A brand new Bot Framework Emulator ‘Channel Inspector’ along with a big batch of updates to Direct Line and Web Chat channels are released today Feburay 2.
“Channel Inspector” is an interactive web tool that help browse features in each chat client. Using this too, developers can easily understanding style that users will see and limitations in the platform.
“Developers using Bot Framework platform already can easily connect their bot to new channels like Microsoft Teams and Cortana (coming soon) that offer variety of experiences to users such as rich cards, multimedia, and interactivity options.” Now using Channel Inspector will help them see how those features look and work on each platform.
Direct Line API, an easiest way to embed bot in mobile app, webpage, or server-to-server application, as well as also used within Bot Framework Web Chat control, today received a set of performance improvements with addition of two new features:
- Faster, internal high-speed storage
- Ability to manually guide Direct Line client to datacenters in Europe and Asia, for lower latencyBot Framework Web Chat control
The most exciting new feature is a backend storage system that will dramatically improve performance of Direct Line conversations. “This relies on Redis as primary store (with durable storage to Azure Table Storage) and is decentralized in a way that the old stack was not,” writes the team.
Further the team notes, with this launch, “US datacenters observing 100ms faster requests,” while “requests from Seattle to California dropped to 180ms from 300ms.” And, most dramatically “European datacenters is now 400ms faster.”
To enable this feature, open the Bot Framework developer portal, visit your bot, navigate to Direct Line configuration page and select the “High-speed storage” option.
Bot Framework Web Chat, an easily embeddedable iFrame control available as an open-source project on GitHub has now been released to NPM as well. And, you can now clone and deploy, as well as make a reference to it directly as a Node module.
This release in addition brings a list of bugfixes and support for new Direct Line WebSocket, that receives push messages and is more faster and efficient than old method.
Bot Framework Channel Emulator, a bot debugging tool available on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux machine now makes debugging experience even easier, the team said.