We are excited to announce the November release of the Bot Framework SDK and Composer, driving the Microsoft Conversational AI platform forward and building on the announcements we made in September at Microsoft Ignite. Our November update sees new updates to the Bot Framework SDK and Bot Framework Composer, adding new capabilities for developers and improving integration with our key partners, including Power Virtual Agents and HealthBot.
Following our quality focused 4.10 release, we continue to push on this area, including improvements to the commonly used typing and transcript logging middleware behavior and associated error handling.
For developers building solutions for Microsoft Teams, new support for meetings has been added, including the Meeting Participant API and meeting specific notifications.
We continue to reduce developer friction for Skill development, adding the ability to test Skills locally, using the Bot Framework Emulator, without requiring an App Id and password. Additional scenarios, such as interruption support when calling a Skill and the ability to update or delete activities from a Skill have also been added.
Skills support has now also been added to HealthBot, a cloud platform for virtual health bots and assistants built on Bot Framework, with solutions now able consume, or for themselves to be consumed as a Bot Framework Skill.
We’re also undertaking significant investments in automated testing in this area, with the opportunity for you to review and provide feedback on the current specifications for Functional Testing and the Test Runner.
Users of the no-code PVA platform were already able to extend their solutions by consuming Bot Framework Skills. Now, PVA solutions can be opened in Bot Framework Composer, using a deep-link from the PVA portal, extending them with more sophisticated capabilities and enabling the collaboration between business users and developers on the same project.
When ready, Composer developers can publish directly from Composer, using a pre-configured publishing profile, back into the PVA portal, with new PVA Topics added using Composer then shown alongside existing Topics and immediately ready for testing.
An upcoming release of Composer, expected in December, will add improved provisioning and publishing support and enhanced QnA Maker knowledgebase integration.
As part of the December release, users will also have the option to enable new preview capabilities through the addition of feature flags. The first preview features planned include Orchestrator integration, the new intent detection and arbitration (dispatch) technology that runs locally within your bot, along with Form Dialogs, enabling the rapid generation of intelligent slot-filling dialogs, including complex capabilities such as slot disambiguation.
Nightly builds of Composer are available (enabled via the Composer settings page) which allow you to try the latest updates as soon as they are available.