If you’ve followed the news around Microsoft’s Office event in New York yesterday, you may be aware that Microsoft has brought the big guns to give some serious competition to popular team collaboration app Slack. Indeed, with its new Microsoft Teams offering, the Redmond giant has built a new chat-based workspace in Office 365 which brings together thread-based conversations, integrations with Office apps and extensibility features through support for third-party apps.
While Microsoft Teams is only available as a preview for Office 365 business customers for now, Microsoft emphasized yesterday that its new platform was already supported by many popular developers including Zendesk, Asana, Intercom, Hootsuite and more. Of course, the company is just getting started and it wants other developers to know why they should bring their apps to Microsoft Teams as soon as possible.
To do so, the technology giant highlighted in a new blog post on the Office Dev Center three ways for developers to integrate their apps with Microsoft Teams. The first one is through the creation of branded tabs that allow team members to directly interact with a third-party service within a channel. “Examples of tabs include dashboards and data visualization, documents and notes, group task management and shared design canvases: whatever the channel needs to succeed,” the Office team explained.
Next, developers can leverage the Microsoft Bot Framework to create intelligent bots that can interact with team members right on the platform: Microsoft demonstrated two of them, T-Bot and Who-Bot during its keynote yesterday. “Your bot can enable people to do things like give kudos to team members; create lightweight surveys; answer natural language questions about sales and customer usage data; or manage tasks and schedules,” added the Office Team. Even better, Microsoft has partnered with bot syndication company Message.io to help companies easily port their Slack bots to Microsoft Teams.
Lastly, developers can use Office 365 connectors to send content and notifications in channels within Microsoft Teams (the connectors can also be used with Office 365 groups). “This enables teams to do things like track relevant Twitter feeds, collaborate on a coding project on GitHub, or stay on top of tasks in Dynamics 365,” shared the company.
Developers can visit this official page to learn how to build Tabs, Bots and Connectors for Microsoft Teams. As Slack has already managed to get many developers to support its platform through third-party apps, it will be really important for Microsoft to catch up if its want Microsoft Teams to be relevant in this market.