Earlier this year we announced the exciting milestone of 1000 certified connectors that serve as building blocks for low-code development enabling developers to build richer apps and workflows. A huge note of thanks goes to our community of developers, partners, and publishers for this accomplishment. Today’s announcement is how we take this story forward.
At Microsoft Build 2023, we announced that Power Platform connectors can extend Microsoft 365 Copilot with plugins.
- Microsoft 365 Copilot can unlock productivity and unleash creativity in the apps that millions of people use every day—Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Teams. In Microsoft 365 Copilot, Microsoft 365 Chat combs across your entire universe of data—all your emails, meetings, chats, documents, and more, plus the web—to solve your most complex problems at work.
- Plugins enable a copilot to interact directly with third-party data, apps, and services, enhancing and broadening its range of capabilities. Plugins allow Copilot to retrieve real-time information, for example, latest news coverage on a product launch or retrieve knowledge-based information.
So, what’s in it for me you may ask? If you are a developer, you are already wondering “How do I participate in this age of AI, enable my new and existing connectors as plugins across low code applications and become a part of the extensibility story for Copilots with the potential to reach hundreds of millions of people where they work every day?”
Today we are excited to announce the following two abilities, in limited preview, to make your connectors and plugins more extensible across the Microsoft ecosystem –
- If you are an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) or developer and have an existing certified connector you can now use the same connector as a plugin across Microsoft 365 and Power Apps Copilots – All you do is enable your connector as a plugin!
Desk365, a cloud based modern helpdesk, is doing exactly this with their existing connector – You can now use the Desk365 plugin in Microsoft 365 Chat with natural language prompts such as “Get tickets assigned to me, Get tickets created in the last 3 hours, & Get all Desk365 tickets with urgent priority.”
Here is an example of how the Desk365 Power Platform connector plugin can be easily enabled from within Microsoft 365 Copilot
Similarly, Blackbaud, a cloud-based fundraising and donor management solution for nonprofits, has enabled their existing connectors as plugins in Microsoft 365 Chat with natural language prompts such as “How many opportunities are due to close, Send me a link to the Active Members list, & list some Blackbaud events”.
Other ISVs such as LMS365 (secure learning management system for modern digital workplace), Plumsail (tools for generating documents to automate repetitive tasks and streamline your processes), & ClickSend (communication software and tools for businesses) are also unlocking Copilot capabilities via Power Platform connectors. You can leverage these plugins to ask Copilots to do complex and repetitive tasks using only natural language – Simple, powerful and no code!
Power Platform Connectors provides a well-established infrastructure & a set of low-code experiences that makes it easy to build a Copilot plugin in just a few easy steps, as shown in the picture below!
If you are interested in building a copilot-enabled Power Platform connector, then please click on this link to sign-up for our preview.
2. If you are an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) or developer and already building an OpenAI plugin, then you can further extend your reach to millions of users and makers building apps on low-code platforms by using these plugins as connectors to integrate with Microsoft Power Platform.
In the gif below, we provide an example of how you can convert an Open AI plugin to connector which can then be used in Power Automate flows to create rich apps and flows.
Note: This experience is currently in a limited preview and will evolve in functionality and automation in the coming weeks.
While Plugins help extend the functionality and light up your copilots, connectors continue to be essential to connect two or more systems or applications and facilitate exchange of data. If you are a developer or an ISV and planning to build or have an Open AI plugin, you can easily import your plugin and create a Microsoft Power Platform Connector, as show in the picture below. Just a few steps to unearth a huge potential and unlock low code developers to build powerful apps that extend and activate your ecosystem.
We are thrilled to share these announcements and look forward to building with you in this age of AI. Please stay tuned for more announcements at our Ignite event November 14-17.