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Posted by on Dec 15, 2017 in Bot Framework | 2 comments

Azure Bot Service & LUIS are now GA! Here’s what’s changed.

Azure Bot Service & LUIS are now GA! Here’s what’s changed.

Good news for enterprise developers everywhere who might have been waiting for these services to lose their Beta tags. Both the Azure Bot Service and the Language Understanding Intelligence Service (LUIS) went GA in the last day or so.

If you’d like to watch the announcement, you can do in this episode of the AI Show:

I’ve talked extensively about both these services previously, so I won’t cover old ground, but here’s some new information:

Azure Bot Service

New Name

If you’re looking in the Azure Portal for “Bot Service (Preview)”, or “Bot Service”, you won’t find it. It’s now listed as “Web App Bot”:

New Pricing & Locations

When creating your bot you now have a choice of different locations where your bot will live. The Bot Service is now generally available in 9 different regions namely West US, East US, West Europe, and Southeast Asia including new deployments in North Europe, Australia Southeast, Australia East, Brazil South, and East Asia regions.

There is also a published two-tier pricing scheme. There is a free tier, capped at 10,000 messages per month with no SLA, and a paid-for tier, priced per 1,000 messages and with a 99.9% SLA:

Good-bye, dev.botframework.com

It’s time to wave a fond farewell to the Bot Framework Dashboard at dev.botframework.com. All the functionality from this dashboard has been moved into Azure blades, which makes a lot of sense.

“I’ll personally miss the Bot Framework Dashboard, though I fully understand why it’s better inside the Azure Portal. It’s made bots discoverable and consumable to many, many people. I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone involved in the Bot Framework Dashboard who have done such a great job getting us to this point. Truly, us bot developers have been “abstracting on the shoulders of giants” (stolen from @shanselman).”

I’ll personally miss the Bot Framework Dashboard, though I fully understand why it’s better inside the Azure Portal. It’s made bots discoverable and consumable to many, many people. I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone involved in the Bot Framework Dashboard who have done such a great job getting us to this point. Truly, us bot developers have been “abstracting on the shoulders of giants” (stolen from @shanselman).

All bots currently setup in the Bot Framework Dashboard need to be migrated over to Azure by 31st March 2018. If you go to your Bot Framework Dashboard there is a ‘Migrate’ button for each bot to help with the process:

When you actually perform the migration, the following steps happen:

  • Web App Bot or Functions Bot: For these types of bots, the source code project is copied from the old bot to the new bot. Other resources such as your bot’s storage, Application Insights, LUIS, etc. are left as is. In those cases, the new bot contains a copy of the IDs/keys/passwords to those existing resources.
  • Bot Channels Registration: For this type of bots, the migration process simply creates a new Bot Channels Registration and copies the endpoint from the old bot over.
  • Regardless of the types of bot you are migrating, the migration process does not modify the existing bot’s state any way. This allows you to safely roll back if you need to do so.
  • If you have continuous deployment set up, you will need to set it up again so that your source control connects to the new bot instead.

Once you have migrated, there is rollback procedure if things don’t go well.  More information about the migration in this MSDN article: Migrate your bot to Azure.

 

 

When you go to the Bot Framework Dashboard now, each bot has a ‘Migrate’ button next to it.

LUIS

For LUIS, the changes seem smaller. The luis.ai dashboard is still where setup and management takes place, although there’s been some UI design changes, and all instances are tagged “v0.1″…which hints at a possible new version around the corner.

However, there have been some under-the-hood improvements:

  • You can now create up to 500 intents and 100 entities per application.
  • Now available in 7 new regions (South Central US, East US, West US 2, East Asia, North Europe, Brazil South, Australia East) on top of the 5 existing regions (West Europe, West US, East US2, West central US, South east Asia).
  • The Language Understanding service is also supporting more languages for its various features, in addition to English.
    • The prebuilt entities (representing common concepts like numbers, date, time) previously available in English are now available in French and Spanish.
    • Prebuilt domains (off-the-shelf collections of intents and entities grouped by domain that you can directly add and use in your application) are now also available in Chinese.
    • Phrase suggestions that help the developer customize your LUIS domain vocabulary are available in 7 new languages Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, French, Portuguese, German, and Italian.

 

References / More Information

https://blog.botframework.com/2017/12/13/conversational-bots-deep-dive-whats-new-general-availability-azure-bot-service-language-understanding/

https://channel9.msdn.com/Shows/AI-Show/Announcing-General-Availability-of-Azure-Bot-Service-and-Language-Understanding-service

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/conversational-bots-deep-dive-what-s-new-with-the-general-availability-of-azure-bot-service-and-language-understanding/

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/Bot-Framework/bot-service-scenario-overview

 

 

2 Comments

  1. It appears that migration of function bots isn’t enabled just yet, at least that is what I’m being told on my bots: “Migration is currently disabled for ‘Functions Bot’ bots.”

  2. It appears that migration of function bots isn’t enabled just yet, at least that is what I’m being told on my bots: “Migration is currently disabled for ‘Functions Bot’ bots.”

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