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Using Teams and Azure DevOps? There's an app for that...

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Posted by Alex Phillips about 1 year ago

Microsoft wants to get more developers using its collaboration platform and has released its Azure Reops app as a way to do just that.

Timing is everything, and it’s not gone unnoticed that Microsoft’s release came just a day after Slack upgraded its app developer toolkit – a bit of friendly competition is good for everyone, right?

The new Azure Repose app for Microsoft Teams has been designed to help developers work more efficiently. It does that by giving handy notifications in Teams channels whenever code is pushed or checked in, or pull requests are created or updated. Developers can then chat in Teams about the relevant content.

An article on The Register suggests these notifications could become slightly annoying. However, it does also point out that users are able to filter and customise what they want to receive notifications about.

Supporting both Git and Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC) repos, the app can currently only be linked to a project hosted on Azure DevOps Services. This means that to subscribe, users need to be members of the Azure DevOps Project Administrators group.

Meanwhile, Slack’s library of 1,800 apps are largely aimed at developers and it boasts a highly engaged developer ecosystem. According to Slack, 500,000 custom apps are used each week and 95% of its users feel these apps make the platform “more valuable”.

Slack is having to do what it can to respond to the challenge from Microsoft. Earlier this year, Microsoft announced it had 13 million daily active users, and 19 million used it on a weekly basis. Slack’s 5+ billion weekly actions don’t really come close.

Slack continues to update its toolkit adding a new home tab for apps, multistep modal windows, easier app discovery and a more granular permissions model.

But while Slack may be ahead of Microsoft in terms of app integrations, Microsoft is not backing down. The company continues to add its own to Teams (Azure Repos being just one) and do what it can to entice developers to the platform. And the combination of that weighty user count and the company plugging gaps in its collaboration platform, developers will find it hard to ignore.

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