New Chatbots in Power Apps!

New Chatbots in Power Apps!

Today in Power Apps you will find a new option in the menu, Chatbots!

Create Chatbots

When you click on chatbots you have two options Create and List. the Create option lets you create your first chatbot and list will show you the chatbots that you have created before.

It’s time to create that first chatbot!

Click on the + New chatbot button and you are only a few moments away from creating your first bot.

or maybe not …

You might have to setup your trial first.

Chatbot in Power Apps!

You will now get a welcome screen where you can set your location.

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But then quite quickly you will get the create a new bot dialogue to complete.

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in the above give your bot a name and select a language. If you are using multiple environments you might also want to select your environment.

Once you’ve completed the bot creation you will get the following confirmation screen. not that it might take a while to create that first bot.

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What could go wrong?

I got the following error in my chat

Parameters: Connection String: [No connection string specified], Resource: https://management.azure.com/, Authority: . Exception Message: Tried to get token using Managed Service Identity. Unable to connect to the Managed Service Identity (MSI) endpoint. Please check that you are running on an Azure resource that has MSI setup.
Diagnostic Trace Id: y6P44

But then i[‘m also seeing the progress of the bot creation

Creating your bot   Step 2 of 4: Assembling the necessary files ...
When your bot is ready, you can save your work, see analytics, and deploy it.

I’m not going to worry yet. Just wait for a bit. On refresh of my browser the warning already disappears.

When all is done you will see

Bot created   You can now use Power Virtual Agents with full functionality.

So one important lesson to be learnt! Be patient!

Configuring your chatbot

Now you’re ready to create your first Chatbot or Power Virtual Agent.

I will now start creating an Appointment scheduling now by creating a Topic called appointment scheduling

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Then i can create my trigger phrases, which I’m setting to the Make an appointment.

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Have you noticed these helpful ‘Power Virtual Agent in a day suggestion boxes? they completely guide you through the first steps.

And as you click on the Next button Power Virtual agent can create you a few more examples. Yes this is without me typing at all. This is AI in an AI a solution! Or a bot in a bot development tool!

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Authoring canvas

The next step is authoring canvas.

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Once you click on the above button the Power Virtual Agent canvas appears.

For people who are new to Power Virtual Agent, this is a bit like Power Automate. You can now specify your process.

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now you can add new actions to the process.

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There are 5 options

  • Ask a question
  • Call an action
  • Show a message
  • Go to another topic
  • End the conversation

Ask a question

When you select the ask a question you first need to supply a question then select the answer data types. In my case i’m selecting the Multiple Choice options and I supply 3 options.

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Now you can create the rest of the process. Make sure that you handle all the branches in the answers. power Automate automatically creates the branches as you supply the options.

Call an action

When you click on the Call an action you have 2 options.

  • Authenticate
  • Create a flow
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The Authenticate option will be disabled until you go to manage -> Authentication and create yourself a connection.

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The other option is to Create a flow

You can now create a flow using the Power virtual agent actions. This is a bit similar to calling a flow form Power Apps.

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Once you saved a Power Virtual Agent flow you will find that the flow is available in your call an action menu option

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Show a message

The show a message option is the same as the welcome message that we looked at earlier.

Go to another topic

The go to another topic option is an important one to keep control over your overall process. Imagine having a bot that handles all client communication within your organisation. Creating topics will help you keep each topic small.

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End the conversation

You can end the conversation in 2 different ways.

  • End with survey
  • Transfer to agent
  • Client/user hangs up

the last option you don’t need to do anything with it will be done for you.

If however you need your conversation to end you can either transfer the call to an agent or you can end the conversation and present the user with a survey.

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For the Transfer to Agent action please see configuring hand-off.

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