Microsoft has announced the integration of Skype Bot developer tools and the Microsoft Bot Framework
into one environment, which is being called as the Microsoft Bot Framework “V3”. According to Microsoft, this would open new avenues to develop bots which use new Skype platform features – such as visual cards and group bots – and publish to multiple channels from one place.
“Today, we are releasing an important update to the Bot Framework developed largely in response to feedback received from the active Bot Framework community. The update is focused on quality, schema features, and performance,” said Microsoft in its blogpost.
For making group interactions more productive—or just entertaining— Microsoft claims that Skype bots can now be a part of and respond to group conversations. Also users can create visual cards for compelling user to bot interactions with image cards, carousels, and receipts.
“You can start developing using the new SDK today and test it using the emulator or the developer version of the Skype Web App. You will be able to publish bots built using the new API when Skype apps supporting the new features are released for desktop and mobile platforms in a few weeks,” explained Microsoft in the post.
Skype has also collaborated with Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, to showcase a preview of Bing Entity and Intent detection so that natural language understanding is built right into Skype Bots. The company claims that there are new provisions created for third-party authentication where users can be connected to a service by having them sign in right on a card. Once they authorize their credentials, they can enjoy their bot experience without further interruptions.
Developers have now been provided access to all these new features within the bot framework. Using the Microsoft Bot Framework, developers are encouraged to publish their bots to Skype, and submit for promotion in the Skype and Microsoft bot directories, as well as get access to great bot building tools.
Along with these new updates, Microsoft Bot Framework has also introduced support for Skype calling, Slack buttons, and some Facebook bot features. The announcement comes shortly after Facebook unveiled
its Messenger bot updates earlier this month, that allows Facebook users to rate their favorite bots, just like rating apps on app stores.