.NET Core SDK Templates
.NET Core Templates for Bot Framework v4. These templates will let you quickly create conversational AI bots using core AI capabilities.
.NET Core Templates will help you to quickly build new conversational AI bots using Bot Framework v4.
There are three different template options. The table below can help guide which template is right for you.
|Echo Bot||A good template if you want a little more than "Hello World!", but not much more. This template handles the very basics of sending messages to a bot, and having the bot process the messages by repeating them back to the user. This template produces a bot that simply "echoes" back to the user anything the user says to the bot.|
|Core Bot||Our most advanced template, the Core Bot template provides 6 core features every bot is likely to have. This template covers the core features of a Conversational-AI bot using LUIS. See the Core Bot Features table below for more details.|
|Empty Bot||A good template if you are familiar with Bot Framework v4, and simple want a basic skeleton project. Also a good option if you want to take sample code from the documentation and paste it into a minimal bot in order to learn.|
How to Choose a Template
|Template||When This Template is a Good Choice|
|Echo Bot||You are new to Bot Framework v4 and want a working bot with minimal features.|
|Core Bot||You understand some of the core concepts of Bot Framework v4 and are beyond the concepts introduced in the Echo Bot template. You're familiar with or are ready to learn concepts such as language understanding using LUIS, managing multi-turn conversations with Dialogs, handling user initiated Dialog interruptions, and using Adaptive Cards to welcome your users.|
|Empty Bot||You are a seasoned Bot Framework v4 developer. You've built bots before, and want the minimum skeleton of a bot to help you get started.|
Echo Bot Template
The Echo Bot template is slightly more than the a classic "Hello World!" example, but not by much. This template shows the basic structure of a bot, how a bot recieves messages from a user, and how a bot sends messages to a user. The bot will "echo" back to the user, what the user says to the bot. It is a good choice for first time, new to Bot Framework v4 developers.
Core Bot Template
The Core Bot template consists of set of core features most every bot is likely to have. Building off of the core message processing features found in the Echo Bot template, this template adds a number of more sophisticated features. The table below lists these features and provides links to additional documentation.
|Core Bot Features||Description|
|Send and receive messages||The primary way your bot will communicate with users, and likewise receive communication, is through message activities. Some messages may simply consist of plain text, while others may contain richer content such as cards or attachments.|
|Proactive messaging using Adaptive Cards||The primary goal when creating any bot is to engage your user in a meaningful conversation. One of the best ways to achieve this goal is to ensure that from the moment a user first connects to your bot, they understand your bot’s main purpose and capabilities. We refer to this as "welcoming the user." The Core Bot template uses an Adaptive Card to implement this behavior.|
|Language understanding using LUIS||The ability to understand what your user means conversationally and contextually can be a difficult task, but can provide your bot a more natural conversation feel. Language Understanding, called LUIS, enables you to do just that so that your bot can recognize the intent of user messages, allow for more natural language from your user, and better direct the conversation flow.|
|Multi-turn conversation support using Dialogs||The ability to manage conversations is an important part of the bot/user interation. Bot Framework introduces the concept of a Dialog to handle this conversational pattern. Dialog objects process inbound Activities and generate outbound responses. The business logic of the bot runs either directly or indirectly within Dialog classes.|
|Managing conversation state||A key to good bot design is to track the context of a conversation, so that your bot remembers things like the answers to previous questions.|
|How to handle user-initiated interruptions||While you may think that your users will follow your defined conversation flow, step by step, chances are good that they will change their minds or ask a question in the middle of the process instead of answering the question. Handling interruptions means making sure your bot is prepared to handle situations like this.|
|How to unit test a bot||Optionally, the Core Bot template can generate a corresponding test project that shows how to use the testing framework introduced in Bot Framework version 4.5. The testing project provides a complete set of units tests for Core Bot. It shows how to write unit tests to test the various features of Core Bot. To generate a corresponding test project for Core Bot, run the template with the
Empty Bot Template
The Empty Bot template is the minimal skeleton code for a bot. It provides a stub
onTurn handler but does not perform any actions. If you are experienced writing bots with Bot Framework v4 and want the minimum scaffolding, the Empty Bot template is for you.
Features by Template
|Feature||Empty Bot||Echo Bot||Core Bot|
|Generate code in C#||X||X||X|
|Support local development and testing using the Bot Framework Emulator v4||X||X||X|
|Core bot message processing||X||X|
|Deploy your bot to Microsoft Azure||X||X|
|Welcome new users using Adaptive Card technology||X|
|Support AI-based greetings using LUIS||X|
|Use Dialogs to manage more in-depth conversations||X|
|Manage conversation state||X|
|Handle user interruptions||X|
|Unit test a bot using Bot Framework Testing framework (optional)||X|
Install .NET Core SDK version 2.1 or higher
# determine dotnet version dotnet --version
Install Bot Framework CSharp templates by typing the following in your console:
# Installs all three templates (echo, core, empty) dotnet new -i Microsoft.Bot.Framework.CSharp.EchoBot dotnet new -i Microsoft.Bot.Framework.CSharp.CoreBot dotnet new -i Microsoft.Bot.Framework.CSharp.EmptyBot
Verify the templates have been installed correctly by typing the following into your console:
dotnet new --list
Sample output from
dotnet new --list. Note: Version information for the templates may be different.
