Universal Actions: Unified developer experience for Adaptive Cards on Teams and Outlook

We are excited to announce the general availability of Universal Actions for Adaptive Cards in Teams and Outlook and share some great examples of how partners are already using them to transform a variety of user experiences.

With Universal Actions, Microsoft 365 developers can now implement Adaptive Card scenarios once and run them seamlessly on both Teams and Outlook. Furthermore, the new Universal Action model also brings the following improvements:

  • Features that were previously only available in Outlook Actionable Messages, such as automatic card updates and the ability for actions to refresh the current card, are now also available in Teams
  • Outlook Actionable Messages now support Adaptive Cards v1.4 which brings exciting new features such as RichTextBlock and Input Validation

Lifecycle of an Adaptive Card with old versus new model

Until now, Adaptive Cards designed to run in Teams had to use the Action.Submit action type, while cards authored to run in Outlook had to use the Action.Http action type. The Universal Action model introduces a new, common Action.Execute action type that seamlessly works in both Teams and Outlook. This allows developers to:

  • Send the same Adaptive Card to both Teams and Outlook
  • Implement and maintain a single, sychronized backend service to handle action execution, whether end-users are taking those actions from Teams or Outlook

In other words, the Universal Actions model enables a true build once, deploy and run everywhere experience.

To make all this work, the Universal Actions model relies on the Azure Bot Framework to call the backend services that handle actions. Bot Framework is a standardized solution that comes with rich tooling, SDKs and documentation.

Our developer partners have already started leveraging Universal Actions to elevate their end-user experiences for a wide range of scenarios. To name a few:

Zoho Corporation Zoho is an enterprise SaaS company with a suite of web and mobile applications for CRM solutioning, business analytics, and collaboration with distributed and remote teams. Universal Actions help Zoho enhance the user experience of the following Zoho products:

  • Zoho Forms – Zoho Forms provides a feature-rich form builder software. Custom forms are sent via email (Outlook) and Teams as adaptive cards powered by Universal Actions. Learn more about Zoho Forms’ Universal Actions implementation.
  • Zoho ServiceDesk Plus (Zoho SDP) – Adaptive Cards across Outlook and Teams will allow Zoho SDP users to track and manage IT tickets efficiently, collaborate better, automate workflows, and resolve issues faster. Learn more about Zoho SDP’s Universal Actions implementation
  • Zoho Projects – Zoho Projects provides cloud-based project management software, adaptive cards will now help users to plan better and track work more efficiently. Learn more about Zoho Projects’ Universal Actions implementation.

Go1

Go1 is a Learning Management product that provides learning opportunities and training to enterprises and educational institutions. Go1 Content Hub delivers a wide range of educational topics and helps create contextualized learning experiences. Go1 has built a delightful Universal Actions integration that allows professors to share learning content with students, who can then manage these recommendations via adaptive cards in Outlook and Teams.

Learn more about this Universal Actions-backed solution.

eCare Vault eCare Vault is an innovative and HIPAA/ FERPA compliant solution designed to digitally transform and streamline your manual, paper-based workflows in Healthcare and Education. eCare Vault has built a powerful adaptive cards-based solution backed by Universal Actions that enables School Counsellors to refer students who need special care for learning/ mental health to experts who can accept these referrals in a confidential and compliant manner and then help these students via a “safe space.”

Learn more about how Universal Actions power this integration.

Tata Consultancy Services Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is an IT Services, consulting and business solutions organization that has been partnering with many of the world’s largest businesses in their transformation journeys for over 50 years. A part of the Tata group, TCS has over 488,000 of the world’s best-trained consultants in 46 countries.

Universal Actions has been used by TCS within a one stop solution for FLWs to report safety incidents, capture risk observations in site plant, spread safety awareness, perform asset health monitoring, conduct field inspections etc. All users involved in managing an incident can now seamlessly collaborate, and complete tasks/ actions from within Teams or Outlook.

 

Please click here for more information on Universal Actions in Adaptive Cards.

Happy coding!

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