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New Microsoft Teams API

Tl;Dr check-list #

  • Microsoft is making changes to their Teams API starting the 31st of January
  • This new API will only have effect on Teams Chat data. Channels, Tabs and Files will not change.
  • Decide whether you would like to continue protecting Teams channel chat data using the new Teams APIs.
  • If so, you would need to:
    • Reconfigure your organization in Back-IT 365
    • Reconfigure your Teams backup jobs in Back-IT 365

Get ready for the new Microsoft Teams API #

The next release of Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 will bring a major change to the way we protect Microsoft Teams’ chat data. We will support backing up Teams chats by using the newly released Teams Export APIs.

The legacy approach to Teams backup is retiring #

Technically, Teams chat backup has always been a challenge because there were no specific APIs to access and get messages. Since we introduced Teams support, we only could protect the chats by backing up the messages from the TeamsMessageData folder of the Exchange group mailbox. Microsoft used this hidden folder to archive messages sent within a team channel or between individual users or groups. In the last few months, Microsoft started applying more restrictions for access to this folder, which sometimes caused issues with Teams protection for our customers. These restrictions will be applied to everyone. Including all other Backup Vendors who will also be forced to use the new Teams API.

The future – Teams Export APIs #

A few months ago, Microsoft introduced a new set of Teams Export APIs designed to access Teams chats directly and get messages straight from the underlying Cosmos DB service that hosts the chats. On Jan. 31 of 2023, Microsoft will start to deprecate any access to the TeamsMessageData folder, and Teams Export APIs will remain the only way to go for working with Teams message data in the future.

The APIs are protected, and to enable them in your Microsoft 365 tenant, you need to be granted special access and permissions. And on top of that, Microsoft charges their customers for using these APIs. In return you will receive access to the Teams’ Chat data and a faster API.

How this will affect your Teams backup #

In order for you to keep making backups for your Team Channel Messages you need to manually switch to the Teams Export APIs. Note that the rest of the Teams data, including metadata, channels, tabs, files and membership, will continue to be protected no matter what — regardless of when and if you switched to the new way of backing up Teams chats.

Charges for using Teams Export APIs apply per tenant per message and depend on the license model used. Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 will support Model B, which means that the protection of Teams message data will cost you $0.00075 per message. At the end of the month, the amount spent on using the APIs will be included in your invoice from Microsoft .

Back-IT 365 does not apply any charges. Our new default settings will not include Microsoft Teams’ Chat Data. These settings can be changed by the Back-IT 365 admins of your organization.

“How can I estimate my costs?” Currently, the best way would be to decide what team chats are critical for your business, check out the average usage statistics, and do some calculations manually. Microsoft Teams admin center provides you usage reports on the number of channel messages sent and replies to these messages, which you can use as a basis for your calculations:

The cost #

How to apply for access to the protected APIs #

Important: Microsoft provides a special form that you need to fill in to apply for access to Teams Export APIs:

The following list will help you to fill in the form quickly:

  • Publisher name
    • Veeam Software
  • Application name
    • Put the name of the app that you use to add your Microsoft 365 organization to the Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 You can find it in the Azure Active Directory admin center -> App registrations
  • Application ID(s) to enable permissions for (GUID, semicolon separated)
    • Put the application (client) ID of the app that you use to add your Microsoft 365 organization to the Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 You can find it in the Azure Active Directory admin center -> App registrations -> Overview of your app:
  • Which category best describes your application (select one)
    • Select “Backup/restore”
  • Why does your application need read access to all messages in the tenant? (If you don’t, you don’t need access to protected APIs)
    • To allow for backup/protection of Teams message data
  • Data retention (select one):
    • Select “It is obvious to any admin installing this app that it will make a copy of Microsoft Teams messages”
  • What are the tenant IDs that this application needs to run in? (GUID, semicolon-separated. If you’re writing software for other organizations to use, include “all”).
    • Put the tenant ID of your Microsoft 365 organization that you protect with Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365. You can find it in the Azure Active Directory admin center -> Overview of your tenant:

The access is usually provided by Microsoft within a few days, but sometimes it may take up to two weeks or longer, so plan for applying in advance. For more information, see the KB4322.

If you would like to keep making backups for your Teams Chat data, then we suggest you will request this as soon as possible.

Configuring Team Chats Backup in Back-IT 365 #

Now that you have access to the new Microsoft Teams export API the next step is to configure your organization and Teams backup job(s).

For the organization configuration:

  1. In the Back-IT 365 menu navigate to the ‘organizations’
  2. Edit it the appropriate organization
  3. Check the ‘Teams Chats’ option
  4. Save

For the Backup Job configuration:

  1. In the Back-IT 365 menu navigate to ‘Backup Jobs’
  2. Edit the appropriate Teams backup job, or create a new one
  3. Fil in the required fields and go to the next step
  4. Again fill in the fields and go to the next step
  5. In step 3 ‘options’ you can select wether you would like to include Teams Chats
  6. Review and save