Build 2020: Microsoft Teams is getting new ways to engage with apps, and VS Code integration

Arif Bacchus

Developing and using apps in Microsoft Teams will soon be a lot easier. At its annual Build developer conference, Microsoft announced a new VS Code extension for Microsoft Teams, and some new ways for users to engage with apps in the collaboration software.

First, there’s the end-user experience. Per Microsoft, some enhancements, with the apps experience in Teams include “improvements to app search and tailored app suggestions to help surface the most relevant apps to users in the Teams store.” There’s also a newly announced ability to open apps in a separate window, too, coming this year.

Now, for the developer stuff. With a new extension in Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code, developers will be able to “build Teams apps within tools they are already familiar with.” With the extension, developers will also be able to publish apps directly to the AppSource and to their organization’s app catalog. And, for developers with little experience, a Power Apps Studio integration within Teams will be able to provide some of the same benefits.  Microsoft highlights the following enhancements.

  • Single sign-on will enable users to authenticate in one click for the apps they use in Teams.
  • The Teams Activity Feed API gives developers a new and simpler way to send app notifications to users across their devices.

For IT Admins, there will be some new options within the Teams admin center that will help with dispatching apps. They’ll be able to purchase licenses directly from the admin center and  validate and approve line-of-business applications and pre-install ISV or line-of-business apps for their users.  IT admins will also soon enjoy new team templates, which will allow them to customize templates, such as including certain apps within channels inside a team template.