More Company Communicator Features

I’m writing this post just after my participation on a series of events created by the Microsoft Brazilian subsidiary on collaboration with Teams. I had the pleasure to speak about how Company Communicator, our #1 app in Teams is changing the way companies from different sizes communicate with their employees. If you speak Portuguese, I invite you to watch my session and demo clicking here.

But I’m here today to share with you all a few additional Company Communicator contributions. I say additional because I’m sure you all remember about the upload images and message scheduler I posted last month (click here).

A few weeks ago I got a request from a big customer in Europe to allow the use of formatting elements when creating communications, including the ability to have hyperlinks and multiple buttons on the adaptive cards used by company communicator.

I also got a request, this time from a customer in the US, to include something to call user attention when sending very important messages. Something like an importance alert that could be associated to specific messages.

Here I am providing more details on those features so you all can also improve the way you use Microsoft Teams in your companies.

Summary Formatting

You can now leverage MarkDown when creating the summary of your messages. Due to a limitation when using adaptive cards inside Microsoft Teams, it is basically restricted to bold, italic, hyperlinks, ordered and unordered lists. You just need to go ahead and use appropriate markdown tags when composing your CC messages, the resultant formatted text will be presented real time on the adaptive cards shown on the right hand side of the authors interface.

Multiple Action Buttons

By default CC is restricted to a single action button. We got requests from multiple customers asking to increase the amount of buttons and allow users to pick and choose. That is delivered, you can now include up to four buttons on the adaptive card. Just click on the (+) sign located on the side of the buttons area title and provide values for the title and Url.

Important Messages

This variant of CC now provides a way to flag specific messages as important. When you select that option, users will not only receive the message but will be alerted with a notification shown under Teams activity section. When sending 1:1 messages, users will basically receive two notifications, one from the message per se and another inside the alert feed.

You should use this option when creating important messages for your employees and as a way to really call attention when you need.

The Update Process

If you are interested in those new features, keep in mind that you need to update your current CC implementation. First of all, make sure you have the 4.1 version deployed, then follow the steps below to update the App Service and the three Azure Functions used by Company Communicator.

  1. Open your Azure Portal and authenticate using admin credentials.
  2. Open the resource group where you installed Company Communicator.
  3. Select the App Service being used by CC and click on Deployment Center, under Deployment.
  4. In Settings, click Disconnect under External Git.
  1. Click OK to disconnect your deployment.
  2. Under Source, select External Git.
  1. In Repository, type https://github.com/cristianoag/microsoft-teams-apps-company-communicator.git
  2. In Branch, type dev
  3. Leave the Repository Type as Public, and click Save.
  4. Click Sync.
  5. The whole update process will take a few minutes. Make sure you see Success (Active) on the logs tab.
  6. Now repeat that for each one of the Azure Functions you have on the same resource group. Those are the resources listed as:
    • <ccname>-data-function
    • <ccname>-function
    • <ccname>-prep-function

Common Problems

I updated my CC deployment and all my messages are being sent without the buttons I defined!

Please, make sure you updated not only the App Service but all Azure Functions. If you just update the app service, the interface will allow you to include new buttons but the preparation and sending functions will not be aware of the updates you’ve done.

I updated my CC deployment, created a message with the importance flag enabled and messages are not being sent as important.

Please, make sure you updated not only the App Service but all Azure Functions. If you just update the app service, the interface will allow you to include new buttons but the preparation and sending functions will not be aware of the updates you’ve done.

After the update changes are not available on my CC authors interface.

First make sure you clicked on the Sync button. If you clicked there, make sure you already have Success (Active) flagged on the logs tab. If you have both, try to access the authors interface from a different client just to make sure you are not facing any cache issue. If you manage to get the updates, clear the teams client cache or your browser cache.

Enjoy… Cristiano.

Disclaimer – The information contained in this blog post doesn’t represent the official Microsoft guidance or best practices. It is just the view of the author on current alternatives, implementations and workarounds for common issues and/or business needs. Please refer to official Microsoft documentation and evaluate carefully any steps, code or procedures documented herein. The author doesn’t offer any warranty. Use this information at your own risk.

6 comments

  1. Hy, your version looks great. Very happy about it.
    Not sure if you are still working on CC. MS showed a AdaptiveCard function, but this feature is only available in there internal version.

    Maybe something witch would be nice for your version as well.
    Do you plan to post your version to the main repo?

    Best

      1. Hi Cristiano, Thanks for the Update. We will switch to your repo then xP
        Are you working on the custom message as well or is that something wich is only gonna be available on the main repo when ever MS decides to enable this?

  2. Hello,
    I got v.4.1.1 of the CC app deployed last friday, & these were the hiccups:

    1.) The first two targeted recipients options do not work; Only M365 Group & Send to Everyone options can be used
    2.) I cannot get the app to display the customized App Display Name that I specified in parameters file
    3.) It’s missing the “Important Message, Scheduled Send, & Multiple Button Actions” features

    Any help ASAP on getting these issues fixed will be highly appreciated, as we’re trying to purchase a subscription sooner than later.

    1. Please read the article. We have created a variant, it is NOT the official repo. 4.1.1 (from the office dev repo) doesn’t have any of the features I’m describing on the article. If you want to have those, follow the steps I mentioned and sync your deployment with my repo.

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