Implement channel-specific functionality

APPLIES TO: SDK v4

Some channels provide features that can't be implemented with only message text and attachments. To implement channel-specific functionality, you can pass native metadata to a channel in the activity object's channel data property. For example, your bot can use the channel data property to instruct Telegram to send a sticker or to instruct Office365 to send an email.

This article describes how to use a message activity's channel data property to implement this channel-specific functionality:

Channel Functionality
Email Send and receive an email that contains body, subject, and importance metadata.
Facebook Send Facebook notifications natively.
Kik Send and receive native Kik messages.
LINE Send a message that implements LINE-specific message types.
Slack Send full fidelity Slack messages.
Teams Handle @-mentions in Microsoft Teams messages.
Telegram Perform Telegram-specific actions, such as sharing a voice memo or a sticker.

Note

The value of an activity object's channel data property is a JSON object. Therefore, the examples in this article show the expected format of the channelData JSON property in various scenarios. To create a JSON object using .NET, use the JObject (.NET) class.

Create a custom Email message

To create a custom email message, set the activity channelData property to a JSON object that contains the following properties:

Property Description
bccRecipients A semicolon (;) delimited string of email addresses to add to the message's Bcc (blind carbon copy) field.
ccRecipients A semicolon (;) delimited string of email addresses to add to the message's Cc (carbon copy) field.
htmlBody An HTML document that specifies the body of the email message. See the channel's documentation for information about supported HTML elements and attributes.
importance The email's importance level. Valid values are high, normal, and low. The default value is normal.
toRecipients A semicolon (;) delimited string of email addresses to add to the message's To field.

The outgoing and incoming messages between the user and the bot may have a channelData activity that contains a JSON object whose properties are specified in the previous table. The snippet below shows an example of the channelData property for an incoming custom email message, from the bot to the user.

{
    "type": "ActivityTypes.Message",
    "locale": "en-Us",
    "channelID": "email",
    "fromName": { "id": "mybot@mydomain.com", "name": "My bot"},
    "recipientName": { "id": "joe@otherdomain.com", "name": "Joe Doe"},
    "conversation": { "id": "123123123123", "topic": "awesome chat" },
    "channelData":
    {
        "htmlBody": "<html><body style = \"font-family: Calibri; font-size: 11pt;\" >This is more than awesome.</body></html>",
        "importance": "high",
        "ccRecipients": "Yasemin@adatum.com;Temel@adventure-works.com",
    }
}

Create a Facebook notification

To create a Facebook notification, set the activity object's channel data property to a JSON object that specifies these properties:

Property Description
notification_type The type of notification, such as REGULAR, SILENT_PUSH, or NO_PUSH.
attachment An attachment that specifies an image, video, or other multimedia type, or a templated attachment such as a receipt.

Note

For details about format and contents of the notification_type property and attachment property, see the Facebook API documentation.

This snippet shows an example of the channelData property for a Facebook receipt attachment.

"channelData": {
    "notification_type": "NO_PUSH",
    "attachment": {
        "type": "template"
        "payload": {
            "template_type": "receipt",
            //...
        }
    }
}

Create a native Kik message

To create a native Kik message, set the activity object's channel data property to a JSON object that specifies this property:

Property Description
messages An array of Kik messages. For details about Kik message format, see Kik Message Formats.

This snippet shows an example of the channelData property for a native Kik message.

"channelData": {
    "messages": [
        {
            "chatId": "c6dd8165…",
            "type": "link",
            "to": "kikhandle",
            "title": "My Webpage",
            "text": "Some text to display",
            "url": "http://botframework.com",
            "picUrl": "http://lorempixel.com/400/200/",
            "attribution": {
                "name": "My App",
                "iconUrl": "http://lorempixel.com/50/50/"
            },
            "noForward": true,
            "kikJsData": {
                    "key": "value"
                }
        }
    ]
}

Create a LINE message

To create a message that implements LINE-specific message types (such as sticker, templates, or LINE-specific action types like opening the phone camera), set the activity object's channel data property to a JSON object that specifies LINE message types and action types.

Property Description
type The LINE action/message type name

These LINE message types are supported:

  • Sticker
  • Imagemap
  • Template (Button, confirm, carousel)
  • Flex

These LINE actions can be specified in the action field of the message type JSON object:

  • Postback
  • Message
  • URI
  • Datetimerpicker
  • Camera
  • Camera roll
  • Location

For details about these LINE methods and their parameters, see the LINE Bot API documentation.

This snippet shows an example of a channelData property that specifies a channel message type ButtonTemplate and three action types: "camera", "cameraRoll", and "datetimepicker".

