Messages in bot conversations

Each message in a conversation is an Activity object of type messageType: message. When a user sends a message, Microsoft Teams posts the message to your bot. Teams sends a JSON object to your bot's messaging endpoint and Teams allows only one endpoint for messaging. Your bot examines the message to determine its type and responds accordingly.

Basic conversations are handled through the Bot Framework connector, a single REST API. This API enables your bot to communicate with Teams and other channels. The Bot Builder SDK provides the following features:

  • Easy access to the Bot Framework connector.
  • Additional functionality to manage conversation flow and state.
  • Simple ways to incorporate cognitive services, such as natural language processing (NLP).

Your bot receives messages from Teams using the Text property and it sends single or multiple message responses to the users.

For more information, see User attribution for bot messages

Receive a message

To receive a text message, use the Text property of the Activity object. In the bot's activity handler, use the turn context object's Activity to read a single message request.

The following code shows an example of receiving a message:

protected override async Task OnMessageActivityAsync(ITurnContext<IMessageActivity> turnContext, CancellationToken cancellationToken)
  await turnContext.SendActivityAsync(MessageFactory.Text($"Echo: {turnContext.Activity.Text}"), cancellationToken);

Send a message

To send a text message, specify the string you want to send as the activity. In the bot's activity handler, use the turn context object's SendActivityAsync method to send a single message response. Use the object's SendActivitiesAsync method to send multiple responses at once.

The following code shows an example of sending a message when a user is added to a conversation:

protected override async Task OnMembersAddedAsync(IList<ChannelAccount> membersAdded, ITurnContext<IConversationUpdateActivity> turnContext, CancellationToken cancellationToken)
  await turnContext.SendActivityAsync(MessageFactory.Text($"Hello and welcome!"), cancellationToken);


Message splitting occurs when a text message and an attachment are sent in the same activity payload. This activity is split into separate activities by Microsoft Teams, one with just a text message and the other with an attachment. As the activity is split, you do not receive the message ID in response, which is used to update or delete the message proactively. It is recommended to send separate activities instead of depending on message splitting.

Messages sent between users and bots include internal channel data within the message. This data allows the bot to communicate properly on that channel. The Bot Builder SDK allows you to modify the message structure.

Send suggested actions

Suggested actions enable your bot to present buttons that the user can select to provide input. Suggested actions enhance user experience by enabling the user to answer a question or make a choice with selection of a button, rather than typing a response with a keyboard. The buttons remain visible and accessible to the user in the rich cards even after user makes a selection whereas for suggested actions, buttons aren't available. This prevents the user from selection of stale buttons within a conversation.

To add suggested actions to a message, set the suggestedActions property of the Activity object to specify the list of CardAction objects that represent the buttons to be presented to the user. For more information, see SugestedActions

The following is an example for implementation and experience of suggested actions:

"suggestedActions": {
    "actions": [
        "type": "imBack",
        "title": "Action 1",
        "value": "Action 1"
        "type": "imBack",
        "title": "Action 2",
        "value": "Action 2"
    "to": [<list of recepientIds>]

Bot suggested actions


  • SuggestedActions are only supported for one-on-one chat bots and text based messages and not for Adaptive Cards or attachments.
  • Currently imBack is the only supported action type and Teams display up to three suggested actions.

Teams channel data

The channelData object contains Teams-specific information and is a definitive source for team and channel IDs. Optionally, you can cache and use these IDs as keys for local storage. The TeamsActivityHandler in the SDK pulls out important information from the channelData object to make it easily accessible. However, you can always access the original data from the turnContext object.

The channelData object isn't included in messages in personal conversations, as these take place outside of a channel.

A typical channelData object in an activity sent to your bot contains the following information:

  • eventType: Teams event type passed only in cases of channel modification events.
  • Microsoft Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) tenant ID passed in all contexts.
  • team: Passed only in channel contexts, not in personal chat.
    • id: GUID for the channel.
    • name: Name of the team passed only in cases of team rename events.
  • channel: Passed only in channel contexts, when the bot is mentioned or for events in channels in teams, where the bot has been added.
  • channelData.teamsTeamId: Deprecated. This property is only included for backward compatibility.
  • channelData.teamsChannelId: Deprecated. This property is only included for backward compatibility.

Example channelData object (channelCreated event)

The following code shows an example of channelData object:

"channelData": {
    "eventType": "channelCreated",
    "tenant": {
        "id": "72f988bf-86f1-41af-91ab-2d7cd011db47"
    "channel": {
        "id": "",
        "name": "My New Channel"
    "team": {
        "id": ""

Message content

Messages received from or sent to your bot can include different types of message content.

