New Topic: Windows Live Agents

For the past months, I've been working with something new: Windows Live Agents (or, as most of us will call them, bots).

ilitia was chosen as a Windows Live Agents Partner by MSN Spain, and we've been trying the official SDK. Few months ago, we started developing our first commercial bot, for an important client.

Now, the bot is reaching a beta stage, where it works and does some cool stuff on the inside, and will probably launch in few time (now the client needs to do a big QA and human relations check on it, to choose how it will talk, behave and look).

We're also starting a second commercial bot probably this week, so the work keeps coming and I'll probably be developing bots at least for a couple of months.

For this first post, I don't wan't to dig into complex stuff, so instead I'll provide info both about the official SDK (which uses BuddyScript, a custom scripting language developed by Colloquis, the company that Microsoft bought and adopted as the official SDK), and third-party SDKs and APIs available for indie developments.

So here they go :)

Official WLA SDK

Unnoficial SDKs & APIs

  • Incesoft: A small API for multiple languages (.NET, Java, C++) that allows to develop agents. The problem is that the server is hosted by them, so speed is not too fast as your bot/agent has to bounce from your "logic components" to their servers, then to Messenger servers and finally to the user's Messenger window.
  • DotMSN: Another API, this one fully run on your side, and extensible via .NET. While not professional and scalable, allows the greatest level of customization and control of your agents.
  • AIML: An open standard to develop natural language for Artificial Intelligence conversations, via XML.
  • Wikipedia info on MSNP: Wikipedia link to gathered information about Microsoft Notification Protocol, which MSN Messenger uses to transport the conversations.

Thanks to gabi for the Messenger Add-in & DotMSN info!

Note: Next post will start with handy tips, coding examples and other things interesting if you're developing WLAs.

Posted by Kartones on 2007-09-10

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