How naming works in the Power Platform universe
Nov17

How naming works in the Power Platform universe

Dataverse instead of CDS, tables instead of entities, Customer Insights instead of… Customer Insights. Don’t get too attached to any particular name in the Power Platform and BizApps world, as the only constant here is change. Continue reading How naming works in the Power Platform universe at Jukka Niiranen. Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s Article on their blog How naming works in the Power Platform universe...

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Make your Power Apps search experience more Relevant
Nov04

Make your Power Apps search experience more Relevant

5 tips for improving the search results that your Model-driven Power Apps or Dynamics 365 apps provide via the Relevance Search feature. Continue reading Make your Power Apps search experience more Relevant at Jukka Niiranen. Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s Article on their blog Make your Power Apps search experience more Relevant – Jukka Niiranen Microsoft recently launched a brand new search experience for Model-driven...

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Renewed Dynamics 365 Licensing Guide for October 2020
Oct05

Renewed Dynamics 365 Licensing Guide for October 2020

Microsoft has removed the Customer Engagement and FinOps buckets from their licensing documentation and now offers a single menu of Dynamics 365 apps. What should the CE professionals now identify themselves with in this new world? The post Renewed Dynamics 365 Licensing Guide for October 2020 appeared first on Jukka Niiranen. Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s Article on their blog Renewed Dynamics 365 Licensing Guide for...

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How Microsoft Teams can scale up low-code: my 5 min explanation
Sep28

How Microsoft Teams can scale up low-code: my 5 min explanation

Video of my presentation from Microsoft Ignite 2020 event: “How Power Platform Now Empowers All Microsoft Teams Users”. The post How Microsoft Teams can scale up low-code: my 5 min explanation appeared first on Jukka Niiranen. Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s Article on their blog How Microsoft Teams can scale up low-code: my 5 min explanation – Jukka Niiranen At the virtual Microsoft Ignite 2020 event I had...

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Microsoft Teams as a platform
Sep14

Microsoft Teams as a platform

Teams started out as a pure collaboration tool, but it’s now becoming a platform for no-code, low-code and pro-code business apps. Here’s an analysis of the potential impact Teams will have for Power Platform and Microsoft 365 application development. The post Microsoft Teams as a platform appeared first on Jukka Niiranen. Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s Article on their blog Microsoft Teams as a platform –...

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There never was a “Microsoft Dataflex”
Aug13

There never was a “Microsoft Dataflex”

Due to trademark issues, Microsoft had to back off from their plans to rebrand CDS as “Dataflex”. How does something like this even happen? The post There never was a “Microsoft Dataflex” appeared first on Jukka Niiranen. Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s Article on their blog There never was a “Microsoft Dataflex” – Jukka Niiranen There are a lot of benefits in taking long enough...

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Dataflex: the day after
Jul23

Dataflex: the day after

How did the outside world react to Microsoft’s announcement of Dataflex and what questions should we focus on after the dust settles from Inspire 2020. The post Dataflex: the day after appeared first on Jukka Niiranen. Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s Article on their blog Dataflex: the day after – Jukka Niiranen Microsoft dropped a big bomb this week with their Dataflex announcement. I don’t think I’ve...

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Dataflex is more (and less) than CDS
Jul21

Dataflex is more (and less) than CDS

The new name for Common Data Services is Dataflex Pro. What about the non-Pro version then? That’s where the story gets really interesting, with a Microsoft Teams licensing bundle that will allow the creation of Power Apps on top of relational data for pretty much all Office users in the world. The post Dataflex is more (and less) than CDS appeared first on Jukka Niiranen. Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s Article on their...

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Why Power Platform licensing is complex, part 4: the role of CDS
Jul16

Why Power Platform licensing is complex, part 4: the role of CDS

The Common Data Service is a foundational element of Power Platform, yet it isn’t an actual software product that would be sold directly on a per user basis. The history as well as the future of CDS make it a complex part of the licensing puzzle for customers – and Microsoft. The post Why Power Platform licensing is complex, part 4: the role of CDS appeared first on Jukka Niiranen. Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s...

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First impressions on Power Platform 2020 Release Wave 2
Jul09

First impressions on Power Platform 2020 Release Wave 2

The low-code platform from Microsoft is becoming an increasingly mature foundation for business apps of all shapes and sizes, based on this latest roadmap. Uniting citizen dev & pro dev tools and offering pahts from Power Platform tools to Azure is a common theme in 2020 Wave 2. The post First impressions on Power Platform 2020 Release Wave 2 appeared first on Jukka Niiranen. Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s Article on...

