Explore the 2021 Release Wave 2 Plans for Power Platform

On July 14, 2021, Microsoft published the 2021 release wave 2 plans for Power Platform, a compilation of new capabilities that are planned to be released between October 2021 and March 2022.

The author of this page: Deirdre Lysaght
Deirdre Lysaght, Marketing Executive Jul 28, 2021

This second release wave of the year offers hundreds of new features and enhancements, demonstrating Microsoft's continued investment to power digital transformation for its customers.

Highlights from Microsoft Power Platform

Power BI continues to invest in three key areas that drive a data culture:

  • empower every individual with AI-infused insights,

  • empower every team with BI woven into the fabric where teams work,

  • and empower every organisation to meet the most demanding enterprise needs.

Power BI Pro continues to invest in creator experiences with new report authoring tools. Consumer experiences continue to evolve, both in the Power BI service and the Power BI mobile applications. This includes improvements to Excel export from table and matrix visuals and easy creation from Microsoft Dataverse and Dynamics 365. Lastly, Power BI integration in Microsoft Teams continues to evolve, deepening the integration in channels, chats, and notifications within Teams. Power BI Premium continues to invest in the following areas:

  • Auto-scale and pay-as-you-go pricing to scale beyond resource capacity without drops in performance.

  • Interactive experiences over big data by making reports highly performant automatically on big data sources such as Azure Synapse Analytics.

Power Apps brings significant improvements for developers of all skill levels, improving the sophistication and usability of apps that can be created across the web and mobile devices. We are launching the unified, modern Power Apps designer to quickly build modern apps leveraging the best of both canvas and model in a single app. Developers can now take advantage of intelligent authoring, using AI in Power Apps Studio to generate code using natural language for rapid app development. Makers will also be able to configure apps for offline use using a reinvented maker experience. Power Apps portals are focused on enhancements in the areas of portals platform, new capabilities for pro-development, and increased developer productivity. Several new capabilities are being added with a specific focus on pro-development such as the general availability of portals support for Power Apps component framework as well as support for continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) using Power Apps command-line interface (CLI)—the first step toward a comprehensive Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) story for developers and ISVs.

Power Automate continues to invest in several areas including Cloud flows with templates for Microsoft Teams and further integrations enabling administrators to push solutions that contain flows across the teams in their organisation. Document automation, an end-to-end solution for processing documents at scale for document data extraction, becomes generally available during this release wave. Power Automate Desktop brings more WinAutomation actions to Desktop flows as well as new RPA-enabled scenarios for more Dynamics 365 applications, and it will be possible to use Dataverse and over 475 API connectors directly from Desktop flows.

Power Virtual Agents brings improvements in the authoring experience with topic suggestions from bot sessions, Power Apps Portals integration, data loss prevention options, proactive bot update messaging in Microsoft Teams, and more. We’re also building on our Power Automate integration with enhanced error handling and new topic trigger management to improve your bot’s triggering capabilities.

AI Builder will focus on providing new functionalities centered around intelligent document processing experiences. New functionalities will include the ability to extract a broader set of content types in documents such as checkboxes, signatures, typed fields like date and currency, as well as support for more prebuilt models in the Document Automation solution (for example, receipts and invoices). Integration of AI Models will also be supported through the Power Apps formula bar.

Early access period

Starting August 2, 2021, customers and partners will be able to validate the latest features in a non-production environment. These features include user experience enhancements that will be automatically enabled for users in production environments during October 2021. Take advantage of the early access period, try out the latest updates in a non-production environment, and get ready to roll out updates to your users with confidence. To see the early access features, check out the Microsoft Power Platform page.

Check out the highlights from 2021 release wave 2 plans for Microsoft Dynamics 365 in our blog sequel.

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