Using Teams and Azure DevOps? There's an app for that, says Microsoft

Cute, says rival Slack, polishing its library of 1,800 apps and an updated developer toolkit

Microsoft has released its Azure Repos app for Teams in a bid to entice developers to its collaboration platform a day after competitor Slack upgraded its app developer toolkit.

The Azure Repos app will drop helpful (or annoying) notifications in Teams channels when repos get fiddled with – for example, code being pushed or checked in, or Pull Requests created or updated. Devs can then have a chat in Teams about the content of the messages.

Thankfully, users can use subscription filters to customise what they want to be notified about.

The app supports both Git and Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC) repos, but you'll naturally need to be a member of the Azure DevOps Project Administrators group to create a subscription because the app, handy though it may be, can only be linked to a project hosted on Azure DevOps Services at the moment.

On the other hand, arch-rival Slack has a library of 1,800 apps at its fingertips, with many aimed at developers. And it enjoys a highly engaged developer ecosystem, counting 600,000 daily active registered developers building on its platform.

Those apps are key as the company noted 500,000 custom apps used in a typical week during September and 95 per cent of users declaring apps in Slack make the platform "more valuable".

To keep those developers on board and fend off the challenge from Microsoft (which recently claimed a surpassing of Slack's userbase with 13 million users – a figure that left the hipsters spluttering into their lattes), the company is updating its toolkit.

As well as a new home tab for apps, Slack developers will also be able to use multistep modal windows to show as many screens as needed in order to gather information. The goal is to stop users having to switch windows or open additional apps.

And, of course, stay firmly in that Slack window.

Other tweaks for developers include easier discovery for their apps and an improved, more granular permissions model to allow admins to only grant the rights actually needed by an app.

Right now, Slack is ahead in terms of app integrations even as Microsoft continues to add its own to Teams, such as Azure Repos app, and court developers. However, that user count, regardless of measuring method, will be hard for developers to ignore as 2020 rolls around and the Windows giant continues to plug gaps in its collaboration platform.

Microsoft is showing no sign of slowing down in its strong-arming of Office 365 customers into its vision for chatty collaboration any time soon.

Tweaking the tooling may not be enough to keep Teams at bay. ®

Similar topics

Other stories you might like

  • Protonmail celebrates Swiss court victory exempting it from telco data retention laws

    Doesn't stop local courts' surveillance orders, though

    Encrypted email provider Protonmail has hailed a recent Swiss legal ruling as a "victory for privacy," after winning a lawsuit that sees it exempted from data retention laws in the mountainous realm.

    Referring to a previous ruling that exempted instant messaging services from data capture and storage laws, the Protonmail team said this week: "Together, these two rulings are a victory for privacy in Switzerland as many Swiss companies are now exempted from handing over certain user information in response to Swiss legal orders."

    Switzerland's Federal Administrative Court ruled on October 22 that email providers in Switzerland are not considered telecommunications providers under Swiss law, thereby removing them from the scope of data retention requirements imposed on telcos.

    Continue reading
  • Japan picks AWS and Google for first gov cloud push

    Local players passed over for Digital Agency’s first project

    Japan's Digital Agency has picked Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud for its first big reform push.

    The Agency started operations in September 2021, years after efforts like the UK's Government Digital Service (GDS) or Australia's Digital Transformation Agency (DTA). The body was a signature reform initiated by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who spent his year-long stint in the top job trying to curb Japan's reliance on paper documents, manual processes, and faxes. Japan's many government agencies also operated their websites independently of each other, most with their own design and interface.

    The new Agency therefore has a remit to "cut across all ministries" and "provide services that are driven not toward ministries, agency, laws, or systems, but toward users and to improve user-experience".

    Continue reading
  • Singaporean minister touts internet 'kill switch' that finds kids reading net nasties and cuts 'em off ASAP

    Fancies a real-time crowdsourced content rating scheme too

    A Minister in the Singapore government has suggested the creation of an internet kill switch that would prevent minors from reading questionable material online – perhaps using ratings of content created in real time by crowdsourced contributors.

    "The post-COVID world will bring new challenges globally, including to us in the security arena," said Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen at a Tuesday ceremony to award the city-state's 2021 Defense Technology Prize.

    "For operations, the SAF (Singapore Armed Force) has to expand its capabilities in the digital domain. Whether for administrative or operational purposes, I think that we will need to leverage technology to the maximum," he declared.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021