# Development guidelines for corporate customers

These are the development guidelines for corporate users. Follow these guidelines when developing on the LINE Platform.

Table of contents

# About LINE bot

# What is LINE Developers?

LINE provides APIs that enables external companies and developers to link with LINE services. The LINE Developers site provides developers with these LINE API specs, documentation explaining development procedures, and a console for configuration. To learn more, see About LINE Developers site.

# How LINE bot works

LINE bots use the Messaging API to send and receive information. To learn more, see How it works in the Messaging API documentation.

# About the relationship between LINE bots and channels

The relationship between bots as a component of the LINE Official Account and the channel is as follows.

Relationship between bots and channels

# Understanding various terms

See the Glossary to learn more about the various terms.

# LINE bot development procedure

  1. Create a LINE Official Account (bot) and Messaging API channel.

    You can create them from one of these sites:

    • LINE Developers Console
    • LINE Official Account Manager
    • LINE AGP

    This section shows how to create them in the LINE Developers Console.

  2. Prepare these systems and mechanisms:

    • Environment such as a server that calls the Messaging API that supports TLS 1.2 or later
    • Environment such as a bot server that gets webhook events that support TLS 1.2 or later

    It's not always necessary to prepare separate environments for the environment such as the server that calls the Messaging API and the environment such as the bot server that gets the webhook event.

  3. Prepare and implement the bot server to get webhook events.

  4. In the LINE Developers Console, go to Messaging API > Webhook settings, set the bot server URL in Webhook URL, and then enable Use Webhook.

  5. Add the LINE Official Account you created as a friend and check if the bot server is getting webhook events.

# Items to check before releasing the LINE bot

Before releasing a LINE bot, be sure to check the following.

  1. Members who need access to the LINE Developers Console are granted channel permissions and LINE Official Account Manager permissions (opens new window) (only available in Japanese).

  2. Confirm that the correct URL is set in Messaging API > Webhook settings > Webhook URL in the LINE Developers Console, and that the bot server can properly process webhook events.

  3. The implementation takes into account the precautions described in Notes on sending API requests.

  4. Comply with the security standards in the LINE BOT security guidelines (opens new window) (only available in Japanese) and LINE BOT security checklist (opens new window) (only available in Japanese), or establish an environment that is equal or better.

# Notes on receiving webhook events on bot servers

# Secure communication and bot server environment

# HTTPS communication compatible with TLS 1.2 or later

When the bot server gets webhook events sent from the LINE Platform, it must use HTTPS communication that supports TLS 1.2 or later. Use an SSL certificate issued by a public certification authority for HTTPS communication. You can purchase an SSL certificate, or you can use a certificate issued for free, such as Let's Encrypt (opens new window). For more information on setting up webhooks, see Set a Webhook URL in the Messaging API documentation.

# Build an environment that complies with security guidelines

These security guidelines and checklists describe the security standards that must be met when building a bot server. When providing services using a LINE bot, comply with the stated security standards or prepare an environment equal to or better than that.

# Verification of received webhook events

The request header x-line-signature contains a signature to verify that the received webhook event came from the LINE Platform. The bot server uses a defined algorithm from the received request body to get the digest value and verify that it matches the signature in the x-line-signature request header. By verifying that the signatures match, you can verify that the request you got is the correct webhook event sent by the LINE Platform.

The channel secret is used as the calculation key for the signature. Therefore, be careful when handling the channel secret. For more information and code samples, see Signature validation in the Messaging API reference.

The IP address of the LINE Platform isn't disclosed

The IP address of the LINE Platform from which the webhook request is sent isn't disclosed. For better security, use signature validation instead of access control by IP address.

Signature validation image

# Support for mass and intensive webhook event delivery

Due to the nature of the LINE Official Account, a large amount of access (sending webhook events) may occur unexpectedly. If a webhook request that exceeds the processing capacity of the bot server is sent, messages to users may be delayed or not delivered.

Examples of cases where access is likely to be concentrated
  • Immediately after setting Show in search results (opens new window) (only available in Japanese) of the LINE Official Account to "Show"
  • Immediately after the implementation of measures such as Sponsored sticker (opens new window) (only available in Japanese)
  • Immediately after sending a message to all friends at once using broadcast message, etc. (especially when including a campaign or other measure)
  • Immediately after being featured in the media, such as news or television

Access may be particularly concentrated during the hours of 12:00 noon and 17:00 to 24:00.

Note
  • LINE doesn't provide an environment for performing load tests on bot servers. Don't perform load testing in a way that includes the LINE Platform.
  • If you send an announcement message such as a campaign that's considered to be highly responsive to users on the LINE Official Account with a large number of friends (more than one million), it may affect the performance of the entire LINE Platform. In such cases, avoid sending messages all at once, and take measures such as sending messages in stages so that access from users isn't concentrated.

