The pandemic has dramatically increased the role of technology as a key factor in the ability to work effectively remotely. And developers are at the center of this transformation. In the latest update, Microsoft introduced collaboration apps, a new app template designed to connect people, processes and data to help users succeed in a remote or hybrid workplace. Just as mobile devices have completely changed the way people use software, collaboration applications are changing the way people in every organization work together.

With more than 270 million monthly active users, Microsoft Teams offers developers an unrivaled ability to create collaboration apps. Since the beginning of 2020, the number of monthly active users of custom or third-party apps in Teams has grown more than tenfold. There are more than 1,400 Teams apps, and more and more independent software vendors (ISVs) are generating millions in annual revenue from customers using their apps built on top of Teams and Microsoft 365 services. Looking ahead, we expect new technologies such as Microsoft Mesh for Teams will open up exciting new collaboration experiences in Teams.

Live Share: App Interactive Experience in Teams Meetings

We're introducing Live Share, the ability for your apps to go beyond passive screen sharing and let participants collaborate to watch, edit, create, and more in Teams meetings. Developers can use the new preview extensions for the Teams SDK to easily extend existing Teams apps and create Live Share experiences in meetings. Live Share relies on the Fluid Framework technology, which supports complex synchronization of state, media, and control actions only when developing the front-end. This synchronization will take place in Teams hosted and managed by Microsoft Azure Fluid Relay.

Fluid Framework and Azure Fluid Relay are generally available

The Fluid Framework is a set of open source JavaScript client libraries that underpin Live Share's real-time collaboration capabilities. Azure Fluid Relay is a fully managed cloud service that supports Fluid Framework clients. Developers use the Fluid Framework and Azure Fluid Relay to bring real-time interactivity to their apps beyond Microsoft Teams meetings. The Fluid Framework, Azure Fluid Relay service, and associated Azure Fluid client SDK will be ready for production scenarios and available in mid-2022. 

Create a Microsoft Loop by updating Adaptive Maps.

Microsoft Loop components are live, actionable units of performance that sync and move freely across Microsoft 365 apps, starting with Teams chat and Microsoft Outlook. MS announces the ability for developers to create Loop components. Now you can easily convert your existing Adaptive Map into a Loop component. Additionally, Adaptive Card-based Loop components can be rendered in the Editor using Context IQ, a set of intelligence capabilities that work in the background with Microsoft apps and services. 

Improvements to the Microsoft Graph API for embedding chat and channel messages into your apps.

Microsoft Graph chat APIs allow developers to embed Teams chats into their apps, allowing users to collaborate seamlessly without having to switch between apps. MS is introducing several new APIs in preview with capabilities such as enabling chats with users outside of your tenant, determining which messages are read and unread by the current user, and subscribing to user chats and membership changes. These new APIs will be generally available in mid-2022. 

SharePoint Framework and Microsoft Viva Connections

SharePoint is the most flexible content collaboration platform supporting the capabilities of Microsoft 365. The SharePoint Framework now lets you create parts and pages across SharePoint sites, Teams apps, and more. It's at the center of our extension capabilities for the new employee engagement platform Microsoft Viva Connections. 


Approval Function Extension

Approvals in Microsoft Teams help everyone, from frontline workers to office workers, easily create, manage, and share approvals on the fly. We introduce the Create, Read, Update, and Delete (CRUD) API for assertions. Developers can use the Approvals API to enable approvals across a line of business apps and use webhooks to track changes and manage approvals workflows in Teams. API Approvals will be available in preview in mid-2022. 

Scale developer productivity

Build once and deploy anywhere in Teams and Microsoft 365
The Teams SDK lets you build apps for Teams, Outlook, and Office using a single app and deployment model, and create collaboration apps that leverage capabilities specific to each product. 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 in the preview channels of Outlook and Office. This will allow developers to receive feedback and prepare to distribute their apps to Outlook and Office later this calendar year.

These updates are compatible, so all your existing Teams apps will continue to work as is in Teams with product-level support. 

Increase user engagement and monetize your apps

App Compliance Automation Tool for Microsoft 365

The Microsoft 365 Apps Compliance Program is designed to evaluate and demonstrate the strength of industry application standards such as SOC 2, PCI DSS, and ISO 27001 for security, privacy, and data practices. Microsoft is announcing the preview of App Compliance Automation for Microsoft 365 for apps built on Azure to help them speed up their app compliance process. With this tool, developers can automate a significant number of tasks to make certification faster and easier. The tool also produces reports that developers can easily share to help IT professionals gain insight into application security and compliance. 

Improved application management and discoverability

The Teams Store helps users find the apps they want with updated app categories, curated app collections, recommended popular apps, and smart recommendations based on what peers and colleagues are using. Microsoft is providing a central interface in the Teams store to help users keep track of the apps they use across teams and group chats and see what permissions those apps require. MS has also made app discovery more contextual through tabs, message extensions, and connectors to help users find the apps they need and increase the use of ISV apps in Teams. Finally, mobile device users can now add your apps directly from their mobile device, for example via a link or QR code.

Manage Teams app licenses

MS provides users with the ability to manage and assign purchased licenses. Previously, developers had to build a license management component into their solution, either on their landing page or directly in the app. To simplify the license management process, Microsoft will soon offer you the ability to outsource license management functionality to Microsoft, where users can manage and assign licenses directly within Teams. License management in Teams will be available in preview in mid-2022.

New collaboration apps coming to Teams

Independent software vendors offer innovative Teams collaboration apps in a variety of scenarios. Here are just a few examples of new applications that are already available or coming soon:

  • The MURAL app for Teams gives teams around the world the ability to create a shared collaboration space directly within Microsoft Teams. Users can improve teamwork through asynchronous visual collaboration and turn disjointed conversations into productive, engaging meetings and workshops using hundreds of templates and proven guided methods that empower teams to achieve breakthrough results. MURAL is a Microsoft Pre-Partner and the MURAL app now works across Teams, Outlook and Office for a unified experience.
  • The Observable app for Teams allows companies to bring their data, context, and logic together in one place to collaboratively unlock insights and accelerate data-driven decision making across the organization. New updates coming to the Observable app in June 2022 will offer Microsoft Teams notifications when collaborating via comments in Observable.
  • The SAP S/4HANA operational buyer chatbot provides SAP S/4HANA users with Microsoft Teams collaboration capabilities within a conversational user experience. It uses Microsoft Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) authentication and leverages Microsoft Graph APIs to allow users to call other parties or schedule Teams meetings with business partners directly from the bot in the context of an authenticated business user. This enables Teams collaboration capabilities to be tightly integrated into the standalone application within SAP, delivering connectivity and collaboration where users need it.
  • ServiceDesk Plus, a cloud-based application from ManageEngine, the enterprise IT management division of Zoho, uses Microsoft Teams to streamline business and IT service delivery, manage and accelerate IT incident resolution, and improve the enterprise experience. ServiceDesk Plus Cloud will soon augment existing static adaptive maps with Loop components, allowing anyone working on a ticket to get the latest updates and run help desk tasks without switching tabs.
  • Figma, the collaborative design platform, is introducing a new app that will allow teams to share and collaborate on Figma and FigJam files in real time in a Teams meeting. The app also uses new Adaptive Card functionality, so when a user shares a link to a Figma or FigJam file in a Teams chat, the card expands, allowing users to open the file from Teams. Users can also view and respond to file notifications directly from Teams. The Figma app will be available later in 2022 in the Teams app store.
en_GBEnglish (UK)