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PPAC is your new Dynamics 365 Admin Center
Jul03

PPAC is your new Dynamics 365 Admin Center

Power Platform Admin Center has taken the place of the old CRM era admin tools. Where are the features now and what’s different for Dynamics 365 admins? The post PPAC is your new Dynamics 365 Admin Center appeared first on Jukka Niiranen. Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s Article on their blog https://jukkaniiranen.com/2020/07/ppac-is-your-new-dynamics-365-admin-center/ Blog Syndicated with Jukka Niiranen’s...

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ALM for low-code: are we there yet?
Jun17

ALM for low-code: are we there yet?

Application Lifecycle Management often deals with tools and concepts from the pro-developer world that aren’t necessarily easy to apply as-is to the new world of low-code applications. What do you need to consider in your ALM strategy to align it with the citizen developer language and mindset? The post ALM for low-code: are we there yet? appeared first on Jukka Niiranen. Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s Article on their...

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Why Power Platform licensing is complex, part 3: light use scenarios
May31

Why Power Platform licensing is complex, part 3: light use scenarios

Whether you are using a particular feature on a daily basis or once a year doesn’t make a difference when it comes to the licensing requirements of Business Applications. Why is it so hard to offer a license type for the “light touch” scenarios? The post Why Power Platform licensing is complex, part 3: light use scenarios appeared first on Jukka Niiranen. Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s Article on their blog...

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Why Power Platform licensing is complex, part 2: multiplexing
May07

Why Power Platform licensing is complex, part 2: multiplexing

The low-code tools are making it easier than ever to have data flowing between different systems and presented in a custom UI that may bypass the original enterprise applications altogether. However, this does not free you from the requirement of having a license for these systems. Welcome to the world of multiplexing. The post Why Power Platform licensing is complex, part 2: multiplexing… Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s...

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The Social CRM that came to be: from 2010 to 2020
Apr27

The Social CRM that came to be: from 2010 to 2020

Looking back at what we expected from the emerging Social CRM landscape 10 years ago and what actually happened. A journey through Microsoft’s efforts in embedding social into the core features of what still used to be called Dynamics CRM. The post The Social CRM that came to be: from 2010 to 2020 appeared first on Jukka Niiranen. Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s Article on their blog...

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Why Power Platform licensing is complex, part 1: products
Apr20

Why Power Platform licensing is complex, part 1: products

The changes in how Microsoft positions the various products in its portfolio are a common source of confusion and misunderstanding on Power Apps licensing. This blog post will examine the impact that the rise of Power Platform has had on the surrounding product offerings of Office 365 and Dynamics 365. The post Why Power Platform licensing is complex, part 1: products appeared first on Jukka… Continue Reading Jukka...

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Time to go Forward with 2020 Wave 1 (webinar)
Apr01

Time to go Forward with 2020 Wave 1 (webinar)

The Business Applications 2020 Release Wave 1 is here – and so is the first ever webinar for Team Forward Forever. Come and join us on Monday, April 6th! The post Time to go Forward with 2020 Wave 1 (webinar) appeared first on Jukka Niiranen. Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s Article on their blog Time to go Forward with 2020 Wave 1 (webinar) – Jukka Niiranen Our company, Forward Forever, is 1 month old today!🥳...

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United at last: Dynamics 365 Dual-write goes GA
Mar29

United at last: Dynamics 365 Dual-write goes GA

After nearly two decades of trying to bring Microsoft’s ERP and CRM systems closer together, there is now finally a standard mechanism for moving data in near real-time between Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations apps and Common Data Service. What does having ERP data available in CDS mean for business applications customization and new app experiences? The post United at last: Dynamics 365… Continue Reading Jukka...

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CDS FAQ for the Power Apps Makers
Mar25

CDS FAQ for the Power Apps Makers

10 questions and answers that you may have when approaching the Common Data Service as an app maker that doesn’t come from a Dynamics XRM background: connectors, solutions, security. The post CDS FAQ for the Power Apps Makers appeared first on Jukka Niiranen. Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s Article on their blog CDS FAQ for the Power Apps Makers – Jukka Niiranen Microsoft is commited to making Common Data Service...

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Price points of Power Platform
Mar15

Price points of Power Platform

Microsoft doesn’t provide a single page from where to look up the prices for each of the license types for various products included under the Power Platform umbrella. Since this information is spread out and offered in various different formats, I decided to create a landing page with the core price info as well as links to documentation that’s been the source of this pricing information. The… Continue Reading Jukka...

