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Demystifying Solution Version Numbers: The Impact of Patches on Versioning in Dynamics 365

Demystifying Solution Version Numbers: The Impact of Patches on Versioning in Dynamics 365

Solution version numbers are important for a number of reasons. For example, it helps users know if the solution they are using is the latest, it lets people know if the version they are using has bug fixes present, and it helps Development teams identify specific builds and configurations in question to do their work on. Patch management in Dynamics365 also impacts our version numbers.

Why do we need “patch” solutions in Dynamics 365?

When it comes to Dynamics 365 CRM implementations, the need for "patch" solutions arises as a practical and agile approach to addressing bugs or issues that may surface for your released solution in production while you are in the middle of a build cycle to add new features to the solution.

Imagine coming across an unexpected bug while in the midst of your build cycle. Instead of waiting for a full solution release, patch solutions provide a targeted and efficient way to deploy specific changes or fixes to the affected environments.

By leveraging patch solutions, organizations can implement crucial bug fixes without the need for a complete release that may contain unfinished work.

What is the difference between a “patch” and a “hot fix”?

A "hotfix" is a focused and expedited solution that targets critical issues or bugs. It is specifically designed to provide an immediate resolution to urgent problems that may negatively impact system functionality or user experience. "Hot fixes" are typically deployed swiftly to mitigate disruptions and ensure the smooth operation of your Dynamics 365 CRM system.

On the other hand, a "patch" is an update that encompasses a bundle of fixes, updates, or enhancements. It is a more comprehensive solution that addresses multiple issues or introduces multiple improvements simultaneously. "Patches" are typically released at singular intervals and are aimed at enhancing the overall performance, stability, and security of the Dynamics 365 CRM system.

The main distinction lies in the scope and focus of each solution. While a "hot fix" homes in on a specific critical issue, a "patch" casts a wider net, encompassing multiple fixes and enhancements in a consolidated package.

In the realm of Dynamics 365 CRM solution management, the distinction between "hot fixes" and "patches" may not always be a significant factor. When it comes to deploying updates, my approach focuses on utilizing patches to address critical issues and ensure system stability, rather than introducing new functionality.

How does a patch solution change your solution version number?

When you create a patch for an unmanaged solution, the recommendation is that you update the fourth section of the version number.

The version number in Dynamics 365 solutions follows the format Major.Minor.Build.Revision.

·      The major version number is typically incremented when significant changes or major releases of the solution exist. It is typically incremented at the start of a project.

·      The minor version number is incremented for enhancements(i.e., new feature releases) that do not introduce breaking changes.

·      The build number is used for internal tracking and may be incremented for each build or release. A build-in traditional software development is when you compile your code into an executable. In theDynamics365 world, a build is when you generate a

·      The revision number is the section that increments when creating a patch for an unmanaged solution.

For example, if your solution has a version number of1.0.0.0 and you create a patch, then increment the revision number to indicates that the patch is a hot fix to the existing solution.

How do we reconcile new functionality with critical bugfixes for new releases?

When completing a build cycle, the ultimate goal is to introduce new functionality into the production environment. Simultaneously, there might be an existing patch solution addressing a critical bug that requires immediate attention. To seamlessly merge these elements, we rely on the "clone the solution" feature.

What happens to the solution version number when you collapse a patch back into the solution?

When you do this, it will increment the minor number. For example, if your solution is now and you pull the patch back into the main solution with the Clone to Solution feature, then the version number would become

Happy software engineering everyone!

About Purely CRM

For close to a decade our Purely CRM team has been laser-like focused on delivering CRM solutions built solely on Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM, combined with Power Apps and the Microsoft Power Platform. We’ve expanded our team immensely in the past years to help better serve our clients and partners. Most recently we merged with Endeavour Solutions, a top Microsoft ERP, CRM, and Cloud consulting firm to further expand our talented team of CRM consultants.

Our core focus is on large mid-market and enterprise CRM Design & Development projects, Staff Augmentation, and CRM Support. When needed we can also tap upon our peers at Endeavour for Dynamics 365 Business Central ERP to provide an All-in-One Cloud ERP-CRM.  We provide services to clients Coast to Coast across the United States and Canada. We do not use resources overseas.

Reach out to explore our track record, rates, skills, and approach to discover how we can collaborate and drive YOUR SUCCESS.

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