Leeds Sharp – An introduction to Microsoft Bot Framework + Cognitive Services

As an IT graduate, I am definitely not an experienced ‘techie’ however, as an avid learner when it comes to the technology world I have decided to write a monthly blog after every Leeds Sharp event about what I have learnt. I’m hoping my blog will help understand what the Leeds Sharp Meet Up is all about or for those new Developers out there that are just starting out.

Leeds Sharp is a great event for anyone with a passion for the Microsoft technology stack. This meet up gives me the chance to keep on learning and to meet new people that are passionate about what they do. This is for everyone and anyone from a novice to an expert when it comes to software development.

So here goes….

The last meet-up was an interesting talk as it demonstrated the way in which customers expect to be able to interact with companies and that it’s changing all the time. We looked at the change and how you can take advantage of it by creating chatbots using the Microsoft BotFramework.

It covered the basics, including what tools you can use and where to go in order to get started. Then we see how we can use Microsoft Cognitive Services to sprinkle AI magic on the chatbots and turn them from simple command-line pretenders to useful tools that customers will love.

The problem with open source software is that if you see something that isn’t quite working the way you think it should, you have no excuse to sit there and complain about it. You can do something about it instead.

You want to make sure that you incorporated every command line utility that Microsoft has been building out with the BotBuilder tools, including Chatdown, LUDown, and MSBot. MSBot, of course, gives you the ability to attach all of your services, including encrypted keys, and keep things stored in a single place for later usage.

You write up the MSBot work. You write up the LUDown and the Chatdown. You write the QnaMaker CLI code, and get all the services setup and attached to the *.bot file. You then start the preliminary work on setting up the bot code, deciding to start with the QnA Maker interface, since that doesn’t require any dialog management. You then need to read up on the sample code, see how it differs from SDK v3, and then plug it into you sample. While doing so, the sample wasn’t accessing the bot file. The bot file is just JSON, so you can just consume it like any JSON.

I hope this summary make sense and all your chatbots work.

Everyone is welcome to Leeds Sharp and you don’t have to be developer, you just have to have an interest in tech and the .NET Microsoft stack. Go check out the Leeds Sharp page to find out more about the next meetup on the 30th August 2018.

See you all soon!


Fran 🙂