For Developers
API Handbook
Files API

Files API

The Files API allows you to upload, download, and manage files and searchable documents for your bots and integrations in Botpress Cloud.

Files can be in any text or binary format, and documents (such as PDF, Microsoft Office, HTML, CSV, etc.) can be indexed to be used for semantic search in RAG (Retrieval Augmented Generation) implementations. Files are private by default but can be made publicly accessible through a permanent URL that's unique for each file.

Getting Started

  1. Get familiarized with the API reference and the different API endpoints available

  2. Review the instructions on how to authenticate with the API.


Creating and uploading a file

In an Execute Card in your bot

The following code snippet can be put in an Execute Card in your bot to create and upload a file that can be accessed by anyone with the file URL and that will be indexed for semantic search:

Make sure you have enabled the "Use the Botpress Client" setting in your bot's settings in Botpress Studio in order to have access to the client global variable, otherwise it will not be accessible and you'll get an error.

const file = await client.uploadFile({
  key: 'optional_prefix/unique_file_name.txt', // Each file needs a unique key under your bot
  content: 'This is a test file',

Once the code above runs, the URL to download the file will be available in the file.url property.

By default the file URL returned will be temporary and change on each request to this endpoint, and will expire after a short period of time and thus should not be stored long-term, but if the file is created with a 'public_content' access policy (explained later in this page) then this URL will be permanent and can be stored long-term.

Note that the file key is required and must be unique for each file under your bot, but the key can be any value you need, like a file path, a URL, a unique identifier, etc. However, if you want to make the file publicly accessible you should include a file extension at the end of the key (e.g. .txt, .pdf, .docx, etc.) or set the contentType parameter to the MIME type of the file when creating it so that users can easily open the file using the default application for that file format in their device.

Note: If the file is being created by an integration, the key will be scoped to that integration so the key only needs to be unique for that integration under the specific bot it's installed on.

Uploading from an existing URL

If the file is already available in a URL and you want to upload it to Botpress Cloud you can simply pass the url parameter (instead of using the content parameter) and this will take care of downloading and uploading the file for you:

const file = await client.uploadFile({
  key: 'unique_file_name.pdf', // Each file needs a unique key under your bot
  url: '', // This is the external URL where the file is currently located
Uploading a binary file

If you are dealing with a binary file such as a PDF or Microsoft Office document you can also pass a Buffer object as the content parameter for the file:

const buffer = // This must be a Buffer object containing the binary content of the file
const file = await client.uploadFile({
  key: 'unique_file_name.pdf', // Each file needs a unique key under your bot
  content: buffer,

In a custom script using the Botpress Client

If you're using Javascript or TypeScript the easiest way to interact with the API is using the Botpress Client (opens in a new tab). You can install the client package by using your favorite package manager:

npm install @botpress/client

The Botpress Client will handle the authentication and other technical aspects for you, you only need to provide your Botpress PAT (Personal Access Token) and the ID of the bot that the client will access. If your use-case requires accessing multiple bots, you can define as many client instances as needed (one for each bot).

You can use the following code snippet to create and upload a file in a custom script using the Botpress Client. Note that in the example below your Botpress PAT (Personal Access Token) and bot ID must be defined in the environment variables BOTPRESS_PAT and BOTPRESS_BOT_ID respectively.

import { Client } from '@botpress/client'
const client = new Client({
  token: process.env.BOTPRESS_PAT,
  botId: process.env.BOTPRESS_BOT_ID,
const file = await client.uploadFile({
  key: 'optional_prefix/unique_file_name.txt',
  content: 'This is a test file',

In a custom script using an HTTP client

If you can't use the Botpress Client (e.g. you can't install the package or you're working with a different programming language) you can also use any HTTP client to make requests to the API directly.

Please note that when calling the API directly, an HTTP request to the Botpress API (specifying the file size beforehand) will be needed to create the empty file first, and a separate HTTP request will be needed to upload the file content to the unique upload URL provided in the response of the first request.

Additionally, if you need to access the file URL right away a third request to the "Get File" API endpoint will be needed to get the URL of the file after it has been uploaded.

