Connect apps to your groups in Outlook

Ever wish you could get your tweets, news headlines, project analytics, RSS feeds, and task tracking all in one place? Now you can with connectors for Office 365 Groups.

Connectors are online apps, tools, and services, such as Twitter, Trello, or RSS, that you probably use every day to connect and collaborate, stay on top of current events, track projects, and so on. They're integrated with Office 365 Groups and take just minutes to hook up.

Connectors fall into a variety of categories to suit every type of user and team, from the information worker focused on interests (Bing News, RSS) or productivity (Trello, Asana) to developer automation tools, (BuildKite), to email marketing services (MailChimp), and so on. You can hook multiple connectors to a group, and when you hook up one or more connectors, they're available to everyone in the group. No additional steps required!

The list of connectors is always changing as new services and tools are added. Here's a snapshot of some of the connectors that are available for your use today.

Logos shown include Aha!, AppSignal, Asana, Bing News, BitBucket, Bugsnag, CircleCI, Codeship, Crashlytics, Datadog, Dynamics CRM Online, GitHub, GoSquared, Groove, HelpScout, Heroku, Incoming Webhook, JIRA, MailChimp, PagerDuty, Pivotal Tracker, Raygun,

How connectors work

When you connect a tool or service to a group, everyone in the group can see the messages delivered by that service. For example, let's say your group wants to follow news reports about your company's new product that's hitting the market. You could add the Bing News connector to your group, configure it to send you links to topics of interest, and specify the frequency of delivery. When news headlines are sent to your group, everyone in the group will be able to read and respond to them.

The messages are delivered as rich connector cards, which can be viewed in multiple clients including Outlook on the web, Outlook 2016 for Windows, and in the Groups app for iOS and Android for Office 365 users. Here's an example of what the Yammer connector card would look like:

A screenshot of a card from a connected service that's delivered to your group inbox

Actionable messages

The information from your connected services is delivered on rich connector cards. Some cards (Trello, Asana, GitHub, BitBucket, Twitter, and Wunderlist) include action buttons, such as Like, Comment, or Due Date, which allow you to take quick actions from Outlook rather than switching to other apps or logging in to other services. Here's an example of a card with action buttons:

A screenshot of the action buttons in a card from a connected service

Note: To see action buttons in Outlook 2016, you need to follow the group. See Follow a group in Outlook for more information.

These actionable messages are also available in connectors for your Outlook inbox.

Add or remove a connector

You must be using Outlook on the web to add or remove connectors. Any group member can add a connector to a group; any group member can remove it, too. The person who adds the connector is the only one who can modify its settings, such as changing the frequency of delivery.

To add a connector

  1. In Outlook on the web, browse to one of your groups.

  2. On the ribbon, select Connectors.

    Connectors option on the Groups ribbon

  3. Browse the list of connectors. When you find the one you want, select Add.

    A screenshot of the list of connectors with the Add button highlighted

  4. Follow the instructions on the screen to set up the connector. (Not all connectors are integrated in the same way. Some can be configured entirely from within the Office 365 Groups user interface, while others require some set up on the service provider's site. Each connector includes set-up instructions to walk you through the process.)

To remove a connector

  1. In Outlook on the web, browse to the group where you want to remove the connector.

  2. On the ribbon, select Connectors.

  3. Browse to the connector you want to remove and click Configured (the number on the button indicates how many instances of this connector are configured for your group).

  4. Locate the specific instance of the connector to be removed and select View.

    Connector with configured and View buttons highlighted

  5. Select Remove.

    Remove button on the Bing News connector

Manage your connected accounts

Most connectors require a user account in order to hook them up. Once hooked up, they're known as connected accounts and are listed on the My Accounts page. The My Accounts page enables you to manage all of your connected accounts from one location. The My Accounts page is only available in Outlook on the web.

Note: The username or password for the connected account are not stored in Office 365.

To view and remove connected accounts

  1. In Outlook on the web, browse to one of your groups.

  2. On the ribbon, select Connectors.

  3. Select My Accounts.

  4. Browse the list of connected accounts. When you find the one you want, select View.

  5. Confirm that you want to remove the account by selecting Remove. Note that the connected account will be removed from all the groups where it is used.

Frequently asked questions

  1. Can I use connectors on my iPhone, Android phone, or Windows Phone?

    Yes! If you already have the Outlook Groups app installed on your mobile device, you'll receive notifications from your connected accounts in your group mailbox just like on the desktop. You can't add a connector from your mobile device at this time. To install the Outlook Groups app, visit the Apple App Store, Google Play store, or Microsoft Store from your device.

  2. Can I disable connectors?

    Admins can use Exchange Online PowerShell to disable connectors for an entire tenant or for a specific group mailbox. All users in that tenant or mailbox would be affected. It's not possible to disable for some and not others. The tenant-level setting overrides the group level setting. For example, if an admin enables connectors for the group and disables them on the tenant, connectors for the group will be disabled.

    To learn how to connect to Exchange Online PowerShell, see Connect to Exchange Online PowerShell.

    • To disable connectors for the tenant, run the following command in Exchange Online PowerShell:

      Set-OrganizationConfig -ConnectorsEnabled:$false
    • To disable connectors for a group mailbox, run the following command in Exchange Online PowerShell:

      Set-UnifiedGroup -Identity contosogroup@contoso.com -ConnectorsEnabled:$false
    • To disable actionable messages for connectors for the tenant, run the following command in Exchange Online PowerShell:

      Set-OrganizationConfig -ConnectorsActionableMessagesEnabled:$false
  3. How can I add a new connector to the list?

    Follow these instructions to add your connector to the list.

Related Topics

Connect apps to your inbox in Outlook on the web
Learn about Office 365 Groups
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