Power Platform: 2021 Release Wave 2 – What’s New?
Microsoft has recently announced their plans for the Microsoft Power Platform wave 2 release for 2021. The updates for wave 2 will be running from October 2021 – March 2022 for apps including Power BI, Power Apps, Power Apps portals, Power Automate, Power Virtual Agents and AI Builder along with Microsoft Power Platform capabilities for governance and administration, ISV experiences, and data integration. In this blog, we will discuss what changes you should expect from the Power Platform wave 2 release.
To enable organisations to drive a data culture, Power BI will resume their investment in three main areas. These areas are to empower every individual empower every team empower every organisation.
Empower every individual
Power BI will continue to empower every individual by making it easier for everyone to work with data and to grow a data culture. This will be done through maintaining familiar experiences in combination with easy-to-discover AI infused insights. By allowing users to create reports with the free Power BI Desktop tool and using Microsoft 365 data, users will be able to work with data with ease. Furthermore, by taking advantage of the AI advancements in Microsoft Research, Power BI can help users to find patterns within large amounts of data and provide insights that are readily available to use. To ensure that everyone in the organisation can receive these insights, Microsoft has developed a world-leading mobile BI app which includes embedded capabilities for the user’s applications, websites and portals.
Empower every team
To empower every team, Power BI will be integrated into places where teams often work and collaborate. Power BI’s integration with Microsoft Teams will become more sophisticated especially within the channels, chats and notifications. In addition, Excel, Powerpoint and more will continue to mature with valuable insights being included to make it easy for users to adapt quickly to changing business requirements.
Empower every organisation
Power BI will meet the needs of large enterprise customers with centralised administration, governance and industry leading security capabilities so that IT can have full visibility and control. With Power BI Premium’s new offerings, there will be unmatched capabilities provided in a single integrated platform so users will not have to integrate multiple products within their business. In the wave 2 release, Power BI Premium will give more power to businesses as they will be adding features that will help advance the delivery of insights to users – these features will contribute to areas such as Microsoft-owned resource management, auto-scale and pay-as-you-go pricing, advanced self-service data prep, interactive experiences over big data, and meeting advanced security and government requirements.
The wave 2 release will provide significant improvements for Power Apps developers of all skill levels by improving the sophistication and usability of apps that can be created across web and mobile devices. Developers will now be able to publish their canvas apps as standalone mobile apps and for quick app development, users can try out the unified Power Apps designer to take advantage of intelligent authoring with the use of AI and Power Apps Studio.
Power Apps Portals
Power Apps portals will focus on enhancements in the areas of portals platform, new capabilities for pro development and increase in developer productivity. There will be several new capabilities added with specific focus on pro development. The new capabilities will enable makers to enable more out-of-box scenarios, use developer capabilities and tools to enable advanced customizations and configurations. It will also allow the creation of custom UI elements within forms and web elements and include general availability of support for CI/CD of portals configuration using Power Platform CLI.
Power Automate will continue to invest in four primary areas as part of the wave 2 release. These areas are: Microsoft Teams integration, Power Automate Desktop, Dynamics 365, Power Apps, Power BI and Microsoft Dataverse and AI Builder.
Microsoft Teams integration
The integration with Microsoft Teams will provide collaborative scenarios and will allow admins to push solutions that contains flows across platforms. There will also be an increase and more easily accessible entry points across the Microsoft Teams experience in areas such as meeting/calendars and other types of conversations.
Power Automate Desktop
There will be migration support for existing Softomotive and UI flow customers with secure credential management and much more. The release of wave 2 will include built enterprise trust for desktop flows by providing what centres of excellence need in the cloud including: centralized management, monitoring and reporting which will allow users to scale beyond the per-flow experience in the portal. These experiences will provide the users security, governance and administration so there can be extended control for admins over desktop flow artifacts in the Power Platform admin centre and Centre of Excellence toolkit.
Dynamics 365, Power Apps, Power BI, and Microsoft Dataverse
The wave 2 release will help provide a seamless experience for professional developers and users to deploy solutions in Power Platform with deeper integration.
To leverage AI Builder’s capability for automation and scaling, Microsoft will be investing in content intelligence – especially in document automation where there will be better support provided for multiple layouts, working with form controls and expanding support for more languages. There will also be improvements made to the AI model discovery experience in addition to improving performance metrics and simplifying the authoring experience as a primary focus for the release of wave 2.
Power Virtual Agents
There will be improvements introduced in the authoring experience with variable passing between topics, list variables, online images and videos, regular expressions in custom entities and commenting. Bot creation templates will be available as well as sharing bots with security groups and new AI capabilities to build bots automatically from website content.
Microsoft Power Platform Governance and administration and ISV experiences
Microsoft Power Platform governance and administration
Some new capabilities will be introduced in the new wave which will help IT professionals and administrators with set up, securing and adopting the governance and administration of the platform across enterprise. In addition, a unified API surface and rich tooling such as PowerShell cmdlets will also be available to provide a fully automatable management capabilities beyond the out-of-box portal experience.
Microsoft Power Platform ISV experiences
Additional capabilities including enhancements to the current ISV Studio and more application management capabilities like tenant-level application usage metrics and opt-in feature will automatically update third party ISV applications.
These are the key areas Microsoft are planning to invest in for Data Integration updates in wave 2:
- Microsoft Power Platform Dataflows
Microsoft will be enabling the dataflows experience in Dataverse from Teams so that users will be able to easily populate data and build better applications.
- Enhance data integrations
By enabling analytics on Dataverse data through Export to Data Lake in Common Data Model form, new and enhanced connectors and improvements in the connectivity platform, data integration will be able to advance. Other enhancements will include Office data integration to allow new insights, extending dual-write for more entities, improving Data Export Service and enhancing Gateway for enterprises and Robotics Process Automation (RPA).
- End-to-end diagnostics
Users will be able to better diagnose and fix issues in queries or Gateway.
- Common Data Model
Established as an industry-wide structure and semantics of underlying data so that customers can reason about that data to various business application solutions, analytics and machine learning algorithms.
Delivery timelines and projected functionality will possibly change or might not published. However, you can keep an eye out for the general availability of the production deployment for the Power Platform 2021 release wave 2 from the 1st of October 2021.
If you would like to learn more about these updates or about Power Platform in general, please get in touch with us and let us know how we can help you get started today.