"channelData": {
    "type": "template",
    "altText": "This is a buttons template",
    "template": {
        "type": "buttons",
        "thumbnailImageUrl": "https://example.com/bot/images/image.jpg",
        "imageAspectRatio": "rectangle",
        "imageSize": "cover",
        "imageBackgroundColor": "#FFFFFF",
        "title": "Menu",
        "text": "Please select",
        "defaultAction": {
            "type": "uri",
            "label": "View detail",
            "uri": "http://example.com/page/123"
        },
        "actions": [{
                "type": "cameraRoll",
                "label": "Camera roll"
            },
            {
                "type": "camera",
                "label": "Camera"
            },
            {
                "type": "datetimepicker",
                "label": "Select date",
                "data": "storeId=12345",
                "mode": "datetime",
                "initial": "2017-12-25t00:00",
                "max": "2018-01-24t23:59",
                "min": "2017-12-25t00:00"
            }
        ]
    }
}

Create a full-fidelity Slack message

To create a full-fidelity Slack message, set the activity object's channel data property to a JSON object that specifies:

Note

To support buttons in Slack messages, you must enable Interactive Messages when you connect your bot to the Slack channel.

This snippet shows an example of the channelData property for a custom Slack message.

"channelData": {
   "text": "Now back in stock! :tada:",
   "attachments": [
        {
            "title": "The Further Adventures of Slackbot",
            "author_name": "Stanford S. Strickland",
            "author_icon": "https://api.slack.com/img/api/homepage_custom_integrations-2x.png",
            "image_url": "http://i.imgur.com/OJkaVOI.jpg?1"
        },
        {
            "fields": [
                {
                    "title": "Volume",
                    "value": "1",
                    "short": true
                },
                {
                    "title": "Issue",
                    "value": "3",
                    "short": true
                }
            ]
        },
        {
            "title": "Synopsis",
            "text": "After @episod pushed exciting changes to a devious new branch back in Issue 1, Slackbot notifies @don about an unexpected deploy..."
        },
        {
            "fallback": "Would you recommend it to customers?",
            "title": "Would you recommend it to customers?",
            "callback_id": "comic_1234_xyz",
            "color": "#3AA3E3",
            "attachment_type": "default",
            "actions": [
                {
                    "name": "recommend",
                    "text": "Recommend",
                    "type": "button",
                    "value": "recommend"
                },
                {
                    "name": "no",
                    "text": "No",
                    "type": "button",
                    "value": "bad"
                }
            ]
        }
    ]
}

When a user clicks a button within a Slack message, your bot will receive a response message in which the channel data property is populated with a payload JSON object. The payload object specifies contents of the original message, identifies the button that was clicked, and identifies the user who clicked the button.

This snippet shows an example of the channelData property in the message that a bot receives when a user clicks a button in the Slack message.

"channelData": {
    "payload": {
        "actions": [
            {
                "name": "recommend",
                "value": "yes"
            }
        ],
        //...
        "original_message": "{…}",
        "response_url": "https://hooks.slack.com/actions/..."
    }
}

Your bot can reply to this message in the normal manner, or it can post its response directly to the endpoint that is specified by the payload object's response_url property. For information about when and how to post a response to the response_url, see Slack Buttons.

You can create dynamic buttons using the following JSON:

{
    "text": "Would you like to play a game ? ",
    "attachments": [
        {
            "text": "Choose a game to play!",
            "fallback": "You are unable to choose a game",
            "callback_id": "wopr_game",
            "color": "#3AA3E3",
            "attachment_type": "default",
            "actions": [
                {
                    "name": "game",
                    "text": "Chess",
                    "type": "button",
                    "value": "chess"
                },
                {
                    "name": "game",
                    "text": "Falken's Maze",
                    "type": "button",
                    "value": "maze"
                },
                {
                    "name": "game",
                    "text": "Thermonuclear War",
                    "style": "danger",
                    "type": "button",
                    "value": "war",
                    "confirm": {
                        "title": "Are you sure?",
                        "text": "Wouldn't you prefer a good game of chess?",
                        "ok_text": "Yes",
                        "dismiss_text": "No"
                    }
                }
            ]
        }
    ]
}

To create interactive menus, use the following JSON:

{
    "text": "Would you like to play a game ? ",
    "response_type": "in_channel",
    "attachments": [
        {
            "text": "Choose a game to play",
            "fallback": "If you could read this message, you'd be choosing something fun to do right now.",
            "color": "#3AA3E3",
            "attachment_type": "default",
            "callback_id": "game_selection",
            "actions": [
                {
                    "name": "games_list",
                    "text": "Pick a game...",
                    "type": "select",
                    "options": [
                        {
                            "text": "Hearts",
                            "value": "menu_id_hearts"
                        },
                        {
                            "text": "Bridge",
                            "value": "menu_id_bridge"
                        },
                        {
                            "text": "Checkers",
                            "value": "menu_id_checkers"
                        },
                        {
                            "text": "Chess",
                            "value": "menu_id_chess"
                        },
                        {
                            "text": "Poker",
                            "value": "menu_id_poker"
                        },
                        {
                            "text": "Falken's Maze",
                            "value": "menu_id_maze"
                        },
                        {
                            "text": "Global Thermonuclear War",
                            "value": "menu_id_war"
                        }
                    ]
                }
            ]
        }
    ]
}

Add a bot to Teams

Bots added to a team become another team member, who can be @mentioned as part of the conversation. In fact, bots only receive messages when they're @mentioned, so other conversations on the channel are not sent to the bot. For more information, see Channel and Group chat conversations with a Microsoft Teams bot.

