Microsoft announced this morning at its Build 2017 conference that all developers can now publish their Microsoft Teams applications through the Office Store. The apps will be surfaced in Teams through a new discover apps experience, the company also said.
At the event, Microsoft also demoed a handful of Teams features, including its support for tabs, its companion mobile app, integrations with Cortana, as well as the way it’s able to work with bots and other connectors.
The company’s goal with Teams is to offer its own competitor to Slack, but one that’s designed to work with Microsoft’s other applications – like Excel, Word, PowerPoint, OneNote, SharePoint and Power BI – as well as some 150 integrations with third-party services often used in a corporate environment, like those from Asana, Hootsuite, Zendesk, and more.
During the demo at Build, Microsoft’s focus was on showing how all these apps – plus Cortana – could work together. For example, after one meeting demo, a mobile user returned to her laptop to find an Action Item from Cortana, which pulled up a meeting summary sent to her in Outlook. The summary included attendee list, video links, the tabs used and the bot interactions from Teams, along with the user’s Action Item they could mark as complete in the email itself.
In addition to the demo of Teams, the company also announced two new features arriving in the Developer Preview, which will reach all users next month: compose extensions and third-party notifications in the activity feed.
Compose extensions will allow users to issue commands to bring in information from another app or service right into their Team chat, without having to switch screens to do so.
Meanwhile, developers will also now be able to alert users of key information and updates from their service in the Activity Feed, though the new notification support. To make this possible, developers will get new Teams APIs, also in preview, which will let them access team and channel information.
With these additions, developers are able to package capabilities – including tabs, bots, connectors, compose extensions, and activity feed notifications – into one Teams app.
Microsoft demonstrated a couple of these apps at Build, including those from partners like Wrike, Sapho, and Adobe.