# Webhook ON/OFF setting

You can turn on or off Use webhook from Messaging API settings > Webhook settings in the LINE Developers Console. You can also turn Webhooks on or off in the Settings > Response settings section of the LINE Official Account Manager.

Notes on starting to use webhooks

When enabling Webhook settings, verify the operation in a test environment using a verification account before applying the settings to the target LINE Official Account.

Synchronize webhook settings

The webhook settings made in the LINE Developers Console and LINE Official Account Manager are synchronized.

# Webhook ON/OFF and auto reply message settings

This is the combination of the Webhooks setting and the Response mode and Greeting message settings in LINE Official Account Manager.

Webhooks Response mode and Greeting message Setting availability
Enabled Enabled
Enabled Disabled
Disabled Enabled
Disabled Disabled
Combination of unauthorized settings

For a better user experience, settings that don't use Webhooks and the LINE Official Account Manager's Response mode and Greeting message settings aren't allowed, as this will prevent the LINE Official Account from sending messages to users.

When the greeting message is sent

LINE Official Account Manager's Greeting message is a message that is automatically sent when a LINE Official Account is added. Greeting message is also sent when unblocked.

# Processing flow when receiving a webhook request

Respond with HTTP status code 200 within 1 second after the bot server gets the webhook event.

It's recommended to desynchronize the event processing when the bot server gets the webhook request so that the processing of the webhook request doesn't delay the subsequent processing. If event processing is asynchronous, implement it so that it can be processed while maintaining the context of the event.

This image depicts asynchronized processing.

Processing flow when receiving a webhook request

# If a problem occurs when sending a webhook request

For Messaging API channels under the authentication provider, if the HTTP status code 200 isn't sent within 1 second after getting the webhook event, a request_timeout error notification is sent to the channel administrator.

Use of error notification function

The error notification feature is only available for Messaging API channels that are under the authentication provider.

# Other precautions

# One webhook can contain multiple webhook event objects

A webhook sent from the LINE Platform may contain multiple webhook event objects. Also, there isn't always one user per webhook, so a Message event from person A and a Follow event from person B may be in the same webhook.

Make sure the bot server can handle everything properly even when it receives a webhook that contains multiple webhook event objects. For more information about webhook event objects, see Webhook Event Objects in the Messaging API reference.

# Responding to structural changes in webhook event objects

Properties may be added to the webhook event object when there are additions or changes to the Messaging API functionality. Implement the bot server so that receiving a webhook event object with a new property doesn't cause problems. For more information about webhook event objects, see Webhook Event Objects in the Messaging API reference.

# About the header included in the webhook request

See Request headers in the Messaging API reference.

# About processing unexpected chat transmissions

You can't restrict users from sending chats and corresponding webhook events to your LINE Official Account. If a specific user sends an unexpected chat, implement the system so that the process can be changed depending on the situation.

# Notes on sending API requests

# Issuing channel access tokens

The Messaging API uses Channel access tokens as an authentication method for API requests.

We currently provide three types of channel access tokens with different expiration dates and issuance methods.

About long-lived channel access tokens

It's possible to issue long-lived channel access tokens with extremely long expiration dates from the LINE Developers Console, but from a security standpoint, we don't recommend issuing long-lived channel access tokens. When issuing channel access tokens, we recommend using short-lived channel access tokens with an expiration date of 30 days or channel access tokens with a user-specified expiration.

# Reissuing channel access tokens

Short-lived channel access tokens and channel access tokens with a user-specified expiration have expiration dates, after which they're no longer available. Also, once issued, the expiration date of the channel access token can't be extended (renewed).

Therefore, it's necessary to consider the remaining expiration date and build a process to reissue new channel access tokens on a regular basis.

You can issue multiple channel access tokens, but there's a limit to the number that can be issued. When using the Messaging API from multiple servers or systems, be sure to correctly manage the channel access tokens used by each. After issuing a new channel access token, we recommend that you revoke the old channel access token that you no longer use. For more information, see How to use a channel access token in the Messaging API documentation.

# Max channel access token issuance limit

Each type of channel access token has a max limit that can be issued (max limit that can exist at the same time).

