Microsoft has streamlined the update process of its Dynamics 365 platform to help clients to get on the latest version quickly and take advantage of the latest technologies. This new approach helps Microsoft serve clients better by focusing on the support needs of the latest versions of the software.

There are two types of updates that happen in a year according to this new approach. You have the regular monthly updates that help solve specific business issues and improve performance. The other update is in the form of a major release that happens twice a year.

Planning your Microsoft Dynamics 365 tests

Microsoft has made it easy for clients to plan testing requirements. The updates happen in a consistent, predictable, and seamless manner giving you enough flexibility to ensure there is limited impact on the functioning of your business. You can expect a downtime of 30 minutes to one hour for a successful update.

Getting started

Start planning your updates of the major releases with the “release notes” that will be available 2-3 months before the scheduled update. The release notes give you a comprehensive understanding of the new functionalities in the upcoming release and the changes you have to be prepared for. You will also get a preview of all the new functionalities that your team can test in a non-production environment to get a feel of the new features.

Flexibility and backward compatibility

Microsoft offers a lot of flexibility in the update process. If you feel that the updates in a particular month are not critical for your business, or if you have a pressing need in your business and cannot afford any down time; you have the option to pause, delay, or opt-out of couple of consecutive updates. You can also choose to schedule the update at a convenient time and are not bound to follow the suggested time in the Lifecycle Services (LCS).

All the updates are backward compatible, which means you can run the new version of Microsoft Dynamics 365 without having to recompile, reconfigure, or redeploy the customizations that are present in the previous versions. The protected metadata and APIs are not changed or removed in an update. If Microsoft feels that a certain API is outdated and it has to be removed, the same is communicated 12 months in advance.

Have an independent test team

An independent test team performs a high-level test before the actual sign-off of an update. Some of the functions of this team include test scenario documentation, test automation, Build Acceptance Test, Build Verification Test, and Exit Criteria.

The high-level test includes one or more of the following activities:

  • Full fledge testing in the designated test environment.
  • Updating the test status and run logs in DevOps.
  • Issues reported are documented and tracked in DevOps, and the identified issues are tracked after resolution.
  • Retesting of artefacts once the issue is resolved and re-updating the test design.

Why to use the Regression Suite Automation Tool

The Regression Suite Automation Tool (RSAT) from Microsoft helps clients reduce manual effort needed in testing after an update. The software is fully integrated with Microsoft Azure DevOps.

RSAT significantly reduces the time and cost of various testing (Build Verification Test, Unit Testing, Component Testing, Regression Testing, and UAT). Using the Finance and Operations task recorder, functional power users can record business tasks and convert them into a suite of automated tests without the need to write code.

The test team performs the following tasks while automating testing using RSAT:

  • Identify the key business scenarios used by the client.
  • Document test designs and test scripts that can be automated.
  • Automate the test scripts; distribute tests to be run on multiple systems; and verify and document results.
  • Document the success criteria which can be produced after every update for compliance and auditing purpose.
  • Deploy the update, run regressions, and publish results.
  • Be responsible for sign offs so the update can be moved to other development environments and eventually signed off for production update through LCS.

What to expect from your test team

The main role of the test team is to document key business scenarios and look for opportunities to automate while augmenting the work of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 support team. The tasks of the test team in terms of maintenance include the following:

  • Code and Build Management, deploying code and update to existing or new servers.
  • Upgrade of code, modify any interface configurations, and updates to DEV and Test environments.
  • Evaluate the impact of new features.
  • Complete test of all key business scenarios on UAT environment.
  • Check automation of new features.
  • Document updates, including updates to release notes.
  • Check updates to technical guides and functional documents.
  • Work on adding automation tests to be used for Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform monthly updates.
  • Repeat iteration of tasks for all managed hot fix and major release updates.
  • Maintain DevOps code and best practice checks.
  • Produce exit criteria with evidence of tests conducted and verified data.
  • Publish reports to key stakeholders to attain signoff of updates to production and ensure compliance of regulations.

The advantage

At, we have 30+ years of experience in helping clients in over 80 countries with Microsoft Dynamics 365 implementations. Our qualified test engineers are trained on RSAT test automation and have significant experience on DevOps activities, build deployment, and test automation.

Our test engineers have tested over 450 key business scenarios, automated 1,181 test scripts in RSAT, and have put in over 1,600 hours of testing efforts in Microsoft Dynamics 365 version 10.0.11 or above. Through automation, our clients have been able to achieve greater stability, lower maintenance, and improved quality in their business systems.

If you would like to talk to us about your Microsoft Dynamics 365 test automation needs, please contact