Businesses can integrate Microsoft Teams calling into their own apps

Azure Communication Services (ACS) for Microsoft Teams is now available to everyone. This means ISVs and developers can integrate Teams capabilities into their custom business applications.

These new capabilities are possible due to improved interoperability of Azure Communication Services (ACS) with Teams and the general availability of ACS support for Teams users.

The interoperability of ACS and Teams allows developers to build custom apps that leverage Teams for voice, video, chat, and screen sharing. Azure-hosted ACS is the technology that powers Teams. Microsoft released the public preview of ACS in 2020 as a managed communications platform, arguing that customers and partners could benefit from adding these services to their own applications.

The proposal remains much the same today and could help Microsoft extend Teams beyond devices that have a Teams client installed, as well as reduce the need for employees to switch between work apps and Teams when collaborate.

Two SDKs released

In addition to enabling Teams calling in custom business apps, companies can create new workflows for apps that require custom handling of incoming and outgoing Teams phone calls. Developers can also integrate Teams calling features into devices that aren’t supported by the standard Teams client, according to Microsoft.

Developers can also use Microsoft’s Graph API to add and manage Teams chats, channels, and meetings, control server-side and client-side calling bots, and get information about people in the organization to create custom communication apps for Teams users.

Authentication is handled by Azure Active Directory (AAD), while user attributes and identities are tied to the user’s AAD account.

Microsoft releases two software development kits (SDKs) for ACS and Teams. One is the ACS Identity SDK, which allows administrators or developers to manage access tokens for Teams users. The other is ACS SDK for JavaScript and Node.js, which allows developers to add 1:1 voice and video calls in an application.

Personalization and simplification

One of the biggest benefits of integrating ACS with custom business apps is that users who already work on Teams have to switch between apps when collaborating with colleagues or external partners.

Microsoft believes there is a productivity benefit to removing context switching.

It should also help ISVs build custom applications for call center customers. As part of this release, Landis Technologies also announced the general availability of its “Receptionist Console” for Teams. This should help receptionists improve Teams call flow management when making and receiving calls between external and internal users.


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