Troubleshooting for QnA Maker

The curated list of the most frequently asked questions regarding the QnA Maker service will help you adopt the service faster and with better results.

How to get the QnAMaker service hostname

QnAMaker service hostname is useful for debugging purposes when you contact QnAMaker Support or UserVoice. The hostname is a URL in this form: https://{hostname}

  1. Go to your QnAMaker service (resource group) in the Azure portal

    QnAMaker Azure resource group in Azure portal

  2. Select the App Service associated with the QnA Maker resource. Typically, the names are the same.

    Select QnAMaker App Service

  3. The hostname URL is available in the Overview section

    QnAMaker hostname

Use the Help bot in the QnA Maker portal

QnA Maker provides a Help bot within the QnA Maker portal to help you. The help bot is available on every web page. The bot uses QnA Maker to provide answers and provides the C# Bot Framework code project to the bot so you can quickly get up and running with your own answer bot.

QnA Maker provides a Help bot within the QnA Maker portal to help you.

Manage the knowledge base

I accidentally deleted a part of my QnA Maker, what should I do?

All deletes are permanent, including question and answer pairs, files, URLs, custom questions and answers, knowledge bases, or Azure resources. Make sure you export your knowledge base from the Settings page before deleting any part of your knowledge base.

Why is my URL(s)/file(s) not extracting question-answer pairs?

It's possible that QnA Maker can't auto-extract some question-and-answer (QnA) content from valid FAQ URLs. In such cases, you can paste the QnA content in a .txt file and see if the tool can ingest it. Alternately, you can editorially add content to your knowledge base through the QnA Maker portal.

How large a knowledge base can I create?

The size of the knowledge base depends on the SKU of Azure search you choose when creating the QnA Maker service. Read here for more details.

Why can't I see anything in the drop-down when I try to create a new knowledge base?

You haven't created any QnA Maker services in Azure yet. Read here to learn how to do that.

How do I share a knowledge base with others?

Sharing works at the level of a QnA Maker service, that is, all knowledge bases in the service will be shared. Read here how to collaborate on a knowledge base.

Can you share a knowledge base with a contributor that is not in the same AAD tenant, to modify a knowledge base?

Sharing is based on Azure role-based access control (RBAC). If you can share any resource in Azure with another user, you can also share QnA Maker.

If you have an App Service Plan with 5 QnAMaker knowledge bases. Can you assign read/write rights to 5 different users so each of them can access only 1 QnAMaker knowledge base?

You can share an entire QnAMaker service, not individual knowledge bases.

How can I change the default message when no good match is found?

The default message is part of the settings in your App service.

  • Go to your App service resource in the Azure portal

qnamaker appservice

  • Click on the Settings option

qnamaker appservice settings

  • Change the value of the DefaultAnswer setting
  • Restart your App service

qnamaker appservice restart

See Data source locations for more information.

The updates that I made to my knowledge base are not reflected on publish. Why not?

Every edit operation, whether in a table update, test, or setting, needs to be saved before it can be published. Be sure to click the Save and train button after every edit operation.

Does the knowledge base support rich data or multimedia?

The knowledge base supports Markdown. However, the auto-extraction from URLs has limited HTML-to-Markdown conversion capability. If you want to use full-fledged Markdown, you can modify your content directly in the table, or upload a knowledge base with the rich content.

Multimedia, such as images and videos, is not supported at this time.

Does QnA Maker support non-English languages?

See more details about supported languages.

If you have content from multiple languages, be sure to create a separate service for each language.

Manage service

When should I restart my app service?

Refresh your app service when the caution icon is next to the version value for the knowledge base in the Endpoint keys table on the User Settings page.

I deleted my existing Search service. How can I fix this?

If you delete an Azure Search index, the operation is final and the index cannot be recovered.

I deleted my testkb index in my Search service. How can I fix this?

Your old data can't be recovered. Create a new QnA Maker resource and create your knowledge base again.

When should I refresh my endpoint keys?

Refresh your endpoint keys if you suspect that they have been compromised.

Can I use the same Azure Search resource for knowledge bases using multiple languages?

To use multiple language and multiple knowledge bases, the user has to create an QnA Maker resource for each language. This will create a separate Azure search service per language. Mixing different language knowledge bases in a single Azure search service will result in degraded relevance of results.

How can I change the name of the Azure Search resource used by QnA Maker?

The name of the Azure Search resource is the QnA Maker resource name with some random letters appended at the end. This makes it hard to distinguish between multiple Search resources for QnA Maker. Create a separate Azure Search service (naming it the way you would like to) and connect it to your QnA Service. The steps are similar to the steps you need to do to upgrade an Azure search.

When QnA Maker returns Runtime core is not initialized, how do I fix it?

The disk space for your app service might be full. Steps to fix your disk space:

  1. In the Azure portal, select your QnA Maker's App service, then stop the service.

  2. While still on the App service, select Development Tools, then Advanced Tools, then Go. This opens a new browser window.

  3. Select Debug console, then CMD to open a command line tool.

  4. Navigate to the site/wwwroot/Data/QnAMaker/ directory.

  5. Remove all the folders whose name begins with rd.

    Do not delete the following:

    • KbIdToRankerMappings.txt file
    • EndpointSettings.json file
    • EndpointKeys folder
  6. Start the App service.

  7. Access your knowledge base to verify it works now.

Integrate with other services including Bots

Do I need to use Bot Framework in order to use QnA Maker?

No, you do not need to use the Bot Framework with QnA Maker. However, QnA Maker is offered as one of several templates in Azure Bot Service. Bot Service enables rapid intelligent bot development through Microsoft Bot Framework, and it runs in a server-less environment.

How can I create a new bot with QnA Maker?

Follow the instructions in this documentation to create your Bot with Azure Bot Service.

How do I use a different knowledge base with an existing Azure bot service?

You need to have the following information about your knowledge base:

  • Knowledge base ID.
  • Knowledge base's published endpoint host name - found on Settings page after you publish.
  • Knowledge base's published endpoint key - found on Settings page after you publish.

With this information, go to your bot's app service in the Azure portal. Under Settings -> Configuration -> Application settings, change those values.

The knowledge base's endpoint key is labeled QnAAuthkey in the ABS service.

Can two or more client applications share a knowledge base?

Yes, the knowledge base can be queried from any number of clients. If the response from the knowledge base appears to be slow or time out, consider upgrading the service tier for the app service associated with the knowledge base.

How do I embed the QnA Maker service in my website?

Follow these steps to embed the QnA Maker service as a web-chat control in your website:

  1. Create your FAQ bot by following the instructions here.
  2. Enable the web chat by following the steps here

Data storage

What data is stored and where is it stored?

When you create your QnA Maker service, you selected an Azure region. Your knowledge bases and log files are stored in this region.