Creating a Bot Using Power Virtual Agents

Jan 26

Written by:
1/26/2020 2:47 PM  RssIcon

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You can easily create a chat Bot for your website using Power Virtual Agents. The Power Virtual Agents is a web based application that allows you to create a Bot that interacts with your customers.

It allows your non technical Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to monitor the Bot using the built-in analytics, and to update and enhance the Bot using an online web interface.

 

Getting Started

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To get started, go to:  https://powervirtualagents.microsoft.com/ and Sign in (using your Microsoft work or school account) to create your Microsoft Power Virtual Agents Bot.

 

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Select the Bot icon and select New bot

(Note: If you run into any issues, see: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-virtual-agents/fundamentals-get-started)

 

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Give the Bot a name and select Create.

 

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Your Bot will be created.

 

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Note: You can add multiple Bots, and navigate between them, by selecting the Bot icon, and then selecting the desired Bot.

 

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You can chat with the Bot using the Chat window.

Enter Hello? and click the send button.

 

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The Bot will display a response.

 

 

Working With Topics

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Click on one of the responses in the Chat window and you will see:

  • Topic Name – The Bot is organized by Topics. A Topic is a grouping of a single conversation path.
  • Topic Trigger Phrases – A Topic is started when one of its trigger phrases has been detected.
  • Message – The Bot responds to a user using the Message element. You can always find that element, and the Topic that it is contained in, by clicking on it in the Chat window.

 

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You can see all available Topics for the Bot by clicking on the Topics link in the main menu bar.


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You can create a new Topic by clicking on the New topic button.

 

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The New Topic screen will display.

 

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Fill out the form and click the Edit button.

 

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You will be presented with a Message box.

Delete it.

 

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Select the Add Node button.

 

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Select Ask a question.

 

 

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Enter a question and No as the first multiple choice option, and click the Add Node button to add additional possible response options.

 

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Enter Yes as the additional option.

A conversation path will display for each option you create.

 

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Click the Add Node button under the No option.

 

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Select Show a message.

 

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Enter a message and click the Add Node button.

 

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Select End the conversation, then End with survey.

 

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Design a response for the Yes branch.

Save your Bot.

 

Testing and Debugging Your Bot

 

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Note: If your Chat window ever disappears, you can always bring it back by clicking the Test your bot link.

 

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In the Chat window, turn on Track between topics and click the Reset button.

 

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Enter one of the trigger phrases for your new Topic and you will be able to trace and debug the conversation.

 

Working With Variables

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You can use variables to allow you Bot to capture and use conversation path data such as remembering a person’s name.

Return to your Topic.

 

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Hover your mouse pointer between the Trigger Phrases box and the Question box and click on the Add Node button.

 

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Select Ask a question.

Enter What is your name? and select the arrow next to Identity then select Person name as the type.

 

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Click the edit button next to the variable name.

 

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Rename it to UserName.

 

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You can now select any Message box, and select the variable from the variable drop down.

 

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The variable will be inserted.

 

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When we save the Topic, return to the Chat window, and click the Reset button, we will see the value, entered for the variable, used in the conversation.

 

Deploy

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To Deploy the Bot, select Publish from the main menu.

Select the Publish button.

 

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This will take you to a page that allows you to chat with the Bot.

 

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The Publish menu also allows you to configure channels for your Bot.

 

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A large number of channels to connect your Bot to are available.

 

Analytics

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You can click on the Analytics link to monitor the interactions with your Bot.

 

Price

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Currently the price is $1,000 for 2,000 sessions per tenant/month.

 

Links

http://powervirtualagents.microsoft.com