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Build the next generation of collaborative apps for hybrid work

The world around us has dramatically changed since the last Microsoft Build. Every customer and partner is now focused on the new realities of hybrid work—enabling people to work from anywhere, at any time, and on any device.

Developers are at the heart of this transformation, and at Microsoft, we’ve seen evidence of this in the apps you’ve built on top of the Microsoft Cloud. Today, we’re sharing new capabilities and tooling for Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams that will empower developers to build solutions for the new way of work.

A new class of apps designed for hybrid work: collaborative apps

Hybrid, global work requires structural changes to how we build and interact with apps. We need a new class of apps that are centered around collaboration versus individual productivity. Apps that enable synchronous and asynchronous modes of collaboration with real-time meetings, ad hoc messaging, document collaboration, and the business processes automation—all in a single organizing layer.

Microsoft Teams was built with the very purpose of enabling collaboration. With over 145 million people using Teams every day, Teams has become the digital platform for work and learning. This creates a net new creative and economic opportunity for developers to build the next generation of apps where collaboration is at the core. We call this new class of applications collaborative apps.

With collaborative apps, end users can easily work with others to complete their projects at any time, from anywhere, and stay in the flow of work without needing to switch across multiple apps and data. And with Fluid components, end-users can create live, collaborative experiences that can be edited in real-time and shared across Teams and Office apps.

For developers, we want to make building collaborative apps easy: 

  • Use your existing skills: Easily integrate your existing apps solutions with Teams and use standard web technologies, JavaScript, and just a few Teams APIs to integrate into Teams messages, channels, and meetings quickly and easily. Hundreds of independent software vendors (ISVs) like Service Now, Workday, Adobe, SAP, and more are doing this on our platform today.
  • Simplify development: When you build an app for Teams, it works across many platforms—Windows, macOS, Web, iOS, Android, and Linux. Our goal is to significantly reduce the learning and work for developers to create the next wave of apps. Build once, deploy anywhere.
  • Support developer choice: Microsoft Cloud offers a full stack of technologies to build collaborative apps. For developers building a new app, you can pick and choose technologies across Power Platform, Azure, Graph, and more based on your needs. 
Visual showing the collaborative apps framework

Learn more about our vision of collaborative apps built on the Microsoft Cloud at our technical keynote session led by Jeff Teper and at the Into Focus session with Rajesh Jha.

Build collaborative apps with Microsoft Teams

To further help you build collaborative apps, we are sharing new integration opportunities and enhanced developer tools for the organizing layer, Teams.

Create apps for meetings enabling richer experiences

Providing a first-rate experience to every meeting participant, whether remote or in person, is important. We’re announcing new features that will enable you to build richer meeting experiences into your apps for Teams meetings.

  • Shared stage integration: Available in preview, shared stage integration provides developers access to the main stage in a Teams meeting through a simple configuration in their app manifest. This provides a new surface to enable real-time, multi-user collaboration experiences for your meetings apps, such as whiteboarding, design, project boards, and more. 
Visual showing example of shared stage feature in action.
  • New meeting event APIs: Available in preview, enable the automation of meeting-related workflows through events such as meeting start and meeting end—with many more event APIs planned to come out later this year.
  • Together mode extensibility: Coming this summer, Together mode extensibility lets you create and share your own custom scenes for Teams meetings. This provides an easy design experience, within the Developer Portal for Teams, so developers can craft custom scenes to make meetings more engaging and personalized for your organization. Here’s a custom scene built by our very own team that you can try out today!
Visual showing a custom Together Mode scene being created.

Media APIs with resource-specific consent: Coming this summer, get 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 IT admins can view these permissions from the Teams Admin Center and validate that such apps have access to just the meetings they have been added to.

Visual showing example of a Media API used in an app which is transcribing voice.

With the recently released Azure Communication Services interoperability with Teams, enable Teams users to easily interact with customers, partners, and other key people outside of your organization. When you build custom applications using Azure Communication Services such as voice, video, and chat, take advantage of built-in interoperability with Teams. This will enable Teams users to join meetings and interact with customers and partners using your custom application. Even better, with Azure Communication Services on the back-end connecting to Microsoft Teams, developers enjoy free VoIP and Chat usage for Teams app users.1

Visual showing example of an app using Azure Communication Services.

Get started with Azure Communication Services with Teams interoperability available in preview.

Enabling cross-platform collaborative experiences

We built Teams to enable collaboration—so we’re sharing new features and capabilities that will allow users to collaborate together within Teams and across some of our other platforms.

Fluid components in Microsoft Teams is 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 and 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.

Visual showing example of a Fluid component being used in Teams chat and mobile.

