Bot Framework Compose 1.3.0 released, with features to make you more productive building bots
The latest release of Bot Framework Composer is now available and brings a number of exciting new features.
In fact, the December release of 1.3.0 is packed full: with over 70 bug fixes, 15 new features and a whole slew of other changes it’s obvious that the Bot Framework team have been busy: and it’s great to see continued investment in the Composer. This release makes it even easier to get started building bots for the first time and also adds features that more experienced bot authors will find useful.
You can read the full list of new features and bug fixes in the 1.3.0 Release Notes, but here are my highlights:
I’m excited to try out Orchestrator, which is in Preview this release. Orchestrator is an alternative approach to consume language understanding and will help arbitrate between multiple LUIS and QnA Maker applications to route user input to an appropriate skill or to subsequent language processing services.
It’s also good to see support added for provisioning Azure resources and publishing bots, right within Composer. I do a lot of demos of building bots using Composer, and publishing/deployment is definitely an area I see people get stuck on. Anything that can make that easier is a bonus.
A new Package Manager (in Preview) sounds super interesting: Using the native package management tools of NuGet and NPM, Composer’s Package manager allows users to find and install packages of prebuilt features such as customizable dialogues, LG templates, and custom actions. Installed packages will add new components to the bot and for users to customize in Composer.
This release also comes with optional Telemetry. This is telemetry about how Bot Composer is being used (not telemetry about your bot). If you enable this then the Composer team will have a better understanding about how we are all using their product. Unless you have good reasons to, why not go switch it on and help them out? The first time you start 1.3.0, you’ll see a popup asking you to opt-in:
You can also do this from the Data Collection section of the Application Settings page, which is where you go to change your settings later.
If you’re already using Bot Framework Composer you should get automatically prompted to upgrade the next time you start Composer:
The update is around 150MB and will then install after a restart:
Want even more?
If you’d like to know more about what’s coming and be on the bleeding edge of progress, you can also sign-up for nightly builds of the Composer!