Microsoft is introducing new capabilities for developers looking to build collaborative apps for Teams and Microsoft 365, including the ability for participants to co-watch, co-edit, co-create and collaborate more directly in Teams meetings.
The company unveiled the new capabilities during its annual Build conference, at which Microsoft introduced Live Share, a new feature that allows developers to use new preview extensions to the Teams software development kit (SDK) to easily extend existing Teams apps and create Live Share experiences in meetings. This can enable participants to watch, edit and create together in Teams meetings.
The feature is backed by the power of Fluid Framework, Microsoft’s “sophisticated synchronization of state, media and control actions with only front-end development.” The synchronization will run on Teams hosted and managed Microsoft Azure Fluid Relay service instance at no cost to customers, the company says.
Microsoft shared examples of the capabilities in action, including autonomous solutions firm Hexagon that allows engineers to annotate and edit 3D models and simulations while brainstorming in Teams meetings.
In a blog, Jeff Teper, corporate vice president of Microsoft 365 Collaboration, says developers are using Fluid Framework and Azure Fluid Relay to enable real-time interactivity on their apps beyond Microsoft Teams meetings.
Microsoft also announced the ability for developers to create Loop components and help employees work freely across Microsoft 365 apps. Developers can evolve an existing Adaptive Card into a Loop component or create a new Adaptive Card-based Loop component.
Adaptive Card-based Loop components can also be surfaced with Editor using Context IQ, Microsoft’s set of intelligent capabilities working in the background of Microsoft apps and services to stay in the flow of composing an email. Private preview of this capability starts in June.
Building on the Azure Communication Services interoperability with Teams, Microsoft announced the Azure Communication Services sample app builder to enable developers to build and deploy a sample application for virtual appointments without coding. This allows customers to book appointments powered by Microsoft Bookings and join a Teams meeting through a custom web app with company branding.
The company is also introducing enhancements to Microsoft Graph API to embed chats and channel messages into apps. The new APIs will reach general availability in mid-2022.
Other new developer features for Microsoft 365 include the general availability of the new Teams SKD that enables developers to build apps for Teams, Outlook and Office using a single application and deployment model.
“Developers can now upgrade to the latest Teams JS SDK v2 and App manifest v1.13 to build production Teams apps, and run full-scale pilots with users on the preview channels of Outlook and Office,” Teper writes.0” This will enable developers to get feedback and prepare for the distribution of their apps on Outlook and Office later this calendar year.”
The updates are backwards compatible, so all existing Teams apps will continue to work as-is in Teams with production-level support.
Other new capabilities across Microsoft 365 include a new Teams Toolkit for Visual Studio Code and command-line interface, collaboration control sin Power Apps, apps compliance automation for Microsoft 365, improved app management and discoverability, in-app purchasing for Teams apps and Teams app license management.
Read Microsoft’s blog to learn more.