2021 has been an exciting year for the entire Power Platform, especially Dataverse. The product teams have been on fire (thanks @NHelgren, @rc and team!) releasing new features and bug fixes at an impressive rate (and it’s hard to impress me!). I'm sure 2022 will be as exciting and looking forward to it!
I thought I'll pull together my top features not announced but released in 2021 that you should be aware of and can enable/start using right away. I've selected these based on their usefulness and how long they've been requested for. Also note that these might still be in preview while others have reached General Availability (GA). In my experience, preview doesn't mean you can't use them in production. It just means it's their 1st release, and that Microsoft is monitoring them closely and are very open to feedback, so in short, you'll probably get better support for preview features 😉
Maker Portal (make.powerapps.com) enhancements – As a developer, I constantly needed to switch to the classic to perform some of the configuration, but with the latest enhancements I rarely switch to classic anymore. I invite anyone who hasn't made the switch yet to try out the updated Maker portal experience. More changes are coming and complete parity is expected in 2022! https://powerapps.microsoft.com/blog/managing-solutions-has-a-new-look-public-preview
Environment Variables (EV) as data sources – Before EVs, we had to create some kind of custom system configuration table to put environment specific settings like URLs and feature flags. EVs eliminates this need and are solution aware. With the latest updates, EVs are now treated as a data source in Power Automate and Canvas Apps which simplifies a lot the build! https://powerapps.microsoft.com/blog/announcing-data-source-environment-variables
Hope this was helpful and happy Power Platforming!