Monthly Archives: January 2019
Microsoft has been building out its ‘cloud first’ strategy for many years now. As once separate on-premises server products have morphed into online services, we have been reaping the benefit of tighter integration between these services products. We’ve seen this most strongly with the Office 365 services where SharePoint, Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote), OneDrive, and Teams have really become tightly integrated. From a development point of view this cloud strategy has provided Microsoft with a way of delivering a single unified API across the entire surface area of Office 365 covering all these product services. This API is called the Microsoft Graph API. Recently Microsoft added a bunch of it’s security services into the Graph API providing a standard interface and uniform schema to integrate security alerts, unlock contextual information, and simplify security automation.
Microsoft is running a developer hackathon (the Microsoft Graph Security Hackathon) which simply involves using the new security APIs to see what good use you can put it too. There’s some awesome prizes on offer
($15,000 worth!). There’s also some great judges that will be looking at the entries which will give your submissions and ideas some great exposure.
Get coding and submit your entry before March 1, 2019.
It’s no secret that I think Microsoft Teams is an awesome product. I’ve written in the past about how I believe Teams is a great enabler for making people more productive and brings the right tools together in a place that makes a lot of sense.
What are messaging extensions?
Message extensions are available when you are creating a chat message (either a new conversation, or when replying to an existing message). Message extensions assist you by inserting content into the chat message you are composing.
Below is the Giphy messaging extension that allows you to search for an animated image and insert it into your message.
Why develop a messaging extension?
One of the resounding benefits of the Microsoft Teams client is being able to extend the out-of-the-box capabilities and integrate with your existing line of business (LOB) applications. Usually the benefit gain in integrating LOB applications into Teams is that it reduces the context switching for users and they spend more time actually getting work done, and less time moving between application, copying/pasting data or links.
Take a CRM application as an example, if you are discussing a customer in a conversation in Teams and needed to explain where that customer was located, or what the contact details were. The steps you would normally go through would be to open your CRM application, search for the customer, find the relevant details, then cut and paste multiple fields of text switching back and forth between the customer details in the CRM app and the conversation in Teams.
By extending Teams with Messaging Extensions, it is possible to provide an integration into your CRM system that would allow a user to search for a customer in Teams while composing a chat message, select the customer and have the details formatted nicely and inserted in the chat message all without having to leave Teams or even open the CRM application.
When you look at the core LOB applications within your organisation there are some key integrations such as this that can bring about real productivity gains.
Where to start with messaging extension development?
I know I should be doing something a little more productive than this, but hey it’s the holiday season and little LEGO MVP me needs to unwind too 🎄
Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and successful 2019.
Pretty sure I’m not the only one who’s gone down this rabbit hole…