Welcome to opening day at Microsoft Build 2021! We’re happy to be here (virtually) with you again and are excited to share with you all the great new features and tools we’ve built on the Microsoft Teams platform that you can use to build the next generation of collaborative apps for hybrid work. We’ve got everything from new features enabling richer meeting scenarios to how admins can empower better app adoption to new Teams app store experiences to drive better user engagement. We can’t wait to see the new collaborative experiences you can create with these!
Over the last year, the needs of customers changed dramatically as we shifted to remote and now hybrid work. Those needs moved towards collaboration versus individual productivity and desire for synchronous and asynchronous modes of collaboration. Microsoft Teams was built with the very purpose of enabling collaboration, and so a net new creative and economic opportunity has risen for developers to build the next generation of applications where collaboration is at the core. We call this new class of apps - collaborative apps. Learn more about our vision of collaborative apps built on the Microsoft Cloud at the technical keynote session led by Jeff Teper and at the ‘Into Focus’ session with Rajesh Jha.
Collaboration remains top of mind for every organization and will be critical as we navigate the new way of work in a hybrid workplace. Here are some of the new features that you can use to build rich collaboration experiences.
Shared stage integration available in preview
You can now build apps that enable real-time, multi-user collaboration experiences by extending the “main stage” of a Teams meeting. This will enable users to add an app and share it with other attendees to provide in-the-moment collaboration – such as scenarios involving whiteboarding, design, project boards, and more. Check out our docs to learn how to get started.
App utilizing shared stage
New meeting event APIs available in preview
More meeting event APIs are now available (in preview) like that you can utilize to integrate a broad breadth of meeting scenarios. Enable the automation of meeting related workflows through events such as meeting start/meeting end, for example. Learn how to utilize this feature at our docs.
Together Mode extensibility coming this summer
You will soon be able to easily create your own custom scenes for Teams meetings and share them with others. Using a scene designer tool in the Developer Portal, you can craft custom scenes and configure where users show up – making meetings more fun, inclusive, and engaging. We even have a custom scene that our very own team created that we’re excited to share with you today! Learn how to start building scenes today.
Media APIs coming this summer
You’ll soon be able to utilize Teams meeting media APIs that will provide real-time access to audio and video streams to build scenarios like transcription, translation, note taking, insights gathering and more. These APIs will have resource specific consent enabled, so admins can view these permissions from the Teams Admin Center and ensure that applications have access to only the meeting they have been added to.
Azure Communication Services with Teams interoperability available in preview
At Ignite, we unveiled the preview of Azure Communication Services with Teams interoperability – enabling you with rich communication APIs, SDKs, and UI frameworks to build branded communication experiences and apps that work outside of Teams but also provide interoperability within Teams, as well. While still in preview, we’d love for you to learn more and get started with this service today.
App utilizing Azure Communication Services via SMS
Fluid components in Microsoft Teams are now available in private preview
Fluid components are now available in private preview and will expand to more customers in the coming months. Fluid components in Teams chat allow end users to send a message with a table, action items or a list that can be co-authored and edited by everyone in line and that is shareable across Office applications like Outlook. Quickly align across teams and get work done efficiently, by copy pasting components across Teams chats. With Fluid components users can ideate, create, and decide together, while holding fewer meetings and minimizing the need for long chat threads.
Fluid component in a Teams chat and mobile
Adaptive Cards for Teams tabs available in preview
You can now create apps without needing to write a single piece of HTML or CSS code. Using Adaptive Cards as your UI layer, you can build your app with ready-made UI components that look and feel native on desktop, web and mobile. We’re starting with tabs built for individual workspaces and experiences and then will expand to other surfaces – like group chats, channels, and meetings in the future.
Tab built with Adaptive Cards UI components
New features for Adaptive Cards in Teams available in preview
Adaptive Cards are an open card exchange format enabling you to exchange UI content in a common and consistent way. We’ve focused heavily on Adaptive Cards this past year for both desktop and mobile experiences – and are happy to share some new features available to you such as people picker, search, enhanced images, information masking, overflow menu, labeling, and form validation. Learn more on how you can utilize these new features.
Universal actions for Adaptive Cards available now
You can now build one Adaptive Card and deploy it across Teams and Outlook, using the new universal action model “Action.Execute”. Before, users needed to build two separate Adaptive Cards integrations on Outlook and Teams. With universal actions, one bot-based integration works on both, and it works for desktop and mobile devices. Learn more on how you can get started today.
Activity Feed API available now
By integrating with Activity Feed API via the Microsoft Graph, you can easily surface engaging, actionable content from your own app through notifications within the Microsoft Teams ‘Feed’ panel. This allows your apps to provide richer experiences and better engage users by helping to keep them up to date with changes in the tools and workflows they use. Get started with this API today.
Message Extensions in Outlook coming soon
Coming soon this summer, message extensions will be supported in Outlook on web, providing a unified development experience of building message extensions once that work on both Microsoft Teams and Outlook. No additional development effort is required, so you can build once and deploy.
Message extension in Outlook on web
Building innovative solutions for the future of work requires empowering developers with the best engineering tools to do their job. Check out the top new tools we’ve built to streamline Teams app development.
