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Microsoft Teams opens up for new collaborative apps that plug into meetings


Microsoft Teams first let developers build third-party apps in teams last year, but the company is going a step ahead in Build 2021 today. In an effort to create more app developers for teams, Microsoft is opening its critical APIs, Teams Store, and tools that it calls collaborative apps.

Developers will soon be able to create apps that plug into the team meeting canvas, which use in-app purchases or subscriptions, and even create separate apps that allow real-time for the team Gain access to video and audio streams.

“If you can create web apps, you can create extensions in team chats, channels and meetings,” explains Jeff Taper, head of Microsoft 365 collaboration. “You can build once, run, deploy anywhere.”

This implies that applications worked for groups will chip away at Windows, Mac, Web, iOS, Android, and even Linux. While we’ve seen some applications that fitting into the gathering material previously, Microsoft is dispatching a review that will permit devs to share applications, for example, whiteboards and project sheets, and applications straightforwardly in groups to the gathering region.

Microsoft is also making it easier for developers to build these apps with more integration into Visual Studio and Visual Studio code.


Microsoft’s Together Mode for Teams, which uses AI to split your face and shoulders and puts you and your co-workers together in a virtual space, is also being opened. 

“We’re giving people a toolkit so they can design their own Together Modes scenes,” Tepper says. “We are very excited to see what people bring.”

Later this mid year, Microsoft will permit outsider applications to get continuous sound and video transfers from groups. This will primarily allow transcription or note-taking apps to process audio and video coming from teams, but it will also enable developers to create Bespoke apps that reach teams.

Microsoft will also allow developers to sell their subscriptions within their Teams apps. This opens the team store for in-app purchases. Microsoft has not elaborated on whether it cuts sales here, but Taper is keen to point out that Microsoft’s main focus is building an ecosystem of apps.

“We can make some money in the market, but our primary business model will be Microsoft 365 licenses and Azure and Power platform licenses that developers consume,” Tepper says.

“One can create a completely custom application that is separate from the team UI and that app can interoperate with teams via voice, video, or chat,” Tepper explains. 

An example might be a hospital that wants to make a connection in teams with its telehealth app to enable video calls.

With 145 million daily active users of Microsoft Teams, there can certainly be an appetite for more apps that plug in and appear in team meetings.

Microsoft has always positioned teams as the center of productivity, and these latest announcements are explicitly designed to make teams a bit more developer-friendly.

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