Message extensions will soon be supported in Outlook: Providing a unified development experience for message extensions that work with Microsoft Teams and Outlook on the web. When users compose a message, they will be able to select a new menu of search-based message extensions to choose from. For example, a user may be able to compose an email and then select a message extension that surfaces tasks from their Teams app to send to teammates.

Visual showing example of a message extension being used in Outlook on web.

In addition to making it easier to build low-code apps, bots, and flows in and for Teams, we are making it easier to distribute low-code solutions to end-users. Soon you will be able to share bots built with Microsoft Power Virtual Agents broadly with security groups just like you already can for apps built with Power Apps. We also recently made it easier to take your apps, bots, flows, tables, and associated resources from one Microsoft Dataverse for Teams environment to another, ensuring that you can leverage these assets for new scenarios. We also continue to release more sample apps for Power Apps to help developers and customers get started with Power Apps.

Visual showing example of Power App in action in Teams.

Developer toolkits and resources to build and manage Teams apps

As developers are building the next generation of collaborative apps to support hybrid work, we are investing in tools and resources to help you be more productive.

With the enhanced Microsoft Teams Toolkit for Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code, available in preview, we’re making it easier for any developer to build Teams apps that interoperate with the Microsoft stack and across desktop and mobile. Whether you use React, SharePoint Framework (SPFx), or .NET—the toolkit is meant to meet developers where you are with the frameworks you already know and use. Some of the key updates include: single-line authentication, Azure Functions integration, SPFx integration, single-line Microsoft Graph client, and streamlined hosting to an IDE and CLI.

Visual showing the Teams Toolkit in action of creating an app.

Learn more about the Teams Toolkit and install it today from the Visual Studio Marketplace.

Writing code is the first step, but developers also need to manage and configure your apps—and so we’re happy to announce the preview of the Developer Portal for Microsoft Teams. With the Developer Portal (formerly App Studio), developers receive a dedicated app management console available via web or within Teams, which can be used to register and configure their apps within a single, central location. New features include:

  • Access through any web browser and device for easy navigation.
  • Manage environment configurations, removing the need to manage multiple manifests in different environments.
  • Collaborate with peers by giving read/write access to apps to others to collaborate and update apps.
  • Ability for ISVs to link software as a service (SaaS) offers to their apps for new in-Teams purchase experience.
  • Gather helpful insights on usage of apps (in preview).
Visual showing the home page of the Developer Portal.

Get started with the Developer Portal today.

As a platform, our success is tied to your success. We thank our partners who have built innovative apps on Teams. We’re committed to enabling our partners to be successful by helping users easily discover, deploy, and adopt apps. And we’re happy to share that coming soon, users will be able to purchase subscriptions of partner apps directly from the Teams Store and the Teams Admin Center (via invoice billing or credit card)—making it even simpler for users to acquire and adopt apps while providing our partners more monetization opportunities for your solutions.

Visual showing the new in-store purchase experience.

Deliver experiences built around data, insights, and security with Microsoft Graph

While Teams is the organizing layer for collaborative apps, a key aspect of those app experiences is the rich sets of data from Microsoft Graph. Microsoft Graph manages the data generated from trillions of connections across communications, content, and people—with privacy, security, compliance, and search—powered by advanced machine learning.

Here are some of the exciting new features on Microsoft Graph that we’re happy to share with you today.

Earlier this year we introduced Microsoft Viva, to help organizations around the world optimize workforce experience, and help employees thrive in the new way of work. Viva was built to be a platform, so we’re announcing the first of many planned extensibility points—Viva Connection cards are now available in preview with SharePoint Framework (SPFx) for developers who sign up for early access. With this release you can now use out-of-the-box or custom web parts to build Viva Community dashboards, news feeds, and employee-focused resources, optimized for any platform or device.

Visual showing Viva Connections cards in action.

Sign up to get early access to the next release of SPFx for building native mobile experiences for Viva Connections.

When it comes to who can access your organization’s data, authentication and security are always top of mind—which is why many developers utilize the Microsoft Graph. It’s built with Azure Active Directory’s (Azure AD) enterprise-grade security and authentication capabilities at its core. New features we are sharing today:

  • Continuous Access Evaluation: Available for preview, it allows Azure AD to continuously monitor resources for security threats and revoke access tokens based on critical events or policy evaluation, rather than simply relying on a short token lifetime. 
  • New authentication methods API so you can manage access to the data and resources in your app, using primary, two-step, or step-up authentication, and invoke a self-service password reset process (SSPR).
  • General availability of the external identities APIs so your apps can establish secure business-to-consumer (B2C) user interactions using predefined, configurable policies while your users can use their everyday accounts to register with your solution.

