Send Custom Commands activity to client application


Custom Commands will be retired on April 30th 2026. As of October 30th 2023 you can't create new Custom Commands applications in Speech Studio. Related to this change, LUIS will be retired on October 1st 2025. As of April 1st 2023 you can't create new LUIS resources.

In this article, you learn how to send activity from a Custom Commands application to a client application running the Speech SDK.

You complete the following tasks:

  • Define and send a custom JSON payload from your Custom Commands application
  • Receive and visualize the custom JSON payload contents from a C# UWP Speech SDK client application


Setup Send activity to client

  1. Open the Custom Commands application you previously created

  2. Select TurnOnOff command, select ConfirmationResponse under completion rule, then select Add an action

  3. Under New Action-Type, select Send activity to client

  4. Copy the JSON below to Activity content

       "type": "event",
       "name": "UpdateDeviceState",
       "value": {
         "state": "{OnOff}",
         "device": "{SubjectDevice}"
  5. Select Save to create a new rule with a Send Activity action, Train and Publish the change

    Send Activity completion rule

Integrate with client application

In How-to: Setup client application with Speech SDK (Preview), you created a UWP client application with Speech SDK that handled commands such as turn on the tv, turn off the fan. With some visuals added, you can see the result of those commands.

To Add labeled boxes with text indicating on or off, add the following XML block of StackPanel to MainPage.xaml.

<StackPanel Orientation="Vertical" H......>
<StackPanel Orientation="Horizontal" HorizontalAlignment="Center" Margin="20">
    <Grid x:Name="Grid_TV" Margin="50, 0" Width="100" Height="100" Background="LightBlue">
            <TextBlock Text="TV" Margin="0, 10" TextAlignment="Center"/>
            <TextBlock x:Name="State_TV" Text="off" TextAlignment="Center"/>
    <Grid x:Name="Grid_Fan" Margin="50, 0" Width="100" Height="100" Background="LightBlue">
            <TextBlock Text="Fan" Margin="0, 10" TextAlignment="Center"/>
            <TextBlock x:Name="State_Fan" Text="off" TextAlignment="Center"/>
<MediaElement ....../>

Add reference libraries

Since you've created a JSON payload, you need to add a reference to the JSON.NET library to handle deserialization.

  1. Right-client your solution.

  2. Choose Manage NuGet Packages for Solution, Select Browse

  3. If you already installed Newtonsoft.json, make sure its version is at least 12.0.3. If not, go to Manage NuGet Packages for Solution - Updates, search for Newtonsoft.json to update it. This guide is using version 12.0.3.

    Send Activity payload

  4. Also, make sure NuGet package Microsoft.NETCore.UniversalWindowsPlatform is at least 6.2.10. This guide is using version 6.2.10.

In `MainPage.xaml.cs', add

using Newtonsoft.Json; 
using Windows.ApplicationModel.Core;
using Windows.UI.Core;

Handle the received payload

In InitializeDialogServiceConnector, replace the ActivityReceived event handler with following code. The modified ActivityReceived event handler extracts the payload from the activity and change the visual state of the tv or fan respectively.

connector.ActivityReceived += async (sender, activityReceivedEventArgs) =>
    NotifyUser($"Activity received, hasAudio={activityReceivedEventArgs.HasAudio} activity={activityReceivedEventArgs.Activity}");

    dynamic activity = JsonConvert.DeserializeObject(activityReceivedEventArgs.Activity);
    var name = activity?.name != null ? : string.Empty;

    if (name.Equals("UpdateDeviceState"))
        var state = activity?.value?.state != null ? activity.value.state.ToString() : string.Empty;
        var device = activity?.value?.device != null ? activity.value.device.ToString() : string.Empty;

        if (state.Equals("on") || state.Equals("off"))
            switch (device)
                case "tv":
                    await CoreApplication.MainView.CoreWindow.Dispatcher.RunAsync(
                        CoreDispatcherPriority.Normal, () => { State_TV.Text = state; });
                case "fan":
                    await CoreApplication.MainView.CoreWindow.Dispatcher.RunAsync(
                        CoreDispatcherPriority.Normal, () => { State_Fan.Text = state; });
                    NotifyUser($"Received request to set unsupported device {device} to {state}");
        else { 
            NotifyUser($"Received request to set unsupported state {state}");

    if (activityReceivedEventArgs.HasAudio)

Try it out

  1. Start the application
  2. Select Enable microphone
  3. Select the Talk button
  4. Say turn on the tv
  5. The visual state of the tv should change to "on"

    Screenshot that shows that the visual state of the T V is now on.

Next steps