Everyone who must have heard about DevOps and creating solutions with bots in them, would be interested to explore more about it. This article chiefly is aimed at helping readers understand what bot is all about, how bots are built, and why DevOps should be applied to Bot development. In short, they will know about the benefits of applying the best practices of DevOps for the bot framework.
For those who are hearing about bots for the very first time or have heard but just have a faint idea about them, let’s look at what bots are.
– What are Bots?
Bots are apps possessing an interface that facilitates more natural interactions. These days chat bots are common. Whenever you land up on a website and if it is more attentive to delivering a personalized service to customers, then you will find a chat bot popping up and giving you an option of chatting or asking you to chat with them in case of any queries.
Bots are increasingly getting popular because of the improved technology and with that their ability to interact more naturally is also on the rise due to the inclusion of emotional element. It provides an easy way for businesses to provide information to its customers.
Bots are dependent on Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, though not totally. This implies that developers can create chat bots and make them work even without the use of artificial intelligence. The success of any bot depends on its ability to carry out successful interactions with humans. Bots not only communicate through text, they can also interact through speech.
Programmers usually believe that it just for creating bots for Microsoft or Skype. However, this is not the case. Bot framework consists of a bot connector which enables developers to write the bot a single time. The bot code thus generated assumes the form of a web API. This API will create interfaces into various places which have support for bots. Hence, if you wish to create a bot that runs on more than one platform, all you need to do is write the bot code and enable the interface into various endpoints from your bot dashboard.
An example of Chat Bot on Website:
– What you can do with Bot SDK?
Create instances of dialogues
Create single or multiple flows for the bot to use with customers
Store and remember bot conversations with multiple users
For FAQs, you can use Q&A makers based on different frameworks which helps to easily create a bot based on the existing content.
You can get the following facilities with the Bot framework
Easy interface into intelligent services
A connector to configure different support and end points
Facility to launch the bot code (web API) on various platforms
Botframework.com provides information on how to build bots using Node.JS and .Net.
Basically, bot functions as a web service which utilizes Azure framework so that it turns into a bot which carries on conversations with users. As bot is also a software, many of them from the developer community would want to utilize DevOps best practices alongside it. As the size of the project increases, you may want to include other DevOps guidelines into the Bot project. Now, you may want to know what exactly is DevOps.
– What is DevOps?
DevOps refers to a range of practices which facilitate collaboration of software engineers and IT and Infrastructure Operations in order to bring down the time involved in bringing the product to the market. It chiefly aims to instill features into manufacturing process at speed, identify and rectify problems as and when they occur, and ensure that other services carry on uninterruptedly.
In short, it is about consistently delivering value. It aims at helping to carry out something smoothly.
Whether it is a software program or an app, you will want it to run seamlessly.
According to Donovan Brown, Principal DevOps Manager-
“DevOps is the union of people, process, and products to enable continuous delivery of value to our end users“
If any program, website, app, bot, or function has to be successful and lead to end-user satisfaction, it has to run without any hiccups or breaks.
– Applying DevOps Best Practices to Bot Development
The chief reason why you should apply DevOps to your bots because bots function as software programs. If there are any interruptions in the running of these programs, it may leave the end-user or the prospective customer communicating with the bot dissatisfied or even frustrated. For instance, when a specific question is asked to your chat bot on your website and it is unable to answer it, the customer may opt for your competitor, who perhaps has better programmed bots.
As the use of bots is becoming frequent with a number of businesses embracing it, it is obvious that bots, of similar businesses, will function in a same way. If you want your customers to stick to your business then you should implement the best DevOps practices. This ensures that you deliver value to your customers on a consistent basis.
Have you applied the principles to DevOps in your bot development project? If no, you may consider to do that now. If yes, please let us know which principles helped you yield the maximum results. Please feel free to comment about any of your queries related to this write-up in the comment section below.