Microsoft Loop Components – a technical view

Microsoft has started rolling out Loop Components. Loop will be the next big thing in Office 365. Now let me have a look at what is happening in the background when working with Loop components.

Everything in this article maybe subject to change because Loop is still under development.

In a previous post, Sabrina already wrote about Loop Components in Teams from an end user perspective. All that is already very cool for the end users. But what happens behind the curtain? How did Microsoft implement this? [because as of today only Loop components are available, I only cover these. More Loop features will be available shortly].

Loop is based on the Microsoft Fluid Framework. This was already announced in the Ignite Blog. Now, anyone (with the feature rolled out in the tenant) can start using Loop Components:

Now you can create the component of your choice:

  • Bulleted List
  • Checklist
  • Numbered List
  • Paragraph
  • Table
  • Task List

Once you selected the component of your choice, the interactive workspace is being created and all participants can start editing in real-time. Really real-time!

This workspace creates a fluid file that is automatically shared with the chat participant(s). This fuild file is stored inside your OneDrive for business in the folder Microsoft Teams Chat Files. This is good and bad both at the same time.

The bad things:

  • what happens if a user cleans up his “Teams Chat files”?
  • if you have a restrictive Sharing Policy for OneDrive, you will never be able to work with Loop together with Externals. They always need an internal account or direct invitation.

The good things:

  • there is no hidden new technology (like in Planner for example). Just files in OneDrive
  • you can backup / retain the data for legal issues
  • you can easily add others by granting access (in theory)

This is how it looks like on OneDrive:

Opening the files, open a fluid page – you can edit the Loop Component in a browser:

Of course, OneDrive synchronizes these files to the local harddrive, too. Opening them with a text editor brings up a “pretty” view (that you can close instantly):

The sharing of a loop file is controlled by OneDrive and SharePoint. That means, you can easily follow up who has access to a specific fluid file:

Once you delete a fluid file, there will be an error in the component. That is reasonable, because the source file is not present anymore:

The Component will also be shown like this (with a dead link):

Having a restrictive Sharing Policy results in not accessible Loop Components. The button is missing and you are not able to use Loop Components with the same person between 2 tenants. The following example is captured with the same account. Cross-Tenant experience:

After the switch to the other Tenant and signing in as a Guest user (using the Teams tenant switcher):

So inside the own tenant Loop works really well. It needs improvement when working with externals and guests. But overall for now the technical implementation is okay.

As a summary, the technical implementation is okay, but I am curious which errors will happen when users are scanning and cleaning their OneDrive files. There are very few users that know what a fluid file is.

Published by Andreas

Founder of M365 Evangelists Cloud-Architect, Strategy Consultant, Consultant for Microsoft technologies, Graph API enthusiast, PowerShell enthusiast

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