Microsoft expands development options for teams meeting / collaboration software
Microsoft kicked off the Ignite 2021 tech event this week by announcing a host of new development opportunities for teams, its meeting / collaboration software.
The event, which will take place from Tuesday November 2nd to Thursday November 4th, is aimed at IT professionals, decision makers, implementers, architects, developers and data experts.
“Microsoft Teams enables customers to incorporate their favorite apps into their workflow and gives developers the ability to create immersive experiences in their Teams apps,” Microsoft said in its Book of News. “New updates to the Teams platform make it easier for employees to optimize important workflows in teams.”
“With this new manifest and SDK, you can make a few minor changes and your app will launch and work seamlessly across Teams, Outlook, and Office.com,” said Microsoft. “From the administrator’s point of view, these apps can be launched from new, convenient locations and will continue to be managed through the Teams Admin Center with the same applied security and access policies.”
Together, the new SDK and Manifesto now give developers the ability to expand their Teams apps into personal tabs so that the same app and functionality can be viewed in three places at the same time: Teams, Outlook, and Office.com. Speaking of Outlook, it now supports message extensions that allow user interactions with web apps, such as: B. Searching and retrieving data and sharing in conversations as a map.
Microsoft has also spiced up the Teams Toolkit, which is purportedly the fastest way to advance Teams app development with Microsoft 365 and Azure integrations. Available as a preview in the Visual Studio Code Marketplace, the extension helps developers build, debug, and deploy Teams apps. The company announced a few things here.
“First, Teams Toolkit offers one-line authentication,” said Microsoft. “You can get a user’s profile with a one-line statement that works on both the client and the server. Plus, it only takes a single line of instruction to get an authenticated Microsoft Graph client – and you get access to the vast corporate data behind these APIs Speaking of individual lines, the Teams Toolkit lets you get all of the components with a single command from the CLI, CD, or Deploy IDE.
“With the integration of Azure Functions in the toolkit, you can switch gears a little and write front-end and back-end code in the same project. Last but not least, you can use Blazor to build Microsoft Teams apps! ”For more information on building a Teams app with Blazor, developers can refer to the aptly named” Building Your First App With Blazor “.
On the collaboration front, an update improves the experience with third-party embedded apps, where partners and companies can create custom line-of-business apps that are embedded in the Teams collaboration service. Microsoft has announced new collaborative apps from partners like Atlassian’s Jira Cloud and SAP Sales & Service Core that allow customers to interact with such apps through chat, channels and meetings.
Other improvements include updates to Power Virtual Agents such as:
- Development of fusion bots: Comments can be added for better collaboration. Any bot maker can share ideas, concerns, and questions by leaving comments on specific topics so conversations can take place right within the authoring experience (preview).
- Always available service: Bots can be connected to telephone call interactions as Interactive Voice Response (IVR) for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service. The bot can answer the call to the phone number using voice recognition and text-to-speech, and then pass the context to live agents, eliminating the need for repeated questions (generally available).
- Power Virtual Agents as a skill: Power Virtual Agents bots can now be used as Microsoft Bot Framework skills. Customers with Bot Framework bots deployed within the organization can easily be augmented with Power Virtual Agents bots (generally available).
Microsoft also previewed team interoperability with Azure Communication Services, a set of SDKs and APIs that developers use to add communication capabilities to any application. Teams interoperability helps programmers optimize voice, video, and chat interactions between users of a custom app or website and Teams users. “This is ideal for many business-to-consumer scenarios, such as: For example, healthcare professionals providing remote care, financial advisors helping consumers apply for credit, or support professionals helping users install a new product, ”said Microsoft. The first new feature will allow an Azure Communication Services user to attend a scheduled Teams meeting that is expected next month.
Microsoft also expects to add functionality to the recently launched share-to-stage feature that will allow sharing app content from the side panel for the main phase of a Teams meeting. In this way, the participants can not only see each other, but also interact and authorize together. The development team will be releasing new APIs in the Teams Client SDK later this month to enable the release of certain app content for the meeting phase. “This allows developers to configure their meeting app so that users can select certain content within the app to share – useful for scenarios where they may have multiple sets of content to choose from.”
Teams also plays a role in Microsoft 365 Developer Program updates. “We added a new Teams sample data package and developer environment,” said Microsoft. “This includes five sample teams, channels, tabs, and chats created for 16 sample users. We also preinstalled and pinned the Developer Portal (formerly App Studio) so that you can create your Teams app manifest and app. It also includes a map editor and React Control library. Oh – and the Teams app is pre-configured to sideload. ” Learn more here.
Stay tuned for more developer-related news from Microsoft Ignite 2021.
David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.