A few hours ago Jeff Teper announced a blog post by Mark Kashman titled “Use SharePoint web parts to showcase data from inside and outside Office 365”. 

This post [Link] contains a list of new SharePoint framework web parts that started to roll out to Targeted Release tenants today. I got lucky, my tenant already has some of the new web parts. The new ones are:

  • Planner – display tasks and progress from your team plans
  • Twitter – highlight individual tweets and full feeds
  • Office 365 Connectors – embed information from 3rd party services like Bitbucket, JIRA, and RSS
  • Kindle Instant Preview – reference an important Kindle book with one-click to preview or buy

As I did some work last year on Connectors in Teams already let’s have a look what this web part can do in a modern SharePoint team site. Heads-up Connectors are only working in group-connected SharePoint teams sites, means no communication sites as for today.

When you edit your modern team site and click on add web part you should see something like this:

  In this screen, I already narrowed the web part category down to Connectors to see all the possible ones. After clicking on Incoming Webhook you should be able to configure your new Connector right in the web part settings.

I don’t know if it’s expected this way, but after clicking on create the form closes and you are back on the page. As we need the URL from the webhook in the next step you need to click on edit web part again and should now see the created URL at the bottom of the dialogue. My guess, this will maybe change in the future or the rollout isn’t totally done yet even if the rest is working fine.

Now that we have our webhook up and running it’s time to invoke it with some O365 Connector cards. For me, the easiest way to do this is to open up PowerShell ISE and run some already prepared testing scripts that I used in demos for the last months. Combining two of them and triggering them got me this screen:

Here you see two cards from the new Connector displayed in my modern team site. For demo purpose, I deleted all the default web parts so we can focus on the cards. Both of them are very simple cards but you can get more complex examples here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook/actionable-messages/card-reference 

As Connectors use webhooks to create Connector Card messages within an Office 365 group you can use the same cards also in Microsoft Teams.

In my example above I used to call them in PowerShell with the following script

This was only a quick first impression but the Connectors web part looks really promising. With the huge list of out of the box connectors site owners can easily display content from outside SharePoint. With the actionable Connector Cards you can even think of scenarios where users click on buttons or links from the cards to trigger actions in a 3rd party system.

Overall one more release that proves that spfx will be the primary toolbelt in moving forward. There may always be a use case for on-premises or even classic sites in the cloud, but modern is the future.