Power Virtual Agents – Chatbot

Published: May 26, 2020

Introduction

  • Power Virtual Agents is used to create a powerful chatbot using a graphical interface, i.e., without the need for coding, AI expertise, or deploying any solution. Thus, this tool reduces the effort required to deploy and maintain a custom software solution.
  • After creating a chatbot in Power Virtual Agents, SharePoint developers can use it anywhere, i.e., in your live site, Microsoft Teams, Facebook, mobile or custom apps, etc.
  • You can implement functionality in the Power Automate Flows and consume it in your bot via Power Virtual Agents.
  • SharePoint developers can create a chatbot using Power Virtual Agents and use it on your website for interaction with customers.

Understand Power Virtual Agents Chatbot in Detail

  1. Steps to create a new chatbot
    • First, Sign-in into https://powervirtualagents.microsoft.com/en-us/ using your email. After sign in, you can create your chatbot using Power Virtual Agents.
    • Now select a Bot icon from the ribbon and click on “New bot.”
      New Bot
    • A dialog box will be opened like the image below. Insert your bot name and click on the Create button.
      Create a new bot
    • After the creation of Bot, you will be redirected to your Bot.
      Note: You can create multiple Bots and navigate between them by selecting the Bot icon and then selecting the specific Bot like the below image.
      Help Bot
    • Now you can start a conversation with your Bot using the chat window. Enter (Hi, Hello) like phrase and click the send button. The Bot will reply in the chat window.
      Power Virtual Agents
  2. Topics
    The bot plays its conversation based on Topics defined in it. When you create a bot, there are some prebuilt Topics available in it.
    From the left navigation, click on Topics, and you will see the list of 12 prebuilt Topics in the newly created Bot.

    You can create your own topic by clicking on the New topic.
    New Topic
    Add Topic’s Name, Description, and Trigger phrases (you can add multiple phrases using the Add button) in the below image. The trigger phrases are used to trigger a topic when a user adds a phrase in the chat.

    Click Go to authoring the canvas button.
    Go to Authoring Canvas
    Now, you can modify a Topic and write your own business logic in it.

    • You can add a new Node by clicking on the (+) button into it.
    • You can ask questions to users by adding an Ask a question node.
      Ask a Question
    • In Ask a question, you can ask a question to the user, and based on the answer, you can show a reply message to the user.
    • In the image below, we have asked the user a question and allow them to choose the answer options for the question.
      Trigger Phrases
    • Based on the selected option, you can respond to the user by adding a Show a message node like the below image.
      You have to add hardware issue request
    • You can also add another node based on your requirement from the node list in the below image.
      End the conversation
    • For condition-based logic, you can use Add a condition node.
    • To call a Power Automate Flow, add Call an action node.
      Call an action
    • To jump on another topic, use Go to another topic node.
    • To finish the conversation, add End the conversation node.
      Finally, save the topic and test it in the chat window.
  3. Entities
    • For storing the user answer values, Entities are used in Power Virtual Agents.
    • There are some prebuilt entities available in a newly created bot and are accessible through Entities in the Left Navigation.
    • You can add a new custom entity by clicking on New custom entity.
      New Custom Entry
    • A form will be opened for adding an entity. Add Entity’s Name, Description, and List items (multiple items can be added) that may be available in your entity. Save an entity.
    • Now, this newly added entity is available to use in your topics.
  4. Analytics
    Using built-in Analytics, you can monitor the Bot to update and enhance using an online web interface.
    Analytics
  5. Publish
    For deploying the latest content of your bot, you have to publish your bot by clicking on Publish.
    Publish

    • Test chatbot in the demo website
      • Go through Left Navigation → Manage → Channels.
      • Click on the “Demo website.”
        Channels
      • It will open a panel like the image below. Copy the website URL.
        Demo Website
      • Open the copied URL in the new tab. You are able to see a site like an image below and can test your chatbot here.
    • Test chatbot in live site
      • Go through Left Navigation → Manage → Channels.
      • Click on the “Custom website.”
      • It will open a panel like the image below. Copy the “Embed code” and put it into the site where you have to add this chatbot.
        Custom Website

Conclusion

With the help of this blog, Sharepoint developers can have a basics idea about creating a chatbot with the Power Virtual Agents. It allows SharePoint development companies to serve and resolve your customer’s queries quickly without requiring any code, intermediaries, or AI expertise. It effectively reduces the costs of dealing with complex issues and improves customer satisfaction by providing them self-help and being available 24/7 at their service. As it doesn’t require a single line of code, a chatbox requires no deployment of any custom solution. The chatbox just requires it to get published to be available for all the customers. Connect with the Tatvasoft Sharepoint Development team for more information about Power Virtual Chatbot development and implementation.

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