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Building a Microsoft Teams Bot

Microsoft has released Teams from one year, the utility of this product is indisputable, a strength is definitely the possibility to extend it with bots, connectors and tabs.

In this article, I’ll talk about how to build a bot and how to leverage the Microsoft Teams API capabilities, which are the following:

  • Fetch Channel List
  • Mention User
  • Start New 1 on 1 Chat
  • Route Message To General
  • Fetch Member List
  • Send O365 Card
  • Fetch Team Info
  • Start New Reply Chain
  • Mention Channel
  • Mention Team
  • Notification Feed
  • Bot Delete Message

Let’s start to create a bot, the easiest way is create a “Web App Bot” on Azure, this naturally presupposes the possession of a subscription:

Create a Bot via Azure

The next step is to download the package, you can do it by clicking on “Build” under “Bot Management” and then “Download zip file”:

Download Bot package

Unzip the content in a folder and open it with Visual Studio Code or other code editors, in my case I’ll use VSCode.
In order to debug the bot locally is required ngrok a “secure introspectable tunnels to localhost webhook development tool and debugging tool”, then on VSCode create a folder “.vscode” and a file “launch.json” as follow:

launch.json

The content of the file “launch.json” is:

 

When you are ready to debug your bot run the console command “ngrok http 3978” and copy the https URL:

ngrok

Open the “Settings” of your bot on Azure and paste the ngrok https URL in the field “Messaging endpoint”, at the end will be something like that https://ngrokurl/api/messages in this way your bot will respond directly from your local machine.

The last step is set up the breakpoints and click on play:

vscode-play

Open Teams and start a new chat, in the field to: write the Microsoft App Id that you can read on Azure in “Application Settings” this allow you to start a one to one conversation with your bot.
I developed a sample that you can find on my Github which makes use of Microsoft Teams API check the images below:

Microsoft Teams API Example

Microsoft Teams API Example

Microsoft Teams API Example

Microsoft Teams API Example

Microsoft Teams API Example

The solution is available on Github:
https://github.com/giuleon/teams-bot-api 

Reference:
De Luca, G. (2018). Building a Microsoft Teams Bot. Available at: https://delucagiuliano.com/building-a-microsoft-teams-bot/#.Wr3yGYjwaUk [Accessed 30 Mar. 2018].

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