How do I create chat and voice-enabled apps?

Table of contents

  1. Chat Bots
  2. Virtual Private Assistants

Conversational Experiences give a  boost to applications by allowing interaction with users in their own language so that they are more engaged. These experiences are added to multichannel chat and voice interfaces and in-device voice assistant integration.

Chat Bots


  1. Azure bot framework
  2. Dialog Flow

The purpose of chat bots is to provide scalable support to customers in whatever channel they choose: Facebook Messenger, Slack, Telegram, text messages, and so on Since every business is different, chat bots must integrate with specific business processes and data. Although they all interface with a human, on the back-end, the source for data and information will be different. The challenge is to understand the intent behind the interaction and provide valuable information to the user.

Azure Bot Services and Microsoft Bot Framework


Why build your  bots from scratch, if you don’t have to? With Azure Bot Services and the Microsoft Bot Framework connectors, you can build, connect, deploy, and manage intelligent bots that interact naturally with your user. Azure Bot Service can be integrated with multiple channels to increase interaction and reach more customers. These channels include GroupMe, Facebook Messenger, Kik, Skype, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Telegram, text/SMS, Twilio, Cortana, and Skype for Business. You can also  integrate the bot in any web or mobile application.

To ensure the bot understands a person’s intent in the conversation so it can provide the correct answer,  Azure Bot Services uses a Language Understanding Service called LUIS. LUIS is cloud-based API service that applies custom machine-learning intelligence to a user's conversational, natural language text to predict overall meaning and pull out relevant, detailed information.

In LUIS, you can configure the user’s utterances and the corresponding intent.

Through the OutSystems strategic partnership with Microsoft, supported components are available to easily connect to LUIS and for the Microsoft Bot Framework, allowing developers to use these capabilities in the OutSystems IDE and using the OutSystems Visual Language.

There are reviewed components for LUIS and Azure Bot Framework that allow developers to use these capabilities in the OutSystems IDE using the OutSystems Visual Language.

The Forge component that should be used for LUIS is the Microsoft LUIS Connector.

Use the Azure QnA Maker, a cloud-base API service, that answers your users' natural language questions by matching it with the best possible answer from the QnAs in your knowledge base.

Dialog Flow


With Dialog Flow, you can build engaging voice and text-based conversational interfaces, such as voice apps and chatbots. It can be integrated with multiple channels to increase interactions and reach more customers. Some of the available channels are Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Facebook Messenger, and other popular platforms and devices.

The Dialog Flow Natural Language Processor is already integrated, so it analyzes and understands the user's intent to deliver the most useful responses.

There is a reviewed component for Dialog Flow that allows developers to use these capabilities in the OutSystems IDE and using the OutSystems Visual Language.

The Forge component that should be used for Dialog Flow is the Dialog Flow Connector.

Virtual Private Assistants


  1. Siri
  2. Google Assistant
  3. Alexa
  4. Cortana

Virtual assistants typically do simple jobs, such as adding tasks to a calendar, doing a search on the web and sharing results, controlling and checking the status of smart home devices, including lights, cameras and thermostats. A big challenge that leads to major benefits is integrating existing  already implemented VPAs like Siri, Google Assistant or Alexa with our own applications.

Siri


Siri is the built-in, voice-controlled personal assistant available for Apple users. Siri is designed to offer seamless of interaction with iPhones, iPads, iPod Touch, or Apple Watch and has access to every other built-in application on an Apple device - Mail, Contacts, Messages, Maps, Safari and so on.

To develop mobile applications that interact with Siri, developers have two options: Siri Shortcuts and the SiriKit. With iOS 12 or higher,

Siri Shortcuts


Siri Shortcuts allow you to use Siri to call and open your application with a certain context.

Third-party apps need to support Siri Shortcuts before you can add them to Siri. If you don't see a shortcut for a third-party app, make sure that the app is up to date and check the App Store to see if the app supports Siri Shortcuts.

To develop mobile applications that interact with Siri, developers can use the Siri Shortcuts plugin, with iOS 12 or higher.

The Forge component that should be used for Siri Shortcuts is the Siri Shortcuts Plugin.

Google Assistant


A voice interaction is a special kind of Android activity that is triggered and completed by a user's voice. By contrast, normal activity intents are start an action and  complete it with a touch interaction.

To integrate with Google Assistant you can use the Google Dialog Flow component.

 

Google Dialog Flow


There is a reviewed component for Dialog Flow that allows developers to use these capabilities in the OutSystems IDE and using the OutSystems Visual Language.

The Forge component that should be used for Dialog Flow is the Dialog Flow Connector.

Alexa


Alexa is Amazon’s cloud-based voice service available on devices from Amazon and third-party device manufacturers. With Alexa, it is possible to build natural voice experiences that offer customers more intuitive interactions with the technology they use every day.

Alexa converts spoken words to text using automatic speech recognition (ASR), deduces the speaker’s meaning using natural language understanding (NLU), and provides the underlying customer intent to your skill. The Natural Language Processor is already integrated, so it analyzes and understands the user's intent and can deliver the most useful response.

There is a reviewed component for Alexa that allows developers to use these capabilities in the OutSystems IDE and using the OutSystems Visual Language.

The Forge component that should be used for Alexa connection is Alexa.

Cortana


Cortana is Microsoft’s digital assistant. With the Cortana Skills Kit for Enterprise, businesses can now extend Cortana’s capability by building their own custom skills.

Cortana Skills Kit for Enterprise is built on top of Azure Bot Services; a skill is a speech bot. Use the Bot Framework connectors to build your speech bot, register it, and define your Cortana channel. The Bot Framework connectors provide features such as dialogs and built-in prompts so interacting with people is simpler.

Through the OutSystems strategic partnership with Microsoft, supported components will be released in 2019 to easily connect to Cortana Skills Kit and for Azure Bot Services, allowing developers to use these capabilities in the OutSystems IDE and using the OutSystems Visual Language.