In this talk Ritika Gupta and Joey Glocke, both program managers for Microsoft Teams, had a chance to broadly talk about Teams as a platform. They combined a good introduction on this platform story with the the admin tools involved, and talked about a great set of features coming.
If you'd rather watch the recording, you can find it on the Microsoft Ignite website.
You can extend Teams in a couple of different ways to improve the productivity of your team. There are 4 main pillars to Teams as a platform:
Your custom built apps can be a Tab, a Bot or a Messaging extension using Adaptive Cards, Task modules or Notifications. These can connect to new or existing back-ends like web API's, web experiences, Azure or Microsoft 365 services.
Some sample cases by HAVI, Telstra and Craft Worldwide show some incredible productivity boosts when they integrated their existing experiences into Teams. In the case of HAVI, their onboarding time improved from what would typically take 4-5 hours to just 40 minutes. That's impressive!
During the lifecycle of an app, different types of people get involved. All of them have different needs:
Ritika and Joey discussed on the improvements that will help developers and IT pros with their tasks during the app lifecycle.
Major improvements are made with regards to the developer tools and resources to get a developer confident in building applications for Teams:
Besides that, a new consent model is announced: the resource-specific consent. When building your own application, it might need to access data inside of the teams it is used in (through Microsoft Graph). This used to be an all or nothing consent, even allowing your app access to resources in other Teams, because it needed Groups.ReadWrite.All scope. With resource-specific consent, a more fine grained consent model is introduced to limit an app to data inside of the team it is installed in.
Single sign-on got a seemingly small improvement with the change from being cookie based to actual Azure AD based SSO, greatly improving both developer as user experience.
IT Pros get a new "Manage Apps" page inside the Teams Admin Center. They get an overview of all the apps that are installed, what their certification status is and if the app is allowed or not.
Within this experience, they can also upload the custom apps that their developers have built.
Each app in the list can be clicked on, opening a details page about the app. Currently showing the description, version and other basic information but this will get extended in the future with the resource specific consent scopes and other relevant information.
The certification status is something new as part of the Microsoft 365 App Certification Program, an app can have one of three statuses:
An IT Pro can use App permission policies and App setup policies to define who can use which application, and what applications get shown by default for a specific group of users.
This allows admins to customize the experience inside Microsoft Teams depending on what a user actually needs to be productive.
Joey and Ritika delivered a good overview of what "Teams as a platform" means, how developers can make use of this and which tools are available for administrators. Additionally, they brought some new features already (or soon to be) released to our attention that will help drive the adoption of apps on Teams.
As a reminder: both the slides and the recording can also be viewed on the Ignite session catalog website!
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