The Microsoft Teams integration allows users to:
- see link previews when intranet URLs are posted in Microsoft Teams;
- search the intranet and post search results directly from Microsoft Teams;
- receive automatic messages about new intranet activity in Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft Teams integration admin page
To access administrator settings for the Microsoft Teams integration, go to the ThoughtFarmer Admin panel: Integrations section > Microsoft Teams page.
For information for users on how to use the Microsoft Teams integration, see Microsoft Teams integration user instructions. Users must connect their Microsoft Teams and intranet accounts to be able to post link previews or search the intranet from Microsoft Teams.
See Microsoft Teams integration setup for steps on how to set up the Microsoft Teams app and configure it on your intranet.
Microsoft Teams image thumbnails
In the App configuration tab, there is a checkbox option to Enable image thumbnails, which is checked by default. ThoughtFarmer uses cookie-based authentication which prevents Microsoft Teams from loading images. Enabling this feature allows Microsoft Teams to access images in ThoughtFarmer using token-based URL authentication instead of cookies. If this setting is not enabled, thumbnail images will not display in link unfurls, search results or activity messages.
URL tokens expire after 7 days, but all current tokens can be forced to expire by clicking the link Expire all image tokens now on the Microsoft Teams admin page.
Enable the Microsoft Teams integration for specific teams
For the integration to work, you need to add the app to individual teams within your organization. You can do this directly in Teams using the Manage Team menu. This allows users to search the intranet from MS Teams and see link previews for posted intranet links.
- In Microsoft Teams, in the Teams tab, click the ... (more options) menu beside the Team that you want to add the Microsoft Teams intranet app to.
- In the menu that opens, click Manage team.
- In the manage team area, click the Apps tab.
- Click the More apps button.
- Under Built for your org, click on the app for your intranet.
- Beside the Add or Open button, click on the down arrow, and select Add to a team from the menu.
- Make sure the correct Team and Channel are selected. (If not, remove the current team, and search for the correct team/channel and select it).
- Click the Set up a bot button.
- The intranet app is now added as a bot to the Microsoft Teams channel you have selected. It can be used for searching the intranet and showing link previews, and activity messages can be set up for it. Repeat the above steps for every team that you want to be able to receive activity messages.
An activity message is an automatic notification of new activity from a specified section of the intranet that is sent to users in a specific Microsoft Teams channel. Admins set up activity messages and choose where on the intranet the activity comes from, what type of activity triggers a message, what Microsoft Teams team and channel it is delivered to, and whether the content must be secured by a security group in order to trigger a message. Admins can create as many different activity messages as they want, and can select which content type activity will trigger activity messages. Only new, public content will trigger activity messages. Activity messages show metadata such as the page title, the name of the page creator, a thumbnail image and a summary or excerpt of the content.
As an example, you can set up an activity message to send messages to your Microsoft Teams #events channel any time a new company event page is created.
One or more security groups can be added so that only content secured by at least one of the security groups is sent. For instance, you could add the security group "All Registered Users" to make sure that only content that is available to all intranet users will appear as activity in Microsoft Teams. However, Microsoft Teams is not governed by the security permissions that are applied to each page on the intranet. So it is possible for a Microsoft Teams user - even one who does not have an intranet account - to see activity messages and link previews for intranet pages they do not have access to. However, if they try to visit an intranet link, intranet security will still apply to whether they can view the page.
Once activity messages are created, they can be toggled on or off at any time. Use the icons on the left of the activity messages to edit or delete them.
Set up an activity message
Set up an activity message to have activity from a specific part of the intranet be delivered as a new conversation in an Microsoft Teams channel.
- Go to the ThoughtFarmer Admin panel: Integrations section > Microsoft Teams page.
- Click on the Activity messages tab.
- Click Add to create a new activity message. The Add new activity message window will appear.
- In the Name field, give the activity message a name. This name only appears on the Admin page, for admins to be able to differentiate the different activity messages they have set up.
- In the Intranet section or page field, start typing the name of the page or section you want intranet activity to come from. Select the page when it appears in the dropdown menu.
- Select the radio button for whether you want to send Activity for any page in the section (the page and its subpages), or Activity for just the individual page.
- If you are not signed in to Microsoft Teams, click Login to Microsoft Teams, and login. The App will ask for permission to sign in and read profile, names and descriptions of teams and channels. Click Accept.
- Once you login, the Add new activity message window interface will change to show a place to select a Microsoft Team and Channel. Select the Team and Channel you want to send activity messages to from the dropdowns.
- Under Content types, select the checkboxes for the types of activity you want to send to the channel.
- Under Filter activity by security group, you can specify that content must be secured by one of several security groups to be allowed to post an activity message about that content. To add a security group, click in the Select a security group field, start typing the name of the security group, and click on it when it appears in the dropdown.
- If you don't add a security group, Microsoft Teams users may see page titles and summaries that they don't have permission to view on the intranet.
- If you list multiple security groups, an activity message will be sent if it is secured by any of the groups.
- Click Save. You will see the new activity message setup on added to the list of Activity messages.
Link previews and search
When intranet links and search results are shared in a Microsoft Teams conversation, the links unfurl or expand to show a link preview including the page title, a thumbnail image (if available), and a summary or excerpt of the body content.
If a link to a profile page is shared, it will expand to show the person's name, profile picture, job title and contact information.
Individual users must link their Slack and intranet accounts in order to see link previews for URLs and search results. When a user posts an intranet link or tries to perform an intranet search in a Microsoft Teams channel for the first time, they will be prompted to sign in to the intranet to link their accounts.
Set a security group for link previews and search unfurls
Admins can set a security group in the Security group: view permissions field, so that when a user posts a link in Slack, it will only show a link preview if it is secured by that security group. If the link content is not secured by that security group, the link URL (which may include the page title) will show, but the link will not unfurl to show more details.
More than one security group can be added to this field. If the link is secured by any one of the security groups added here, the link preview will display.
Microsoft Teams is not governed by the security permissions that are applied to each page on the intranet. So it is possible for a Microsoft Teams user - even one who does not have an intranet account - to see activity messages and links or link previews for intranet pages they do not have access to. However, if they try to visit an intranet link, intranet security will still apply to whether they can view the page.
To add a security group:
- Go to the Admin panel: Integrations section > Microsoft Teams page, Link previews and search tab.
- In the Select a security group field, start typing the name of the security group that you want to see link previews. Click on the security group when it appears in the dropdown. Repeat to add more than one security group.
- Click Save.
Search intranet from Teams
Users can search the intranet from Microsoft Teams by clicking on the ... messaging extensions menu in the conversation toolbar, and selecting their intranet app. Once the app is selected, they can enter their search term and select search results in a menu.
- Click the ... messaging extensions menu in the toolbar below the conversation/reply field.
- Select your intranet app from the menu that opens.
- Enter your search term in the search field of the intranet app window. (If you are prompted to sign in, sign in with your intranet account to link your intranet and Microsoft Teams accounts.) Search results will appear in a dropdown menu.
- Select the search result you want to add to your message.
The Search command field (on the ThoughtFarmer admin Microsoft Teams integration page) is where you record the command that the admin creates when creating the Microsoft Teams app. This field validates against the command ID field that was set up in the Microsoft Teams app configuration.