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Highlights from TechDays Finland 2020
Mar07

Highlights from TechDays Finland 2020

The annual TechDays event offers a window into the broad Microsoft ecosystem. In addition to pure Power Platform topics, I also explored interesting sessions covering products like Synapse Analytics, Microsoft Teams and of course plenty of Azure – to understand how it all ties together. The post Highlights from TechDays Finland 2020 appeared first on Jukka Niiranen. Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s Article on their blog...

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Why we’re betting on the Power Platform
Mar03

Why we’re betting on the Power Platform

We have launched a new technology agency, Forward Forever, that focuses 100% on Microsoft Power Platform. Here is some background information about the analysis we’ve made of the market direction and 3 main factors that are driving the change. The post Why we’re betting on the Power Platform appeared first on Jukka Niiranen. Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s Article on their blog Why we’re betting on the Power...

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Dynamics 365 & Power Platform licensing FAQ, February 2020
Feb22

Dynamics 365 & Power Platform licensing FAQ, February 2020

There are certain details in Microsoft’s licensing model for Dynamics 365 Team Members, Power Apps and environment capacity management that tend to raise questions among customers and partners. Here are answers to some of the licensing questions I’ve encountered during the past few months. The post Dynamics 365 & Power Platform licensing FAQ, February 2020 appeared first on Jukka Niiranen. Continue Reading Jukka...

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New Team Member apps for Dynamics 365
Feb07

New Team Member apps for Dynamics 365

In 2020 Release Wave 1, Microsoft is shipping new App Modules for Sales Team Member and Customer Service Team Member. Let’s look at the Early Access features and see what you can do with these apps, prior to the coming technical enforcement of Team Member access rights. The post New Team Member apps for Dynamics 365 appeared first on Jukka Niiranen. Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s Article on their blog New Team Member...

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My agenda for TechDays Finland 2020
Feb06

My agenda for TechDays Finland 2020

How can you keep up with the broader Microsoft stack that should be leveraged when designing modern business solutions? In addition to blogs, courses, documentation, sometimes you just need to leave the comfort of your work desk and meet other experts in person. If you’re in Finland for TechDays 2020 on March 5-6, here are the top 3 sessions to catch from each key area: Power Platform, Data… Continue Reading Jukka...

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Moving forward: my career retrospective 2000-2020
Feb01

Moving forward: my career retrospective 2000-2020

For the past 20 years, I have worked in many different roles around CRM data, processes, technology and people. As I’m now taking the next step as an entrepreneur and building a new company, I wanted to look back on my professional career and reflect on the experiences that have gotten me to where I am today. The post Moving forward: my career retrospective 2000-2020 appeared first on Jukka… Continue Reading Jukka...

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Microsoft FY20 Q2 earnings and the rise of CDP
Jan30

Microsoft FY20 Q2 earnings and the rise of CDP

The revenue growth from Microsoft’s cloud business across Azure, Office and Dynamics is not slowing down, based on the recent quarterly results. But how will they keep up this momentum in the future? In the earnings call Satya Nadella talks about one key concept we can expect to hear a lot more in the future: Customer Data Platform (CDP). The post Microsoft FY20 Q2 earnings and the rise of CDP… Continue Reading Jukka...

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First impressions on Power Platform 2020 Release Wave 1
Jan28

First impressions on Power Platform 2020 Release Wave 1

On Jan 27th Microsoft published their plans for the upcoming 2020 Release Wave 1. We have a lot to digest once again, so here are my top picks from the Power Platform side of Microsoft Business Applications. If you don’t have time to read through 100+ pages, then maybe you should start checking out these features and work your way through the rest. The post First impressions on Power Platform… Continue Reading Jukka...

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Get ready for licensing enforcement in Dynamics 365
Jan27

Get ready for licensing enforcement in Dynamics 365

The tricky part about ensuring your solution design is aligned with the planned set of licenses that the system users will be assign is that there is often no way to technically validate this. Many aspects of the MS Business Appliciations licensing model nuances have been implemented only on paper. Things are about to change, as we’ll see a specific access rights enforcement around the App… Continue Reading Jukka...

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Using CSS color names for SVG icons in Power Apps Canvas app
Jan19

Using CSS color names for SVG icons in Power Apps Canvas app

In addition to standard color picker options, Power Apps also supports CSS color names to define the appearance of text and icons. To make these color names work in conjunction with our custom SVG icon library from the previous blog post, let’s also build a custom color picker for grouping and visualizing the available colors inside Canvas apps. The post Using CSS color names for SVG icons in… Continue Reading Jukka...

