Add bots for private chats and channels in Microsoft Teams

Bots are automated programs that respond to queries or give updates and notifications about details users find interesting or want to stay informed about. Bots allow users to interact with cloud services like task management, scheduling, and polling, through chat conversations in Microsoft Teams. Bots for Microsoft Teams are built on the Microsoft Bot Framework. The bots that are developed using this framework can be enabled easily for Microsoft Teams. For more information, see Enable Microsoft Teams features in your Office 365 organization.

Currently, Microsoft Teams support bots in private chats and channels within a team. Administrators can control whether the use of bots is allowed or prohibited within the Office 365 tenant.

Bots developed by the community can be leveraged within Microsoft Teams. The bot’s functionality and bot’s side loading must be enabled on the tenant level for custom bots to be functional. Bots can be used in private chats or in channels. For channels, team owners or members can add bots.

For more information, see the section "Using bots" in Apps and services.

Create custom bots for Microsoft Teams

You can easily create a bot that integrates in to your LOB applications, using the Microsoft Bot Framework. Please refer to Creating and Testing a bot for Microsoft Teams guidance to learn how you can develop and publish your own bots.

When you create a bot and register it with the Bot Framework, you can choose to publish it. If you don't publish it, the bot remains private. You can also require your users to log in before using the bot. Requiring login makes sure only employees of your organization can access the bot, even if the bot's application ID becomes known. See AuthBot on GitHub for a code example of how to authenticate users against your Active Directory using bots.

Bots can be tested using the Bot Framework Emulator before they are deployed into your Teams.

Side load your own bot for private chat

  1. After you have created your bot, go to the Bot Dashboard page for the bot you developed, and then under Details, copy the Microsoft App ID.Screenshot of details page for a bot with the Microsoft App ID highlighted.

  2. From within Microsoft Teams, on the Chat pane, select the Add chat icon. For To, paste your bot's Microsoft app ID. Screenshot of a chat pane with the icon for Add chat and the To line with the Microsoft app ID highlighted.

  3. The app ID will resolve to your bot name, and then you can initiate a chat conversation with that bot.