Setup your Development Environment for Microsoft Bot Framework

In this post, we will install and set up the necessary tools and software required for us to start developing chatbots using Microsoft Bot Framework.


  1. Laptop or Computer with Active Internet Connection

I will give you the workaround using Windows Operating system. You can choose Mac as well.

Microsoft365 for Business

Download and Install Visual Studio

Go to Open the dropdown Download Visual Studio. Choose the Edition which suits best for you. You can refer to the comparison of each of the editions.

I will go with Community 2019 Edition. Visual Studio 2019 is the latest version at the time of writing this blog.

This will download Visual Studio Installer onto your system.

Open the Installer and click on Continue.

After installing the Installer, The workload options window will come. Select the following workloads –

  1. ASP.NET and web development
  2. Azure development
  3. Data storage and processing

If you want to develop other than Chatbots, you can choose the necessary workloads accordingly. But for Chatbot development, the above 3 are enough.

You can also change the Installation path if required.

You can either choose to Install while downloading or Download all and then Install.

It will take some time to get downloaded and installed. The time taken may also depend on your System configuration and Internet speed.

For a dual-core processor with 4-8 GB of RAM and 3-4 MB/sec internet speed almost takes 45 min-1 hour to finish this Download and Installation. If your system has SSD, then the process will be much faster.

Sometimes, Reboot may be required. Go ahead and restart your computer to finish the installation.

Click on Start and find the Visual Studio installed.

Download and Install Bot Framework v4 Templates

Go to the Visual Studio Marketplace. Click on Download.

This will download the file with an extension .vsix.

Open it to install the templates inside Visual Studio. Make sure your Visual Studio is not open and it is closed before installing the templates.

When the installation is complete, following is the success message.

Microsoft365 for Business

Download and Install Bot Framework Emulator

Go to the GitHub Repo for all the releases of the Emulator. Choose the latest one and download it based on your operating system.

This will download the installer, open it to install.

You can choose to either install it for yourself or for all the users.

Choose Install location and click on Install.

Run the Bot Framework Emulator.

Log In to Visual Studio

For first-time users, Log in is required. It is recommended to use the same account as that of your Microsoft Azure for easy deployments. You can create a new account as well.

Choose the theme and Start Visual Studio.

Click on Create a New Project.

Under project types, choose AI Bots.

Choose and template and start creating amazing bots. If you are a beginner, start learning from here.

Thank you All!!! Hope you find this useful.

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