Send activity feed notifications to users in Microsoft Teams

The Microsoft Teams activity feed enables users to triage items that require attention by notifying them of changes. You can use the activity feed notification APIs in Microsoft Graph to extend this functionality to your apps. This allows your apps to provide richer experiences and better engage users by helping to keep them up to date with changes in the tools and workflows they use.

Understanding the basics of activity feed notification

Activity feed notifications in Microsoft Teams are comprised of multiple bits of information, displayed together, as shown in the following image.

Image showing components of an activity feed notification

The components include:

  • The actor who initiated the activity
  • An icon that represents the activity type
  • The reason the actor did the activity
  • A text preview
  • A time stamp
  • The location of the activity

The following example shows how these components together provide the details about a notification. This example is a notification about a user mentioned in a Yammer community.

Yammer actifity notification example

Requirements for using the activity feed notification APIs

Activity feed APIs work with a Teams app. The following are the requirements for sending activity feed notifications:

  • The Teams app manifest must have the Azure AD app ID added to the webApplicationInfo section. For details, see manifest schema.
  • Activity types must be declared in the activities section. For details, see manifest schema.
  • The Teams app must be installed for the recipient, either personally, or in a team or chat they are part of. For more information, see Teams app installation.

Teams app manifest changes

This section describes the changes that need to be added to Teams app manifest. Note that you must be using the Teams app manifest version 1.7 or greater.

"$schema": "https://developer.microsoft.com/json-schemas/teams/v1.7/MicrosoftTeams.schema.json",
"manifestVersion": "1.7",

webApplicationInfo section changes

"webApplicationInfo":
{
    "id": "a3111f15-658e-457c-9689-fd20fe907330",
    "resource": "https://contosoapp.com"
}
Parameter Type Description
id string Azure AD app ID (client ID).
resource string Resource associated with the Azure AD app. Also known as reply or redirect URL in the Azure Portal.

Note: You might get an error if multiple Teams apps in the same scope (team, chat or user) are using the same Azure AD app. Make sure that you're using unique Azure AD apps.

activities section changes

"activities":
{
  "activityTypes": [
    {
      "type": "taskCreated",
      "description": "Task Created Activity",
      "templateText": "{actor} created task {taskId} for you"
    },
    {
      "type": "approvalRequired",
      "description": "Deployment requires your approval",
      "templateText": "{actor} created a new deployment {deploymentId}"
    }
  ]
}
Parameter Type Description
type string Type of activity. This needs to be unique in a specific manifest.
description string Human-readable short description. This will be visible on the Microsoft Teams client.
templateText string Template text for the activity notification. You can declare your parameters by encapsulating parameters in {}.

Note: actor is a special parameter that always takes the name of the caller. In delegated calls, actor is the user's name. In application-only calls, it takes the name of the Teams app.

Installing the Teams app

Teams apps can be installed in a team, a chat, or for a user personally, and can be distributed in multiple ways. For details, see Teams app distribution methods. Typically, sideloading is preferred for development purposes. After development, you can choose the right distribution method based on whether you want to distribute to one tenant or to all tenants.

You can also use Teams app installation APIs to manage Teams app installations.

Sending activity feed notifications to users

Because a Teams app can be installed for a user, in a team, or in a chat, the notifications can be sent in these three contexts as well:

For details about what topics are supported for each scenario, see the specific APIs. Custom text-based topics are supported for all scenarios.

Example 1: Notify a user about a task created in a chat

This example shows how you can send an activity feed notification for a new task created in a chat. In this case, the Teams app must be installed in a chat with Id chatId and user 569363e2-4e49-4661-87f2-16f245c5d66a must be part of the chat as well.

Request

POST https://graph.microsoft.com/beta/chats/{chatId}/sendActivityNotification
Content-Type: application/json

{
    "topic": {
        "source": "entityUrl",
        "value": "https://graph.microsoft.com/beta/chats/{chatId}"
    },
    "activityType": "taskCreated",
    "previewText": {
        "content": "New Task Created"
    },
    "recipient": {
        "@odata.type": "microsoft.graph.aadUserNotificationRecipient",
        "userId": "569363e2-4e49-4661-87f2-16f245c5d66a"
    },
    "templateParameters": [
        {
            "name": "taskId",
            "value": "12322"
        }
    ]
}

Response

HTTP/1.1 204 No Content

Example 2: Notify a user about a task created in a team

This example shows how you can send an activity feed notification for a team. This example notifies the team owner about a new task created that requires their attention.

Request

POST https://graph.microsoft.com/beta/teams/{teamId}/sendActivityNotification
Content-Type: application/json

{
    "topic": {
        "source": "entityUrl",
        "value": "https://graph.microsoft.com/beta/teams/{teamId}"
    },
    "activityType": "taskCreated",
    "previewText": {
    	"content": "New Task Created"
    },
    "recipient": {
        "@odata.type": "microsoft.graph.aadUserNotificationRecipient",
        "userId": "569363e2-4e49-4661-87f2-16f245c5d66a"
    },
    "templateParameters": [
        {
            "name": "taskId",
            "value": "12322"
        }
    ]
}

Response

HTTP/1.1 204 No Content

Example 3: Notify a user about an event using a custom topic

As seen in the previous examples, you can link to different aspects of a team or a chat. However, if you want to link to an aspect that is not part of the team or is not represented by Microsoft Graph, or if you want to customize the name, you can set the source of the topic to text and pass in a custom value for it. Additionally, webUrl is required when you use topic source as text.

The Yammer notification example shown earlier uses a custom topic because Yammer's resources are not supported by Microsoft Graph.

Note: webUrl must start with the Microsoft Teams domain (teams.microsoft.com for example).

Request

POST https://graph.microsoft.com/beta/teams/{teamId}/sendActivityNotification
Content-Type: application/json

{
    "topic": {
        "source": "text",
        "value": "Deployment Approvals Channel",
        "webUrl": "https://teams.microsoft.com/l/message/19:448cfd2ac2a7490a9084a9ed14cttr78c@thread.skype/1605223780000?tenantId=c8b1bf45-3834-4ecf-971a-b4c755ee677d&groupId=d4c2a937-f097-435a-bc91-5c1683ca7245&parentMessageId=1605223771864&teamName=Approvals&channelName=Azure%20DevOps&createdTime=1605223780000"
    },
    "activityType": "approvalRequired",
    "previewText": {
        "content": "New deployment requires your approval"
    },
    "recipient": {
        "@odata.type": "Microsoft.Teams.GraphSvc.aadUserNotificationRecipient",
        "userId": "569363e2-4e49-4661-87f2-16f245c5d66a"
    },
    "templateParameters": [
        {
            "name": "deploymentId",
            "value": "6788662"
        }
    ]
}

Response

HTTP/1.1 204 No Content

Customizing how the notifications alert you

Microsoft Teams users can customize the notifications they see in their feed, as a banner, and so on. Notifications generated through activity feed APIs can also be customized. Users can choose how they are notified via settings in Microsoft Teams. Teams apps will appear in the list for the user to choose from, as shown in the following screenshot.

Screenshot of the Notifications settings in Teams, with the Custom option highlighted

Users can click Edit next to an app and customize the notifications, as shown in the following example. The description field in the Teams app manifest is displayed.

Screenshot showing notifications customized to Banner and feed for a Teams app