How do I create chat and voice-enabled apps?

OutSystems makes it easy to build and add conversational experiences to applications so they not only interact with users naturally, but they also use the users’ language, increasing engagement. OutSystems offers chatbot components and language analysis for building and adding:

  1. Chatbots
  2. Virtual Private Assistants

Chatbots


These chatbot options are available from the OutSystems Forge:

OutSystems.AI Chatbot


Why build a chatbot from scratch if you don’t have to? With OutSystems.AI chatbot, developers can build, connect, deploy, and manage intelligent bots that interact naturally with users, making it much easier to implement rich conversational experiences in an app. Powered by best-in-class Azure services, OutSystems.AI abstracts a lot of the complexities and glue code you previously needed to implement common patterns for chatbots.

OutSystems.AI Chatbot includes:

  • A chatbot interface 
  • A webhook template that allows quicker customization of the bot response logic
  • Interactive cards for adding clickable thumbnail images, attachments, and buttons to automatic responses
  • Integration with text and speech analysis 

To ensure the chatbot understands a person’s intent in the conversation so it can provide the correct answer, OutSystems.AI Chatbot uses a Language Understanding Service called LUIS. LUIS is a 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.

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

The Azure Bot Framework Connector, available from OutSystems Forge, enables easy connections to LUIS, Azure QnA Maker, and the Azure Bot Framework, allowing developers to use these capabilities in the OutSystems IDE and using the OutSystems Visual Language.  

  

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

   

Dialogflow


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

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

Virtual Private Assistants


Virtual private assistants (VPAs) add tasks to a calendar, search the web and share results, and control and check the status of smart home devices, including lights, cameras, and thermostats. With OutSystems, developers have the tools to integrate these VPAs with their 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 the option to use Siri Shortcuts.

 

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

Siri Shortcuts allow Siri to call and open an application with a certain context. Third-party apps must support Siri Shortcuts before developers can add them to Siri. Developers should make sure that the app is up to date and check the App Store to see if the app supports Siri Shortcuts.

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

Google Assistant


Voice interaction is a special kind of Android activity that is triggered and completed by a user's voice. By contrast, normal activity intents start an action and complete it with a touch interaction. To integrate with Google Assistant you can use the Google Dialogflow component. (See Dialogflow for more information.)

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 in the Forge called Alexa that allows developers to use these capabilities in the OutSystems IDE and using the OutSystems Visual Language.

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 Azure Bot Framework Connector to build your speech bot, register it, and define your Cortana channel. The Azure Bot Framework, available from the Forge, provides features such as dialogs and built-in prompts so interacting with people is simpler, allowing developers to use these capabilities in the OutSystems IDE and using the OutSystems Visual Language.