DISCLAIMER – This is a community-written Proof of Concept custom App
This is not an official Microsoft app. This is a custom app that was written using the power of App Studio within Teams. This app is NOT a supported enterprise-level app. It is ONLY for testing. It just shows you the power behind the platform.
Microsoft Teams is often positioned as the single application for your communication and collaboration and sometimes even the single pane of glass for business productivity.
This often provokes the question, why is there not access to email in Microsoft Teams. This is obviously not a big technical challenge, Microsoft has a great web-based email application, clearly it could be added to Teams technically, just like Trello, Planner or any other web app can be added today.
However, a big part of the positioning of “Workstream Collaboration” products is getting away from email in order to be more productive, so Microsoft adding email to Teams might well impact the marketing message/typical user usage.
That being said, Microsoft Teams offers a development platform/app studio and an ability to create your own Teams apps. So Brent Whichel, Director and Modern Workplace Evangelist, has done just that. He created a Microsoft Teams “app” to embed Outlook on the Web (previously called Outlook Web App) in Microsoft Teams. Thanks to Patrick Kelley, Teams Customer Success Black Belt at Microsoft for highlighting this on LinkedIn.
Is this a good idea or a bad idea usage/productivity-wise? I would love to know your opinion.
Note, this is a test app created by a person at Microsoft, not “an application from Microsoft”. That’s a really important difference. Developer tools ahead, proceed at your own risk etc. Thanks to Brent for this interesting experiment.
Want to have a go? Brent has outlined the steps nicely at http://teamsemail.com/ I’m reproducing them below as I test it, but it’s all his work. Patrick has also done a nice video tutorial on LinkedIn
Note, you must be using Office 365 Exchange Online.
If the app gets updated or authentication gets improved, I will update the blog, subscribe for updates and the latest news
1) Install App Studio App within Teams
2) Run App Studio
2) Within App Studio open, click the Manifest editor tab then click “Import an existing app”
3) Import the Email in Teams.zip
Brent provides at http://teamsemail.com/
Which, if you are interested, is a fairly light manifest and some icons
4) Click into the email app in App Studio and click “Test and distribute”, Then “Install”
5) Then Add
6) To make it work, you need to sign in via a web tab in any teams channel.
It seems the app doesn’t support direct sign in
7) Go to any Teams channel, add a website tab.
The name can be anything, but the URL must be https://outlook.office365.com/mail/inbox
Use this tab to sign in once
Once signed in via the web tab in the channel, Brent says the all “will now work flawlessly as long as you visit it once a day or so.”
If you have appropriate permissions to upload it at a tenant level, you could even pin it on the Teams sidebar: