Today I’m happy to share a new open source solution (located here) I’ve been working on for provisioning Microsoft Teams. The solution is based on Azure Functions which communicate with Microsoft Flow (or really anything) using Azure queues. This allows a Flow, PowerApps, or Logic Apps developer to use whatever logic they wish and, when a Team is to be created, queue a message to an Azure Function which will do the work.
This is Part 1 of a five-part series:
- Solution Overview (this post)
- Installing the solution
- Building a Flow for the solution
- Looking at the code
- A Change in Direction
Traditionally, our collaboration tools have been divided into silos based on the mode of communication. In the Microsoft space, we’ve used Outlook and Exchange for persistent messaging, Skype for Business for real-time communication, and SharePoint to provide a place to share documents and other information.
These tools work together to provide for our communications needs, whether they’re real-time, message based, or documents and other content. They work well together, but they’re still separate programs we have to run, and constantly flip between. As we do, the information is organized differently in each tool: most of us view email by date, Skype by person, and SharePoint by project or team. That’s a lot of context switching. Of course we’re all used to this, and probably don’t even notice how much of our attention goes into it.
A lot of people have asked for “private channels” in Microsoft teams. Microsoft has stated publicly that they’re working on it; there’s even a page in the documentation all ready for when it comes along!
In the meantime, a question came up about using SharePoint permissions to restrict the level of access to channel files. Recall that every Team has a SharePoint site, and the files in the Files tab land in a document library on that site. Each Teams channel gets a folder in that site. (For more details see this article by Matt Soseman.)
So is it possible to make a “semi-private” channel by simply modifying the folder permissions in SharePoint? The idea is that while the conversation might be open, the files are only available to a subset of team members.