Creating Office 365 Connectors for Microsoft Teams

With Microsoft Teams apps, you can add your existing Office 365 Connector or build a new one to include in Microsoft Teams. See Build your own Connector for more information.

Adding a Connector to your Teams App

You can distribute your registered Connector as part of your Teams app package. Whether as a standalone solution, or one of several capabilities that your experience enables in Teams, you can package and publish your Connector as part of your AppSource submission, or you can provide it to users directly for uploading within Teams.

To distribute your Connector, you need to register by using the Connectors Developer Dashboard. By default, once a Connector is registered, it's assumed that your Connector will work in all Office 365 products that support them, including Outlook and Teams. If that is not the case and you need to create a Connector that only works in Microsoft Teams, contact us directly at Teams Store Submissions Support.

Important

After you choose Save in the Connectors Developer Dashboard, your Connector is registered. If you want to publish your Connector in AppSource, follow the instructions in Publish your Microsoft Teams app to AppSource. If you do not wish to publish your app in AppSource, and rather simply distribute it directly to your organization only, you can do so by publishing to your organization. If you only want to publish to your organization, no further action is necessary on the Connector dashboard.

Integrating the configuration experience

Your users will complete the entire Connector configuration experience without having to leave the Teams client. To achieve this experience, Teams will embed your configuration page directly within an iframe. The sequence of operations is as follows:

  1. The user clicks on your connector to begin the configuration process.
  2. Teams will load your configuration experience in line.
  3. The user interacts with your web experience to complete the configuration.
  4. The user presses "Save", which triggers a callback in your code.
  5. Your code will process the save event by retrieving the webhook settings (documented below). Your code should then store the webhook to post events later.

You can reuse your existing web configuration experience or create a separate version to be hosted specifically in Teams. Your code should:

  1. Include the Microsoft Teams JavaScript SDK. This gives your code access to APIs to perform common operations like getting the current user/channel/team context and initiating authentication flows. Initialize the SDK by calling microsoftTeams.initialize().
  2. Call microsoftTeams.settings.setValidityState(true) when you want to enable the Save button. You should do this as a response to valid user input, such as a selection or field update.
  3. Register a microsoftTeams.settings.registerOnSaveHandler() event handler, which gets called when the user clicks Save.
  4. Call microsoftTeams.settings.setSettings() to save the connector settings. What's saved here is also what will be shown in the configuration dialog if the user tries to update an existing configuration for your connector.
  5. Call microsoftTeams.settings.getSettings() to fetch webhook properties, including the URL itself. You should call this In addition to during the save event, you should also call this when your page is first loaded in the case of a re-configuration.
  6. (Optional) Register a microsoftTeams.settings.registerOnRemoveHandler() event handler, which gets called when the user removes your connector. This event gives your service an opportunity to perform any cleanup actions.

GetSettings() response properties

Note

The parameters returned by the getSettings call here are different than if you were to invoke this method from a tab, and differ from those documented here.

Parameter Details
entityId The entity ID, as set by your code when calling setSettings().
configName The configuration name, as set by your code when calling setSettings().
contentUrl The URL of the configuration page, as set by your code when calling setSettings()
webhookUrl The webhook URL created for this connector. Persist the webhook URL and use it to POST structured JSON to send cards to the channel. The webhookUrl is returned only when application returns successfully.
appType The values returned can be mail, groups or teams corresponding to the Office 365 Mail, Office 365 Groups or Microsoft Teams respectively.
userObjectId This is the unique id corresponding to the Office 365 user who initiated setup of the connector. It should be secured. This value can be used to associate the user in Office 365 who set up the configuration to the user in your service.

If you need to authenticate the user as part of loading your page in step 2 above, refer to this link for details on how you can integrate login when your page is embedded.

Note

Due to cross-client compatibility reasons, your code will need to call microsoftTeams.authentication.registerAuthenticationHandlers() with the URL and success/failure callback methods before calling authenticate().

