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Integrate a PVA chatbot with Azure OpenAI ChatGPT using the Chat Completion API format

OpenAI ChatGPT and GPT-4 models are both optimized for conversational interfaces. This means they accept input formatted as a conversation. The main benefit is retaining the conversation context (i.e. the history of past questions and answers), so that any new follow up question is made in the context of past interactions.


Example in ChatGPT, where the question "Who was it before?" only makes sense in the context of the previous questions and answers: 



To replicate this behavior in Power Virtual Agents, you integrate with the Azure OpenAI Service APIs using a Power Automate cloud flow.

For each of the requests you make to Azure OpenAI, you need to retain the context of previous questions and answers. 

The Chat Completion API is a new dedicated API for interacting with the ChatGPT and GPT-4 models in conversational manner. 

Chat Completion is optimized and will lead to better results than the previous Chat Markup Language (ChatML) format.


The format allows you to set the system prompt (with instructions, rules, data, etc.) as well as a format for the following question and answers, between the bot and the user. It's formatted in JSON.

Below is an example of the above example conversation:


        "role": "system",
        "content": "You are an AI assistant that helps people find information."
        "role": "user",
        "content": "Who was Microsoft CEO in 2020?"
        "role": "assistant",
        "content": "In 2020, the CEO of Microsoft was Satya Nadella. He has been the CEO of Microsoft since 2014."
        "role": "user",
        "content": "Who was it before?"
        "role": "assistant",
        "content": "Before Satya Nadella, Steve Ballmer was the CEO of Microsoft. He served as the CEO from 2000 to 2014, following Bill Gates who co-founded Microsoft and served as CEO for many years."


You can learn more about Chat Completion API here:

How to work with the ChatGPT and GPT-4 models (preview) - Azure OpenAI Service | Microsoft Learn


You cannot keep an infinitely large history of past interactions. Each model has a token limit. 

You can learn more on how to remain the thoken limit here.


In the below example, I show how to integrate Power Virtual Agents with Azure OpenAI with Power Automate, and use the Chat Completion API to retain conversation context.

  • In the first post, I show how to do this using the Power Virtual Agents new unified authoring canvas.
  • In the second post, I show how to do this using the classic version of Power Virtual Agents (using Bot Framework Composer).


Important note:


Prerequisites for the below articles:


@HenryJammes ,

Henry, I wanted to let you know that I found the error! It seems that there was no problem with the JSON or the flow at all. The only thing I overlooked was including the "=" sign when assigning a value to a property in Bot Framework Composer....

Thank you for your help and for working through this with me. I truly appreciate your support. And, of course, thank you once again for providing such a helpful tutorial!

Frequent Visitor

Hi @HenryJammes ,
I created the dialogs on BFC for initialize and update dialogs.
but it was showing blank on the flow run -"FullDialog" ,
Please share your suggestions, how to fix this issue



Not sure what's wrong here @Sravan_999. Easiest way for you to troubleshoot this is to download the solution (at the end of post on PVA 1 + BFC) and compare with how you've done your customizations.

Frequent Visitor

I think the problem with the JSON Parse error has to do with the double quotes being returned from the GPT engine within its reply.  When continuing the conversation, the double quotes are submitted back as part of your reply.  The Parser is reading the double quote as part of the JSON structure and not as part of the data being returned.  I have not yet figured out how to escape the " with a backslash.  I think the right method to use is replace([MyJSONData],'"','\"') but have not been able to dial it in just yet.

@Ohron wrote:

I think the problem with the JSON Parse error has to do with the double quotes being returned from the GPT engine within its reply.  When continuing the conversation, the double quotes are submitted back as part of your reply.  The Parser is reading the double quote as part of the JSON structure and not as part of the data being returned.  I have not yet figured out how to escape the " with a backslash.  I think the right method to use is replace([MyJSONData],'"','\"') but have not been able to dial it in just yet.

Nice, thanks for  catching this @Ohron,

I think I was able to work around this.


To make sure I don't pass unescaped double quotes to Power Automate, I now wrap my UnrecognitzedTriggerPhrase input with this Power Fx formula in PVA:





I do the same with the GPT output at the end of PVA logic, when I update the FullDialog:

& "{""role"": ""user"", ""content"": """ & Topic.OriginalUnrecognizedTriggerPhrase & """},"
& "{""role"": ""assistant"", ""content"": """ & Substitute(Topic.GeneratedAnswer,"""","\""") & """},"


I can now have conversations full of "




Henry, Thank you for the update.  This fix appears to be working. 

Helper II
Helper II

Hi there @HenryJammes, is this feasible if only PVA on Microsoft teams is available? (There's no subscription to the web app)

Hi @Renad,

No, as PVA for Teams doesn’t allow Bot Framework Composer extensions (useful here for variable management) nor the use of premium connectors in Power Automate (required for the HTTP connector or for the use of a custom connector). 

This is outlined here:

Hi Henry,Thank you very much for your sharing. I have learned a lot from reading your articles. I would like to know how to manually reset the conversation with the bot or start a new conversation without inheriting the previous history.Because The content included in the answer seems to have caused an error in the 'Fulldialog' process, and my chat with the bot has entered a dead loop,Do you have any suggestions for it?


Hi @RayHao, that's an excellent point.


There are indeed many situations where you'd want the conversation to reset:

  • Reaching the token limit of the GPT model (with each question asked, and answer received, the messages array grows in size. The token limit for gpt-35-turbo is 4096 tokens)
  • Asking new questions with no relationship with previous questions/answers, and you don't want ChatGPT to generate an answer based on past interactions.
  • Having chatbot topic logic where it doesn't make sense to retain the Full Dialog history.
  • Etc.


The token limit should be something you handle in the Power Automate side, as each response back by GPT provides the total number of tokens you've used so far. In PVA, you should have a mechanism to warn they have reached the limit and need to start over.


In PVA, you can reset variables in 3 ways:

  • Have the user trigger the Restart Conversation topic, for example by saying "Start over".

    This topic resets the conversation by clearing variable values and forcing the bot to use the latest published bot content.

  • By directly calling the "Clear all variables" action, in Topic management.
  • In our example, you can "Set a variable" value to Global.FullDialog. If you set it to "", it will act as a new conversation.


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