Bot Framework Channel Inspector lets you easily compare platforms
It’s really great to see the product & documentation teams at Microsoft come up with interactive new ways to present documentation.
This is the latest: it’s a Channel Inspector which lets you see how Bot Framework constructs such as Hero Cards, Carosels and isTyping messages show up in the various different channels supported by the Framework. Because the Bot Framework lets you write your bot code once and the connect it to numerous different platforms this allows you to quickly see how your bot will render without requiring you to sign up for an account on every platform.
Here’s an example. Suppose you’ve added a Hero Card to your code in order to show 3 options. In the standard built-in Bot Framework webchat this would look like this:
But what about some of the other platforms. How would it look in Facebook Messenger? What about Kik?
By going to the Channel Inspector you can quickly change the platform and see the same thing represented in a different platform. Here’s Facebook Messenger:
Here’s the same thing in Kik. If you’d never used Kik then you could well receive a support call and not understand what you’re being told because you can’t relate to this slightly different layout:
Finally, here’s Telegram showing the same thing:
This is a nice useful tool that can be used either to help developers check how their solution will look on other platforms, or to discover the various different features available in the Bot Framework. Thumbs up to the team for this!