Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Retrieve Office365 People data on MS Team Channels via Outgoing Webhook and Azure App Service

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Here, let us see how office 365 people information can be integrated into Microsoft Teams, with the help of outgoing webhooks on Teams. The use case is to pull the people present at a location, on posting a message to a service from Microsoft Teams.  

This could be easily achieved with the help of outgoing webhook feature under teams. The webhook has to interact with a service to get data processed based on data posted. 

Why Outgoing Webhook?: The outgoing webhook is used here instead of incoming webhook, since the data needs to be retrieved only when it is required.

No BOT Framework, only Azure App Service: This article helps us to understand creating outgoing webhook services for Microsoft Teams, without creating BOT service/app. Here the intent of service is clear, so we are not leveraging the BOT framework, instead hosting a simple service with Azure web app. From azure web app, the people data is being pulled from Azure AD with the help of Microsoft Graph API.


Create an outgoing webhook for a Microsoft Team 


Locate a team under Microsoft Teams, and navigate to manage team. Under App, in the bottom right corner, you will find an outgoing webhook link. From the link, create a webhook.  

Outgoing Webhook creation on Teams
Outgoing Webhook creation on Teams

Sunday, 2 February 2020

Setting up Microsoft Teams Shifts Schedule Reminders

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This article will help us to setup reminders for Shifts on Microsoft Teams using Power Automate. This will help to understand how shift reminders are triggered to shift owners a day before the shift schedules, as gentle reminders.

Before getting into implementation, we will see short introduction of Shifts app. Recently Microsoft has retired the Staffhub service, and Shift app is available as replacement and is available as an app on Microsoft Teams.


Microsoft Team's Shifts App


Shifts App, as quoted on Microsoft documentations: The Shifts app in Microsoft Teams keeps Firstline Workers connected and in sync. It's built mobile first for fast and effective time management and communication for teams.

Shifts app lets users on Microsoft Teams to create necessary shift schedules, and assign/share the schedules with teams. Once the schedule is created and shared on Teams, users will be able to view the schedules on their Teams login.
  • Currently, notifications are not working as expected. In my case, after sharing the schedule with a team, the notifications were not triggered to teams users. 
  • The shift schedule is not currently synced up with calendars. 
Hope the above drawbacks would be addressed in the near future by Microsoft product team.

This article helps us to understand a reminder notification requirement, which I came across recently. Let us look at how to trigger reminder notifications to respective schedule owners a day before the shift schedule.

Create a necessary shift schedules and share it with teams on Microsoft Teams interface.
Microsoft Team Shifts App - Sample Shift Schedule
Microsoft Team Shifts App - Sample Shift Schedule

Saturday, 4 January 2020

Ask Alexa to search for a Microsoft Team – Integration of Amazon Alexa Skill with MS Team using Azure Functions and Graph API

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The article helps understand how to integrate your Amazon Alexa with Microsoft team using Azure functions and Microsoft Graph API. The use case demonstrated here is finding a team on Microsoft Teams via Alexa. You can implement plenty of use cases.

This requires the following components.
  • Amazon's Alexa developer console for testing, and Alexa device for real demo.
  • Azure Subscription - Azure function to host request/response code for Alexa device, which integrates with Microsoft Graph API
  • Office 365 tenant - with Microsoft Teams enabled. 


Configure Skills on Alexa Console


From the Amazon Alexa console (https://developer.amazon.com/alexa/console/ask), create a custom skill. The following steps has to be created on the console.
  • Create invocation utterance - This is the skill invocation keywords on Alexa. In my case, invocation would be “team finder”
Invocation your skill by saying team finder
Invocation your skill by saying team finder