Receive messages from the bot in Direct Line API 1.1


This article describes how to receive messages from the bot using Direct Line API 1.1. If you are creating a new connection between your client application and bot, use Direct Line API 3.0 instead.

Using the Direct Line 1.1 protocol, clients must poll an HTTP GET interface to receive messages.

Retrieve messages with HTTP GET

To retrieve messages for a specific conversation, issue a GET request to the api/conversations/{conversationId}/messages endpoint, optionally specifying the watermark parameter to indicate the most recent message seen by the client. An updated watermark value will be returned in the JSON response, even if no messages are included.

The following snippets provide an example of the Get Messages request and response. The Get Messages response contains watermark as a property of the MessageSet. Clients should page through the available messages by advancing the watermark value until no messages are returned.


Authorization: Bearer RCurR_XV9ZA.cwA.BKA.iaJrC8xpy8qbOF5xnR2vtCX7CZj0LdjAPGfiCpg4Fv0


HTTP/1.1 200 OK
[other headers]
    "messages": [
            "conversation": "abc123",
            "id": "abc123|0000",
            "text": "hello",
            "from": "user1"
            "conversation": "abc123",
            "id": "abc123|0001",
            "text": "Nice to see you, user1!",
            "from": "bot1"
    "watermark": "0001a-95"

Timing considerations

Even though Direct Line is a multi-part protocol with potential timing gaps, the protocol and service is designed to make it easy to build a reliable client. The watermark property that is sent in the Get Messages response is reliable. A client will not miss any messages as long as it replays the watermark verbatim.

Clients should choose a polling interval that matches their intended use.

  • Service-to-service applications often use a polling interval of 5s or 10s.

  • Client-facing applications often use a polling interval of 1s, and issue an additional request ~300ms after every message that the client sends (to rapidly retrieve a bot's response). This 300ms delay should be adjusted based on the bot's speed and transit time.

Additional resources