In a recent Microsoft 365 message center notification MC411463 the feature Microsoft Teams user request configuration to external systems (URL redirect) appeared. It provides organizations who block Teams apps that they can discover blocked apps and request a blocked app.

Source: Pexels.com

What are the options with Microsoft Teams user request configuration to external systems (URL redirect)?

There are two configurations available:

  • Customizable user message
    • shown when a user finds a blocked app
    • default message: “This app requires approval from your IT admin to make it available for you to add.”
  • URL
    • empty and off by default
    • opens the URL in a browser on click of the “Request approval” button
    • user can read/interact with the target site

Is the feature it available?

Yes, it is generally available as stated in Microsoft 365 Roadmap feature ID 89288. The message center notification says that its rollout started in August 2022 and should be finished mid September 2022.

Source: Screenshot Microsoft 365 Roadmap feature ID 89288

How to configure Teams App requests?

To start with the configuration:

  • go to the Teams Admin Center
  • navigate to Teams apps \ Manage apps
  • click on Org-wide app settings on the upper right corner
Source: Screenshot Teams Admin Center
  • Scroll down in the Org-wide app settings
  • Configure as required in the section User requests configuration custom message and/or URL
Source: Screenshot Teams Admin Center

As you can see here, if you switch the toggle you can enable the URL field and insert a URL. The URL and the website should be accessible to all users which might click on “Request app” in the Teams app store.

  • Click Save if you finished your configuration

Configuration note

In my environment all apps are allowed in the org-wide app settings but all third-party apps are blocked by using the global app permission policy. Custom apps are allowed in my environment’s global app permission policy.

User Experience – What does it look like for users to request a Teams app?

If users browser the Teams app store the will see a lock icon over the actual app icon. This signals that it must be requested and requires approval.

Source: Teams app store

Users can request the app by click on “Request approval”.

Source: Teams app store

Admin Experience – What does it look like to approve an app?

As an admin you can see the app requests in the Manage Team apps section. I’d recommend to refresh the browser page (F5) if not freshly loaded and use the sort option for the Request by users column. Below you can see the recent app request.

Source: Screenshot Teams Admin Center

To manage the request you have to click on the app in Manage app area in the column name.

Source: Screenshot Teams Admin Center

Clicking on Manage requests provides you further details on what to do.

Source: Screenshot Teams Admin Center

In my case and environment the permission policy blocks third-party apps. So I cannot just enable/allow the requested app here. I have to allow it via permission policy first but I like to have a custom permission policy which I can assign to only those users which require the app. However, I cannot see which user requested the app in the Teams Admin Center. So, to whom do I assign the custom permission policy?

Well, you have Microsoft 365 and/or your support/ticket service solution. So I’d recommend to use its URL and redirect the request. In my case I quickly built a Microsoft 365 form to which I can add as an URL for a Teams app request. In the background I could build a flow with Power Automate which processes the data/approval request as required.

Alternatively, you could of course also create a Power App, a SharePoint List or Dataverse to track and store requests, depending on your needs.

Source: Example Microsoft 365 Form for Teams app requests

After adding the URL in the org-wide settings the “Request approval” button looks a little different, showing an icon for popping out a window/browser to open the URL.

Source: Screenshot Teams app store
Source: Example Microsoft 365 Form for Teams app requests

Conclusion, opinion and summary

Microsoft Teams user request configuration to external systems (URL redirect) is an easy way to implement control regarding Teams apps. As you can see based on my basic example with a form there is plenty of room for other creative approaches either using other Microsoft 365 services or just use the URL to your existing ticket system.

Additional resources