Here's an example on how to do this using the native fetch() function in Javascript/TypeScript, note that your Botpress PAT will need to be defined in the environment variable BOTPRESS_PAT:

const fileContent = 'Here goes the content of your file'
const buffer = Buffer.from(fileContent)
// Step 1: Create the file in Botpress Cloud.
// Please note that specifying the file size (in raw bytes, not characters) is required when calling this endpoint.
const result = await fetch('', {
  method: 'PUT',
  headers: {
    'Content-Type': 'application/json',
    Authorization: `Bearer ${process.env.BOTPRESS_PAT}`,
  body: JSON.stringify({
    key: 'unique_file_name.txt',
    size: buffer.byteLength,
const response = await result.json()
// Step 2: Upload the file content to the unique upload URL provided for the created file.
await fetch(response.file.uploadUrl, {
  method: 'PUT',
  body: buffer,
// Optional - Step 3: You can call the "Get File" API endpoint to access the file details right away.
const getFileResult = await fetch(`${}`, {
  method: 'GET',
  headers: {
    Authorization: `Bearer ${process.env.BOTPRESS_PAT}`,
const getFileResponse = await getFileResult.json()
const fileUrl = getFileResponse.file.url // Will contain the public URL of the file if it was created with the 'public_content' access policy, otherwise it will contain a temporary pre-signed URL.
const fileStatus = getFileResponse.file.status // Should be 'indexing_pending' if the file was requested to be indexed, or 'upload_completed' otherwise.

Adding tags to a file

You can add custom tags to a file by passing the tags parameter when it's created. Tags allow you to organize and classify files in any way you see fit, and can be specified as a filter when listing or searching files.

const file = await client.uploadFile({
  key: 'test.txt',
  content: 'This is a test file',
  tags: {
    // Tags are optional but are useful for filtering files by a custom criteria you choose when using the "List Files" or "Search Files" API endpoints. You can change or remove the tags below based on your needs.
    category: 'Sales',
    knowledgeBaseName: 'Client Questions',

Creating a public file

By default all files are private and can only be accessed by the bot that created them. If you need to make a file publicly accessible by anyone you can assign the public_content access policy to the file:

const file = await client.uploadFile({
  key: 'test.txt',
  content: 'This is a public file',
  accessPolicies: ['public_content'],

If you only want to allow all the integrations installed in the bot to access the file rather than making it fully public, you can just assign the integrations access policy instead:

const file = await client.uploadFile({
  key: 'test.txt',
  content: 'This is a file that can be accessed by all integrations in a bot',
  accessPolicies: ['integrations'],

Creating an indexed file

If you need to index a file for semantic search you can use the index parameter when creating the file.

const file = await client.uploadFile({
  key: 'test.txt',
  content: 'This is a test file',
  index: true,

Notes on indexing:

  • The following file formats are supported for indexing: .pdf, .docx, .doc, .pptx, .ppt, .xlsx, .xls, .odt, .txt, .rtf, .csv, .html, .md, .epub, .eml, .msg
  • Either the file key must contain a supported file extension at the end or the contentType parameter must be set to the MIME type of the file in order for the file to be indexed.
  • The file it will initially have a status of "indexing_pending" and will be indexed asynchronously. The time it takes to index the file will depend on the file size and the current load on the system.
  • You can check the status of the file by calling the Get File endpoint and checking that the file.status property has changed to "indexing_completed".
  • If the indexing failed the status will be set to "indexing_failed" and the reason of the failure will be available in the failedStatusReason property of the file.

Getting the file's metadata

To get the details of a file you can use the Get File API endpoint.

const file = await client.getFile('YOUR_FILE_ID')

Listing existing files of a bot

To list all the files of a bot you can use the List Files API endpoint.

const res = await client.listFiles()
const files =

Filtering by tags

If you need to filter files by tags, you can just pass the tags parameter which should be an object with key-value pairs of tags a file must have in order to be returned. Tag filtering works in an "AND" fashion, so only the files that have all the specified tags will be returned.

const res = await client.listFiles({
  tags: {
    category: 'Sales',


The List Files API endpoint will return by default the 20 most recent files your bot has. If you need to list older files you can use the nextToken property returned in the API response to retrieve the next page (if any) of files. The nextToken will be included for each page if there are files remaining to be listed.

For example:

let res = await client.listFiles()
const files =
// You can put this in a loop to retrieve all the files if needed.
if ( {
  res = await client.listFiles({ nextToken: })

Updating the file content

If you need to update the content of a file, you can simply do the same as if you were creating the file for the first time, just make sure you're using the same key as the existing file you want to update. This will overwrite the existing content of the file with the new content you provide.

