Introduction to apps, bots, and connectors

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Microsoft Teams apps provide out-of-the-box tools for your organization to get more out of Teams. These apps combine the functionality of tabs, messaging extensions, connectors, and bots provided by Microsoft, built by a third-party, or by developers in your organization.

Apps are a way to aggregate one or more capabilities into an app package that can be installed, upgraded, and uninstalled. The capabilities include:

  • Bots
  • Messaging extensions
  • Tabs
  • Connectors

Apps let you find content from your favorite services and share it right in Teams. They help you do things such as pin services at the top of a channel, chat with bots, or share and assign tasks. We recommend that you include our featured apps—such as Planner—in your initial Teams rollout. Add other apps, bots, and connectors as you drive Teams adoption.

Interact with apps and services

There are several ways you can interact with apps and services in Teams:

  • Chat with a bot. Bots provide answers, updates, and assistance in a channel. You can chat with them one-on-one or in a channel. They can help with task management, scheduling, and more.

  • Share content on a tab. Tabs help you share content and functionality from your favorite services in a channel. They can connect you to Microsoft services (like Excel or SharePoint), other services (like Asana, YouTube, and Zendesk), or to a website of your choice.

    Note

    Tabs in channels can be seen by everyone on the team. Tabs in chats can only be seen by the people in that chat.

  • Get updates from a connector. Connectors send updates and information directly to a channel. Get automatic updates from your favorite services like Trello, JIRA, Twitter, RSS feeds, GitHub, and more.

  • Add rich content to your messages. These apps find content from different services and send it straight to a message. You can share things like weather reports, daily news, images, and videos with anyone you're talking to. Messages sometimes include buttons for interacting with the app. For example, a daily weather report could include an option to download the forecast for the entire week.