The in-store experience is fundamentally changing as a consequence of new customer demands. Microsoft is therefore performing technology modernization across the Dynamics 365 Commerce workload such as releasing a new Store Commerce Application that will significantly improve the IT Operations- and End-User experience.
The new Store Commerce App is primarily a technology upgrade which means from a capability- and end-user perspective, the difference is limited. However, from a technology standpoint there are major improvements related to performance, reliability, and long-term support on the Windows platform. The biggest difference being a new Commerce Software Development Kit (SDK) with the objective of reducing operational overhead and maintenance cost.
Store Commerce App
As of end of March 2022, the new Store Commerce App is General Available on version 10.0.25. This means a downloadable package is now available for download in Lifecycle Services (LCS) portal for all existing customers.
Initially, the new Store Commerce App is only available on Windows devices but with a clear roadmap from Microsoft to provide Android/iOS availability by Fall 2022/Spring 2023.
Dynamics 365 Store Commerce App
At Engage Group, we are committed to supporting our customers throughout their Dynamics 365 Commerce journeys and have already extensive experience with the new Store Commerce App. While the Preview- versions struggled with certain bugs related to the installation experience, we have now successfully been able to install the GA version without any issues at internal environments as well as at customer Sandbox environments.
With the availability of the new Store Commerce App, it is time for customers currently running the legacy Moder POS (MPOS) to start preparing for a transition to the new app experience.
Call to action
Microsoft has published a high-level release timeline for the new Store Commerce App across various platforms (see table below). Most importantly, the table indicates End-of-Life support for exiting MPOS by Spring 2023 although Microsoft recommends adopting the new technology modernizations in calendar year 2022 to take advantage of all the improvements. Hence, customers’ needs to start planning accordingly to ensure a smooth transition.
- MPOS End-of-Life support – 10.0.32 (Spring 2023)
- Retail SDK End-of-Life support – 10.0.32 (Spring 2023)
- Android/iOS sealed installer available – 10.0.29 (Fall 2022)
Source: Microsoft Whitepaper: Modernizing the Dynamics 365 Commerce in-store technology stack
Arguments in favor of starting early with the transition to the Store Commerce App:
- Parallel rollout – Given the dependencies between the Store Commerce app and the new Commerce SDK, requiring re-activation of MPOS or Store Commer app once rolled out, Microsoft strongly recommends planning for rolling out both changes in parallel. This requires thoroughly planning to not affect existing business.
- Custom footprint – Migrating to the new Commerce SDK might require one-time code changes to existing customizations. Hence, early testing is crucial to identify any breaking changes at an early stage.
- Business value – In the “Modernizing the Dynamics 365 Commerce in-store technology stack”- whitepaper, Microsoft highlights a number of value drivers for transitioning to the new Store Commerce App and Commerce SDK. The sooner you are ready, the sooner you could start leveraging the new capabilities to start driving business value across your organization and customer base.
There are numerous alternatives available for approaching a technology modernization such as this. At Engage Group, we are committed to adopting agile principles where the “Proof of Concept”- model has proven highly successful for similar engagements. Independent of approach, it is of highest importance to start planning your transition together with your product team and any external partner or specialist if applicable. Activities to be included but not limited to the bullets below are:
- Create a high-level project plan and ensure alignment with Microsoft release plan
- Highlight dependencies towards related initiatives (e.g., One Version considerations or other Backlog refinement activities)
- Determine current MPOS custom footprint to assess the need for one-time code changes for existing customizations.
- Decide upon Environment Strategy for deploying and testing the new Store Commerce App in a Sandbox environment.
- Evaluate peripheral equipment that needs to be tested by the new Store Commerce App
- Evaluate external Payment Solution Provider (PSP) solutions if applicable that needs to be tested by the new Store Commerce App and Commerce SDK
- Determine device strategy for adopting the Store Commerce App (e.g., Windows platform only and/or Android/iOS).
Below is a number of useful links to valuable Microsoft resources to help you get started with the new Commerce SDK and Store Commerce App planning.
Contact Engage Group for advisory
Are you in need of advisory to plan for you transition to the new Store Commerce App including the Commerce SDK? Or are you curious to tap into Engage Group’s vast experience on the topic, do not hesitate to contact us!