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Natural Language Understanding Services – a comparison

At this years’ SIGdial conference, researchers from the Technical University of Munich, department of informatics published the following paper – Evaluating Natural Language Understanding Services for Conversational Question Answering Systems Currently, there is no established way to evaluate different NLU (Natural Language Understanding) services. One of the primary goals of the research team was to define a way to compare these….

Azure Bot Service now supports Azure Web Apps

Today we’re happy to announce the addition of Azure Web Apps to the Azure Bot Service, one of the most requested features of the past few months. You can find the Azure Web Apps option in the new “Hosting Plan” drop down, when you create a new bot using the Azure Bot Service in the Azure Portal. In particular: “App Service….

HTML is not supported in Web Chat

Client side HTML rendering is not rendered for official Web Chat channels. Web Chat is intended to support markdown, and while markdown itself can support in-line HTML, this was not an intended feature for the Web Chat in the Bot Framework. Markdown in-line HTML Why isn’t HTML  supported? The primary reason behind this decision was to ensure a consistency of….

New Channel Inspector Features

Earlier this year in February, we first announced the Bot Framework Channel Inspector. Since then, we’ve been upgrading this preview tool to support new feature releases as the Bot Framework evolves. The Channel Inspector now includes support for four additional channels: Bing Cortana Skype for Business WeChat In addition, for all channels you can now preview two new features: Adaptive Cards Suggested Actions….

Documentation PDF now available

We’ve received quite a few requests for an offline version of the documentation, so we’re happy to announce that you can now download the Bot Framework documentation as a PDF. With the PDF version of the documentation, you can easily search, highlight, copy/paste, and print articles. To get the PDF, click “Download PDF” at the bottom of the table of contents. The….

Bot Framework outage on July 25, 2017

On July 25, Bot Framework services experienced an outage that affected many bots. This outage has been resolved and details are included below. The root cause of the outage was due to the unexpected expiration of a Bot Framework registration within Azure Active Directory. The outage lasted approximately 3 hours and 10 minutes. Scope of impact This outage affected bots….

Bot Framework degraded service on July 18th and 19th, 2017

On July 18th and 19th, the Bot Framework service experienced degraded service in 2 of our datacenters. The service has been restored to full health and details are included below. The root cause was a misconfigured maintenance job that resulted in high CPU across several servers and datacenters. Scope of Impact The maintenance job misconfiguration affected certain Azure Web Apps,….

Saving State data in SQL with .NET

Last week, we addressed a common customer question: “How can we manage our bot state data without relying on the default connector state service?” We provided one solution leveraging the botbuilder-azure packages available for nuget in .NET and as an npm module for Node.js. Those packages currently only support DocumentDB(CosmosDB) and Azure Table storage, in this article we’ll provide a step by….

Saving State data with BotBuilder-Azure in Node.js

We’ve discussed strategies to store state data for bots in .NET, in this article we’ll demonstrate how to do the same for bots built using the Bot Builder SDK for Node.js. In this sample, we’ll be leveraging the botbuilder-azure npm module to save our conversation state data to Azure DocumentDB. Initial Setup Ensure you have Node.js installed. You’ll need an Azure Account. Click here for a….