April 22, 2024

SamTech 365

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PowerPlatform – Teams Integration

Today, at the Dynamic 365 & PowerPlatform Users Groups, I had the pleasure to present a session about the different ways of building Teams Applications and Integrating Power Platform solutions with Teams.

Why Building Applications for MS Teams?

•Since the start of the pandemic, users are spending most of their time in Teams, and building applications For or Within Teams is becoming a trend.
•It avoids context switching and improves productivity by reaching to your users where they spend most of their time, i.e. Teams.
•Easy to deploy, especially with the increase of Personal devices usages, where IT teams have less control over what applications get deployed to the users.
•Apps published and surfaced in Teams will show to the users regardless which device they use.

Different methods of Publishing PowerApps within Teams

1. Encapsulate existing Content, Apps, SharePoint Pages ..etc. In Teams.
2. Build your Apps within Teams.
3. Use Visual Studio (or VS Code) and Teams Toolkit SDK

1. Existing PowerApps, or Solutions (SharePoint Modern Pages, or other Web Applications

•If you have already invested in a Power Platform solution, and your aim is to expose your application via Teams and take advantage of the high usage of Teams Clients, you can “Encapsulate” your application in a custom Teams Application.
•The app can be published to your Organization Store
•It can also be pinned to the left rail for all users (enforced, using Teams Policies).
•Any update to your application from Power Platform willavailable in Teams (it runs as an I frame).

Pros

•This method is very simple and does not require much work, especially when you have existing applications that you want to surface quickly in Teams and take advantage to the increase usage of Teams.
•One of the biggest Pros is that you will be just wrapping your existing applications in Teams, and the complexity level of such application is very minimal.
•You will be building (Your Application Manifest) once only, any new updates to your existing business application will just load in the previously built Teams Application.

Cons

•When it comes to the Cons of this approach, there are no much cons here, except :
•Single Sign on can be tricky to configure especially with non-MS Solutions.
•If you are also planning to include web pages (SharePoint modern pages or business web applications), and these last have a link which opens in a new tab, your users will have to switch back to Teams to continue their journey with your application.
•Such applications can only be deployed to your organisation store.

2. Build for Teams in Teams !

•Using PowerApps App for Teams, you can start creating your Application right from Teams.
•This is an ideal scenario if you want to build a new business solution and you know that “most” of the users will access it via Teams
•It involves using PowerApps for Teams and has some particularities

Pros

•Using PowerApps App for Teams, you can start creating your Application right from Teams.
•This is an ideal scenario if you want to build a new business solution and you know that “most” of the users will access it via Teams
•It involves using PowerApps for Teams and has some particularities

Cons

While it is very easy to build, test and deploy, this option has couple of pitfalls:

•Limited to Data Verse only, which means Premium Licences are required for all your users.
•These applications can only be deployed to your Organisation Store at the moment.
•No Co Authoring available yet.

3. Custom Teams applications with VS Code.

•If neither option 1 or 2 are suitable to you, and you have complex requirements or you just want to build Teams applications in order to publish to the Microsoft Store or Monetize, you are left with only one option !
Build you custom application with Visual Studio (Or VS Code).

Pros

This last option is meant to be used by pro developers with Node.Jsor C#.

•One of the main pros of this approach is that there no limits to the services you can use to build your applications. You can combine M365 and Azure Services, in addition to third parties services.
•It also allows you to package the Teams Custom Application and distribute them or monetize the at a larger scale (Teams Store).

Cons

Obviously, this approach is more complicate and required advanced knowledges.

The build/test and publish time can be much longer.

 

Additional Resources

•Beginners’ crash course to build apps for Teams using Teams Toolkit for Visual Studio Code –>
https://devblogs.microsoft.com/microsoft365dev/beginners-crash-course-to-build-apps-for-teams-using-teams-toolkit-for-visual-studio-code/

 

Download my slides

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