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How does Microsoft update Power Apps?

If you're interested in finding out more about how Microsoft applies updates to Power Apps, here's a brief overview of the process.

How does Microsoft update the Power Apps and the Power Platform? What process does it follow? If you're interested in finding out more, I recommend watching the video by Kimberly Williams here:


Not only does the video provide an excellent insight into how the update process works, it also clarifies much of the behaviour that Power App builders are familiar with. These include observations such as:

  • Why do bugs seem to affect users in Canada first?
  • Why do users in the UK last to be able to access new features?

Overview - What updates occur and when?

Each year, Microsoft releases the major headline features through 2 product release waves in April and October.

In addition to these big releases, it also publishes weekly releases that contain bug fixes and smaller enhancements.

There are many teams and parts that contribute to every release (eg - the Studio part, the Interface part). Each team will have its own systems and processes, therefore, putting together a single weekly update is a complex task.

How does Microsoft roll out changes to Power Apps?

Instead of rolling out updates globally, Microsoft applies updates incrementally to different regions using what they call the "Safe Deployment Process".

The "Safe Deployment Process" applies updates initially to regions where there are fewer users, or regions where an outage will have less of an impact.

The top of this list includes regions such as Canada, India, and South America, and regions that are last to receive updates include the UK, Europe, and the US.

This explains the trend that we often observe on the forums, where users from the Canadian region are first to report bugs that are not re-creatable by other users.

The release version documentation illustrates the implementation of this release cycle. Notice in the screenshot below how Canada, India, and South America have received v9.2 22015 before Europe and the US.


What happens when things go wrong?

Let's suppose that an update contains a breaking bug. In this situation, Microsoft stops the rollout and fixes the bug. Once the bug is fixed, it will resume the rollout.

How to opt into early releases, how to find the list of most recent changes

We can view the release details and version numbers on the following page. 

In terms of the big "wave" releases that are scheduled for April and October, it's possible to preview the upcoming changes by opting in. We do this through the settings of the environment, and we can find full instructions here.

Conclusion

Microsoft rolls out changes on a weekly basis. The "Safe Deployment Process" minimises the potential impact that could be caused by a faulty update by deploying changes incrementally across different regions of the world. 

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