Templates Short Name Language Tags ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bot Framework Core Bot (v0.1.2) corebot [C#] Bot/Bot Framework/AI/Core Bot Bot Framework Echo Bot (v0.1.2) echobot [C#] Bot/Bot Framework/AI/Echo Bot Bot Framework Empty Bot (v0.1.2) emptybot [C#] Bot/Bot Framework/AI/Empty Bot Console Application console [C#], F#, VB Common/Console Class library classlib [C#], F#, VB Common/Library Unit Test Project mstest [C#], F#, VB Test/MSTest NUnit 3 Test Project nunit [C#], F#, VB Test/NUnit NUnit 3 Test Item nunit-test [C#], F#, VB Test/NUnit xUnit Test Project xunit [C#], F#, VB Test/xUnit Razor Page page [C#] Web/ASP.NET
The above installation steps will install all three Bot Framework templates. If you prefer to install one template or a subset of the three templates, install them individually by following the steps below.
# Install EchoBot template dotnet new -i Microsoft.Bot.Framework.CSharp.EchoBot
# Install CoreBot template dotnet new -i Microsoft.Bot.Framework.CSharp.CoreBot
# Install EmptyBot template dotnet new -i Microsoft.Bot.Framework.CSharp.EmptyBot
Creating a New Bot Project
# Generate an Echo Bot dotnet new echobot -n MyEchoBot
# Generate a Core Bot dotnet new corebot -n MyCoreBot
Create CoreBot with CoreBot.Test project
# Generate a Core Bot dotnet new corebot -n MyCoreBotWithTests --include-tests
# Generate an Empty Bot dotnet new emptybot -n MyEmptyBot
Overridding .NET Core 2.2 Dependencies
The templates default to using .NET Core 2.2.x. This can be overridden on the command line by using the
--framework option. The current templates support
netcoreapp2.2 (the default).
Here are some different examples that show how to specify different .NET Core dependencies:
Example Creating EchoBot Using .NET Core 2.1
# Generate an Echo Bot (netcoreapp2.1) dotnet new echobot --framework netcoreapp2.1 -n MyEchoBot
Example Creating CoreBot and CoreBot.Tests Using .NET Core 2.1
# Generate an Core Bot and Core Bot Tests (netcoreapp2.1) dotnet new corebot --framework netcoreapp2.1 -n MyCoreBotWithTests --include-tests
Running Your Bot
Running Your Bot Locally
To run your bot locally, type the following in your console:
# change into the project's folder. e.g. EchoBot cd EchoBot
# run the bot dotnet run
Interacting With Your Bot Using the Emulator
- Launch Bot Framework Emulator
- File -> Open Bot
- Enter a Bot URL of
Once the Emulator is connected, you can interact with and receive messages from your bot.
Developing Your Bot Locally
It's often easier to develop the capabilities of your bot locally, and to use the Bot Framework Emulator to test your changes.
If you use the
--include-tests command line option when you generated a CoreBot. The CoreBot template will generate two projects
CoreBot.Test. To run the CoreBot unit tests:
# build the CoreBot project cd CoreBot dotnet build
# build the CoreBot.Tests project cd ../CoreBot.Tests dotnet build
# run the unit tests dotnet test
Deploy Your Bot to Azure
After creating the bot and testing it locally, you can deploy it to Azure to make it accessible from anywhere. To learn how, see Deploy your bot to Azure for a complete set of deployment instructions.
If you are new to Microsoft Azure, please refer to Getting started with Azure for guidance on how to get started on Azure.
Optionally Using Development Builds
Development builds are based off of "work in progress" code. This means they may or may not be stable and may have incomplete documentation. These builds are better suited for more experienced users and developers, although everyone is welcome to give them a shot and provide feedback.
You can get the latest development builds from the BotBuilder MyGet feed. The development builds for each of the templates can be found below:
|Template||Development Build Page|
To install the latest development build:
# install the development build of Echo Bot template dotnet new -i Microsoft.Bot.Framework.CSharp.EchoBot --nuget-source https://botbuilder.myget.org/F/aitemplates/api/v3/index.json
To see a list of currently installed templates:
# list installed templates dotnet new --list
To uninstall the development build:
# uninstall the development build of Echo Bot template dotnet new -u Microsoft.Bot.Framework.CSharp.EchoBot
Logging Issues and Providing Feedback
Issues and feedback about the .NET Core Templates can be submitted through the project's GitHub Issues page.