Adding your Azure bot framework bot into Skype

In this article I will show how simple it is to add your newly created bot into your Skype contacts.

Introduction

In the previous article we looked at how to create your first sample Azure bot which uses Azure Functions in the background. This article will continue from where that left off.

Channels

The bot framework has a number of pre-configured “Channels” which allow your bot to be easily added to other chat mediums.

If you aren’t already there, go into your bot and select Channels. Conveniently there is an “Add to Skype” button right there….(can’t imagine what that does)

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Adding to Skype

You click on the link to Add to Contacts

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you then “Add to contacts” – having to log in during the process (I need to get a better logo for my bot)

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about 30 seconds later my bot appeared in my Skype client as a contact (bonus if you recognize the song lyrics)

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Once it appeared in my contacts, I could talk to it – and while this is pretty simple stupid, this is VERY cool 🙂

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I have to say though, the “response” from the Azure functions seems very slow for what should be a trivial task. I have no idea why or how it is even working right now – I’ll get to that 🙂

Conclusion

Adding your bot to the pre-configured channels is as easy as following the instructions and we now have a bot running in Skype! It’s not quite getting me a beer from the fridge yet, but we’ll work on that 🙂


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How to create a sample nodejs bot which utilizes Azure Functions in 15 minutes

In this article I will demonstrate how to create a nodejs bot hosted in Azure. The bot will be created from a sample provided from Microsoft. The example bot will use Azure Functions as the trigger for it’s communication. You will need a Microsoft Azure account to be able to follow this process for yourself. This is only an introduction on how to get up and running, more steps in the process will come later.

Introduction 

Looking at the documentation on how to create a test a nodejs bot within the Microsoft Bot Framework can be found in the Microsoft documentation (What is Bot Builder for Node.js and why should I use it?).

I found another more interesting (less CLI) way to do it through Azure portal. As I work my way through figuring out how all this works I expect there will be a number of blog posts as there is a lot to talk about. This post is focused on getting us up and running.

As of February 2017 this Bot Service is in Preview and the process may change before it goes GA later in the year !

Creating a bot service in Azure

Within your Azure portal create a new instance of a bot service from within Intelligence and Analytics.

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Give it a name and resource group

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and create.

Once created you will be able to access your bot from your portal resources pane.

Setting up your service

Opening your new service for the first time, you’ll be presented with the form to create an AppId and secret password for your bot. Follow the prompts and get back to the screen to create a sample bot.

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We are going to select NodeJS and create an azure function bot for the sake of demo

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and then we wait……Ho hum, I wonder what’s going on in the background – probably magic….

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Developer interface

Once the bot has been created you will be presented with a web based IDE showing you the node code and a chat window on the right.


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You can talk to yourself!! Something I like to do all the time…..apparently….

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Back in Azure Portal

In setting up all this up, Azure auto-magically created a number of new services have been created in the Azure Portal to manage this functionality(which is why we had to wait for the background magic earlier). We can now see the following services making all this happen.

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How it works and how it is happening will come in future blog posts. For the moment we are up and running……and this blog post is getting long enough already.

Conclusion

This entire process took no more than about 15 minutes to complete. There is a lot more to explore around the deployment of the bot and the further development thereof, but for the moment we are up and running with a bot and Azure Functions (at least in development).

PS

I now have a nagging feeling that this is cool and all, but I really should check and understand how much those new magic services are going to cost…….

NWCJS meetup – Angular 2 for beginners

Next week, PSC is hosting the 6th meeting of the Northwest Chicago JavaScript meetup group – seems very quickly that we have got to 6 months and we’re stall having fun and blowing some minds 🙂

This time around we are very honored to have David Giard, the regional Microsoft Technical Evangelist coming and talk to us. TypeScript is being used by the Angular development team at Google and it is amazing to see collaboration between the two companies who in other ways are always competing against each other.

Come and see what all the noise is about Angular 2 – Pizza and “refreshments” will be provided 🙂

http://bit.ly/2kLMS1w

 

Angular 2 for Beginners by David Giard .

Angular 2 is a JavaScript framework that helps you build rich, interactive Single Page Applications.

This presentation will cover the basics of Angular 2 and the advantages of TypeScript – a language that adds features to JavaScript, including strong typing. You will learn about data binding, event binding, routing, and observables.

David Giard is a Technical Evangelist at Microsoft .  

 

 

 

What do Apple Airpods and Spongebob Squarepants have in common?

So in an uncommonly, just for the hell of it, post I wanted to share something techie but just for the sake of amusement. When my family was looking at the new AirPods online we noticed something rather amusing……for those of you who don’t watch Spongebob Squarepants you won’t get this, but we are talking about this guy – Mr Krabs

Mr Krabs looking angry when he realized these are earphones $159.00 

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Mr Krabs scared back into his AirPod shell

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Mr Crabs wide eyed stare

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Mr Krabs spying on his customers

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and Finally you’re never going to look at this the same way again….

iPhone, iPhone, Angry and Scared Mr Krabs

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