Type Max issuance limit Behavior when max limit is exceeded Conditions under which the channel access token is invalid
Short-lived channell access token 30 Invalidate existing short-lived channel access tokens in order of issuance
  • Exceed expiration date
  • Exceed max issuance limit
  • Execute revocation of channel access token (revoke API)
Long-lived channel access token 1 Existing long-lived channel access tokens are disabled
  • Exceed max issuance limit
  • Execute revocation of channel access token (revoke API)
Access token with a user-specified expiration 30 API error and unable to issue additional tokens
  • Exceed expiration date
  • Execute revocation of channel access token (revoke API)

# Message delivery request

If the message is successfully sent, an empty JSON object is returned with HTTP status code 200 (202 for the narrowcast API only).

When sending a message fails, a response body containing JSON data such as error messages is returned as Error responses.

About error responses

Error messages contained in the error response aren't guaranteed and are subject to change without notice. When an error occurs, perform exception handling according to the received HTTP status code.

Save logs

When you make a request to the Messaging API, save the logs of the requested API and the received response for a certain period of time. For more information on saving logs, see Saving logs in the Messaging API documentation.

# Retry message delivery request

Even when there's no LINE Platform failure, these problems may occur due to the network connection status of the bot server and other factors.

  • API request doesn't complete successfully
  • Can't get a response from the LINE Platform properly

In such a case, if you make the same API request in succession, the user will get the same message twice if the first API request was successfully accepted. To prevent this, implement a retry key (X-Line-Retry-Key) to safely retry requests. For more information on message sending requests, see Retrying a failed API request in the Messaging API documentation.

Retrying a failed API request

# Request limits

There are limits to the length of messages that can be sent by LINE bots in a single request, as well as the number of messages that can be sent within a certain amount of time.

# Text message limits

The max number of characters that can be specified in Text message is 5000.

# Request size limits

The max request size is 2MB.

# Request rate limits

The Messaging API applies Rate limits to each endpoint.

Regardless of whether you're using a production account or a test account, sending mass requests for the purpose of behavioral testing is prohibited. Don't include the LINE Platform when performing load tests on message sending.

# Reply messages and push messages

For more information on reply messages and push messages, see:

Reply tokens expiration date

For more information on the expiration date of the reply tokens used in Reply messages, see Reply token in the Messaging API reference.

# Use HTTPS (TLS 1.2 or later)

Communication between the system that called the Messaging API and the LINE API server must be done over HTTPS (TLS 1.2 or later). In addition, when using the Messaging API to send an Image message or Flex Message including an Image component, the server that stores the file must support HTTPS (TLS 1.2 or later) communication.

# Dealing with high volume access

Depending on the number of users the messages are sent to, and the content of the messages, a large volume of access may be generated to URLs, images, and other content in the messages.

To prepare for such cases, use load balancing mechanisms such as CDNs or load balancers, or send messages in stages, so that the server from which the content is stored doesn't go down due to a large volume of access.

Large volume of requests

# Notes on using LINE Login

By using LINE Login, you can implement a login function that uses the user's LINE account information in your web services and native apps.

For example, by incorporating LINE Login in a web app and linking the acquired information with your company's membership information, you can send more personalized messages to users using the Messaging API.

For more information on LINE Login, see LINE Login overview.

# LINE Login authorization and verification process

The process of LINE Login for web apps (web login) is based on the OAuth 2.0 (opens new window) authorization code grant flow and the OpenID® Connect (opens new window) protocol. For more information on LINE Login for web apps, see Login flow in the LINE Login documentation.

# About callback URLs

The callback URL (redirect_uri) is used as the Receiving the authroization code or error response with a web app URL after the user has performed authentication and authorization operations for LINE Login. The callback URL can be set in LINE Login in the channel settings of the LINE Developers Console.

For more information on callback URLs, see Setting a callback URL in the LINE Login documentation.

Notes when setting callback URLs
  • Up to 400 URLs can be registered as callback URLs.

  • You can register a URL that includes query parameters as the callback URL.

  • The redirect_uri specified at the time of authorization request is a URL-encoded string of the URL registered as the callback URL. Any query parameter can be added.

    • You can register https://example.com as the callback URL and specifyhttps://example.com?key=value in redirect_uri specified at the time of authorization request.

# Get authorization code or error response in web app

When the user's authentication and authorization process is complete, the user is redirected to the callback URL.

When a user grants access to an app, an authorization code is returned. However, if the user doesn't grant access to an app, an error response is returned. For more information on authorization codes and error responses, see Receiving the authorization code or error response with a web app in the LINE Login documentation.

# Issue an access token

An access token is issued using the authorization code obtained by the authorization request for LINE Login. For more information on issuing an access token, see Issue access token in the LINE Login v2.1 API reference.

Notes on issuing access tokens
  • The redirect_uri parameter specified when issuing an access token must be the same as the value specified during the authorization request.
  • Authorization codes can be used only once, regardless of whether or not an access token is successfully issued.

