Getting started with Cortana skills

To create a skill, use that Bot Framework to create a speech bot. The framework provides two options that you can use to build your bot: a .NET SDK or a Node.js SDK.


For an overview of how the framework works, see How the Bot Framework works.

These are the Bot Framework topics that contain the information that you need to build and deploy your first skill.

Use the online editor to create your Cortana skill

Topic Description
Tutorial to create your Cortana skill Tutorial to quickly build a bot for your Cortana Skill.
My bots list configured for Cortana View or create bots for your Cortana Skill.

Use Visual Studio to create your Cortana skill

Topic Description
Create a bot with .NET
Create a bot with Node.js
Guide that walks you through installing the SDK, creating your first bot, and running it.
Add speech to your bot with .NET
Add speech to your bot with Node.js
Shows the mechanisms that you use to add speech to bots.
Build a speech bot with .NET
Build a speech bot with Node.js
Shows how to add speech to bots.
Deploy a bot to the cloud Shows how to deploy your bot to the cloud.

At this point, if you followed the steps in Create a bot, Deploy a bot, and Add speech to your bot, you successfully ran your skill in Bot Framework emulator. To run your skill locally in Cortana, you need to perform a couple of more steps. First, register your bot to get your app ID and password. Then, connect your skill to Configure Cortana channel. For this exercise, specify only the configuration settings listed under General bot information.

Configuring the Cortana channel adds your skill to Cortana on your computer. To ensure the skill has been added, visit the My Bot List Configured for Cortana page. You must sign into Bot Framework using the same Microsoft account that you used to register your Cortana Skill in Azure.
For information about specifying an invocation name, see Invocation name guidelines.

If you see your Cortana Skill in my Bots list filtered for Cortana, then you are able to invoke your skill from Cortana. But before invoking your skill, make sure:

  1. You're signed into Cortana using the same Microsoft account that you used to register the skill in Bot Framework. To confirm:

    1. Open Cortana by clicking Type here to search in the task bar.


  2. Open Cortana Notebook by clicking the notebook icon.

    Cortana's Notebook

  3. Click About Me

  4. Confirm the account shown is the same one you used to register your skill. If not, sign out and then sign back in with the correct account.

  5. Cortana's microphone is enabled.

    1. Open Cortana
    2. Open Cortana's settings

      Cortana settings

    3. Under Microphone, click Get started

When you're all set, click Cortana microphone and invoke your skill. For example, if your invocation name is Contoso Photo, you can invoke your skill by saying, Ask Contoso Photo to... or Tell Contoso Photo that.... If Cortana recognizes your skill, she launches it and display it on her canvas.

If you encounter issues, see Test your Cortana Skill.

Next steps

To design the perfect skill, see Skill design principles.

To make your skill smart, see Add intelligence to your skill.

To add UI elements, see Add cards to your skill using Node.js or Add cards to your skill using .NET. Cortana supports adaptive, hero, thumbnail, receipt, and sign-in cards. In addition to cards, Node.js users can use a set of built-in prompts to simplify collecting inputs from a user. For example, you can use the choice prompt to present a list of choices that the user can pick from, or you can use the confirm prompt to confirm an action. For a list of prompts, see Prompt types.

To add natural language understanding to your skill, see Node.js | .NET.

To personalize your skill, see Use the user's profile and contextual information.

To publish your skill to a group of friends or coworkers, or to publish it to the world, see Publish your skill.