Azure Communication Services March 2023 Feature Updates
Published Mar 06 2023 11:28 AM 4,411 Views
Microsoft

The Azure Communication Services team is excited to share several new product and feature updates released in February 2023. (You can view previous blog articles here.)  

 

This month’s update describes the features below: 

  • Virtual Appointment Sample with Rooms
  • Virtual Appointments Support Customer Managed Key
  • PSTN Direct Offers Geo Expansion
  • UI Library Updates
  • Video Constraints API to control Call Quality

 

Virtual Appointments Sample Builder Integration with Rooms

 

Sample Builder gives customers a no-code wizard to customize a virtual appointment sample application and deploy it to Azure or clone to their Git repo. It helps customers to quickly visualize and try out what they can build with Azure Communication Services.  The General Availability release and integration of Rooms into the virtual appointment Sample is an exciting development that improves the virtual appointment sample configuration and deployment time and experience.


The new ‘Room’ concept is useful for developers creating virtual appointments or events with voice and video calling, called structure communications. Rooms offer control over who joins the room with an invite-only feature. Rooms also allow the use of predefined roles and permissions, which can be helpful for large meetings or virtual conferences.

 

With the integration of Rooms, Sample Builder now has two scheduling methods: Rooms and Microsoft Bookings. The configuration of Microsoft Bookings is now an optional feature that can be configured in the deployed Sample, rather than being enforced during the setup process. Additionally, a feedback button has been incorporated into the Sample Builder, and various accessibility enhancements have been made.         

 

                                                             Screenshot 2023-03-06 124312.png

 

Figure 1 Scheduling experience options

 

Virtual Appointments Support Customer Managed Key

 

Virtual appointments in Azure Communications Services now supports Microsoft Purview Customer Managed Key (CMK). Customer Managed Key allows organizations to encrypt data in Teams meetings, such as chat messages, with their key.  Azure Active Directory users with Global Administrator permissions can configure Customer Managed Key in the tenant based on the documentation. Azure Communication Services users joining a Teams meeting can read and send encrypted messages with Customer key support once enabled.

 

Note: The data is encrypted at rest, not end-to-end.

 

Azure Communication Services PSTN Direct Offers Geo Expansion

 

Azure Communication Services Direct Offers are now generally available in 7 countries: United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, United Kingdom, Italy, Ireland, and Sweden. Geographic availability of our telco offers is one of the top priorities for Azure Communication Services, and we are excited to continue this expansion.

Customers in these countries can now buy Toll-Free and Geographic phone numbers through the Azure Portal, using the Number Management SDK or by reaching out to the IC3 Service Desk.

 

UI Library Updates

 

The Azure Communication Services UI Library enables developers to quickly build beautiful, visual communication experiences across chat and calling. As part of our latest update, we are releasing to public preview three new features:

  • Support for Communications as a Teams User: The UI Library allows you to extend your Microsoft Teams capabilities by leveraging your Teams identity to build custom clients. For more information on Communications as a Teams user, click here.
  • Participant pinning: The video gallery component now supports the ability to pin a participant. This is a key feature for uses cases like presentations where the speaker is pinned as well as for accessibility, where interpreters can be pinned in the video gallery.

                                                            pinning_hero.png

 

  • Call Readiness: To ensure your customers have a great calling experience, the UI Library now supports checks for browser, devices and permissions. These checks are built directly into the Composite components for calling but can also be leveraged individually either in conjunction with other UI Library components or with your custom calling experience. You can read more in our recent blog post Improve the call experience or check out our tutorial.

 

                                                           call_readiness_hero.png

Video Constraints API to Control Call Quality

 

Azure Communication Services has unveiled a new capability for developers to control video quality during calls. On Azure Communication Services calls the video quality will dynamically change based on the device or network quality. With the Public Preview of the Video Constraints API, developers can have greater control of their quality by setting constraints on the video resolution to ensure that a call is optimized for (1) user device and/or (2) network conditions. For example, if a user is using an older device with limited processing power, developers can set constraints on the video resolution to ensure that the video call runs smoothly on that device. For network optimization, there may be cases where pushing the highest video quality isn't a top priority and developers may want to limit the video bandwidth usage in the application to allow for processing of other capabilities.

 

Learn how to implement video constraints in this documentation.

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‎Apr 25 2023 10:15 AM
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