Get Started With Bot Development With Microsoft Power Virtual Agents - Step By Step - Part One

Overview

 
Welcome to Bot Development with the Microsoft Power Virtual Agent. During this entire article series, we will learn how to create a Chatbot using Microsoft Power Virtual Agent without writing a single line of code. From this series you will learn the complete end to end process from development to deployment.
 
I have divided this article series into five parts,

What is Power Virtual Agent?

 
PVA (Power Virtual Agent) empowers us to quickly create powerful chatbots for our businesses or organization without any help of developers and data scientists.
It offers us powerful UI, using which one can easily create chatbots without any knowledge of any coding background. It’s a game changer in the world of Power Platforms.
 
Also, I love the slogan mentioned in the official site – “Powerful alone. Better together”. This is true. Its connectivity with Office 365 components like Power Apps, Power BI, Power Automate, makes the business process smoother.
 
Get Started With Bot Development With Microsoft Power Virtual Agents
 

How to start with the chatbot development process?

 
Visit the following site,
 
https://powervirtualagents.microsoft.com/en-us/
 
Click on Sign Up
 
Get Started With Bot Development With Microsoft Power Virtual Agents
 
It will ask for the email address. Enter your Office 365 email address.
 
Get Started With Bot Development With Microsoft Power Virtual Agents
 
It will open a form. Fill in the form and click on create.
 
Get Started With Bot Development With Microsoft Power Virtual Agents
 
Once your account is created, Sign In using the following URL,
 
https://powerva.microsoft.com/#/
 
Once you open the screen, it will show you the following screen.
 
Get Started With Bot Development With Microsoft Power Virtual Agents
 
Now, let’s talk about each of the components in brief!
 

Left Navigation

 
On Left navigation, we have the following option.
  • Home
  • Topics
  • Entities
  • Analytics
  • Publish
  • Manage
Get Started With Bot Development With Microsoft Power Virtual Agents
 
Topics
 
In simple words,  we can say that Topic defines how a bot will play their conversation.
 
Get Started With Bot Development With Microsoft Power Virtual Agents
 
Example
 
If I need it, when user enters "Hi," my chat bot will respond with some greeting message and in return it will ask a question, “How may I help you?” and based on the user input it will ask some more questions and take user input.
 
So, we can say it’s a questionnaires series. When we create any chat bot in Power Virtual Agent, it will automatically create some OOTB topics.
 
It also provides “Suggest topics” feature. When we click it, it will ask for URL of the site. I have entered the below URL of my YouTube channel.
 
Get Started With Bot Development With Microsoft Power Virtual Agents
 
https://www.youtube.com/user/dhruvin953798
 
Click on Add.
 
Now, click on Start button. It will take some time. Once it has completed the process, it has the following suggestions from my YouTube channel’s home page.
 
Get Started With Bot Development With Microsoft Power Virtual Agents
 
If we wish to add the suggested topics to the existing topics, click on – “Add Existing Topics”.
 
Get Started With Bot Development With Microsoft Power Virtual Agents
 
We will learn more about topics in my next article about creating chatbots.
 
Entities
 
The main advantage of Power Virtual Agent is it understands natural language. Sometimes we need to pick the value from the user input and need to save in our database.
 
PVA supports so many OOTB entities. With that we can create our custom entity as well.
 
Let’s say If a bot asks a question like, “please enter your email address.”
 
At that time if user enters – “My email is dhruvinshah16@gmail.com “ or “Email : dhruvinshah16@gmail.com ”, then from the chatbot response I only need the actual email address, which is dhruvinshah16@gmail.com, and want to store in my variable. At that time this concept is useful.
 
Below is the screen of the OOTB email entity. You can see here, in Saved value it tracks only the email address from the User Input.
 
Get Started With Bot Development With Microsoft Power Virtual Agents
 
User Input >> Retrieve Entities >> Save Value
 
In my next article series, we will talk more about this.
 

Conclusion

 
I hope you love this article! Stay connected with me for the entire chat building process.
 
Happy Chat Botting!!!!!