Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 news and opinions

Microsoft Teams and Azure Communication Services news from Microsoft Build 2021

Microsoft Build is a developer-focused conference, but being that Microsoft Teams is as much platform as it is Collaboration-aaS/UCaaS there were a few interesting announcements related to Microsoft Teams.

Here are what I think are the highlights.

Microsoft Teams apps for meetings Improvements

Shared stage integration, in preview, provides developers with new access to the main stage (the main meeting screen) in a Teams meeting. This provides a new surface to enable real-time, multiuser collaboration experiences for their meetings apps, such as whiteboarding, design, project boards and more.

This is an example of a third party app taking the stage in a meeting:


Media APIs and resource-specific consent, coming soon, provide developers with real-time access to audio and video streams for transcription, translation, note-taking, insights gathering and more.

App Studio is now “Developer Portal”

Enhanced features for the Developer portal include:

  • Access from any web browser and device for easy navigation
  • Ability to manage environment configurations, eliminating the need to manage multiple app manifests in different environments
  • Ability to collaborate with peers by giving read/write access to others to collaborate and update apps
  • The ability for independent service vendors (ISVs) to link software as a service (SaaS) offers to their apps for new in-Teams purchase experiences.


Together mode extensibility, coming soon, allows developers to create custom Together Mode scenes for Teams.



Purchasing Third-party App subscriptions from the Teams App Store


This has been talked about before a number of times, as far back as Build 2019. So I’m filing it under “believe it when I see it”, but again Microsoft talked about having a way to buy apps directly from inside the Microsoft Teams App store in the Teams Admin Center.

Adaptive Cards for Teams tabs available in preview

This is interesting. Adaptive cards have seen a number of improvements. Adaptive cards are typically used in chat or outlook, but this is using the same Adaptive Card UI components.

Teams App Customization available now

I’ve directly seen this requirement a number of times. Modality has a bot that proactively sends users adaptive cards for training and governance. Many customers want to tailor the app name and icon to meet their cooperate branding standards. Now you can do this.


Azure Communication Services

There were also some announcements around Azure Communication Services.

Call recording for Azure Communication Services

Coming next month in preview. As a built-in platform feature, secure, server-side runtime control APIs allowing for mixed audio and video recording output with built-in temporary storage for up to 48 hours. Recorded media output is in MP4 audio and video format, just like in Teams, with more formats, like audio-only MP3, planned.

Direct routing for Azure Communication Services

Confirmation this is coming into preview next month. This is different from, but similar to Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams. Direct routing is a virtual connection between a developer app and SBC to connect to on-premises telephony or carrier used for calls on the public switched telephone network (PSTN).

A Fluent “Teams Like” User Interface (UI) Assets Library for Azure Communication Services

Now available in preview,  prebuilt composites or specific UI components for developer solutions. The UI Library extends as a layer on top of Azure Communication Services for calling and chat, delivering Microsoft Teams-like composable and turnkey composite components. Components are fully open source and identity agnostic with interoperability into Teams.


You can check out the library documentation here, and examples here

They also announced Traversal Using Relays around NAT (TURN) and Azure Communication Services Calling SDK for Windows Universal Windows Platform (UWP)



About the author

Tom Arbuthnot

A Microsoft MVP and Microsoft Certified Master, Tom Arbuthnot is Principal Solutions Architect at Microsoft Collaboration specialists Modality Systems.

Tom stays up to date with industry developments and shares news and his opinions on his blog, Microsoft Teams Podcast and email list. He is a regular speaker at events around the world.

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Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 news and opinions