It’s no secret that Satya Nadella has put a lot of stock into the development of Artificial Intelligence. It only took a few short months for Microsoft to bring the Build 2016 announcement of the Microsoft Bot Framework to reality by the end of May 2016. Moving one step forward, the company has asked for feedback and ideas on how to make the AI-based chat bots more personable and efficient for interaction with customers.
As a result of the Botness conference in San Franciso and Skype Hackathon held right after, Microsoft released the July update with many new features for their Bot Framework. The community spoke highly of the need for Skype, Slack, and Facebook features and as of yesterday, they got what they wanted. As a result, the framework was tweaked with some API/SDK changes as well as some new enhancements:
- Well-defined support for cards and carousels for both channels that support them natively (Skype, Facebook) and text-rendered for those that don’t;
- Automatic configuration of Skype – no copy-and-paste needed!
- Simplified addressing of users and groups;
- Additional dialog types and capabilities in the Bot Builder SDK;
- Added Cognitive Services LUIS Intent Dialog type to the SDK;
- Support for Skype calling features added to the SDK;
- Enhancements to the Bot Framework Emulator;
- Support for Slack’s recent addition of buttons; and
- Support for many of Facebook’s newest Bot features.
Current bots will need to be updated with the new framework to use these new features. While they can be maintained without the update, it’s highly recommended to implement the changes sooner rather than later. To upgrade your bot, make sure to check out the step by step guide to implement the new API (V3) bot registration.