//build 2017 : Skype for Business News

//build is one of the biggest event in Microsoft Developers Community. Each edition means announcements of new technologies, new releases and new tools to help developers.

This year, main topics are around Azure, Artificial inteligence, Bots, Microsoft Graph, Windows, Mixed Reality and design.

There are many topics to discuss and to test out, but i want to focus on Skype for Business. There were three sessions concerning SfB, more precisely, in regards to the development platform.

Integrate presence, chat, audio, and video into custom apps with Skype for Business

First, there was a session on all the news and demos that demonstrated the seamless integration using Skype for Business.

After a quick reminder of what the dev platform is and how it is globally integrated with Office 365, Andrew Bybee talked about Microsoft Graph. Skype for Business is not very integrated so far, but i think it’s very important to keep an eye on it.

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Microsoft Graph is the API endpoint to access data in Microsoft’s cloud. At the beginning, it was used to connect to Office 365 workloads.

During the keynotes, the speakers announced that Windows is coming to the graph and add notion of devices. This feature enables great usage, such as “Project Rome” synchronizing user experience across all Windows Devices.

They have also demonstrated new capabilities on Microsoft Bot Framework : Skype for Business is available as a new channel!

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Now that we have the tools, let’s go to develop great applications :

Build bots in Skype for Business

As i said previously, Skype for Business is now a new channel in Microsoft Bot Framework (in preview). Skype has been there since the beginning and was one of the first channel.

It’s only available with Skype for Business Online and it’s leveraging Trusted Application API

There are interesting features that enable any users to reach the bot and ask questions. LUIS, the Natural Language Processing platform can be added to offer a consistent conversation. Unlike others channels, this one can also send messages without being contacting. For example, it can send alert notification to a specific user.

New Virtual Health Templates extend Skype for Business as platform for developers

This project was released in February and it’s available on github. The scenario is pretty similar to the one described above but only with web clients. This is a good solution if you want to test final apps that are based on Skype Web SDK and Trusted Application API.

 

That’s all from Skype. Don’t hesitate to watch others sessions, which you can find on channel 9

Stay Tuned!

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We are in production!

What a great sensation when you push a new application to production! I have started my company three years ago to build collaborative solutions using Microsoft (Office 365, Azure) Platforms, and most specifically, Skype for Business.

We are working everyday to build the best solution. To be honest, it doesn’t really make sense — everybody wants to create, develop, build a perfect product. But in my opinion, the perfect product doesn’t exist.  You always run into things you didn’t plan for, or discover something that doesn’t match user needs, etc.

So, I’m working now new areas like developing cloud-based solutions, devops, new development technologies like Typescript or even mobile development.

I created this blog some years ago to share technical posts about Skype For Business and i want to expand this subject.

Free stock photo of person, creative, working, writing

My objective is to explain the solutions, obstacles, mistakes, and questions that i’m facing as entrepreneur, and also as a Skype for Business architect/developer.

ArchitectureGreat view of the New York City (NYC) skyline with a few high buildings and sun in the background.

The Skype for Business / Skype market and customer base are huge!

More and More companies want to add this solution in their own application or process to improve communications internally and also externally.

Skype for Business has a complex architecture : differents roles, workflows, protocols and it can be difficult to start developping without help. I’m working on some posts about :

  • What is important to know and what we can use to develop around Skype for Business Online?
  • How can I easily generate Skype for Business meeting to discuss with external users such as partners or customers?

App Development

As I said earlier, I’m working more and more on cloud-based solutions. It’s not a surprise – the whole market is adopting this approach.

Microsoft Azure is growing very fast. Every time I connected to the portal, I can find a new product or solution.

Since February, there have been a lot of subjects about Cloud and Skype for Business Online :

  • Trusted Application API is in preview
  • Skype For Business App SDK is in GA

I suppose that some other news will be announced during the next //build edition in three weeks. Then we’ll have many topics to cover.

