Understanding Dynamics CRM Online vs. On Premises Update Cycles

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There are a lot of things to consider when choosing whether to deploy Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online or On Premises. Up-front costs, reporting requirements and migration are the most common, but people rarely consider the differences between the online or on premises update cycles.

As an on-premises user who’s been waiting almost six months to get access to the new features in Dynamics CRM 2015 Update 1, I speak from experience when I say update frequency should factor into your decision.

Currently, Microsoft has been pushing Dynamics CRM updates on a bi-annual basis. Spring release is exclusive to CRM Online, so new functionality is available to online first. Fall release updates both CRM Online and On Premises and includes the functionality released in the spring release.

Also, keep in mind that if you’re hosting your CRM somewhere other than with Microsoft, you’re going to be on the on-premises update cycle.

It’s also worth noting that the spring releases aren’t just tweaks to the fall release. The last one included improved navigation and introduced the integrated Excel functionality. Based on how quickly Microsoft has been pushing major changes to Dynamics CRM, we can expect that trend to continue.

Dynamics CRM 2016 was recently announced for Q4 of 2015. It should be available to everyone and include all the spring release improvements for on-premises users but it will only be a few months until the next online-only update is announced. Then on-premises users – myself included – get to play the waiting game all over again.

-Cody Pierson, Marketing & CRM Lead, Prophet Business Group

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