Key concepts

You can use the Bot Connector service to communicate with users across multiple channels such as Skype, Email, Slack, and more. This article introduces key concepts in the Bot Connector service.

Bot Connector service

The Bot Connector service enables your bot to exchange messages with channels configured in the Bot Framework Portal. It uses industry-standard REST and JSON over HTTPS and enables authentication with JWT Bearer tokens. For detailed information about how to use the Bot Connector service, see Authentication and the remaining articles in this section.

Activity

The Bot Connector service exchanges information between between bot and channel (user) by passing an Activity object. The most common type of activity is message, but there are other activity types that can be used to communicate various types of information to a bot or channel. For details about Activities in the Bot Connector service, see Activities overview.

Bot State service

The Microsoft Bot Framework State service is retired as of March 30, 2018. Previously, bots built on the Azure Bot Service or the Bot Builder SDK had a default connection to this service hosted by Microsoft to store bot state data. Bots will need to be updated to use their own state storage.

Authentication

Both the Bot Connector service enables authentication with JWT Bearer tokens. For detailed information about how to authenticate outbound requests that your bot sends to the Bot Framework, how to authenticate inbound requests that your bot receives from the Bot Framework, and more, see Authentication.

Client libraries

The Bot Framework provides client libraries that can be used to build bots in either C# or Node.js.

In addition to modeling the Bot Connector service, each Bot Framework SDK also provides a powerful system for building dialogs that encapsulate conversational logic, built-in prompts for simple things such as Yes/No, strings, numbers, and enumerations, built-in support for powerful AI frameworks such as LUIS, and more.

Note

As an alternative to using the C# SDK or Node.js SDK, you can generate your own client library in the language of your choice by using the Bot Connector Swagger file.

Additional resources

Learn more about building bots using the Bot Connector service by reviewing articles throughout this section, beginning with Authentication. If you encounter problems or have suggestions regarding the Bot Connector service, see Support for a list of available resources.