Microsoft Teams Toolkit for Visual Studio & Visual Studio Code available for preview
The enhanced Teams toolkit for Visual Studio & Visual Studio Code simplifies building Teams desktop and mobile apps by providing more out-of-the-box integrations across the Microsoft stack. Notable new features include Azure Functions integration, single-line Microsoft Graph Client, SPFx integration and streamlined hosting to an integrated development environment (IDE). Install the Teams Toolkit today.
Teams Toolkit for Visual Studio Code
Microsoft Teams Developer Portal available now
The Developer Portal provides you a dedicated app management console available via web or within Teams, which you can use to register and configure your apps within a single, central location. Key features include the ability manage environment configurations, collaboration with peers, app usage insights (preview), and more! Get started with Developer Portal today.
Power Platform app and bot building improvement
We also recently made it easy to take your app, bots, flows, tables, and associated resources from one Dataverse for Teams environment to another, ensuring that you can leverage these assets for new scenarios. This feature allows your fusion development teams to share resources, and it helps you better manage apps and data over their lifecycle.
Once an app is created and deployed, the next step is to get it discovered and adopted, which means getting it in front of IT. Check out these new features where developers can encourage admins to enable your apps across their tenants.
Admin notifications for custom apps coming soon
Coming soon, when you submit a line-of-business app to your tenant catalog, your admins will be able to receive a notification through a dedicated team and channel through an opt-in control. When clicking for more details, they’ll be able to review and approve your app. Learn more on admin notification for custom apps.
Microsoft 365 Certified App capabilities coming soon
The Microsoft 365 App Compliance Program allows you to certify your apps based on industry best practices, receiving a badge of recognition. If your app becomes Microsoft 365 Certified, you’ll unlock a new tab which shares your certification information, like GAAP compliance and data retention policies – allowing your hard work in building secure apps to be discovered. Learn more about Microsoft 365 Certification today.
App Configuration available in private preview
Admins can now configure apps to meet their specific needs through the ‘Settings’ tab within the Teams Admin Center. Come join our preview today.
App Customization available now
Developers can now enable admins to be able to rebrand their third-party app to match their company internal branding look and feel, helping your app become a tailored fit with your customer. Doing so reduces roadblocks in users’ understanding and adoption of the app and reduces enterprises’ hesitation to adopt apps. Learn more about app customization today.
Search & Compliance Microsoft Graph Connectors coming later this year
Admins will be able to enable third-party apps into enterprise search, compliance, and intelligent discovery via the Microsoft Graph. End users can search through your app data, like how you can search for Teams chats and SharePoint files today. This means users can more easily find your content and re-engage with your app.
Direct purchases & invoice billing in Teams Admin Center coming soon
Coming this summer, admins will be able to purchase third-party apps directly from the Teams Admin Center, and also purchase using invoice billing, which is the preferred enterprise payment method. This unlocks the purchases of third-party apps at scale and provides greater opportunities for app monetization.
Integrated apps in the Microsoft 365 Admin Center available now
Admins can now deploy SaaS apps to various Microsoft 365 platforms, like Teams and Outlook, in a single location from the Microsoft 365 Admin Center. They can configure user access and complete tasks like granting AAD admin consent across these platforms. After an app has been deployed, they can manage it across its various Microsoft surfaces together as a suite, without jumping between admin centers. Enable unified deployment and management by linking apps together in Partner Center. Learn more about integrated apps in Microsoft 365 Admin Center.
Power Platform enhanced distribution
We continue to invest in making it easier to build low code apps, bots, and flows in and for Teams, and we are making it easier to distribute these low code solutions to the users that need them. Soon you will be able to share bots built with Power Virtual Agents broadly with security groups just like you already can for apps built with Power Apps.
App adoption is dependent on end users being able to discover your app. We’ve made significant enhancements to our Teams store, and we’re excited to share some of the new features that will enhance app discovery.
Coming this summer, users will experience a newly designed Teams app store that provides an easy to navigate layout:
Organization branding and custom app categorization available now
Admins can customize the look and feel of the Teams app store to enable configuration with the logos and colors of their organization. In addition, we are happy to share the ability for users to discover the tools unique to their organization with the “Built for your org” categorization.
Enhanced discovery and usage of apps across channels, chats, and meetings
We’ve made significant strides in how users can discover and use apps in the flow of work on desktop and mobile. Users have a more streamlined experience where they can easily discover apps in the context of channels, chats, and meetings. In addition, with the integration of single sign-on authentication, users can instantly use the apps right when they add.
Discover and add apps through Teams Mobile
We’re excited to announce that users can now discover and add your apps directly from their Teams mobile experience. These experiences have been crafted specifically for ease of use on a mobile device. For example, users can add apps to Teams directly from a link or QR code that are shared with them.
Purchase subscriptions directly from Teams app store coming soon
Coming soon this summer, users will be able to purchase third-party apps directly from the Teams app store. From within the store, users can view the subscription plans offered and can go through the checkout process and pay with credit card or invoice billing – making the app purchasing process even simpler. Developers will only need to create their SaaS offer and use the Developer Portal for Microsoft Teams to validate and enable their subscriptions in Teams.
Before you leave, be sure to check out all the great Teams sessions at Build, which you can find in our session brochure and visit our developer resources to get you started building Teams apps!
Thank you all for reading and being a part of our Microsoft Teams Community. Your feedback has been critical in the development of Teams and we wouldn’t have reached this point without it!
Have a great week at Build and happy coding!
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