Overview

Software bots are everywhere. You probably interact with them every day without realizing it. Bots, especially chat and messenger bots, are changing the way we interact with businesses, communities, and even each other. Thanks to light-speed advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and the ready availability of AI services, bots are not only becoming more advanced and personalized, but also more accessible to developers.

Regardless of the target language or platform, developers building bots face the same challenges. Bots must be able process input and output intelligently. Bots need to be responsive, scalable, and extensible. They need to work cross-platform, and they need to interact with users in a conversational manner and in the language the user chooses.

The Microsoft Bot Framework, combined with Microsoft QnA Maker, provides the tools developers need to build and publish intelligent bots that interact naturally with users using a range of services. In this lab, you will create a bot using Visual Studio Code and the Microsoft Bot Framework, and connect it to a knowledge base built with QnA Maker. Then you will interact with the bot using Skype — one of many popular services with which bots built with the Microsoft Bot Framework can integrate.

Objectives

In this hands-on lab, you will learn how to:

  • Create an Azure Bot Service to host a bot
  • Create a Microsoft QnA knowledge base, populate it with data, and connect it to a bot
  • Implement bots in code and debug the bots that you build
  • Publish bots and use continuous integration to keep them up to date
  • Plug a bot into Skype and interact with it there

Prerequisites

The following are required to complete this hands-on lab:

Resources

Click here to download a zip file containing the resources used in this lab. Copy the contents of the zip file into a folder on your hard disk.


Exercises