How to create your own Teams Meeting apps with Power Apps

Ability to add Forms and other apps to Meetings become possible in November 2020. When meeting apps were announced Power Apps logo was included from the start. Meanwhile we have seen more and more apps that you can add to meetings (like Polly). Today I discovered how you can add your own Power Apps to Microsoft Teams Meetings! When I say Power Apps I mean canvas apps.

First: let’s take a look how you use them. In the last part of this blog post I give out steps needed so you can start adding your own Power Apps to meetings!

Your own Power Apps in Teams meetings

Once your Power Apps have been defined that they can be added to meetings you add them just like you would add Forms or Polly or any other app to the meeting: hit + icon to add a new meeting tab

You can see your own Power Apps in the list – or you can use search to find them if they are not immediately in the list. Forms is included in the highlight to emphasize that those first three apps are suitable for meetings.

Employee Engagement Survey is just one of Power App templates I used to prove that lots of Power Apps can be added to Teams meetings.

Just hit Add and you are almost there. In case Add fails – just try again. It happened to me just once.

When you hit Save you have added your app to the Teams Meeting!

I made some superficial changes to the app to show it was edited. I also did this to a another app (Cost Estimator Power App template) with adding my own background + doing minor UI changes.

  • You need to use Teams Desktop to be able to utilize these applications inside meetings
  • You have to have New meeting experience set on (your meeting opens to a new window -> everything is ok).

When you are in the meeting you can open your apps just like opening Forms Polls or managing Breakout Rooms. And yes – you can have multiple apps in the meeting.

Of course using your own Power Apps in meetings opens up possibilities for several scenarios in businesses and engagement. Surveys can be more rich than with just a poll, fetching information directly from sales system while in the meeting (external attendees don’t have / have to have permissions to these applications!) or perhaps creating a quote directly during the meeting would be possible – without leaving the focus and context to other application.
Or as someone pointed out in Twitter: how about just having fun with a Teams meeting bingo made with Power App and added to a meeting? 🤣

What was fun with Cost Estimator that it supports also photos and inking inside Teams.

As can be seen from these sample apps that adding applications to Teams meetings create new possibilities to businesses and to meeting engagement. Creating a new application to meeting hasn’t been easier than this.

How to prepare your Power App so it can be added to meetings?

You start by creating your own Power App. If you have a existing one that you think could work it is ok as well. The beauty of all this is that Power Apps itself don’t have to be modified at all – the enabling is done in the manifest file! Read on!

You should consider what kind of area is available for these apps in Teams meeting: use a phone layout. If you use a tablet layout it will be a very very small app since it has to fit to Teams meeting side panel – and it is basically unusable.

You also determine in Power Apps who can use your apps: who do you share it with. When it is an app in Teams everyone can add it – make sure you manage permissions in other way. If someone doesn’t have permissions to use your Power Apps they will get an error message stating they don’t have permissions (just like normally with Power Apps)

After you have the Power Apps (canvas apps) ready, published and shared then it is time to add it to Teams. Navigate to your Power Apps and choose Add to Teams from it’s … menu.

The export dialogue opens in the right pane.

Download the app and navigate to the folder where the zip file is stored. Extract the zip contents to a folder.

Open manifest.json into a editor. In this example I use Notepad and on default the manifest formatting is really bad to read. But since this is the case for several of you I left it on defaults in my examples.

Look for the location in the file that reads “context” after “groupchat”]

You need to add “meetingSidePanel”, before “meetingDetailsTab”. Remember the comma.

Now save the manifest.json. Navigate to the directly and choose those three files:

  • color.png
  • manifest.json
  • outline.png

and zip them together (do not include folder or anything else: just select those three files and send them to compressed folder (zip) togehter). Name the zip file to your liking.

The next step is to upload the updated Power App to your organization’s Teams App Catalog. You most likely need to ask your Teams Admin to upload/approve it if you don’t have option to upload a custom app by yourself. You can try to use Submit to app catalog feature to make it pending adding – it will have to be approved by Teams Admin before you can use it.

Once your app is in your organizations Teams App Catalog : you can now start using your application in Teams meetings! It is amazing how little is needed to enable your Power Apps to meetings!

Consider these -checklist

  • Your Power Apps (canvas app) : does it make sense inside a Teams meeting?
  • Is your app the right sized – is it easy to use while in the meeting? Use phone layout.
  • Who do you share it (who can use it): do you need to make sure only specific people can use it.
  • Set your icon and colors correct in Power Apps before Add to Teams: the icons are in the zip-file (where the manifest it) and changing them later in Power Apps doesn’t reflect to Teams. This is just like when you have added a Power Apps to Teams as app.
  • You need to have your app in organization wide app catalog to be able add it to meetings
  • Apps in Teams meetings are currently only supported in Teams Desktop + New meeting experience

Read more from Microsoft Docs: Apps in Teams meetings.

Vesa Nopanen
MVP for Office Apps & Services (Teams & Collaboration focus), Principal Consultant in Office 365 and Modern Work. Extremely passionate about Microsoft Teams's power to change how people work together. Helping and coaching customers to find benefits, solutions and value when adopting new tools, methods, ways or working and practices into daily work-life equation. I am always eager to challenge current situation and dig out new possibilities and ways to think and work. You could describe me as a jack of all trades but my main focus area and deep personal driver is Microsoft Teams since it has changed the way I work and did a giant step forward to make it possible to work from anywhere - the location does not matter even us much as it mattered before. Microsoft Teams opened the path for many organizations to rethink their practices, worklife, culture and start the change. That's why I am very passionate about Teams.

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