I, along with other developers, were disappointed (but not surprised) by the lack of developer news in the Microsoft 365 space in my last newsletter a few weeks ago.
That all changed last week at Microsoft’s Build conference for developers! 😱
As expected, AI was front and center in just about every keynote and session at Build, but in this article let’s focus on what I believe are the biggest AI announcements for developers related to Microsoft 365.
Most of the AI announcements for Microsoft 365 are focused on Copilot plugins, Microsoft Teams, and Microsoft Syntex.
👨✈️Let’s start with Copilot for Microsoft 365 and the big announcement for developers: the ability to extend copilot with plugins. Developers can create three types of plugins for Microsoft 365 Copilot:
- ChatGPT plugins
- Microsoft Teams Message Extensions
- Microsoft Power Platform connectors
⚒️ With the Microsoft Teams Toolkit (v5), developers can quickly bring any API described with the OpenAPI specification to Microsoft 365 Copilot through a plugin . They can also create customized user experiences with Adaptive Cards, implement custom authentication details, and more. By using plugins, you can enhance the AI capabilities to interact with APIs that expose data from other systems, company data, and perform new types of computations.
🗂️ Developers can add their own data to Microsoft Graph using connectors and take advantage of the new Semantic Index for Copilot . This feature is available for E3 & E5 licenses and creates a map of user and company data to improve search results. It understands natural language queries such as “sales reports produced by Kelly on the finance team in Excel” and uses that understanding to help you find what you need.
Microsoft Teams is the primary host experience for users to interact with Microsoft 365 Copilot. I’ve already covered how developers can extend Copilot with plugins, but that’s not all.
🧰 Microsoft announced a new Microsoft Teams AI Library developers can use to interface with GPT-based common language models and user intent engines. Developers can use this library in bots and message extensions to call Azure OpenAI, and inject prompts to pre-condition the response with additional context from your LOB systems.
🔌 Copilot Plugins - Microsoft Syntex , released last year, is a content understanding, processing, and compliance service that uses AI & machine learning to process documents and perform automatic organization & classification. This week, Microsoft announced plugins for Microsoft 365 Copilot to bring Syntex’s skills and actions to places where Copilot is surfaced, like Microsoft Teams.
🪖 But that’s not the big news for developers. For us, the new Syntex repository services is a collection of new APIs that we can use to build file and content centric apps that leverage the rich content platform services exposed by Microsoft Syntex. The repository services sit in the PaaS layer, right between the security & compliance features in Syntex and the end-user experiences, such as Loop & Copilot.
📚 Miss out on the non-developer announcements for Microsoft 365, like Copilot? ShareGate’s rollup post on SharePoint’s latest innovations is a great way to catch up.
👩🏽💻 Project Archimedes , another announcement at Build, is derived from the new Microsoft Fabric unified analysis platform (also announced at Build). It’s for developers & analysts who need to do data-driven analysis and big data analytics on SharePoint & OneDrive content.
These are just some of the many announcements for Microsoft 365 developers from the Microsoft Build conference. All sessions were recorded so you can check the site and watch the keynotes and other topics that interest you.