Format From user to bot From bot to user Notes
Rich text ✔️ ✔️ Your bot can send rich text, pictures, and cards. Users can send rich text and pictures to your bot.
Pictures ✔️ ✔️ Maximum 1024 × 1024 pixels and 1 MB in PNG, JPEG, or GIF format. Animated GIF isn't supported.
Cards ✔️ See the Teams card reference for supported cards.
Emojis ✔️ ✔️ Teams currently supports emojis through UTF-16, such as U+1F600 for grinning face.

Notifications to your message

You can also add notifications to your message using the Notification.Alert property. Notifications alert users about new tasks, mentions, and comments. These alerts are related to what users are working on or what they must look at by inserting a notice into their activity feed. For notifications to trigger from your bot message, set the TeamsChannelData objects Notification.Alert property to true. Whether or not a notification is raised depends on the individual user's Teams settings and you can't override these settings. The notification type is either a banner, or both a banner and an email.


The Summary field displays any text from the user as a notification message in the feed.

The following code shows an example of adding notifications to your message:

protected override async Task OnMessageActivityAsync(ITurnContext<IMessageActivity> turnContext, CancellationToken cancellationToken)
  var message = MessageFactory.Text("You'll get a notification, if you've turned them on.");

  await turnContext.SendActivityAsync(message);

To enhance your message, you can include pictures as attachments to that message.

Picture messages

Pictures are sent by adding attachments to a message. For more information on attachments, see add media attachments to messages.

Pictures can be at most 1024×1024 MB and 1 MB in PNG, JPEG, or GIF format. Animated GIF isn't supported.

Specify the height and width of each image by using XML. In markdown, the image size defaults to 256×256. For example:

  • Use: <img src="" alt="Duck on a rock" height="150" width="223"></img>.
  • Don't use: ![Duck on a rock](

A conversational bot can include Adaptive Cards that simplify business workflows. Adaptive Cards offer rich customizable text, speech, images, buttons, and input fields.

Adaptive Cards

Adaptive Cards can be authored in a bot and shown in multiple apps such as Teams, your website, and so on. For more information, see Adaptive Cards.

The following code shows an example of sending a simple Adaptive Card:

    "type": "AdaptiveCard",
    "$schema": "",
    "version": "1.5",
    "body": [
        "items": [
            "size": "large",
            "text": " Simple Adaptivecard Example with a Textbox",
            "type": "TextBlock",
            "weight": "bolder",
            "wrap": true
        "spacing": "extraLarge",
        "type": "Container",
        "verticalContentAlignment": "center"

Form completion feedback

Form completion message appears in Adaptive Cards while sending a response to the bot. The message can be of two types, error or success:

  • Error: When a response sent to the bot is unsuccessful, Something went wrong, Try again message appears.

    Error message

  • Success: When a response sent to the bot is successful, Your response was sent to the app message appears.

    Success message

    You can select Close or switch chat to dismiss the message.

    If you don't want to display the success message, set the attribute hide to true in the msTeams feedback property. Following is an example:

       "content": {
           "type": "AdaptiveCard",
           "title": "Card with hidden footer messages",
           "version": "1.0",
           "actions": [
               "type": "Action.Submit",
               "title": "Submit",
               "msTeams": {
                   "feedback": {
                   "hide": true

For more information on cards and cards in bots, see cards documentation.

Status code responses

Following are the status codes and their error code and message values:

Status code Error code and message values Description
403 Code: ConversationBlockedByUser
Message: User blocked the conversation with the bot.
User blocked the bot in 1:1 chat or a channel through moderation settings.
403 Code: BotNotInConversationRoster
Message: The bot isn't part of the conversation roster.
The bot isn't part of the conversation.
403 Code: BotDisabledByAdmin
Message: The tenant admin disabled this bot.
Tenant blocked the bot.
401 Code: BotNotRegistered
Message: No registration found for this bot.
The registration for this bot wasn't found.
412 Code: PreconditionFailed
Message: Precondition failed, please try again.
A precondition failed on one of our dependencies due to multiple concurrent operations on the same conversation.
404 Code: ConversationNotFound
Message: Conversation not found.
The conversation wasn't found.
413 Code: MessageSizeTooBig
Message: Message size too large.
The size on the incoming request was too large.
429 Code: Throttled
Message: Too many requests. Also returns when to retry after.
Too many requests were sent by the bot. For more information, see rate limit.

Code sample

Sample name Description .NETCore Node.js Python
Teams conversation bot Messaging and conversation event handling. View View View

Next step

See also