Microsoft mentions in its announcement that the Teams Toolkit now offers .NET developers a streamlined method to automate various tasks during the app development process. This includes automating setup and other repetitive actions. Developers starting a new project with this version will find the teamsapp.yml file included by default. For those with existing projects, adding a teamsapp.yml file to the project directory will enable these features.
“If you created a Teams app using the previous versions of Teams Toolkit, you'll be able to automatically upgrade your project to support the latest features,” writes Microsoft.
Microsoft Teams Toolkit is a tool that helps developers create and deploy Teams apps with integrated identity, access to cloud storage, data from Microsoft Graph, and other services in Azure and Microsoft 365. It is available as a free extension for Visual Studio Code.
With Teams Toolkit, users can start with project templates for common app scenarios or samples, save setup time with automated app registration and configuration, run and debug your app directly to Teams, and create different environments for testing and production. It also gives access to the Teams Developer Portal to manage your app settings and distribution
Enhanced Customization and Flexibility
The new release provides developers with increased flexibility regarding Azure resources for their Teams apps. Unlike previous versions, where ARM templates were predefined and couldn't be customized, the latest version allows developers to specify the bicep file they wish to use for ARM deployment.
Azure Resource Manager templates (ARM templates) are a way of defining and deploying your Azure infrastructure using code. They are JSON files that specify the resources, properties, and dependencies for your Azure solution. You can use ARM templates to create, update, or delete multiple resources in a single operation, ensuring consistent and repeatable results.
Additionally, developers now have the ability to determine the manifest path of their Teams app. “Previously, Teams Toolkit generated the manifest file in a default path and always used that path, which did not allow users to move the file or specify another path. This latest release allows users to use any path they want,” Microsoft explains.
Debugging Bots with Built-in Tunneling
The process of debugging bots has been simplified in this release, leveraging the capabilities of Visual Studio dev tunnels. Developers can easily set up a new tunnel and configure its type and access based on their preferences.
Microsoft highlighted several advantages of using Dev Tunnels by default, including enhanced security awareness, Microsoft 365 identity authentication, and reduced context switching.
Getting Started with the New Version
For those interested in exploring the new features, Microsoft advices installing Visual Studio 2022 and selecting the http://ASP.NET and web development workload along with the Teams Toolkit from the installation details. Existing users can update their Visual Studio 2022 via the Visual Studio Installer. You can check out Microsoft's documentation for more details:
- Teams Toolkit Visual Studio Overview
- Install Teams Toolkit in Visual Studio
- Explore Teams Toolkit in Visual Studio
- Build your first Teams app with C#
Microsoft also encourages feedback. Developers can reach out to the Teams Toolkit product team on GitHub or directly via email. For more detailed information and resources, you can refer to the official Microsoft 365 Developer Blog.