Last year, Microsoft announced Azure Communication Services, a fully managed communication platform that allows any developer to add voice and video calling, chat, and SMS text message capabilities to mobile apps, desktop applications, and websites with just a few lines of code.
At Build 2021, Microsoft is announcing major updates to Azure Communication Services. First, Microsoft is releasing a UI library that will allow developers to easily integrate ACS inside their apps. Second, the new native call recording feature will enable secure and easy recording process. Third, a new UWP SDK that will allow developers to include ACS capabilities inside their Windows apps. You can read about these features in detail below.
- A UI Library for Azure Communication Services is now available in preview. Developers can simplify the cross-channel user experiences within their apps, choosing from a variety of Fluent UI component options such as prebuilt composites or specific UI components to build a custom communication experience. The UI Library extends as a layer on top of Azure Communication Services for calling and chat, delivering Microsoft Teams-like composable and turnkey composite components. Components are fully open source and identity agnostic with interoperability into Teams.
- Call recording for Azure Communication Services is coming next month in preview. As a built-in platform feature, call recording for Azure Communication Services helps simplify and improve the recording process by providing secure, server-side runtime control APIs that allow for mixed audio and video output with built-in temporary storage for up to 48 hours. Recorded media output is in MP4 audio and video format, just like in Teams, with more formats, like audio-only MP3, planned.
- Direct routing for Azure Communication Services is coming next month in preview. Developers can use or extend their existing telephony infrastructure to the calling capabilities they build with Azure Communication Services. Direct routing is a virtual connection between a developer app and the legacy on-premises telephony or carrier used for calls on the public switched telephone network (PSTN). Developers can enable calling through PSTN almost anywhere and allow for connections into third-party equipment through a certified session border controller (SBC).
- Traversal Using Relays around NAT (TURN) protocol support is available in preview. TURN is now available for voice or video communications built with Azure Communication Services. These services allow real-time communication between web or mobile apps built with open-source WebRTC or when endpoints are behind NAT or firewalls that prevent a successful connection.
- Azure Communication Services Calling SDK for Windows Universal Windows Platform (UWP) is available in preview. Developers can now add voice and video calling capabilities to their native apps that run on Windows, enabling rich communication experiences for the desktop PC, Xbox, mixed-reality headsets, HoloLens, IoT devices and more.