-driven apps, CDS and the Dynamics platform into a cohesive set of capabilities. Most notably, we will be shipping in preview the ability to embed a canvas app into a Model-driven form over the next few months!  App makers can embed canvas apps in their model-driven forms just like they add custom controls. Model-driven forms can also pass data context of the current record, a related record or a set of related records to an embedded canvas app empowering app makers to create rich, contextual sections, grids and other components, and visualizations that display data from a wide array of external data sources.  We will also allow Canvas apps to be included in solutions in order to move multiple canvas apps and Microsoft Flows from one environment to another.  By leveraging the CDS import and export functionality, PowerApps canvas makers can start to leverage the power of the CDS application lifecycle ecosystem.


More powerful apps, easier to customize

There are several improvements coming to the app authoring experiences to help you make more powerful apps that are easier to make and easier to deploy to more places.  For app makers that focus on SharePoint we have improved default themes, easier access to Document libraries, a Rich Text editor control, friendly display names in Canvas apps and many other features coming. We’re also making it possible for advanced canvas makers to build responsive apps or apps of different sizes to embed in CDS, PowerBI, SharePoint web parts, Teams or other apps.


The release notes are available for not only PowerApps, but for the other Business Application products like Microsoft Flow, PowerBI, Mixed Reality and Dynamics 365. Let us know what features you are most excited about, and stay tuned here on the blog for details as all of the above and more start to roll out to customers over the coming months.