Power Virtual Agents Preview
Microsoft released one unique product called Power Virtual Agents. Currently in Preview, so you can go to powerva.microsoft.com and sign into the preview program. Based on the official information this is a product, where the building of the chatbots should be much easier and with less coding.
Let’s try it 😊
So, after bot is created, it provides me nice portal, on the left side you can see topics / analytics / deploy options. Next to it I can try testing conversation with the bot immediately to see, how it is reacting to my questions. On the right side, you can follow 3 important steps – authoring the topics, deploy bot and monitor performance.
If I will start with authoring topics. There are predefined topics, system ones and user ones. I can use those or delete those and create my own ones. Also, it is good to know that there are some basic trigger phrases, so I can see and modify them as well.
If I will open edit window, I can see that there is possibility to setup name, description and trigger phases (or add new ones). Also, there is a nice icon/button on the right side called “go to authoring canvas” and if you will click on it, it will redirect you to the portal really similar to Microsoft Flow.
In general, if there was something, I really missed in Microsoft solution for the chatbots, this was it. I was always able to create some quick QnA session, but I was never able to use some more comprehensive conversation trees. And this looks like the conversation tree, right? 😊 so, Microsoft is finally closer to Google DialogFlow with such a functionality. I can still remember how my team tried to develop own tree builder like year ago and ends in hybrid chatbot using DialogFlow just because of those trees.
By this you can create your BOT really without coding.
What about Analytics? Well all the analytics is built in PowerBI, there is an summary + customer satisfaction charts and also possibility to download the sessions in .csv for deep analysis in your favorite piece of software.
Last activity is deployment of the chatbot to the testing or own site. It is important to say, that there are currently only two options for deployment, however, more will come soon.
Ant this is how it looks like after deployment