Thursday, 15 March 2018

Bot Framework Tutorial 2: Create Your First Chat Bot in Azure(Step by Step)

In this Demo, we are going to build and test a complete bot created in Azure in just few steps!
Watch the video lessons here.

Content

  1. What is Bot Framework?
  2. What you need for this Demo
  3. Step-by-Step Procedure
  4. Final Notes
  5. Next Steps


1. What is Bot Framework?

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Bot Framework is a set of tools provided by Microsoft to help you build full functional interactive bots very easily. The Bot Framework was announce just less than two years ago. But somehow, many developer either don't know about it, or they don't know what they can accomplish with it.
To learn more about Bot Frame work read Introduction to MS Bot Framework by Kindson The Genius.

How It Works
Bot Framework is based on the Bot Builder SDK and Bot Framework Connectors


2. What you need for this Demo


You will need the following to complete this demo. Interestingly all you need for this demo is free! You don't need to spend a dime!.


Microsoft Live ID
You can create a Microsoft Account and recieve the ID for free. To create an account if you don't already have one, please visit this link: Create Microsoft Account

An Azure Subscription
You can create an free 30 days trial subscription in Azure. You can create a subscription from here: Create and Azure Subcription.


3. Step-by-step Procedure


This 3-step procedure would take about 7 minutes to complete, depending on your internet  connetion speed.

Step 1: Create an Free MS Azure Subcription
If you have not already created the subscription, you can create a subscription from here: Create and Azure Subcription.

Step 2: Create a Bot using Bot Service
Log in the Microsoft Azure, by visiting portal.azure.com
In the Search box Type Bot Service. Bot Service shows up
Click on Bot Service. The windows is show a in Figure 1

Figure 1: Open Bot Services


(A second way to get here is to visit dev.botframework.com and then click on Create Bot, the window is shown as in Figure 2)
Figure 2: dev.botframework.com Window


When you click on Bot Service. The next window would open which displays a list of all the bots you have previously created.

Figure 3: Bot Service showing existing bots


To Create a new bot, click on Add Service (Close to the + sign under Bot Services). The next window opens

Figure 4:  Create a Web App Bot


Click on Web App Bot under Bot Services. Then you will see a Create button

Figure 5: Bot Creation Page


Click on the Create button. It would open the Bot creation form so you can fill in the needed information for the new bot.

Figure 6: Bot Creation Form

Fill in the data and click Create
  • Bot Name: Enter the name you want to assign the bot
  • Subscription: Leave this as it is
  • Resource Group: Leave it at Create New. Don't enter anything in the box
  • Location:  Leave it at the default value
  • Pricing: Leave at the default value
  • App Name: Same name as the name you entered as the Bot Name

  • Leave every other item in its default value.
You can also click on Pin to dashboard. So you can see it in the home page
Click on Create.
By now, your bot is created and you can see the name of the bot.
Click on it so it would display a page that can allow you to test the newly created bot. The page below is displayed

Figure 7: Bot Management Window



4. Step 3: Test the Bot


Hurray! You have successfully created a bot and now we are ready to test it on real chat.
We would open the chat, send a message to the bot and see how it responds
Under Bot Managment, Click on Test in Web Chat
You will see 'Authorizing Chat with Bot' displayed for a short time. Then the chat window opens up
Type 'Hello' and press Send

Figure 8: Testing Bot in Web Chat



If you get a response, then you have successfully created you first bot!
If not, or you have some challenges, leave a comment in the comment box at the left side of this page.


5. Final Notes


As you can see, it is quite easy to create a Chat Bot.  However, what we just created is the very basic bot. How it works is that it echoes back the users input back to the user. Not much functionality. In subsequent lessongs, we would actually create a bot that would give an 'intelligent' response to any user input.


6. Next Steps


Go ahead to read about the various types of bot you can create. This is under Learn About Bot Templates