Getting Started

An Adaptive Card is nothing more than a JSON-serialized card object model.

Basic card architecture

To understand the object model represented by the JSON, it is useful to understand the basic architecture of a card. A card is made up of containers of elements and actions. These containers are stacked vertically unless there is an ColumnSet element which allows you to define a collection of containers that live side by side.

A simple example card which has a single line of text followed by an image:

    "type": "AdaptiveCard",
    "version": "0.5",
    "body": [
            "type": "Image",
            "url": ""
            "type": "TextBlock",
            "text": "Here is a ninja cat"

Type property

Every element has a type property which identifies what kind of object it is. Looking at the above card you can see we have two elements, one which is an Image, one which is a TextBlock.

Basic elements

The most fundamental basic elements are:

  • TextBlock - adds a block of text with properties to control what the text looks like
  • Image - adds an image with properties to control what the image looks like

Container elements

A card is made up of one or more containers. Each container has a collection of elements which are laid out vertically as blocks of the same width as the container.

  • Container - Defines a a collection of elements
  • ColumnSet/Column - Defines a collection of columns, each column is a container
  • FactSet - Container of Facts
  • ImageSet - Container of Images so that UI can show appropriate photo gallery experience for a collection of images.

Input elements

Input elements allow you to ask for native UI to build simple forms:

  • Input.Text - get text content from the user
  • Input.Date - get a Date from the user
  • Input.Time - get a Time from the user
  • Input.Number - get a Number from the user
  • Input.ChoiceSet - Give the user a set of choices and have them pick
  • Input.ToggleChoice - Give the user a single choice between two items and have them pick


Actions add buttons to the card. They don't define the logic of the actions, but use the predefined action types instead.

  • Action.OpenUrl - the button opens an external URL for viewing
  • Action.ShowCard - Requests a sub-card to be shown to the user.
  • Action.Http - Requests that all of the input data is gathered up and sent via an HTTP call
  • Action.Submit - Ask for all of the input elements to be gathered up into an object which is then sent to you through some method defined by the host application.

Example Action.Submit: With Skype, an Action.Submit will send a Bot Framework bot activity back to the bot with the Value property containing an object with all of the input data on it.

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