Adding the DocDrive Bot to each new Microsoft Team

   Words by Paul McQuillan

   on 21/01/2021 07:00:00

DocDrive is capable of creating new Teams in MS Teams as records are created or updated in Dynamics or Power Apps.

Each Team in Microsoft Team can then be configured with a number of Team Members and a number of Apps.

Typically this would be done manually for each new Team, however DocDrive can automate this process for each new Team.

This can be helpful when looking to work with a new Team for each new Key Account or Project.

We will look at Team Members in a separate article as this links up with how DocDrive bridges security in Dynamics alongside SharePoint through Users and Groups.

For the Apps, we can configure DocDrive to automatically add both the DocDrive Bot and the Dynamics 365 App for each new Team – this can be done in two steps:

Step One – Install the DocDrive App into Microsoft Teams

This authorises the App in your Tenant to then be added to different Teams.

This step once needs to be done once for each Tenant.

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This will open the App Catalogue for Teams in this Tenant.

Within here we can upload the Manifest ZIP of our Teams App to configure the App into our Tenant.

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We can then upload the DocDrive Bot Definition and this will add the App into Teams.

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This will then show as a Custom App in Teams:

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Each App added to Teams in this fashion will be given a GUID ID to uniquely identify the App in our Teams – and we need to note down this App ID to configure into the DocDrive Settings.

We can do this by clicking the top-right … options and then ‘Copy Link’.

This will provide a URL link to the App in Teams, this will take the format of: https://teams.microsoft.com/l/app/e453716e-455b-4d54-a320-1431625e3c38?source=store-copy-link

The middle section of this URL is the App ID, specifically: https://teams.microsoft.com/l/app/e453716e-455b-4d54-a320-1431625e3c38?source=store-copy-link

With this App ID noted, we can then insert this ID into our DocDrive Settings.

Step Two– Configure DocDrive to add the App into each New Team

With our App ID, we can open the DocDrive Model App in Dynamics and then the main Settings Record:

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We can open this record as our main Configuration Settings for DocDrive.

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Half way through these App-wide Settings we have the section for Microsoft Teams Integration and a Field for DocDrive365 Teams App Unique Id.

We can insert the App ID we noted earlier after installing the Manifest and this will then extend the Create MS Team action in DocDrive to add the App to each newly created Team.

Having this App present will allow Dynamics to post information into those Teams, and enable communicating with DocDrive directly from the Team’s Channel Chat:

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With the Bot in place in Teams – this enables to a range of functionality to help us bring collaboration from Teams and into Dynamics, and vice versa.

The following guides in this series go into how our Users can put this functionality to use between Teams and Dynamics.

Appendix A– What’s in a Teams Bot Manifest?

The ZIP we upload into Teams as way of declaring the DocDrive Bot is a simple XML file that describes our App and granting permission for the Bot to communicate back and forth with our Teams.

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The main component here is the App ID of where the Bot is hosted in Microsoft Azure – this connects Teams in the Cloud with the Bot also running in the Cloud.

Allowing the codebase of the Bot App to communicate with Teams in structured ways supported by the Azure Bot Framework.

This is an area that CRMCS have built and developed against in the construction of DocDrive and the supporting Teams Bot and so the subject of our Technical Articles and Presentations for further information on extending Teams via Custom or Commercial Bots.

One immediate area for us to focus on is the native Dynamics 365 Teams Bot for Dynamics which we can also install manually to a MS Team or configure DocDrive to automatically install to each new MS Team.

This Bot will be the focus of a separate article in this series.

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