Microsoft’s Bot Framework is a great platform for designing, developing and deploying bots for various use cases. As nowadays many people are familiar with bots and they get used to connect and communicate with bots via social media, it’s a good opportunity to bring a service to the next level by adding a bot to it for a better communication service. In the past, t was very hard to achieve that as you would basically have to develop the bot on your own and connect all the different systems and platforms together to make the bot available to a broader audience. With the Bot Framework Microsoft released a platform where you only need to handle your bot’s design and logic without thinking about the various systems and services in which your bot should be communicating with your users.
Think of a bot as an app that users interact with in a conversational way. Bots can communicate conversationally with text, cards, or speech. A bot may be as simple as basic pattern matching with a response, or it may be a sophisticated weaving of artificial intelligence techniques with complex conversational state tracking and integration to existing business services.
The Bot Framework enables you to build bots that support different types of interactions with users. You can design conversations in your bot to be freeform. Your bot can also have more guided interactions where it provides the user choices or actions. The conversation can use simple text strings or more complex rich cards that contain text, images, and action buttons. And you can add natural language interactions, which let your users interact with your bots in a natural and expressive way. Read more…
The following infographic should provide you with a high-level overview of the Bot Framework including all necessary components:
- Platforms & SDKs
- Additional Services (Cognitive Services)
Channels provide you with the ability to deploy your bot in various systems at the same time without the need to adapt your business logic within your bot. This makes it easy to build a bot which is capable of communicating with people via various channels and platforms to reach even more people with your bot.
Platforms & SDKs
Microsoft lets you build your bot with C# or NodeJS and host it on Azure as or on your own infrastructure. Therefore you are flexible and have the choice how to develop and host your bot without being bound to one specific way of implementation.
As your bot needs to be intelligent as well, you need to add services to your bot which make your bot smart. Therefore, the Cognitive Services provided by Azure let you add either language understanding or voice recognition services along much more to your bot to make the interaction with your users more human.
The full image can be downloaded here: Microsoft Bot Framework Infographic
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