Yesterday Viva Connections (31/Mar/2021) was launched to the world and this allows you to create and then install the Viva Connections app in Teams so your SharePoint home site can be available in Teams. The Viva Connections app needs to be generated exclusively for your environment i.e. generate the app to point to your SharePoint home site url and this is done through PowerShell. I will show you how you can build a Viva Connections app using just one PnP cmdlet Publish-PnPCompanyApp

The Microsoft instructions require you to download and then run one lengthy PowerShell script but the PnP team have shortened this into running just one PnP command. Also using the PowerShell script requires you after running the script to upload the app to your Teams app catalogue but as an added bonus the Publish-PnPCompanyApp will upload the app directly to your Teams App catalogue.

Microsoft Viva Connections – one of the four Viva modules – is your gateway to a modern employee experience. The Viva Connections for desktop experience, formerly known as the Home site app, combines the power of your intelligent SharePoint intranet with chat and collaboration tools in Microsoft Teams. Viva Connections enables users to discover and search relevant content, sites, and news from across the organization right from the Team’s app bar. Viva Connections also allows you to incorporate your organization’s brand and identity directly in Teams.

Add Viva Connections for Microsoft Teams desktop – SharePoint in Microsoft 365 | Microsoft Docs

I will now show you how to implement a Viva Connections app using PnP.PowerShell with the new Publish-PnPCompanyApp cmdlet available in the new PnP.PowerShell 1.5.0 release

First connect to your M365 tenant using Connect-PnPOnline then use the following command below and adjust the Urls for your SharePoint home site/website. If you havent used PnP PowerShell before go to the following link PnP PowerShell | PnP PowerShell for instructions to install and authenticate to PnP PowerShell.

Further general guidance is included in this link regarding the step by step instructions for setting up Viva Connections desktop i.e. ensuring your site is SharePoint home site and a comms site. I also provide guidance on the parameter values in the table below.

ParameterGuidance/Example
-PortalUrlThe URL of your SharePoint home site i.e. https://tenantname.sharepoint.com
-AppName The name of your app in Teams, will be used in the left hand navigation so it is advised to keep it short or it will be truncated i.e. Portal
-DescriptionThis is the short description for the app, which will appear in Teams app catalog and is limited to 80 characters i.e. View the Intranet portal in a Teams App (Viva Connections).
-LongDescription This is the long description for your app, which will appear in Teams app catalog and is limited to 4000 characters i.e. View the Intranet portal in a Teams App using Viva Connections and we can keep on writing a longer and longer description here.
-PrivacyPolicyUrlA link to your privacy policy for the app – you would typically link to an external website displaying your privacy policy i.e. https://leonarmston.com/about
If you do not have separate privacy policy do not include this parameter and the command will use the default SharePoint privacy policy from Microsoft.
-TermsAndUsagePolicyUrlA link to your terms and usage policy for the app – you would typically link to an external website displaying your policy i.e. https://leonarmston.com/about
If you do not have separate terms of use policy do not include this parameter and the command will use the default SharePoint terms of use from Microsoft.
-CompanyNameYour organisations name that will be visible from the Teams app catalog under the “Created by” section i.e. Leon Armston
-CompanyWebSiteUrlYour company’s public website that will be linked in the “Created by” section of the app in the Teams App Catalog i.e. https://leonarmston.com
-ColoredIconPathProvide the path to a 192×192 pixel coloured icon for the app in the Teams App Catalog i.e. c:\temp\onlineSuper-Charger-192px.png
You may want to read up further on Teams App Icons as there are some strict requirements for the images.
-OutlineIconPathProvide the path to a 32×32 pixel monochrome icon for the app to appear in the Teams app bar i.e. c:\temp\DrinkingFountain32px.png
You may want to read up further on Teams App Icons as there are some strict requirements for the images.
-AccentColorSets the accent colour for the app using a html colour code i.e. #4464ee

I can now run the above command to generate my Viva Connections app, it will be generated with the Urls I specify and then automatically uploaded to the Teams App catalog ready for me to add to my Teams app bar.

I can now add the app to my Teams Client.

If I want to push the app globally then I need to go to the Teams admin centre https://admin.teams.microsoft.com/ and then go to to App Setup Policies App setup policies – Microsoft Teams admin center then add the new Viva Connections app to the Pinned Apps. I can also restrict this policy to only certain users – so make the Viva Connections app available to only certain users.

The Viva Connections app (Portal) will then be made available on the left hand Teams app bar of your Teams client.

Summary

It’s so exciting the Viva Connections is finally here and can bring the investments that many organisations have made in their SharePoint Intranet to the Teams client. Looking forward to seeing further developments and updates to the Viva Connections experience in Teams. The PnP team have made it very easy to create your Viva Connections app using one cmdlet and it works very well!

Go ahead and create your Viva Connections App for your tenant using the PnP cmdlet Publish-PnPCompanyApp today!

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Aaron Sharp

    I keep getting a positional parameter cannot be found that accepts argument ‘Intranet’ error. Any idea on what I am doing wrong?

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