** One of the current advantages Groups has over Teams right now, is the ability to invite users from outside the organization.
I personally like to create the group in the mail portion of the o365 portal. When you create a group in Outlook you get the following.
If you have never used the shared inbox feature in Outlook, I would recommend setting one up, as I am about to show you how to connect an application to it, and post data. I won't go through the entire feature set and everything groups can do, you can find that here.
Creating a Connector
This is almost the identical process as we used in Microsoft Teams the last 2 weeks in the blog, so keep that code handy as it also posts to Office 365 groups by changing only the webhook uri.
In our group we want to scan the top menu to find the Connectors tab, and click it.
From here we are presented a similar list of all the pre-build services, the one for developers is called Incoming Webhook. Find this option and click the Add button.
Just like Teams we will give our Webhook a name, and I recommend an image as well, especially if you are going to have multiple. Once you click create, it is important that you copy the Webhook url, as you will need this later.
Sending a Message
Just like last week, we will be using our custom classes to post to a Group. In case you missed them last week, here they are again.
As you can see the Message class is a combination of the sub classes and it also holds a method for posting with a parameter of our webhook url.
Here is a sample piece of code that creates a simple console app, defines the message, then posts it to our Office Group.
Just change the code above to send to the outlookuri variable instead of the one we used for teams, and boom, you have send a message to an Office Group.
So what does the result look like?
This is a full blow card example with all the options. If you want just a simple notification style message, you can send a message with as little as a title and message set. So in our Outlook client if we find our group, and our posted message, you can see pretty easily where all the users in the group can have a persistent chat like conversation. Now since it's still using email on the back-end to make this all work, it's not quite as real-time as teams, but still pretty nice.