Building Microsoft Teams Tabs using SharePoint Framework

Starting with SharePoint Framework v1.8, you can build tabs for Microsoft Teams using SharePoint Framework tooling and use SharePoint as a host for your solutions

There are following benefits on using SharePoint Framework as the platform for your Microsoft Teams tabs:

  • The development model is similar to SharePoint Framework web parts
  • Technically any web part can be exposed as a tab in Microsoft Teams
  • You have difference scoping options on exposing your custom tab as a web part and tab in your tenant
  • Your tab will be executed in the context of the underlying SharePoint site behind of the specific team. This means that you can take advantage of any SharePoint specific APIs or functionalities in your web part.

Development process

You can start developing Microsoft Teams tabs simply by using the SharePoint Framework 1.8 or later packages. High level steps to get started are as follows:

Note

Refer to the detailed steps to get started from the Building Microsoft Teams tab using SharePoint Framework tutorial which contains additional important details you must follow.

  1. Create a SharePoint Framework solution with a client-side web part

  2. Add "TeamsTab" to the supportedHosts property of the web part manifest:

    "supportedHosts": ["SharePointWebPart", "TeamsTab"],
    
  3. Deploy the web part using tenant-scoped deployment option to your SharePoint app catalog

  4. Create the Microsoft Teams app manifest file, manifest.json, and save it in the ./teams folder of the solution

  5. ZIP the contents of the ./teams folder; this is the Microsoft Teams app package

  6. Use the Microsoft Teams app package to side load the application in Microsoft Teams

Deployment options

There are multiple options to deploy Microsoft Teams tab. As both SharePoint and Microsoft Teams have their own app catalog, deployment requires operations on both services. Visibility of the new functionality can be controlled by the deployment steps taken.

Tenant deployment

You can use the Sync with Teams button in the App Catalog ribbon that will automatically create the Microsoft Teams app manifest, app package and install it in the Microsoft Teams store. This will make your solution available for all users in your tenant and Microsoft Teams teams.

Alternative deployment options

There is an alternative way to deploy your solution which will for instance allow you to make a solution available only to one specific team in your tenant. Please refer to Create Microsoft Teams manifest manually for a web part and deploy it to Microsoft Teams how to create the manifest.

  1. Build your SharePoint Framework solution the normal way:

    gulp build
    gulp bundle --ship
    gulp package-solution --ship
    
  2. Locate the ./teams folder in your project folder:

    Solution structure

  3. Notice that there are 2 image files in there. Add the manifest file you created as described in Create Microsoft Teams manifest manually for a web part and deploy it to Microsoft Teams to this folder and call it *manifest.json.

  4. After you added the manifest to the ./teams folder, zip the contents of the folder into a zip file. This means that the zip file should only contain the manifest.json and the 2 images.

  5. Add your solution to the app catalog and make sure to select the option Make this solution available to all sites in the organization before selecting Deploy

Turn on side loading of external apps in Teams

In order to upload an app for a specific team, you will have to enable side loading. The following configuration steps must be performed only once in a tenant.

  1. Navigate to the Microsoft 365 Admin center by selecting Admin from the app launcher.

    Moving to admin UI

  2. Choose Settings and Services & add-ins from the left menu

  3. Select Microsoft Teams from the list of services you want to manage

    Moving to admin UI

  4. Extend the Apps section under Tenant-wide settings

    Moving to admin UI

  5. Ensure that Allow sideloading of external apps setting is enabled

    Moving to admin UI

  6. Click Save.

    Note

    The side loading configuration to be done only once in a tenant which you are using. More content on preparing your Office 365 tenant for Microsoft Teams development from the Microsoft Teams developer documentation.

  7. Move to your Microsoft Teams instance by selecting Teams in the app launcher.

    Zip file in explorer

  8. Choose a Team which you want to use for testing the capability and select Manage team from the ... menu.

    Manage Team

  9. Move to Apps tab

  10. Choose Upload a custom app from the bottom right corner

    Note

    If this setting is not available, side loading is not enabled in the tenant which you are using. Double check the settings from the tenant admin UIs.

  11. Upload the Microsoft Teams app manifest file your created earlier from the ./teams folder under your newly created solution and ensure that it's properly visible in the list of Apps. Notice how the custom image is visible with the description of the solution.

    Manage Team

  12. Move to a channel in the Team where you just uploaded the solution. In below picture we have activated the General channel in Team

    Channel activated

  13. Click + to add a new tab on the channel

  14. Click your custom Tab called MyFirstTeamTab in the list

    Add a tab

  15. Notice how you can parameterize the tab instance based on the exposed properties. Select Save

    Add a tab

See following resources for additional details around the different options in both systems:

Detecting if web part is in Teams context

Page context in a web part has by default a reference to the Teams JavaScript SDK, so that you can easily get access on the Teams context when your web part is rendered as a tab.

this.context.microsoftTeams

Note

See more information around the Microsoft Teams tab context from the Microsoft Teams development documentation.

See also