Microsoft has announced plans to move Azure Communication Services, the suite of communication tools that power Microsoft Teams, into general availability for developer use. This technology had recently been demoed at Microsoft’s annual Ignite conference for developers.
This new suite of tools enables developers to implement chat, voice calling, video calling, traditional telephone calling, and SMS messaging in third-party applications. A core benefit to building communication services with Microsoft’s offering is interoperability with the Microsoft Teams ecosystem, a capability that is likely to decrease the amount of time required to set up communications by leveraging existing accounts. The newly updated product documentation outlines this benefit:
“Teams interoperability allows you to create custom applications that connect users to Teams meetings. Users of your custom applications don't need to have Azure Active Directory identities or Teams licenses to experience this capability. This is ideal for bringing employees (who may be familiar with Teams) and external users (using a custom application experience) together into a seamless meeting experience.”
Microsoft has debuted this technology alongside a robust collection of SDKs and client libraries that intend to accelerate development on the Platform. These libraries are specific to functionality (chat, SMS, calling), platform, and language.