Layer2 Data Provider for Office 365 Groups
The Layer2 Cloud Connector can run
locally (as a Windows Service) or also in the Cloud, typically it runs where it
can easily reach the systems to connect. No installation or changes are required
in the connected systems. As usual with the Layer2 Cloud Connector, connections
are established by providing connection strings, without any programming. A
typical connection string for the Office 365 Groups provider looks like
WebHookUrl=<url of the webhook to the Office 365 group>;
The WebHookUrl is created in the Office 365 Group you
want the Cloud Connector to send Group Cards to. When opening the Office 365
Office Group, you can find an option at the top menu bar called Connectors.
Click on that to start configuring your Webhook Connector. You need to create a
connector by choosing the "Incoming Webhook" Connector and then click Add.
Fig.: The “Incoming Webhook” generic
Connector in Office 365 Groups is used by the Layer2 Cloud Connector to
integrate 100+ external apps and systems with the Groups feature.
To configure the Incoming Webhook,
you need to give it a name and optionally add an image for the Connector. Once
that is done you need to click on Create to create the Webhook. When it is
created you will see an input box with an URL in it. This is the Webhook and you
need this URL in the connection string of the Cloud Connector. The URL is unique
to this Group and Webhook. If you remove the Webhook, you will disable the
Using the Webhook "Group Cards" are posted to notify the team about any
changes in the connected systems. For better processing you can give a
Card Title in the connection string. It is recommended to use
the Cloud Connector connection name so that you can immediately see which
connection sent this card.
Additionally you have to provide a symbolic data query to provide data
fields to map with your data source. Those fields are tracked for data changes
and listed in your Group Card later on.
To configure your data source, please take a look here for supported systems. For example an
Microsoft Access database can be configured as follows.
Don't miss to map the fields of the data source to the fields created for the
Groups Card as follows:
Now you are ready to run your connection manually in the Layer2 Cloud Connector
for testing and initial notification.
If all works as expected your Group should receive the following Group Card.
You can now schedule the connection to run in background as a Windows Service to
notify about any changes as configured, e.g. every hour. Group members should
receive notifications about any data changes like this.
Each time a key activity takes
place in the connected system or app a card message is sent to the Groups shared
inbox - for example, when a new item is added to a Sales opportunity in a SQL
database, ERP/CRM system or other. You can then choose to share and discuss on
the message with your team or take action with a few simple clicks. Please
follow the rules for Microsoft Office 365 Group notifications with your
configuration to avoid information overflow.