One of the most significant announcements at Build 2017 was the introduction of Cortana Skills Kit. Another major announcement was Adaptive Cards for the Bot Framework. Now, the company is merging those two services, bringing Adaptive Cards support to Cortana Skills Kit.
Adaptive Cards give developers tools to write cards for an app or service. For the Bot Framework, the card look the same across platforms. In terms of Cortana Skills Kit integration, the Adaptive Cards can adapt to the host look. Cortana will create cards in its own aesthetic.
Skills developers can improve their experience with the following tools:
- Input controls: Existing card formats (hero, receipt, thumbnail and sign-in) do not support input fields. With Adaptive cards, you can add input controls for text, date, number, time, toggle switch and choice set.
- Richer text: Text in the cards is not limited to title, subtitle and text fixed formats. You can make it richer and suitable for cards context with various font sizes, weight and color.
- One card language for all your card needs: You can bring in your existing cards (FactSet instead of receipt cards or image control with buttons for replacing hero card) and extend them with richer controls using one common schema.
Cortana Skills Kit
With Skills Kit, developers are powered to create applications and features for Microsoft's voice assistant technology. Working across platforms, users can create for Android, iOS, Windows, Xbox, and any Cortana-powered hardware.
Speaking of which, Microsoft this weekend announced further expansion of the assistant to smart home devices and introduced support for IFTTT.
Developers use the Microsoft Bot Network to build services and bots. These can then be added to Cortana and make her more powerful and useful. Microsoft wants to be more open to outside developers in a bid of expanding Cortana's capabilities.