Microsoft is announcing several improvements across Microsoft Bot Framework and Azure Bot Service to make bot developers more productive.
Azure Bot Service enables customers to build intelligent, enterprise-grade bots while maintaining ownership and control of their data. Microsoft Bot Framework allows developers to build custom bots, which can then be used as integrated components. Updates to these services are:
Bot Framework: Bot Framework makes developers more productive in building rich conversational AI experiences. Microsoft is making adaptive dialog capability generally available, so developers can more easily build bots capable of switching contexts within a conversation. For example, a customer booking an airline flight online might ask the bot for a weather forecast for the destination city.
Bot Framework SDK & Teams integration: The Bot Framework SDK has been updated to allow developers to build bots from one common SDK that make the most of Microsoft Teams. For example, the Bot Framework SDK simplifies enabling Single Sign-On so HR bots can help provide user-specific information like vacation days and other scenarios that typically require user authentication. Furthermore, the Bot Framework SDK enables developers to build bots capable of proactively sending messages. For example, bots can alert employees to complete required training or take other outstanding actions.
Bot Framework Composer: Now generally available, this open-source tool provides developers with a central environment to get started with bot building quickly, allowing them to focus more on dialog management and less on the scaffolding to begin bot development. This incorporates some of the common components required to build bots such as Language Understanding service and QnA Maker.
Bot Framework Skills: Bot Framework enables developers to build bots that can reuse other bots as skills within an organization. This helps organizations manage the proliferation of bots, and also allows developers to collaborate in bot development. Now, organizations that use Power Virtual Agents to build no-code bots can use this capability to extend their Power Virtual Agents, which means anyone in the organization can build and collaborate bot development efforts.
Azure Bot Service (human hand-off): Bots can power organizations to scale their customer engagement. However, in some scenarios, a bot cannot serve the customer, or the customer chooses to speak to a human agent. To enable this scenario, bot developers previously had to build integrations to popular channels themselves. Microsoft has added new capabilities to simplify development of bots that combine AI and human agents with integration with popular customer service platforms like LivePerson and Microsoft Omnichannel for Customer Service.
Visit the Azure blog to learn more.