Dev Ops

Before working with a team of developers, I created software without any methodology or tools. I only used my Visual Studio.

Now though, we have to be organized and need a powerful workflow to push our solutions into production.  Every day we user Visual Studio Online, and we are also trying to apply the dev ops concept.

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We are facing to big topics like :

  • How to use the build and release management solutions to automatically push?
  • What is the best solution to oversee our apps?
  • How we can automate tests for Skype For Business or with real-time applications?

We have already found some answers, and i will explain what’s we are doing.

I have listed lot of subjects and I probably forget some others, but i will try to share often to help sfb developers, architects and customers to build great apps!

Stay tuned!

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Skype for Business Development Platform News

It’s been a while that i had not writing any post on this blog. But the time has come to take a good habit and post new contents (news, article, videos and so on) around Skype for Business, Development Platform and ecosystem more often.

Microsoft has announced lots of new features during Enterprise Connect and //build, around Skype, Skype for Business, and more specifically on the Development Platform.

Before to deep dive in these features, the following episode of “Sfb Video Broadcast” is a very good introduction and also nice outline of the overall platform.

I will certainly write posts around Skype for Business Web SDK or App SDK, but if you are looking forward to get more informations, you can watch //build videos available :

  • Skype for Business Developer Platform Update with David Newman and Richard Taylor

  • Introducing the Skype for Business SDK for iOS and Android by Richard Taylor

  • Skype for Business Partner Integration Examples

    To complete all these informations, with these links you can find all answers of your questions :

    Stay Tuned!

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    What kind of scenario can i build with Skype Web SDK ?

    If you are wondering what kind of scenario you can build,, these videos demonstrate very great examples :

    Stay tuned!

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    Lync and Skype: Intense end of the year for 2014

    If you are following technology news, you’ve probably seen all the big announcements about Lync and Skype at the end of 2014. These ones offer good insights with some Skype features for the consumer and Lync updates. We could also see some new features during Windows 10 Keynote, I will come back to this topic in another post.

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    TechEd Europe 2014 : Lync Development Platform Sessions

    Two weeks ago Microsoft organized the TechEd Europe 2014 in Barcelona. As usual, some sessions was dedicated to Lync and Skype.

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    Lync Conference 2014: Lync and Skype videos around Development

    If you missed the Lync Conference in Las Vegas last February, here’s your chance to catch up! All sessions have been available on Channel 9 for a couple of weeks now. Below are the links to all videos about developing for Lync and Skype.

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    Lync Conference 2014: Good news from Las Vegas

    Second Lync Conference: done! Once again I had the chance to attend this year’s edition which was held a few weeks ago at the Aria Hotel Resort conference center. This is the most important event of the year for all members of the Microsoft UC ecosystem, a great opportunity to talk to Microsoft teams and customers, as well as partners and MVPs.

    Like last year, rich content was presented across more than 170 sessions and announcements around the future of Lync and Skype and development as well!

    After reviewing the situation since the launch of LCS ten years ago, Gurdeep Singh Pall and Derek Burney introduced Microsoft’s vision around unified communications, or rather “universal communications”.

    Read more »

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    XpandLync = this.CreateBlog(ThemeBlog.Lync);

    New Year, New Resolution!

    I started blogging three years ago and now I want to start a new adventure with xpandlync.com.

    Since last July, I have been the proud co-founder of Neitiv and I have been focusing on the development of unified communication solutions around Microsoft Lync, Skype and hardware equipment such as Plantronics headsets, and Snom or Polycom IP phones.03-02-2014 17-08-56

    I will be sharing all the tips and tutorials I use to build UC scenarios based on these technologies and I will also publish the applications and code I use for my own projects.

    I will also continue to add posts to my French Lync blog www.techandprog.fr. This one  focuses more on the IT part.

    I hope you find the information helpful and interesting, and please feel free to share your impressions. I’m always happy to hear what you have to say!

    And for all the latest news follow me on Twitter #Lync @alexis_conia

    Stay tuned!

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