Having looked at personal apps, tabs and messaging apps, the penultimate blog - and the final one on Apps - is on Bots, Connectors and Custom apps. In my personal experience, most people are used to using apps - whether this is on their mobile phones, or on their operating systems such as Windows or MacOS - they understand the concept of apps which gives them a head start in terms of installing them when beginning to use Teams. However - and again from my own personal experience - they typically have far less experience of Bots, Connectors and Custom Apps. Bots are automated programs that respond to queries or give updates and notifications. Connectors connect content and updates from external services directly into a Teams channel or chat. They can both be amazingly useful if you spend a bit of time getting to know them and getting hands on with them. With custom apps - the world really is your oyster - if you have the skills to package an app via App Studio or make the app through the Power Platform, then you can start tailoring what each and every Team needs. This is when we start thinking about Teams as a platform for our communication and collaboration needs not simply an application in-itself
Developer Preview is a public program for developers which provides early access to unreleased features in Microsoft Teams, allowing the Team to explore and test upcoming features for inclusion in their Teams app. Being able to test their app well in advance of new features being released into general availability (GA) is essential - for the smooth continuous running of the app within the organisation, but also where the organisation is selling and supporting a custom app across multiple customer tenants. There are several benefits of the developer preview including being able to liaise directly with Microsoft Teams Developer Support and being able to escalate bugs to both Support and GitHub.