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Using SVG icons in Power Apps Canvas apps
Jan12

Using SVG icons in Power Apps Canvas apps

To create high quality visualizations for apps that can both scale to high resolutions as well as be dynamically manipulated via formulas, Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) would be a great choice for Canvas Apps. While there is no native support for SVG features in Power Apps, you can bring in their XML definition and work with it to create a gallery to browse a complete library of icons… Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s...

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Year 2019 in Microsoft Business Applications
Dec27

Year 2019 in Microsoft Business Applications

What were this year’s top 3 most notable themes in the world of MS business applications? We saw the rise of the low-code movement, a number of changes in the already complex licensing model of Power Platform, and the evolution of Microsoft’s data story to help organizations make better use of new AI innovations. Here are some thoughts on why these will continue to have an impact in 2020. The… Continue Reading Jukka...

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Why would you store images and files in CDS?
Dec13

Why would you store images and files in CDS?

Binary data is getting better support in Common Data Service, thanks to the new image and file datatypes. How could we leverage these in Power Apps? Here are some use cases for binary data storage in CDS, as well as comparison to the familiar Attachments feature and the built-in SharePoint document management integration. The post Why would you store images and files in CDS? appeared first on

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Life after CRM: farewell to SurvivingCRM.com
Dec09

Life after CRM: farewell to SurvivingCRM.com

Welcome to Thinking Forward – my new blog built on top of the foundation that was laid by Surviving CRM in 2008-2019. As we’re approaching the turn of the decade, it’s a great moment to push myself into more actively exploring the world beyond CRM. The post Life after CRM: farewell to SurvivingCRM.com appeared first on Jukka Niiranen. Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s Article on their blog Life after CRM:...

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End of Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Online
Nov02

End of Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Online

I always prefer to use precise terminology when talking about the technologies that are part of my trade. Some might consider me a pedantic guy who’s always correcting some insignificant details in documents or presentations that cover Microsoft technologies but aren’t using their correct names. Yeah, the customers reading them probably wouldn’t notice the difference, but if you let go of your… Continue Reading...

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Licensing is NOT a security mechanism
Oct28

Licensing is NOT a security mechanism

Licensing remains a topic that no one claims to like yet everyone keeps on talking about. October 2019 saw what was undoubtedly the biggest number of changes to Microsoft Business Applications SKUs (i.e. items that MS sells), with the end of Dynamics 365 Plan licenses and new models for licensing PowerApps & Flow. Not to mention the new structure that ties licenses closely to API call limits…. Continue Reading Jukka...

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Sharing Apps Is Caring
Oct24

Sharing Apps Is Caring

A while ago there was an announcement made on the PowerApps team blog about “Share canvas apps with guests in your organization”. Launched in public preview, this feature makes it (almost) as simple to share apps with a guest user as it is with internal users from your company. Basically all you need to do is invite them as guests into your tenant, by leveraging the Azure AD B2B… Continue Reading Jukka...

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PowerApps licenses and a Dynamics 365 environment
Sep19

PowerApps licenses and a Dynamics 365 environment

Believe it or not, Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement applications from Microsoft are built on top of Power Platform. No, they didn’t originally start that way, but as the Citizen Application Platform technology from the PowerApps side merged with the former Microsoft Business Solutions product that was originally built to be an extendable CRM system, that is the end result today. As an… Continue Reading Jukka...

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Licensing by consumption: pricing model of Power Platform online services
Sep12

Licensing by consumption: pricing model of Power Platform online services

On the topic of Dynamics 365 and PowerApps licensing changes coming in October 2019, I earlier wrote about the biggest change in how Microsoft is separating the first party applications and the underlying platform in the new Per App pricing model. There’s another aspect in the coming licensing updates that has also caused a lot of concern among partners and customers: the API call limits…. Continue Reading Jukka...

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Canvas Apps for the Model-driven mind: how to make that leap
Aug30

Canvas Apps for the Model-driven mind: how to make that leap

Business applications come in all shapes and sizes. In the Microsoft ecosystem, we now have a broader set of tools to choose from, compared to the past strategies of Build vs. Buy, i.e. writing code to develop a custom application vs. using an application platform to configure the desired functionality. The birth of Power Platform and especially PowerApps as the underlying platform technology… Continue Reading Jukka...

