At Build 2018 Microsoft announced that Adaptive Cards, already present in Skype, Cortana, Bing, and more, is coming to Outlook 2016 and Outlook.com
With Adaptive Cards, developers can write “cards” for their app or service which appear in the client and make each platform more intelligent and interactive.
Adaptive cards extend Actionable Messages, announced last year, to make engaging customers wherever they work easier, and more streamlined.
The capabilities allow developers to engage with their users more deeply in right in context within the email, letting users send notifications, uses approvals in business processes, or connects to mail, calendar, and contact data.
Many email conversations require and imply actions – such as approving an expense report or assigning a task to a team member. With Actionable Messages developers can transform their email notifications, workflows processes, and conversations into actions, enabling users to complete tasks faster right within Outlook.
Adaptive Cards are now supported for Actionable Messages within web-based Outlook clients, and will soon be supported in Outlook 2016 for Windows.
Developers can now design Actionable Message card using the Adaptive Card format by simply adding JSON markup to the body of their emails and making HTTPS endpoints available to handle actions. Office 365 and Outlook take care of the rest, including beautifully rendering the card, allowing only authorized senders, and letting developers ensure that actions are taken by expected users.
Partners like GitHub, Asana, and Limeade now support Outlook Actionable Messages with Adaptive cards.
Microsoft is also working to streamline payment in Outlook. Using Microsoft Pay, Outlook users will be able to pay bills and invoices directly from their inbox.
Businesses that send bills or invoice notifications to customers over email can now embed a payment action within Outlook. To start, it will be supported by a number of payment processors including Stripe and Braintree, billing services including Zuora, and invoicing services including FreshBooks, Intuit, Invoice2Go, Sage, Wave, and Xero.
Payments in Outlook will roll out in phases, initially to a limited number of Outlook.com customers over the next few weeks and will be available more broadly in the coming months.
Developers can read more here.