Microsoft Teams


What is Microsoft Teams?
Built on the global secure cloud of Office 365, Microsoft Teams brings together people, content and conversations in a chat-based workspace on the desktop and on mobile, supporting iOS, Android, and Windows platforms.  Microsoft Teams provides immediate, secure, and customizable communication with all team members whether on the go, in the cloud, in the office, a combination of any or all of these scenarios. 

The Four Core Foundation

Microsoft Teams is built on Four Core Foundations, creating a digital workspace for collaborative teams resulting in high performance. 

The Four Core Foundations are:

  1. Chat for Today’s Teams:  Microsoft Teams provides team chat in a persistent and threaded format for all team members.  The default setting provides visibility for conversations for all members; however, for breakout teams, private and smaller group discussions can be created.  Voice and video conferencing are supported with the integration of Skype, which in turn provides the flexibility for collaboration not only from a single site but also from multiple sites that can be in various cities or continents.  Bringing to a member’s digital workspace is the ability to add a personal touch for self-expression is a library of emoji’s, stickers, memes, and GIFs; 
  2. Hub for Teamwork:  Microsoft Teams is built upon Office 365 Groups providing seamless cross-application while preserving the team members sense of context when sharing with others.  Because Microsoft Teams is built upon Office 365 Groups, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneNote, Planner, Power BI and Delve are built right in providing the capability to work with Microsoft Office documents within the Microsoft Teams experience.  Microsoft Graph brings the power of intelligence for discovery, relevancy and sharing of the most frequently accessed information for the team and its members;
  3. Customizable for Each Team:  Rich extensibility and open APIs provide each team the ability to customize their experience to their specific needs, which follows Microsoft’s belief that there is no one tool that will fit the needs of every team and its members.  Each team member can customize and organize conversations by topic by creating channels.  Each channel can then be customized with a feature called Tabs.  Tabs provide access to frequently used documents, applications and cloud services such as OneNote, SharePoint, Planner or other third-party solutions such as Zendesk, Hootsuite, and Asana.  Sharing the same Connector Model as Exchange, Microsoft Teams allows for notifications and updates from third-party services like Twitter and GitHub. There is also full support for Microsoft Bot Framework, bringing intelligent first- and third-party services into the team environment.  Microsoft Teams Developer program will allow developers to start building integrations to extend Microsoft Teams; and
  4. Security Teams Trust:  Office 365 customers have a high standard of expectation for data security, and Microsoft Teams delivers with encrypted data in transit and at rest.  Enhanced identity protection with multi-factor authentication provides an additional layer of security.  As with all Microsoft commercial services, the transparent operating model will have no standing access to customer data.  Key compliance standards will be supported, such as HIPPA, ISO 27001, SOC 2 and EU Model Clauses.  As with all Office 365 services, it will be provisioned and managed centrally. 

Join the broadest and deepest portfolio of collaboration apps and services for true team collaboration.  To join, activate Microsoft Teams by going to the Office 365 admin center, clicking Settings>Services & Add Ins>Microsoft Teams.  Welcome to flexible, instantaneous team collaboration from your desktop and your mobile device!


SharePoint and Office 365: Patterns & Practices – Part 1: The Basics


What is SharePoint Patterns & Practices (PnP)?

SharePoint Patterns & Practices (PnP) is an initiative that was launched in 2013 with the vision to simplify development by providing an open source, reusable components, and solutions that have been built collaboratively between the community and Microsoft. Through sharing of knowledge of implementation practices in SharePoint and Office 365, Microsoft and the community collaboratively create the starting points for PnP guidance and code samples. 

How does it look like?

There are three levels of engagement.  Imagine a target with 3 concentric circles with the centre of the target being the Core Team.  Encircling the Core Team is the second layer comprised of the Special Interest Groups (SIGs) while the final outer third layer is the Community. 

1.   Core Team:  As the title implies, the Core Team has the greatest direct involvement with the PnP library of code samples and guidance documentation.  Comprised of a small group of individuals from Microsoft and the community, they have been granted permission and direct access to the PnP library to merge approved changes in the PnP library.  By keeping the Core Team small, control can be maintained to ensure proper and appropriate value is added to the PnP library.  


2.   Special Interest Groups (SIGs):  Special Interest Groups are being brought together and are currently being piloted with SharePoint client side development to develop the JavaScript Library.   SIGs meet weekly to exchange thought, processes, and code to build the JavaScript Library.  SIGs do not have access to the PnP library though what they produce will have an impact on the PnP Library.


3.   Community: With the least access to the PnP Library, this group is comprised of both the internal and external community.  Their involvement is through either of the following methods: 


a.    Bi-weekly office hours: hosted by members of the PnP initiative, they review and explain what the Core Team is doing, what they plan to do, and they provide suggestions as to the various areas or topics that could use community contribution.  At the end of the session is an open mic where the community is provided the opportunity to voice suggestions as to what they would like to contribute to the initiative.  These are then pitched to the Core Team, who is then tasked to render the final decisions.    

b.    Monthly Community Calls:   a unidirectional communication informing the community what changes have been proposed, names of members who have been contributing, and names of those who have been doing demos or presentations for the bi-weekly office hours.  Recognition during these calls improves the exposure of members who participate, which in turn, provide endless networking opportunities.  These Monthly Community Calls are held the first Friday of every month.  On every second Tuesday of every month, the community is provided the latest changes in the PnP Library.


What benefits do I receive from PnP?

By becoming an active member and recipient of PnP, not only will you gain a community of peers and experts, but you will also have access to useful libraries and an unfathomable amount of code.  Some of the libraries include the PnP Core Library, which is a NuGet ready to go package, PnP Components, Samples and Solutions, PnP Provisioning Engine, and PnP PowerShell. These are just a few examples of the libraries that you will gain access to.  Under one umbrella, there will be an establishment of common architectural patterns and standardize guidance that is available upon immediate publication of the code.  For those who would like more detailed instructions, there are webcasts available as well as on-line training material.  The best part of joining and participating in the PnP Initiative is that all materials, including videos, presentations, webcasts, are not only available for your viewing, but they are free for re-use in any way that you want! 


How am I supported in the PnP Initiative?

Being an open source community program, there are no sales level agreements (SLAs) for Microsoft support.  As PnP is not a product like Word or MS Office, it is not supported through Premier Support or other official support channels.  Instead, support can be accessed through the SharePoint Developer Group in the Microsoft Tech Community to provide input and/or to ask any questions regarding existing material. 

Microsoft and the community work collaboratively to provide open source code samples with standardized guidance documentation.  Both the code samples and guidance adhere to the PnP guidelines for support and recommended techniques.  These materials are maintained by Microsoft while all PnP implementations are reviewed and approved by SharePoint Engineering.  Most importantly, PnP retains its uniqueness by being supported from within the community by the community.