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Application/Platform Separation in New PowerApps Licensing Model
Aug12

Application/Platform Separation in New PowerApps Licensing Model

Ever since Spring 2018 when the XRM and PowerApps platforms merged on a commercial level, I’ve found myself spending an ever increasing number of hours per week involved in licensing discussions and scenario planning. My initial exploration of the platform licensing back then came to the conclusion that many of the crucial details for actually determining what you can & can’t do with PowerApps… Continue Reading...

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4 directions for Power Platform business growth
Jul16

4 directions for Power Platform business growth

It’s now roughly one year since Microsoft launched the concept of Power Platform. It’s been extremely interesting in the past 12 months to watch how this new platform strategy starts to play out in the world outside Redmond, as the pieces of this grand puzzle begin to become visible here and there. Having worked in the MS ecosystem on customer & partner side for 14 years now and coming from… Continue Reading...

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2 become 1 UI: PowerApps Roadmap from MBAS
Jun21

2 become 1 UI: PowerApps Roadmap from MBAS

Have you looked at the MBAS Gallery yet? Microsoft Business Applications Summit 2019 was last week and already the majority of sessions have been published online for also non-attendees to enjoy. Even if you attended the conference in Atlanta, there’s a chance that you may have missed a few sessions, with there being 200+ of them in 2+1 days. Live recordings of sessions are nice – if… Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s...

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Catching the Wave 2 for 2019 Power Platform Updates
Jun10

Catching the Wave 2 for 2019 Power Platform Updates

Today, June 10th, at Microsoft Business Application Summit 2019 the release plan for the next wave of Dynamics 365 and Power Platform features was announced. It’s of course no surprise that this main event of the year for #MSBizApps would be used as the forum for showing what’s coming next. What kind of did surprise myself was that we actually are already at a point when the focus starts… Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s...

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Why You Should Become a #PowerAddict
Jun04

Why You Should Become a #PowerAddict

Recently I was tagged to do a “confession” in the #WeArePowerAddicts challenge, started by MVP Vivek Bavishi. There’s been a massive amount of support for this over on Twitter, where many of the finest members of the community are enforcing the message that is bringing all of us together. In this post I’ll cover three aspects that I find so intriguing with this movement that is… Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s Article on...

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Building The Platform for Every Developer
May09

Building The Platform for Every Developer

For the first time ever at Microsoft Build conference, the Power Platform was presented right at the start of Satya’s keynote this year! Woo-hoo! Of course this time last year there wasn’t yet the name “Power Platform” to even reference at Build. We had only just seen the merger of XRM and PowerApps into something that was a bit of a puzzle to communicate to partners, let alone… Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s Article on...

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PowerApps “Starter” Plans Capabilities Demystified
Apr28

PowerApps “Starter” Plans Capabilities Demystified

There are many ways to get started with PowerApps on the cheap. What I mean by cheap here is the types of licenses that have certain limitations on what you’re allowed to do with the PowerApps platform and apps, in exchange for their lower cost. In other words, “less than PowerApps P2 capabilities.” In this article I’ll try to illustrate what these limitations are, especially when… Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s Article...

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The Real Common Data Service Emerges
Apr08

The Real Common Data Service Emerges

When Microsoft announced one year ago that XRM would become CDS v2.0 (officially Common Data Service for Apps), there wasn’t yet any big system redesign implemented to make this a physical reality. Today we are much further down that road where CDS truly becomes a Service that has less and less to do with the familiar XRM databases that we’ve previously been working with. In this blog… Continue Reading Jukka Niiranen’s...

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New Courses for Learning Power Platform & Dynamics 365
Mar05

New Courses for Learning Power Platform & Dynamics 365

Microsoft announced in December 2018 that they were retiring many of the Dynamics 365 exams that previously were part of the MCSA and MCSE Business Applications certifications. Shortly after that, there was a brand new set of certifications and their associated exams announced. The exams are: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Core (MB-200)Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales (

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Demystifying Dynamics 365 & Power Platform Licensing: Part 2
Feb03

Demystifying Dynamics 365 & Power Platform Licensing: Part 2

In the previous post I highlighted some of the recent updates on Dynamics 365 licensing. Now let’s have a look at how the birth of Power Platform has further expanded the licensing options for delivering business applications to customers. Just like before, the content is taken from my session at Dynamics Power 365 Saturday London 2019 and you’ll find the complete slide deck on SlideShare:

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SCOTtish summit 2021

On February the 27th Scottish Summit 2021 will come to you as a virtual event. With over 250 sessions from all Microsoft technologies. You need to register for your FREE ticket and download the Scottish Summit App to see all the great sessions.