Microsoft Teams now allows third-party app developers to plug their apps with the platform

Microsoft has opened its Teams collaboration platform for third-party app developers. The new features will allow third-party app developers to display their content during Teams video calls.

This is the first time, Microsoft is opening up its collaboration software for third-party developers. The move will allow a big expansion of what third party apps are able to do in Microsoft Teams right now. These apps can add a tab to meeting invites where Teams users can interact with the app before meeting.

The developer features will allow apps to integrate into Teams meetings during video calls. Once a meeting starts, Teams participant can pull apps into the live call. This can also include bots that trigger a live notification. The integration also includes the ability of apps to appear as a button in the meeting controls bar.

With this update, Microsoft is changing the way Teams users shared apps or screen. Earlier the only option to share an app was through screen sharing. Which is not the ideal way of collaboration as it sometimes led to unnecessary notifications and privacy headaches.

In an interview with the Verge, Archana Saseetharan, a group product manager of Microsoft Teams said, “One of the key pieces of feedback is, ‘Okay, we can integrate and enable scenarios in these other areas, but in meetings, we want to be playing there as well. We are enabling new APIs and SDK capabilities for developers to integrate and target these new areas. It is the same development process, the same publishing process, the same validation process. Everything is the same, but you have these three new capabilities to go target.”

If third party developers plug into Teams more deeply, there will be innovative ways in which companies and their teams can collaborate. However, Microsoft is not the only company working on improving remote amid the pandemic. Facebook has also showcased its own remote working module powered by augmented and virtual reality. Google is rapidly integrating new features into Meet.