This post is a subjective overview of announcements from MS Build 2020.
The announcements here are based on my own interest and relevancy to the projects I'm involved in.
Hopefully, it'll be helpful for others as well =)
Bot Framework SDK & Teams integration
The Bot Framework SDK has been updated to allow developers to build bots from one common SDK that make the most of Microsoft Teams. For example, the Bot Framework SDK simplifies enabling Single Sign On so HR bots can help provide userspecific information like vacation days and other scenarios that typically require user authentication. Furthermore, the Bot Framework SDK enables developers to build bots capable of proactively sending messages. For example, bots can alert employees to complete required training or take other outstanding actions.
Bot Framework Composer
Now generally available, this open-source tool provides developers with a central environment to get started with bot building quickly, allowing them to focus more on dialog management and less on the scaffolding to begin bot development. This incorporates some of the common components required to build bots such as Language Understanding service and QnA Maker.
Azure Bot Service (human hand-off)
Bots can power organizations to scale their customer engagement. However, in some scenarios, a bot cannot serve the customer, or the customer chooses to speak to a human agent. To enable this scenario, bot developers previously had to build integrations to popular channels themselves. Microsoft has added new capabilities to simplify development of bots that combine AI and human agents with integration with popular customer service platforms like LivePerson and Microsoft Omnichannel for Customer Service.
Key Dev Platform Enhancements
- Single sign-on will enable users to authenticate in one click for the apps they use in Teams.
- The Teams Activity Feed API gives developers a new and simpler way to send app notifications to users across their devices.
Customizatble Templates Coming to MS Teams
When creating a new team, a user will soon be able to choose from a variety of customizable templates, depending on the purpose of the team. Options will include common team types, such as event management and crisis response, as well as industry-specific templates, such as hospital ward and bank branch. Each template comes with predefined channels, apps and guidance on how to utilize and customize it, helping users get the most out of Teams. Admins also will be able to create new custom templates and templatize existing teams in their organization.
Templates in Teams will be available in the next few months.
Fluid Microsoft 365 blog
Fluid Workspaces and Fluid Components in Preview in Outlook Web App and office.com
Fluid Workspaces and Components work just like the web to bring the right level of context and connection as well as seamlessly capture follow-ups in-line and edit action items with an entire team. Fluid Components and Fluid Workspaces will become available in more places over time, and their capabilities will become more powerful over time. This initial public preview includes basic text, tables, lists, agendas and action items. These Fluid components will be available for creation in Outlook for the web and Office.com. Public preview will begin rolling out soon to Microsoft 365 Enterprise and education subscribers who are enrolled in Targeted Release and sign in with their organizational ID.
Fluid Framework to be Made Open Source, with Repository Available on GitHub
Fluid Framework will be made open source, allowing developers and creators to use key infrastructure from Fluid Framework in their own applications. Coupled with the release of additional developer documentation and tooling, this provides a new opportunity for developers to work alongside Microsoft to create and evolve Fluid Framework as it is developed.
Microsoft is open sourcing the Fluid Framework, which will be hosted as a repository available on GitHub in the month following Build.
This is an open invitation for developers to join Microsoft on this journey, provide feedback and help shape future capabilities. It will be available to the public and open for any developer to provide feedback, issues and pull requests.
More capabilities will be added over time through this Fluid Framework repository.
Microsoft ListsMicrosoft Lists blog
Microsoft Lists, rolling out this summer, is a simple and powerful app to share and track information such as workflow issues, contacts, issues tracking and status reporting within Microsoft Teams, SharePoint and Outlook. The functionality extends to the new Lists mobile app, as well.
Users can use templates to start lists or create their own, configure color formatting, build alerts and standardize processes with simple “if this then that” configurations. As part of Microsoft 365, Microsoft Lists comes with built-in governance, security and compliance capabilities. For makers who need more than the out-of-box offering, Microsoft Lists integrates with Power Apps (forms) and Power Automate (workflow).
Microsoft Lists builds on more than 20 years of SharePoint list innovation, bringing these capabilities to a broader set of users across Microsoft 365. Microsoft Lists will simplify the user experience for those familiar with SharePoint Lists and for new users on any device.
Project CortexProject Cortext blog
Project Cortex, which will be generally available in early summer 2020, applies AI to the Microsoft Graph to create a knowledge network that analyzes an organization’s data and automatically organizes content and expertise across systems and teams, delivering knowledge in the apps people use every day. Project Cortex also enables customers to manage content with AI-powered security, compliance and workflow.
There are now new developer APIs and AI-modeling capabilities, and the private preview program has expanded to include more than 75 organizations delivering knowledge from millions of documents and videos.
Developers with Verified Microsoft Partner Network Account Can Mark Apps with Publisher Verification
Publisher Verification, now in public preview, allows developers with a verified Microsoft Partner Network account to mark their applications as “Publisher Verified.” Developers can distinguish their apps to end users by receiving a checkmark that indicates they are a verified publisher.
Developers can differentiate their apps with a “verified” badge that will appear on the Azure Active Directory consent prompt, Enterprise Apps page, and additional UX surfaces used by end users and admins. IT administrators also will have increased transparency on whether verified or unverified apps are in use within their organization and can configure consent policies based on publisher verification.