# Verify the ID token

An ID token is included in the payload of the token endpoint obtained by an authorization request for LINE Login with openid specified in the scope. You can get the user's profile information by verifying the obtained ID token. For more information, see Get profile information from ID tokens in the LINE Login documentation.

# Other LINE Login APIs

By using the acquired access token, you can check the friendship between the user and the LINE Official Account, and get the user's profile information. For more information on the LINE Login API, see LINE Login v2.1 API reference.

# Linking information obtained through LINE Login with information managed by your company (ID linking)

By linking user information (user IDs, etc.) obtained through LINE Login with member information managed by the company, it's possible to deliver more personalized messages.

ID linkage flow

About linking and management with member information
  • LINE doesn't provide a way to link user information obtained through LINE Login with member information managed by the company.
  • When linking membership information, etc., design the system with security in mind to prevent spoofing.
  • Set up a flow line to unlink LINE user information and member information, etc.
  • If you select Unlink from Settings > Account > Authorized apps of the LINE app, "Channel consent" of LINE Login will be withdrawn, but the association of user information won't be released. The process of linking information obtained through LINE Login with information managed by the company must be done separately by the customer.

unlink

LINE Login lets you add LINE Official Accounts as friends (bot link) when you log in to LINE. The bot link feature can be set in the LINE Developers Console. For more information on the bot link function, See Add a LINE Official Account as a friend when logged in (bot link) in the LINE Login documentation.

Notes on using the bot link function
  • The bots you link to are limited to those related to the LINE Login channel. For example, don't link Company A's LINE Official Account (bot) to Company B's LINE Login channel, which isn't related to Company A.
  • Changes in settings are reflected immediately, so operate with caution to avoid accidentally setting unintended bots (test bots, etc).
  • If the LINE Login channel is under the Authentication Provider, the Add Friend (Unblock) option on the LINE Login consent screen will be selected (checked) by default.

# state verification

The state parameter specified when requesting authorization for LINE Login is required to prevent Cross-Site Request Forgery (opens new window). Randomly generate it in your web app for each authorization request session and validate it when receiving the authorization code or error response.

state verification

# LINE Front-end Framework (LIFF)

LINE Front-end Framework (LIFF) is a web app platform provided by LINE. A web app that runs on this platform is called a LIFF app.

The LIFF app lets you get LINE user IDs and other information from the LINE platform. The LIFF application can use these to provide functions that utilize user information or send messages on behalf of the user.

For more information on the LIFF app, see LINE Front-end Framework.

# Other features

# How to set the destination browser

When accessing a URL from a chat room or from the LINE in-app browser, you can change the browser that opens the URL to an external browser by opening the URL with special query parameters. For more information on query parameters, see Opening a URL in an external browser.

# About URL schemes

We provide URL schemes that can be used in chat rooms with LINE Official Accounts. For more information on URL schemes, see Using LINE features with the LINE URL scheme.

# About channel permissions

The status of the LINE Login channel and the LINE MINI App channel is "Developing" immediately after the channel is created. To log in to LINE or access the LIFF app on a channel with the "Developing" status, you need a LINE account with admin or tester privileges on the channel.

For more information on permissions, see Channel roles in the LINE Developers Console documentation.

# Stickers available on LINE Official Accounts

On the LINE Official Account, stickers are exchanged using identifiers such as package IDs and sticker IDs. Sticker availability is based on the license of the respective sticker provider.

# Send stickers from the LINE Official Account

These stickers can be sent by LINE Official Accounts.

  • List of available stickers
  • Stickers owned by the company (sponsored stickers, creators' stickers, etc.)
    • To send these stickers, special settings at LINE are required. Contact our sales representative for details.

# Check the sticker sent by the user

When a user sends a sticker to the LINE Official Account, the package ID and sticker ID of the sent sticker will be sent as a Webhook message event.

We don't disclose the mechanism to get the image of the sent sticker using the sticker ID included in the received Webhook event. We provide this service only when our Technology Partner (opens new window) (only available in Japanese) creates a chat tool (CRM tool, etc.) that allows direct interaction with the user, or when LINE deems it appropriate. Contact our representative for details.

# Sending LINE emojis

You can send LINE emojis when you send a text message. For more information on LINE emojis, see List of available LINE emojis in the Messaging API documentation.

# Getting LINE emojis

When a user sends a LINE emoji to the LINE Official Account, it is stored as an array in the emojis object in the text object of the message event.

Sent LINE emoji may not be included in the emojis property
  • The default LINE emojis sent from LINE for Android won't be included.
  • Unicode-defined emojis and older versions of LINE emojis may not be retrieved correctly.