Connect a bot to channels

A channel is the connection between the Bot Framework and communication apps. You configure a bot to connect to the channels you want it to be available on. For example, a business bot connected to the Bing channel will show up in Bing search results and people can interact with it on Bing. Connecting to channels is quick and easy in the Bot Framework Portal.

Connect to channels

The channels include many popular services, such as Bing, Cortana, Facebook Messenger, Kik, and Slack, as well as several others. Skype and Web Chat are pre-configured for you.

You configure your bot to run on channels after you have registered your bot with the Bot Framework and deployed it to the cloud.

Get started

For most channels, you must provide channel configuration information to run your bot on the channel. Most channels require that your bot have an account on the channel, and others, like Facebook Messenger, require your bot to have an application registered with the channel also.

To configure your bot to connect to a channel, complete the following steps:

  1. Sign in to the Bot Framework Portal.
  2. Click My bots.
  3. Select the bot that you want to configure.
  4. Click the Channels tab.
  5. Under Add channel on the bot dashboard, click the channel to add.

After you've configured the channel, users on that channel can start using your bot.

Publish a bot

The publishing process is different for each channel. If the channel requires a review, ensure that the bot meets the review guidelines before submitting it for publishing.

Bing

Bots are published to Bing from the configuration page. Publishing a bot submits it for review. After approval, users can find the bot in Bing search results and use Bing, or any other supported channel, to interact with the bot.

Publishing to the Bing channel makes the bot discoverable by the widest possible audience. However, not all bots should be easily discoverable. For example, a bot designed for use by company employees should not be made generally available. A link to the bot can be privately distributed instead.

Cortana

Bots are published to Cortana from the dashboard and are used to power Cortana skills. Publishing a bot submits it for review. Cortana skills can be deployed for your own use, deployed to a small group, or published to the world.

Skype

Bots are published to Skype from the configuration page. Publishing a bot submits it for review. Before review, the bot is limited to 100 contacts. Approved bots do not have limited contacts and you may opt to have the bot included in the Skype bot directory.

Skype for Business

Skype for Business bots are registered with a Skype for Business Online tenant by a Tenant Administrator.

Tip

To view the status of a review, open the bot in the Bot Framework Portal and click Channels. If the bot is not approved, the result will link to the reason why. After making the required changes, resubmit the bot for review.