MS Teams & “External Apps”


Recently we came across an issue within our Tenancy where we could not see the new “Teams Apps” features in the Teams Admin portal. Many of our clients tenancies had this feature available to them when it rolled out to General Availability. Given that our tenancy is set to Targeted Release we were puzzled why it had not shown up yet.

So What?

After much review and researching the issue turned out to be due to a little feature called “Sideloading of External Apps” This is purely coincidental given the timing of the “Teams Services” migration to the new Teams Admin portal but basically… If “Sideloading of External Apps” is enabled then you will NOT see the new “Teams Apps” in the new Teams Admin portal.

Microsoft defines “Sideloading of External Apps”

If you want to turn on some external apps and turn off others , turn off this setting, and then in the list of external apps, turn off the apps that you don’t want users to access. When this setting is turned on, team owners and members who are granted permission can sideload apps to Teams

But more to the point…

Sideloading of Apps is the process of adding apps to Microsoft Teams by uploading a zip file directly to a team. It’s useful because it allows users to test an app as it’s being developed. Sideloading also lets you build an app for internal use only, so you can share it with your team without submitting it to the Teams app catalog.

Now What?

We wanted our new “Teams App” feature in the new Teams Admin portal so we decided to disable the “Allow Sideloading of External Apps”. This however, did not work. While the “Teams Apps” feature has been rolled out to General Availability the other feature “Teams App Permissions” has not been. Because the “Sideloading of external apps” was enabled it prevented the migration of the “Teams Apps” feature which won’t be available to us until the “Teams App Permissions” feature is rolled out.

This was a serious head scratcher and now we wait til “Teams App Permissions” is rolled out, fingers crossed both features show up!