What do you like best?
It amazed me when I started building my first ChatBot using Azure Bot framework, cognitive services. I used C# to develop first Bit application. Initially you will feel overwhelmed witht so many things need to consider and follow step by step structured approach to build you first application, integrate with NLP / LUIS, host your web services at azure, connect to database, identify intents and answers and then test using emulator comes with SDK. Still it is one of the simple SDK comes from Azure that will let you build your Bot using Bot framework and LUIS relatively easy way.
Though LUIS is still maturing still it amazed me.
Bot Dev portal will help you to use the framework and bot connector will help you to place your bot in more than 10 channels including Web, FB, Slack, Twillio and so on. Fairly robust SDK and you will enjoy your bot development. NB: used MongoDB as backend database.
What do you dislike?
Connection problem - I have observed intermittent connection problem with multiple channels, specially FB.
LUIS is still maturing. User Interface is not best but emerging.
Applications development, use of cognitive services, integrations with LUIS, Channels, hosting database & services and training your bot is little overwhelming.
Recommendations to others considering the product
Absolutely. May be many things need to be considered before you start developing your first bot application using Azure Bot framework but I can summarize those for you here:
1. Pick programming language : Node JS or C#
2. Have you MSDN account ready for Azure, Dev Portal, LUIS
3. Create VM for a DB. Use NoSQL for better results.
4. Host your bot application (using Bot services) in Azure.
5. Identify Channels, complete integrations. you may need SDK of different channels like FB.
6. Integrate LUIS. Train you bot
7. Use Emulator to test your Bot.
You will be amazed!
What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
Providing first level of support to reduce load from live chat agent. more than 60% questions asked to our livechat agents are simple enough to be answered by a bot if it can understand the intent correctly and trained properly. Chat bot has great benefit of 24x7 availability and can reduce significant load from live chat agent