Rich actionable previews and Power Apps integration are coming to Microsoft Teams

At its ongoing Build 2022 conference, Microsoft has announced a bunch of capabilities for its popular collaboration software, Teams. Although some of these features require action from developers, they should ultimately result in a better experience for end-users.

For starters, Teams will soon support link unfurling to surface richer actionable card previews. For app links, developers will be required to update their app's manifest with some minor changes. Meanwhile, for other links such as those pointing to websites, web authors will need to leverage structured metadata and tag actions for their website. This feature will hit preview in summer.

A screenshot showing Teams integration in Power Apps

During the same time period, low-code developers will be able to take advantage of collaboration controls in Power Apps to integrate Teams and Microsoft 365 collaboration features such as Chat, Meetings, Tasks, Files, and Approvals directly into their Power Apps. Microsoft Graph APIs for Teams, currently available in preview, can aid developers in this domain too.

Meanwhile, the Teams JavaScript 2.0 SDK and related manifest tools have hit general availability (GA). These empower organizations to develop Teams apps that can be extended to and Outlook. In the same vein, Approvals APIs will be available in preview this summer. These will enable customers to build approval workflows inside line of business (LOB) apps.

A screenshot of Hexagon Live Share prototype

Microsoft has also highlighted new Live Share experiences in Teams. These allow independent software vendors (ISVs) to build richer experiences for apps being shared via Teams. For example, they could allow users to annotate, zoom, and edit an app. An example of Hexagon's Live Share prototype to collaboratively annotate and edit 3D models can be seen above. ISVs can also register for a private preview of the App Compliance Automation Tool to get their apps secured and certified from Microsoft.

Developers actively working on Teams will be happy to know that the Teams Toolkit for Visual Studio Code and the Teams Toolkit CLI have hit GA. These aid developers in transitioning existing web apps to Teams, build notification mechanisms, and more. However, the same toolkit for Visual Studio 2022 is currently only in preview.

A screenshot of in-app purchases in Microsoft Teams

Developers building apps for Teams should also know that better discoverability in the Teams App Store via intelligent recommendations and app flyouts are now generally available. There is a curated "featured apps" section for improved visibility too. Developers can also use new APIs to configure in-app purchases and better license management capabilities will be available as a preview this summer as well.

Finally, it will be possible to create Loop components using your existing Adaptive Cards from next month, but only in private preview. Once the capability hits GA, these components can be copied and pasted across Outlook and Teams, and will remain in sync.

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