The Biggest Microsoft Teams And M365 Announcements At Build 2022

Microsoft announced enhancements to Teams that incorporate Loop, Power Apps and third-party offerings.

Previews for Loop components across Teams chats and Outlook emails and collaboration controls in Power Apps are among the biggest announcements for Microsoft’s popular collaboration application during this year’s Build conference.

Features to become generally available for Teams include improved discoverability in the app’s store, a Teams JavaScript 2.0 software development kit (SDK) and Teams Toolkit for Visual Studio Code, according to the Redmond, Wash.-based tech giant.

Coming this summer are previews for approvals APIs for frontline and office Teams users, an app from Figma, new license management capabilities in the Teams App Store, a link unfurling expansion and a Bosch Cognitive Service Maintenance app in Teams, among other new features.

[RELATED: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella On ‘The New Growth Engines,’ Teams Innovations And Recession Concerns]

Microsoft held its Build conference online this week as the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.

During Microsoft’s latest quarterly earnings call in April, CEO Satya Nadella talked about the continued importance of Teams for remote workforces and ways the tech giant is adding onto the app, including with the Teams Essentials package of services aimed at small and midsize businesses (SMBs), Teams Phones and Teams Rooms devices to improve an office’s meetings.

Total minutes for the Operator Connect feature used with Teams Phones increased eight time quarter over quarter, Nadella said on an earnings call as an example of Teams growth outside of simple instant messaging.

“Teams is the most used and the most advanced platform for work and the only solution with meetings, calls, chat, collaboration and business process automation,” Nadella said. “And organizations – from enterprises to SMBs – are relying on Teams to run their business. Our comprehensive approach reduces complexity and costs. Microsoft 365 customers can save as much as 60 percent compared to a patchwork of single-point identity, productivity, collaboration and meeting solutions.”

Here are the biggest Microsoft Teams and 365 announcements from Build 2022.

Microsoft Loop Updates

Microsoft will launch a private preview in June for developers to create Loop components with adaptive cards.

Developers can copy and paste adaptive card-based Loop components across Teams chat and Outlook emails, according to Microsoft. The components will stay in sync across chats and emails as users copy and paste them to other chats and emails.

Users can also find relevant adaptive card-based Loop components based on the context in an email or chat.

Microsoft introduced its Loop application at Ignite Fall 2021. Its lists, tables, notes, tasks and other components to keep workers collaborating on projects in sync.

Live Share In Teams

Microsoft launched a preview for new Teams software development kit (SDK) extensions for developers to build “live share” capabilities into applications.

Live share allows meeting participants to annotate, edit, zoom in, zoom out and interact with content shared in a Teams meeting window, according to Microsoft.

Early Microsoft live share partners include Hexagon, Adobe subsidiary, Skillsoft and MakeCode.

Teams Link Unfurling Expansion

A preview coming later this summer is the ability in Teams to unfurl link previews even when applications aren’t installed or when a link shared in Teams isn’t associated with a Teams app.

Developers can add to the app manifest to make sure their app links unfurl into a card preview, according to Microsoft.

For other links, developers will eventually have the ability to add structured meta data and tag actions in their website for actionable Teams previews.

Teams Embedding Tools Previews

A preview coming this summer is for collaboration controls in Microsoft Power Apps.

Developers will have the ability to embed chat, meetings, tasks, files, approvals and other Microsoft 365 and Teams collaboration capabilities into Power Apps with low code tools and drag-and-drop.

A preview announced during Build is for Microsoft Graph APIs for Teams, which gives developers the ability to use Microsoft Graph APIs to embed Teams chat and channel features into applications without switching among multiple tools, according to Microsoft.

Azure Communication Services Sample App Builder Access

An Azure Communication Services sample app builder is available on GitHub for developers who want to build and deploy sample applications for virtual visits in minutes without coding, according to Microsoft.

Developers can use Microsoft Bookings for scheduling and Microsoft Graph and Azure Communication Services UI library for localized, accessible, customizable communications experiences, according to Microsoft.

The app builder is fully open source.

Teams App Store

A preview coming this summer is for new license management capabilities in the Microsoft Teams App Store for users to assign and track licenses for purchased Teams apps from within the collaboration application.

Now generally available for the store is improved discoverability with intelligent recommendations and application flyouts and application programming interfaces (APIs) to configure in-app purchases, allowing users to upgrade from free to paid subscriptions within Teams.

In April, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that the Teams App Store has more than 1,000 third-party applications.

Expanded Teams Partnerships

A Bosch Cognitive Service Maintenance app in Teams will be available in July in the Teams app store. Users will have the ability to identify spare parts through a captured image or text search and use Teams to collaborate with other departments on procurement and other actions.

A Figma Teams app will be available in the summer, giving users the ability to share, present and collaborate on files for the collaborative design platform within a Teams meeting.

Mural app for Teams gives users a shared collaboration space in Teams for asynchronous visual collaboration. The app provides hundreds of templates.

In June, the Observable app in Teams will gain notifications for collaboration comments.

A SAP S/4HANA operational purchaser chatbot app in Teams gives users a conversational user experience and a way to call other parties or schedule Teams meetings with business partners directly from the bot.

Coming soon to Teams is an enhancement to the ServiceDesk Plus Cloud app with Microsoft Loop components to allow all users working on tickets to get the latest updates and trigger service desk tasks without switching tabs.

Odds And Ends

Generally available now is Teams JavaScript 2.0 SDK and manifest tools for developers to build Teams applications that bring personal tabs and message extension to Outlook, and other Microsoft 365 applications.

A preview coming this summer is approvals APIs for developers to add functionality for frontline and office workers to create, manage and share approvals in the flow of work.

Microsoft made generally available Teams Toolkit for Visual Studio Code and a command line interface, allowing developers to create, build, debug and publish apps for Teams across web and mobile devices in minutes. A Teams Toolkit for Visual Studio 2022 is available in preview, according to Microsoft.

Now in private preview is an App Compliance Automation tool to help independent software vendors to make apps secure and compliant for M365 certification. The tool aims to automate parts of the validation process that once required manual steps from ISVs, according to Microsoft.