Microsoft expands team development options – Visual Studio Magazine



Microsoft Expands Development Options for Team Meeting / Collaboration Software

Microsoft kicked off this week’s Ignite 2021 tech event by announcing a slew of new development opportunities for Teams, its meeting / collaboration software.

The event, which runs from Tuesday November 2 to Thursday November 4, is aimed at IT professionals, decision makers, implementers, architects, developers and data professionals.

On the development side, Teams was at the forefront with a slew of announcements including a preview of the Teams JavaScript SDK, interoperability / integration with Azure Communication Services and many other offerings, an improved Teams toolkit and more. again, including the ability to build Teams apps with Blazor.

“Microsoft Teams allows customers to integrate 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 users to streamline key workflows in Teams. ”

A new thing to help with this is the preview of a new Teams JavaScript SDK, as well as a new manifesto, a file that describes how a web app should be presented in the Teams UI, which then displays the app. using an app package with this. manifest file.

“With this new manifesto and this new SDK, you can make some minor changes and your app will launch and work seamlessly in Teams, Outlook, and,” Microsoft said. “From an admin perspective, these apps can be launched from new, convenient locations and are still managed through the Teams Admin Center with the same security and access policies enforced. ”

Together, the new SDK and manifesto now give developers the ability to extend their Teams apps to personal tabs, so the same app and functionality can be viewed at the same time in three places: Teams, Outlook, and Office. com. Speaking of Outlook, it now supports message extensions that allow users to interact with web applications, such as finding and retrieving data and sharing it in conversations as a card.

Azure communication services interoperability
[Click on image for larger view.] Azure communication services interoperability (source: Microsoft).

Microsoft has also beefed up the Teams Toolkit, which it says is the fastest way to speed up Teams app creation with Microsoft 365 and Azure integrations. Available in the Visual Studio Code Marketplace preview, the extension helps developers build, debug, and deploy Teams apps. The company has announced a few things here.

“First of all, Teams Toolkit provides single-line authentication,” Microsoft said. “You can get a user profile with a single line statement that works on both client and server. It also only takes a single line statement to get an authenticated Microsoft Graph client, giving you access to the rich organizational data behind these APIs. While we’re talking about single lines, Teams Toolkit allows you to deploy all components with a single command from the CLI, CD, or IDE.

“With a change of speed, with Azure Functions integration into the toolkit, you can write front-end and back-end code in the same project. And finally, you can build Microsoft Teams apps with Blazor! Developers can find more information on creating a Teams app with Blazor in the aptly named “Build your first app using Blazor.”

On the collaboration front, an update improves the experience of third-party integrated applications, where partners and enterprises can build custom business applications that integrate with the Teams collaborative service. Microsoft announced new collaborative partner apps, including Atlassian’s Jira Cloud and SAP Sales & Service Core, which allow customers to interact with these apps through chat, channels and meetings.

Other improvements include updates to Power Virtual Agents such as:

  • Development of fusion robots: Comments can be added to allow better collaboration. Any bot creator can share ideas, concerns, and questions by leaving comments related to specific topics, allowing conversations to flow directly into the creation experience (preview).
  • Permanent service: Bots can be connected to phone call interactions as an 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, then feed the context to live agents, eliminating the need to repeat (usually available) questions.
  • 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 across the organization can easily extend with Power Virtual Agents (generally available) bots.

Microsoft also previewed Teams’ interoperability with Azure Communication Services, which is a set of SDKs and APIs that developers use to empower any application with communication capabilities. Interoperability in Teams helps coders streamline 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 healthcare professionals providing remote care, financial advisors helping consumers with a loan application, or support staff helping users install. a new product, ”Microsoft said. The first new feature will allow an Azure Communication Services user to join a scheduled Teams meeting, scheduled for next month.

Azure communication services interoperability
[Click on image for larger view.] Azure communication services interoperability (source: Microsoft).

Microsoft is also planning to add functionality to the recently introduced on-stage sharing feature that enables sharing of app content from the side panel to the main stage of a Teams meeting. This allows participants not only to see each other, but also to interact and co-write together. The dev team later this month will deliver new APIs in the Teams Client SDK to enable sharing of specific application content at the meeting stage. “This allows developers to configure their meeting app so that users can select specific content within the app to share – useful for scenarios where they can choose from multiple sets of content.”

Scene sharing
[Click on image for larger view.] Scene sharing (source: Microsoft).

Teams are also featured in updates to the Microsoft 365 Developer Program. “We’ve added a new sample Teams data pack and development environment,” Microsoft said. “This includes five sample Teams, Channels, Tabs, and Discussions built around 16 sample users. We also preinstalled and pinned the Developer Portal (formerly App Studio) to help you streamline the creation of your Teams app manifesto and app package. . It also includes a map editor and React Control library. Oh – and the Teams app sideloading is preconfigured. “More information on this is available here.

Stay tuned for more developer news from Microsoft Ignite 2021.

About the Author

David Ramel is editor and writer for Converge360.

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