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Teams Live Share is for collaborating more apps




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Microsoft Teams is easy to think of as just a chat and conferencing application that allows you to pin frequently used apps and folders for discussion and clarity purposes. However, Teams is actually a platform for collaboration applications, and even when bots and loop components send information from the application directly to chat, conversations and sending messages between users are just one form of collaboration.

New live sharing support for teams makes it easy to build different types of collaboration apps, not just video conferences and chat channels. With these Fluid Framework-powered tools, you can not only do the actual work together, but also discuss what to do.

For example, teams can watch videos together. The presenter can start the video, but anyone can add the video to the queue or pause, rewind, or jump to something that seems relevant without confusing others. To make it more interactive, users can also sketch ideas and circle videos of important things that everyone thinks should be noted.

Image: Microsoft. Shared video playback on Teams using live sharing.

Other uses include co-editing documents and diagrams, or co-creating with almost any other type of software.

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What is a live share?

Live Share is an open source extension to the Teams SDK (Software Development Kit) that allows developers to collaborate and multi-user their apps without having to write additional code to handle the back end. You can use it. Fluid Framework and Azure Fluid Relay. This gives you the freedom to focus on creating a user interface that allows users to collaborate.

Collaborating on designs and documents is so interactive that Live Share syncs audio and video files, audio ducking to lower the volume of one person’s audio when someone else starts talking, and a virtual laser pointer. Add some new options to your team, such as. This allows people to show each other the exact parts of the object or design they want to talk to or work on.

How Fluid Framework enhances LiveShare

The Fluid Framework, which enhances the Loop component, is open source, so developers can use it in their own apps to split data into chunks that can be viewed and updated via Fluid. The chunk can be the address, comment, or measurement of an object in a CAD diagram that is individually information that is normally inaccessible without opening the original app. Fluid can then turn it into a distributed data structure that can be updated in multiple locations.

As always, Microsoft has a misleading number of names for this technology. Fluid is what’s called a framework, Azure with the same name as the Fluid Relay Service, and your app can be used as a backend if you don’t want to keep your data in SharePoint. Office’s Fluid-based data objects are called loop components, and apps such as ServiceDesk Plus Cloud convert adaptive cards to loop components so users can view or update tickets from within their team.

LiveShare design team use cases

Hexagon is a world leader in information technology for creating cars, airplanes, medical devices and other complex designs. However, they suffer from complexity because they are working in silos caused by distributed working conditions that make it difficult to share their expertise.

“Manufacturing is really complicated. We start with an idea, design it, test it in simulation, model the process, manufacture it, and measure quality,” says Arno Zinke. Hexagon Senior Vice President.

If the finished part does not work as expected, measurement and quality assurance experts work with the simulation team and other engineers to look back at the data from the simulation, inspection data, and all other stages of the process. is needed. Check for design issues that can cause parts to deform during manufacturing.

See: Home Video Setup: What You Need for a Professional Look and Sound (TechRepublic Premium)

To do this, you need to be able to view your data in different ways. Some experts may need a 3D view, while others may prefer 2D or tabular data. Even with the same representation, you can use different camera angles, use different color coding to represent different physics you are tracking, zoom in on a single part, or zoom out to see the entire design. You may need to view it to see what is important.

Communication tools like teams can attract people, but the limitations of sharing a screen while using a computer-aided design (CAD) application, such as lag and the ability of only one person to control the application at a time. May occur.

“It’s not efficient,” Jinki said. “Every change propagates through an organized process, but in the end, the results are actually separated at various stages, so people probably [seeing] All inputs. “

That’s why Hexagon turned to LiveShare to solve the problems caused by collaboration between distributed employees.

Live Share opens up collaboration between experts from different teams

The Live Share collaboration app allows multiple people to work with the app at the same time to see what’s relevant to them, allowing experts from different disciplines to work together to design and solve problems.

This allowed Hexagon to build collaborative apps using LiveShare, which was easily demoed at the Microsofts Build conference, to make the design process of 3D designers using models and simulations more collaborative.

“What we tried to do with this app was to bring together domain experts from all the different domains needed to solve problems such as building planes and cars in one environment,” Zinke said. .. For the first time, these processes and workflows have become much more agile. “

Image: Hexagon. Live sharing allows you to ensure that everyone in your meeting is working in a shared workspace.

Jinki explained that the airplane engine shown in the demo is an assembly of parts where one of the parts is out of tolerance, usually due to a decision made early in the process.

With Live Share, experts were able to get together to view and troubleshoot the design. Live shares can be edited as well as viewed. Engineers can modify parts from the same application at the same time, recalculate and simulate the design, and see if that solves the problem.

Image: Hexagon. Live Share shows live data that not only someone can share the screen with, but everyone can edit together.Live sharing brings long-term changes to design practices

In the long run, this collaboration can solve another major problem in industrial design and slow down the design process. Designs typically move between different software tools (typically 10 or 20 to cover all stages), and the files are so large that data exchange is slow.

“They use the first tool to create a huge file that is thrown over the fence, and the next poor user pulls out only the modified bits and creates their own file,” Zinke said. I am saying.

This happens on a tool-by-tool basis, so updating when the original file changes again is tedious, and there is a risk of error by manually copying information between files.

By making the data more detailed and open and sharing between tools, users do not have to use a few gigabytes of tools, making the system architecture more efficient, making changes faster and easier. Allows designers and engineers to create. Change more often and try different approaches.

Image: Hexagon. Different experts can make changes to the shared model and everyone can see the results in the meeting.

“Our customers are tired of the jumble of things like this with a completely inconsistent experience and manual file sharing,” said Jinki. He describes LiveShare as “a fabric that brings together experts and enables collaboration between tools, teams and disciplines, enabling the next level of collaboration workflows, which will change the way we build.” calling.

There is a lot of excitement in the idea of ​​the Metaverse. Zinke suggests that LiveShare will be a stepping stone to making it useful to the industry.

“This is a virtual place that aims to bring people and tools together in one environment, allowing us to solve difficult problems together,” says Zinke.

Teams improve communication for collaboration

With the move to hybrid and remote work, collaborative applications are much more important than walking to a colleague’s desk and pointing at something on the screen. Knowledge workers have long been able to collaborate with Office and Google Docs, and coders have used git. But more recently, Visual Studio has added collaborative editing and debugging in the form of LiveShare.

With live team sharing, developers need to create a relatively large amount of business logic about who can do what, rather than the complex distributed data management that the Fluid backend handles. You can build your application in live collaboration. For them.

According to Zinke, Live Share is easy for developers because users can drop Live Share into their existing apps.

“You bring your team to your app. You don’t have to bring your app to your team,” Zinke said. “It’s a really loose bond. We’re not building anything just for the team.”

According to Zinke, about 9095% of Hexagons customers are already using Teams. That said, Hexagon doesn’t want to host its own collaboration infrastructure, and customers don’t want a separate collaboration solution built into the design software.

“Why do you compete with the most successful products in the market used by all your customers? You can meet them wherever they are.”




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