One of the most common requests we’ve heard from customers and partners is how to bring their data into Microsoft Graph to surface it across Microsoft 365. That’s why created Microsoft Graph connectors, which allow developers to onboard, index, and surface metadata to enrich existing data sets within Microsoft 365—unlocking participation in core experiences like Microsoft Search and eDiscovery. We’re excited to announce several updates coming soon to Microsoft Graph connectors including:

  • Support for enrichment of people profile from non-AAD sources that will enable admins to map properties from Microsoft Graph connectors to Microsoft 365 people cards in your organization.
  • New Jira and Confluence connectors built by Microsoft, available later this year.
  • Expansion of Search results to Microsoft Teams mobile and desktop clients and the Windows Search Box.
  • eDiscovery support for Graph connectors developer preview will be available in Summer 2021.

We’re also announcing that Microsoft Graph Data Connect is available in preview on Azure. Microsoft Graph data connect is a secure, high-throughput connector designed to copy select Microsoft 365 productivity datasets into your Azure tenant. It’s an ideal tool for developers and data scientists seeking to create organizational analytics, or training AI and machine learning models. While most Microsoft 365 products are offered on a per-user/per-month basis, we’re offering Microsoft Graph data connect as a metered service so that developers only need pay for the data consumed in your solutions.

Learn more about Microsoft Graph Data Connect in our technical docs.

Lastly, we want developers to build people-centric experiences that span across our entire Microsoft 365 platform, but we understand that writing separate code to work across our different products is not optimal. That’s why we’re happy to share the availability of Universal Actions for Adaptive Cards. Now, using Azure Bot Framework, you can build and implement a single adaptive card that is seamlessly synchronized across Teams and Outlook mobile and desktop clients.

Read the full Microsoft Graph blog to learn more.

Build modern Windows apps that work seamlessly on any endpoint

With the shift to remote work and now hybrid work—the PC has never been more essential. With over 1.3 billion devices running Windows 10, modern apps built on Windows have become critical to enabling users to stay productive. Windows is essential to keeping workers connected and productive and the opportunity for developers to push the boundaries and find new innovative ways to help people is now.

If you’re a Windows developer, then you already know the importance of Project Reunion. With Project Reunion, you get access to modern Windows technologies and new features, plus the best of existing desktop (Win32) features. You get coherent, modern interactions and UX with WinUI 3—and great system performance and battery life for your apps. That’s why we’re excited to announce the Project Reunion 0.8 preview so you can create and modernize your Windows apps seamlessly for both client and cloud endpoints. You can build experiences optimized for device hardware with hassle-free app discovery and management and future-proofed for Arm64. Some of the key updates include:

  • Down–level support to Windows 10 version 1809 provides a large addressable market in the Windows ecosystem and is a long-term servicing branch.
  • .NET 5 support helps meet developers where they are, including WPF and WinForms.
  • WinUI 3 and WebView 2 support modern, compatible UI development using the same technologies Windows is built around.

Learn more and start modernizing your Windows apps with the Project Reunion 0.8 preview.

We know that many developers use command-line tools and shells like Command Prompt, PowerShell, and Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). With Windows Terminal, developers receive a beautiful, sleek, modern command-line experience in Windows—and this year, we’re excited to share that it can now be set as the default terminal emulator, enabling all command-line apps to launch via Windows Terminal. We also released a new feature called Quake mode that allows you to open a new terminal window with a simple keyboard shortcut from anywhere in Windows.

Get started with new features in Windows Terminal.

You can also receive GUI app support on Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) so that all the tools and workflows are seamlessly at your fingertips. Windows allows you to work your way with seamless integrations with any workflow with GUI apps, Linux, and GPU accelerated machine learning training.

Learn more about our updates on WSL.

More and more organizations are turning to robotic process automation (RPA) to streamline business processes—from simple repetitive tasks to complex workflows. In the month after Ignite, where we announced Power Automate Desktop was available at no additional cost for Windows 10 users, we saw a six times month-over-month increase in downloads. Which is a testament to the untapped opportunity no-code RPA offers to help customers automate repetitive tasks and workflows. Today, we are making it even easier to prioritize the processes best suited for automation. Process advisor, now generally available, is a process mining capability that provides insights into how people work and takes the guesswork out of automation. You can now map workflow tasks, discover organizational bottlenecks, and identify which time-consuming tasks are best suited for automation—all from within Microsoft Power Automate.

Learn more about Power Automate Desktop and process advisor.

Learn. Connect. Code.

We hope you have a wonderful time at Microsoft Build this week. We have a great set of sessions we’ve produced just for you that spans across the entire Microsoft 365 platform.

Happy coding!

Additional resources

Check out these additional resources to learn more about developing on Microsoft 365:


1VoIP and chat usage for Microsoft Teams endpoints are included with Microsoft 365 licenses.

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