Microsoft is now rolling out new APIs and SDK capabilities via an update, allowing third-party app integration in Teams. Prior to the update, apps were only available outside of meetings or through screen-sharing. Now, apps can reportedly be integrated during, before, and after meetings in the meetings themselves.
The goal with this new capability, according to Microsoft Teams group product manager Michal Lesiczka, is to ensure applications work across the board. More specifically, that’s to ensure that apps used by teams area available in chat, allowing collaboration and expanded workflow where it wasn’t available before.
How does this work for end-users?
The integration, according to Microsoft, uses the same integration process as was previously in place too. That means developers won’t need to adapt their workflow much either. From development, through publishing and validation, everything remains the same. But the update means that now developers can target app integration experiences to work in Microsoft Teams video calls.
For end-users, applications will be addable as a tab in meeting invites for use before the meeting starts. Apps that take advantage of the update for Teams integration can also be brought into meetings after they start. Apps can appear as buttons in the meeting’s controls bar as well. That includes a wide assortment of apps from bots and digital whiteboards to OneNote or Polly. And Microsoft also says it has seen a high level of interest from the likes of Open Agora, iCIMS, Miro, and HireVue.
So this apps-driven expansion will greatly improve the variety of use cases and underlying functionality for Microsoft Teams.
Aside from app integration, else is new with recent Microsoft Teams updates?
Setting aside the plethora of updates Microsoft has been pushing to its other products, this update follows on one other recent update that has similarly wide-spanning implications. Among the most pertinent of those is its new “Together Mode,” announced around the first week of July. Together mode works to put participants as virtually-overlaid avatars in AR-like virtual meeting spaces.
As with that other mode, the new app integrations are intended to push Microsoft Teams ahead of the competition. Especially amid continued growth in the work-from-home segment of the market.