Handling edits

Your code should handle users returning to edit an existing connector configuration. To do this, call microsoftTeams.settings.setSettings() during the initial configuration with the following parameters:

  • entityId is the custom ID that is understood by your service and represents what the user has configured.
  • configName is a friendly name that your configuration code can retrieve
  • contentUrl is a custom URL that gets loaded when a user edits an existing connector configuration. You can use this URL to make it easier for your code to handle the edit case.

Typically, this call is made as part of your save event handler. Then, when the contentUrl above is loaded, your code should call getSettings() to prepopulate any settings or forms in your configuration UI.

Handling removals

You can optionally execute an event handler when the user removes an existing connector configuration. You register this handler by calling microsoftTeams.settings.registerOnRemoveHandler(). This handler can be used to perform cleanup operations such as removing entries from a database.

Including the Connector in your Manifest

You can download the auto-generated Teams app manifest from the portal. Before you can use it to test or publish your app, though, you must do the following:

  • Include two icons, following the instructions in Icons.
  • Modify the icons portion of the manifest to refer to the file names of the icons instead of URLs.

The following manifest.json file contains the basic elements needed to test and submit your app.

Note

Replace id and connectorId in the following example with the GUID of your Connector.

Example manifest.json with Connector

{
  "$schema": "https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/json-schemas/teams/v1.5/MicrosoftTeams.schema.json",
  "manifestVersion": "1.5",
  "id": "e9343a03-0a5e-4c1f-95a8-263a565505a5",
  "version": "1.0",
  "packageName": "com.sampleapp",
  "developer": {
    "name": "Publisher",
    "websiteUrl": "https://www.microsoft.com",
    "privacyUrl": "https://www.microsoft.com",
    "termsOfUseUrl": "https://www.microsoft.com"
  },
  "description": {
    "full": "This is a sample manifest for an app with a connector with an inline configuration experience.",
    "short": "This is a sample manifest for an app with a connector."
  },
  "icons": {
    "outline": "sampleapp-outline.png",
    "color": "sampleapp-color.png"
  },
  "connectors": [
    {
      "connectorId": "e9343a03-0a5e-4c1f-95a8-263a565505a5",
      "configurationUrl": "https://teamstodoappconnectorwithinlineconfig.azurewebsites.net/Connector/Setup",
      "scopes": [
        "team"
      ]
    }
  ],
  "name": {
    "short": "Sample App",
    "full": "Sample App Long Name"
  },
  "accentColor": "#FFFFFF"
}

Testing your Connector

To test your Connector, upload it to a team as you would with any other app. You can create a .zip package using the manifest file from the Connectors Developer Dashboard (modified as directed in the preceding section) and the two icon files.

After you upload the app, open the Connectors list from any channel. Scroll to the bottom to see your app in the Uploaded section.

Screenshot of uploaded section in Connector dialog box

You can now launch the configuration experience. Be aware that this flow occurs entirely within Microsoft Teams as a hosted experience.

To verify that an HttpPOST action is working correctly, use your custom incoming webhook.

Publish Connectors for your organization

Sometimes, you may not want to publish your connector app to the public AppSource/Store but would like it to be available only to the users in your organization. In such cases, you can upload your custom connector app to your organization's App Catalog. This way, your connector app will be available only to that organization, and you will not need to publish your connector to the public store.

Once you've uploaded your app package, to configure and use the connector in a Team it can be installed from the organization's app catalog by following these steps:

  1. Open store and navigate to your organization's app catalog page.

Screenshot of the organization App Catalog with connector app

  1. Open the connector app.
  2. Select Team and click Install.

Screenshot of the Connector App Install Dialog

  1. Click on Set Up button for the connector and you will be taken to Connectors dashboard page.

Screenshot of the Connector App Set Up dialog

  1. The connector will be available in the Sideloaded section for that team. You can navigate by scrolling to this section or search for the connector app.
  2. Click on "Configure" and the connector can be configured. From this point, it will be available in connectors list under Sideloaded section for this team.

Screenshot of the Connector dashboard with sideloaded connector highlighted