The Azure Bot Service provides an integrated environment that is purpose-built for bot development, enabling you to build, connect, test, deploy, and manage bots, all from one place. It is powered by Microsoft Bot Framework and Azure Functions, which means that your bot will run in a serverless environment on Azure that will scale based upon demand.
You must have a Microsoft Azure subscription before you can use the Azure Bot Service. If you do not already have a subscription, you can register for a free trial.
Create a bot in seconds
The Azure Bot Service enables you to quickly and easily create a bot in either C# or Node.js by using one of five templates.
|Basic||Creates a bot that uses dialogs to respond to user input.|
|Form||Creates a bot that collects input from a user via a guided conversation that is created using FormFlow (in C#) or waterfalls (in Node.js).|
|Language understanding||Creates a bot that uses natural language models (LUIS) to understand user intent.|
|Proactive||Creates a bot that uses Azure Functions to alert users of events.|
|Question and Answer||Creates a bot that uses a knowledge base to answer the user’s questions.|
For more information about templates, see Templates in the Azure Bot Service. For a step-by-step tutorial that shows how to quickly build and test a simple bot using Azure Bot Service, see Create a bot with Azure Bot Service.
Choose development tool(s)
By default, Azure Bot Service enables you to develop your bot directly in the browser using the Azure editor, without any need for a tool chain (i.e., local editor and source control). The integrated chat window sits side-by-side with the Azure editor, which lets you test your bot on-the-fly as you write code in the browser.
Although using Azure editor eliminates the need for a local editor and source control, Azure editor does not allow you to manage files (e.g., add files, rename files, or delete files). If you want to the ability to manage files within your application, you can set up continuous integration and use the integrated development environment (IDE) and source control system of your choice (e.g., Visual Studio Team, GitHub, Bitbucket). With continuous integration configured, any code changes that you commit to source control will automatically be deployed to Azure. Additionally, you will be able to debug your bot locally if you configure continuous integration.
If you configure continuous integration for your bot, you will no longer be able to edit code in the Azure editor.
Manage your bot
During the process of creating a bot using Azure Bot Service, you specify a name for your bot and generate its App ID and password. After your bot has been created, you can update its settings, configure it to run on one or more channels, or publish it to one or more channels.
Learn more about building bots using the Azure Bot Service by reviewing these articles:
- Create a bot with Azure Bot Service
- Templates in the Azure Bot Service
- Set up continuous integration
- Debug an Azure Bot Service bot
If you encounter problems or have suggestions regarding the Azure Bot Service, see Support for a list of available resources.