Changes coming to Microsoft Teams Bot APIs for fetching team/chat members

Microsoft Teams team

Currently, bot developers who want to retrieve information for one or more members of a chat or team use the Microsoft Teams bot APIs TeamsInfo.GetMembersAsync (for C#) or TeamsInfo.getMembers (for TypeScript/Node.js) APIs (documented here). These APIs have several shortcomings today:

  • For large teams, performance is poor and timeouts are more likely. The maximum team size has grown considerably since Microsoft Teams was released in early 2017. Since GetMembersAsync/getMembers returns the entire member list, it takes a long time for the API call to return for large teams, and it’s not uncommon for the call to time out and you have to try again.
  • Getting profile details for a single user is cumbersome. To get the profile information for a single user, you have to retrieve the entire member list and then search for the one you want. True, there’s a helper function in the Bot Framework SDK to make it simpler, but under the covers it’s not efficient.

Separately, with the introduction of org-wide teams, we realized it was time to better align these APIs with Office 365 privacy controls: bots used in large teams are able to retrieve basic profile information, which is similar to the User.ReadBasic.All Microsoft Graph permission. Tenant administrators have a great deal of control over which apps and bots can be used in their tenant, but these settings are different than the ones governing Microsoft Graph.

Here’s a sample JSON representation of what’s returned by these APIs today. I’ll refer to some of the fields below.

    "id": "29:1GcS4EyB_oSI8A88XmWBN7NJFyMqe3QGnJdgLfFGkJnVelzRGos0bPbpsfJjcbAD22bmKc4GMbrY2g4JDrrA8vM06X1-cHHle4zOE6U4ttcc",
    "objectId": "9d3e08f9-a7ae-43aa-a4d3-de3f319a8a9c",
    "givenName": "Larry",
    "surname": "Brown",
    "email": "",
    "userPrincipalName": ""
}, {
    "id": "29:1bSnHZ7Js2STWrgk6ScEErLk1Lp2zQuD5H2qQ960rtvstKp8tKLl-3r8b6DoW0QxZimuTxk_kupZ1DBMpvIQQUAZL-PNj0EORDvRZXy8kvWk",
    "objectId": "76b0b09f-d410-48fd-993e-84da521a597b",
    "givenName": "John",
    "surname": "Patterson",
    "email": "",
    "userPrincipalName": ""
}, {
    "id": "29:1URzNQM1x1PNMr1D7L5_lFe6qF6gEfAbkdG8_BUxOW2mTKryQqEZtBTqDt10-MghkzjYDuUj4KG6nvg5lFAyjOLiGJ4jzhb99WrnI7XKriCs",
    "objectId": "6b7b3b2a-2c4b-4175-8582-41c9e685c1b5",
    "givenName": "Rick",
    "surname": "Stevens",
    "email": "",
    "userPrincipalName": ""

API changes

We are announcing the following changes:

  • We are creating a new paged API for retrieving profile information for members of a chat/team. Preliminary documentation for the C# function GetConversationPagedMembers in the Bot Framework 4.x SDK is available now; documentation for the TypeScript/Node.js version is forthcoming. This API will also be available in Bot Framework 3.x. Note: this API is currently available, but the documentation isn’t finished, and the schema of the JSON object it returns will change slightly in the near future: we are changing objectId to aadObjectId to match what it’s called in the Activity object of a Bot Framework message.
  • We are creating a new API for retrieving the profile information for a single user. We will document this new API in March 2020, but we can provide a few details: it will take the ID of the team/chat and a UPN (userPrincipalName above), Azure Active Directory Object ID (objectId above), or the Teams user ID (id above) as parameters and return the profile information for that user.
  • TeamsInfo.GetMembersAsync (C#) and TeamsInfo.getMembers (TypeScript/Node.js) is formally deprecated and will stop working in late 2021. We will announce a specific timetable in May based on feedback from developers, but once the new paged API is available, developers should update their bots to use it. (This also applies to the underlying REST API these APIs use.)
  • By late 2021, bots will not be able to proactively retrieve the userPrincipalName or email properties for members of a chat/team and will need to use Microsoft Graph to retrieve them. Specifically, userPrincipalName and email properties will not be returned from the new GetConversationPagedMembers API starting in late 2021. Bots will have to use Microsoft Graph with an access token to retrieve this information. This is obviously a major change: we must make it easier for bots to get an access token, and we must streamline and simplify the end-user consent process.

More information on all of this is forthcoming, including more specific timeframes; for now, we wanted to give everyone a heads up on what was coming.

Feedback and more information

We have created a new page in the Teams platform documentation to provide up-to-date information on these changes. If you have questions, please post an issue on that page:

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