// Important: When this is started the original file content will be erased so if the upload fails you
// may need to add error handling code to retry the upload, otherwise the file will remain empty.
const file = await client.uploadFile({
  key: 'existing_file_key.txt',
  content: 'This is the new content of the file',
  // you can also overwrite the file metadata here, like tags or access policies

Updating the file metadata

If you only need to update the metadata of the file (tags and access policies) and not the file content, you can use the dedicated Update File Metadata endpoint.

await client.updateFileMetadata({
  id: 'YOUR_FILE_ID',
  accessPolicies: ['integrations'], // This value will replace the existing access policies of the file.
  tags: {
    // This acts as a "patch" or partial update, so only the tags specified here will be updated, the rest will remain unchanged. If you need to delete an existing tag, you can set it to a `null` value.
    category: 'Support', // This tag will be updated.
    knowledgeBaseName: null, // This tag will be deleted.
    subcategory: 'Technical', // This tag will be added.
    // Any other tags not specified here will remain unchanged.

Deleting a file

To delete a file you can use the "Delete File" API endpoint.

await client.deleteFile('YOUR_FILE_ID')

Searching files

To run a semantic search on your bot's files you can use the Search Files API endpoint. This is particularly useful for RAG (Retrieval Augmented Generation) implementations.

const res = await client.searchFiles({
  query: 'what are the most popular products of your company?', // This is the natural language query (e.g. a user's question) to be used for running a semantic search on the files of the bot.
  contextDepth: 1, // Optional (default: 0), allows you prepend and append the surrounding context to each matching passage in the search results
  tags: {
    // Optional, allows you to only search files that match the specified tags. Useful if you only want to search a subset of the bot's files.
    category: 'Support',
    subcategory: 'Technical',
  limit: 30, // Default is 20, maximum is 50 results
const passages =
for (const passage of passages) {
  // You can use passage.content here to retrieve the content (including surrounding context, if any) of each matching passage

You can check the API reference for more details on the properties available for each passage object returned in the response.

Using the search results for RAG

You can use the search results to provide relevant information to a chatbot for generating a response to a user's question.

Here's an example of a simple RAG (Retrieval Augmented Generation) implementation that shows how you can use the ChatGPT large language model (through the OpenAI API) and the search results provided by our API to answer a user's question:

import OpenAI from 'openai' // You'll need to install this package first using your favorite package manager
const openai = new OpenAI({ apiKey: 'YOUR_OPENAI_API_KEY' })) // Change this for your own OpenAI API key
const userQuestion = 'Which are the most popular products of your company?' // This will come from the user's input
const res = await client.searchFiles({
  query: userQuestion,
  contextDepth: 1, // This number can be increased to pass more context to the model for each matching passage
const relevantInformation = => passage.content).join("\n\n----------\n\n")
const answer = await{
    model: 'gpt-3.5-turbo', //  This can be changed for any other OpenAI model available here:
    messages: [
            role: 'system',
            // You can change the text below to include any additional instructions to the model
            content: "You are a helpful assistant that answers the user's question based only on the relevant information you are provided along with the question.",
            role: 'user',
            content: `## RELEVANT INFORMATION: \n\n ${relevantInformation}\n\n` +
                     `## ANSWER THE FOLLOWING USER'S QUESTION: \n\n ${userQuestion}`,


Access Policies

A file can have a list of special access policies:

  • public_content: Unauthenticated users can read contents (but not metadata) of the file through a unique permanent URL provided by the API for each file. Without this policy the file URL returned by the API will be temporary and will expire after a short period of time.
  • integrations: Grants read, search, list access to all integrations of the bot that owns the file.

Special Considerations

  • Only the principal (i.e. the user) that created the file can update or delete the file after it has been created.


Public (unauthenticated/unauthorized users)Can only download files that have the public_content access policy.
BotOwns and manages its files with full permissions to access and manage them, regardless of the user that created the file.
IntegrationHas all permissions on the files that were created by that integration for the bot they are installed on.
Viewer workspace memberCan read, search, and list all files for the bot, regardless of creator, but cannot create or delete files.
Developer, Manager or Administrator workspace memberHas all permissions on the bot's files, regardless of creator.
Billing Manager workspace memberNo permissions on files.

The List Files API endpoint will filter out files that are not accessible to the user calling that API endpoint.


There are two types of storage: File Storage and Vector DB Storage. All files count toward your workspace's File Storage usage. Indexed files also count toward your workspace's Vector DB Storage usage.

For full details on pricing please check our Pricing page (opens in a new tab).