Because bots in a group or channel respond only when they're mentioned (@botname) in a message, every message received by a bot in a group channel contains its own name, and you must ensure your message parsing handles that. In addition, bots can parse out other users mentioned and mention users as part of their messages.

Check for and strip @bot mention

Mention[] m = sourceMessage.GetMentions();
var messageText = sourceMessage.Text;

for (int i = 0;i < m.Length;i++)
{
    if (m[i].Mentioned.Id == sourceMessage.Recipient.Id)
    {
        //Bot is in the @mention list.
        //The below example will strip the bot name out of the message, so you can parse it as if it wasn't included. Note that the Text object will contain the full bot name, if applicable.
        if (m[i].Text != null)
            messageText = messageText.Replace(m[i].Text, "");
    }
}
var text = message.text;
if (message.entities) {
    message.entities
        .filter(entity => ((entity.type === "mention") && (entity.mentioned.id.toLowerCase() === botId)))
        .forEach(entity => {
            text = text.replace(entity.text, "");
        });
    text = text.trim();
}

Important

Adding a bot by GUID, for anything other than testing purposes, is not recommended. Doing so severely limits the functionality of a bot. Bots in production should be added to Teams as part of an app. See Create a bot and Test and debug your Microsoft Teams bot.

Create a Telegram message

To create a message that implements Telegram-specific actions, such as sharing a voice memo or a sticker, set the activity object's channel data property to a JSON object that specifies these properties:

Property Description
method The Telegram Bot API method to call.
parameters The parameters of the specified method.

These Telegram methods are supported:

  • answerInlineQuery
  • editMessageCaption
  • editMessageReplyMarkup
  • editMessageText
  • forwardMessage
  • banChatMember
  • sendAudio
  • sendChatAction
  • sendContact
  • sendDocument
  • sendLocation
  • sendMessage
  • sendPhoto
  • sendSticker
  • sendVenue
  • sendVideo
  • sendVoice
  • unbanChatMember

For details about these Telegram methods and their parameters, see the Telegram Bot API documentation.

Note

  • The chat_id parameter is common to all Telegram methods. If you do not specify chat_id as a parameter, the framework will provide the ID for you.
  • Instead of passing file contents inline, specify the file using a URL and media type as shown in the example below.
  • Within each message that your bot receives from the Telegram channel, the ChannelData property will include the message that your bot sent previously.

This snippet shows an example of a channelData property that specifies a single Telegram method:

"channelData": {
    "method": "sendSticker",
    "parameters": {
        "sticker": {
            "url": "https://domain.com/path/gif",
            "mediaType": "image/gif",
        }
    }
}

This snippet shows an example of a channelData property that specifies an array of Telegram methods:

"channelData": [
    {
        "method": "sendSticker",
        "parameters": {
            "sticker": {
                "url": "https://domain.com/path/gif",
                "mediaType": "image/gif",
            }
        }
    },
    {
        "method": "sendMessage",
        "parameters": {
            "text": "<b>This message is HTML formatted.</b>",
            "parse_mode": "HTML"
        }
    }
]

When a Telegram method is implemented, your bot will receive a response message in which the channel data property is populated with a JSON object. This response object specifies the contents of the original message, including an update_id and, at most, one optional parameter. For information about receiving incoming responses, see Getting updates.

This snippet shows an example of the channelData property in the message that a bot receives when a poll is created:

"channelData": {
    "update_id": 43517575,
    "message": {
        "message_id": 618,
        "from": {
            "id": 803613355,
            "is_bot": false,
            "first_name": "Joe",
            "last_name": "Doe",
            "username": "jdoe",
            "language_code": "en"
        },
        "chat": {
            "id": 803613355,
            "first_name": "Joe",
            "last_name": "Doe",
            "username": "jdoe",
            "type": "private"
        },
        "date": 1582577834,
        "poll": {
        "id": "5089525250643722242",
        "question": "How to win?",
        "options": [
            {
                "text": "Be the best",
                "voter_count": 0
            },
            {
                "text": "Help those in need",
                "voter_count": 0
            },
            {
                "text": "All of the above",
                "voter_count": 0
            }
        ],
        "total_voter_count": 0,
        "is_closed": false,
        "is_anonymous": true,
        "type": "regular",
        "allows_multiple_answers": false
        }
    }
}

Additional resources