Book Image

Customizing Microsoft Teams

By : Gopi Kondameda
Book Image

Customizing Microsoft Teams

By: Gopi Kondameda

Overview of this book

In the evolving remote working arrangement, the demand for custom Microsoft Teams apps is increasing rapidly across businesses. If you are someone who aims to provide users with an exceptional experience through custom-built apps that adhere to industry standards and good governance, Customizing Microsoft Teams is for you! The book starts with an overview of Microsoft Teams customization and configuration prerequisites. It then shows you how to expose functionalities from various solutions through tabs, connectors, messaging extensions, and more before you move on to explore how the PowerShell module can manage multiple aspects of administration and how to use the SharePoint Framework for creating custom Microsoft Teams apps. You’ll be able to work with Microsoft Dataverse for Teams to build custom apps, bots, and flows using Power Apps, Power Virtual Agents, and Power Automate. As you publish your production-ready apps on the Teams store and Microsoft AppSource, you’ll also understand Teams app analytics and reporting functionalities. By the end of this book, you’ll have learned how to develop custom solutions to solve critical business problems and extend the power of Microsoft Teams to develop high-value use cases in the remote working culture.
Table of Contents (16 chapters)
1
Part 1: Microsoft Teams Customization Exploring the Architecture and Components
4
Part 2: Microsoft Teams Customization with Tools and Techniques
9
Part 3: Microsoft Teams Customization with Low-Code and No-Code

Microsoft Teams admin, configuration, and prerequisites such as Azure, Microsoft 365, and Power Platform

If you want to start building various customization options such as apps, bots, and tabs (discussed in detail in the next chapter) for Microsoft Teams to use in your tenant, you should prepare your Microsoft 365 tenant for these customizations by configuring the required policies and settings in the Microsoft Teams admin center.

The Teams admin center is a single place to configure various settings and policies to control the behavior of all three types of apps (Microsoft, third-party, and custom): https://admin.teams.microsoft.com. You need to be a Teams Administrator or a Global/Tenant Admin to access and adjust the policies or settings in the Teams admin center.

Note

There are many types of Teams policies, such as those related to messaging, phone, voice, apps, and so on. Policies are a collection of configuration elements and can be assigned per user, group, or tenant (organization-wide). As this book is about Teams app customizations, our focus is mostly on policies that concern apps.

In addition to policies, you can also control the configuration through settings – settings meaning a collection of configuration elements that can only be controlled at the tenant level.

You have the following options on the left-hand side to control Microsoft Teams apps for end users and their assignments at the user, group, or tenant level:

Note:

Assigning policies at the user level or tenant level is mostly clear based on the name; when it comes to groups, you can assign the policies to a group of users with a security group or distribution list.

Policies/Settings

Assignment

App Permissions

App Setup

Org-Wide

User

Group

Tenant

You can log in to the Teams admin center directly at https://admin.teams.microsoft.com or you can access the Teams admin center through the admin portal at https://admin.microsoft.com.

It will look as follows on your screen:

Figure 1.20 – Teams apps administration

Figure 1.20 – Teams apps administration

Teams apps have the following options for the configuration of the app’s permissions and settings:

  • Manage appsorg-wide settings
  • Permission policies
  • Setup policies

Let us discuss these in detail in the following sub-sections.

Org-wide app settings

Org-wide app settings can control the apps available to your whole organization. Permissions and set-up policies can’t be more permissive than org-wide app settings, so org-wide settings override any custom policies that you assign to users.

By navigating to the Teams admin center | Teams apps | Manage apps | Org-wide app settings, you can control the third-party apps and custom apps for your organization’s tenant:

Figure 1.21 – Accessing Org-wide app settings through Manage apps

Figure 1.21 – Accessing Org-wide app settings through Manage apps

The following screenshot shows the various options available for org-wide settings:

Figure 1.22 – Org-wide app settings

Figure 1.22 – Org-wide app settings

From Figure 1.22, we can see how these org-wide settings can be controlled:

  • Allow third-party apps: Turning this off will block all users from installing any third-party apps
  • Allow any new third-party apps published to the store by default: Turning this on will allow users to install any new third-party apps published to the store based on their app permission policy
  • Custom apps: Turning this off means no users will be able to upload custom apps

Permission policies

Through Permission policies, you can control the availability of apps (such as Microsoft apps, third-party, and custom apps that are built in-house) to Microsoft Teams users.

You can do this through the following actions:

  • Creating custom app permission policies
  • Controlling the apps available for various users and groups

Creating custom app permission policies

Through the Teams admin center | Teams apps | Permission policies | App permission policies, you can create a custom app permission policy by clicking on + Add and selecting the permissions that you want for various app types.

Figure 1.23 – App permission policies view

Figure 1.23 – App permission policies view

The following screenshot shows the various options that you can include for each type of app (Microsoft apps, Third-party apps, and Custom apps) in the custom policy:

Figure 1.24 – Creating a custom app permission policy

Figure 1.24 – Creating a custom app permission policy

You can select one of the following policy options from the dropdown as the permission policy for each type of app:

Figure 1.25 – Permission policies

Figure 1.25 – Permission policies

After saving the policy, you can assign the custom policy to individual users by selecting the policy and adding users one by one.

Figure 1.26 – Assigning a custom policy to individual users

Figure 1.26 – Assigning a custom policy to individual users

When you block apps through an app permission policy, the users who are affected by this policy are unable to install the blocked apps from the Teams store.

In a nutshell, allowing all apps would be the least restrictive, and blocking all apps the most restrictive.

Setup policies

Setup policies will make the approved apps in your organization more accessible to Teams users. This will let you customize Teams by pinning the apps that are most important to the users—you can pin the apps to the left rail (on your desktop) or app bar (from your mobile) and set the order of the apps as they appear. This also includes all three types of apps – Microsoft-built, third-party, and custom. In addition to this, you can control who (such as the developers) can upload custom apps that they have built. The process of uploading custom apps is also called side-loading.

You have two built-in app setup policies that are included with the Microsoft Teams admin center:

  • Global (org-wide default): Applies to all users – you can pin apps that should be available to all users
  • Frontline worker: You can assign this to frontline workers

Note

Frontline workers are employees that work directly with customers or the public, providing services and support and selling products, or employees directly involved in the manufacturing and distribution of products or services.

You can customize the built-in app setup policies by selecting the policy and clicking on Edit. Once you are in the policy, you can control the ability to upload a custom app or allow users to pin apps through the following features:

Figure 1.27 – App setup policies

Figure 1.27 – App setup policies

Let’s see what each function deals with:

  • Upload custom apps: This determines whether a user can upload a custom app package to the Teams app. Turning it on lets you create or develop a custom app to be used personally or across your organization without having to submit it to the Teams app store.
  • User pinning: With this policy, the user’s existing app pins will be added to the list of pinned apps, and users can rearrange, add, and remove pins as they choose.

You can pin more apps through the + Add apps option on the following screen:

Figure 1.28 – Sample view of pinned apps

Figure 1.28 – Sample view of pinned apps

Pinning apps will give Teams users easy access by showcasing the important apps in your organization.

If the admin allows user pinning, the users can pin any existing app; however, if an admin pins apps, the latter configuration always take precedence.

You can also choose the apps that can be installed through this policy.

Figure 1.29 – Installing apps through the setup policies

Figure 1.29 – Installing apps through the setup policies

Figure 1.29 shows you where to install the apps through the setup policy.