Use Adaptive Cards in Microsoft Teams to connect your process to people.
Do you ever find yourself swimming in an ocean of modern office tools, feeling like you’re living in a wonderful new world, but things still aren’t as connected as you’d like? Maybe different departments have built automated processes that work for them, but they could connect people in a better way? Often in large organizations, systems get created that are still missing the extra glue to make them effective. In this post I’m going to show you a way to use Teams with Adaptive Cards to bring your apps, data, and people closer to make them more effective.
Think of Adaptive Cards as a common UI (User Interface) language that can be used in a wide range of platforms that do two things:
Because they can be used in a wide range of applications and platforms, Adaptive Cards are a great way to improve user engagement and effectiveness. You can use them to integrate data and actionable content within apps that your team uses every day.
There’s one place that Adaptive Cards do really well, and that is within Microsoft Teams.
Think of scenarios within the Office 365 platform where you have parts of a business process occurring across multiple tools. Scenarios like:
We often see examples like these implemented with a SharePoint List or Microsoft Form. After the data is captured, it needs to go through a process:
As you can see, this example requires the user to interact with multiple tools on the platform. What if we could do something to make this better?
This is where Adaptive Cards and Teams come into play.
If your team spends much of their day communicating and getting work done in Teams, it’s only natural that any processes could be made better by surfacing them within the Teams App. I'm sure Microsoft would love hearing this since they clearly want Teams to be the, “One app to rule them all”.
Since you’re already using Power Automate for part of these business processes, you can piggyback these and add a few actions to make the user experience around your process better.
So let's walk through an example to see what this new process would look like.
In our example, we’ll use an Issue Tracking process where we shift from a multi-tool review, communication, and action process to a more cohesive user experience within Teams.
In this scenario, our user – let's call him Steve – is going to submit a new issue using our Issue Tracker List in SharePoint.
Next, we have a flow that is monitoring the Issue Tracker list for new items being added to the list. It’s going to pick up Steve’s issue and post an adaptive card in Teams to the team leader responsible, which in this case is me!
This first adaptive card lets me quickly review and assign the issue to a team member. I’m going to assign this one to myself.
Once assigned, I get a simple message confirming my action and thanking me. How nice is that! 😎
After assignment, the flow automatically starts a chat in Teams for myself and Steve to discuss the issue. The first thing you’ll notice here is we’re again using an adaptive card to initiate the chat. It includes details about the issue submitted and gives a place to capture notes and ultimately the resolution for the issue.
Now Steve and I have a quick little conversation and sort out the details of the issue.
Once satisfied, I’ll add some notes in the adaptive card, specify a resolution, and complete the task.
The card registers the submission and provides confirmation that the issue has been resolved.
Lastly, let’s go back and look at the issue in the Issue Tracker list. The last step in our flow is to update the issue and mark it with the resolution from the adaptive card.
If we open the info panel for the issue, we’ll see it even updated the comments with the notes I entered in the adaptive card.
Pretty cool, right?
Want to learn about what’s happening under the hood?
Ok, keep reading.