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How to Ensure Continuous QA with Microsoft’s New Proactive Quality Updates

Maria Homann

Maria Homann

The news about Microsoft’s new Proactive Quality Updates came out on Friday, March 17th, and with it, discussions amongst Microsoft’s users on what the impact will be. In this post, we outline what you need to consider, and how you can work towards a strategy that will secure the continuity of your D365 systems with every update.

Why the D365 Proactive Quality Updates?

On March 17th, Microsoft announced the next step in their D365 One Version mission. One Version is about getting all Microsoft’s users onto the same version of their software. Doing this will allow Microsoft to fix issues and push those solutions out to the customers more quickly, enhancing the quality and customer experience of their products.

How does a Service Update differ from a Proactive Quality Update?

As opposed to Service Updates, the PQUs do not include new features but focus only on fixes and improvements.

What do D365 Proactive Quality Updates mean for QA?

Microsoft announced what this will mean in their update on the release (see the full list here). For QA teams, perhaps most noteworthy is that updates will automatically be applied monthly. This sets new requirements for the QA process, and for testing in particular.

Dynamics 365 updates can’t be delayed, paused or rescheduled (with the exception of FDA-regulated organizations). They can, however, be planned for. With a full 2023 Quality Update calendar made available ahead of time on the release page, administrators have time to review. Teams will know when the updates occur, and can put a schedule in place for testing. No action is required for customers - the PQUs will be applied automatically during the maintenance windows with no expected downtime. The sandbox environment will be upgraded first, followed by the production environment.

However, as per QA and Dynamics testing best practices, it is highly recommended to test any new software before pushing it to the production environment for consumption. While PQUs focus exclusively on fixing issues, any change to software brings a risk of introducing new issues. Once the update is applied to the sandbox environment, testing should be conducted to ensure that no major issues slip through to production, impacting business continuity.

How can QA teams secure continuous testing?

To keep up with monthly updates, an automated testing strategy should be considered.

Consider a testing solution that:

  • Works seamlessly across the D365 product package and your IT landscape
  • Integrates into your existing CI/CD pipeline
  • Is easy to use and easy to maintain, so your D365 business experts can work directly with the solution, and aren’t dependent on developers
  • Comes with scheduling and automatic trigger capabilities, so you can test more easily with every release
  • Is tried and tested by organizations of similar size and complexity to yours

Take this information a step further by accessing this tool evaluation checklist for D365. You'll find information on how to assess whether a tool fits the above criteria, and how to find a solution that helps you meet your D365 release on time, with every update.

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