We already know Microsoft is moving Cortana towards being a productivity-focused virtual assistant that will appeal to enterprise. However, the company always wants developers to be able to create their own enterprise-based assistants.

With that in mind, Redmond has today announced an open source bot that will give developers a helping hand. The bot accelerator for virtual assistance gives organizations tools to create their own in-house virtual assistants for business tasks.

Microsoft says it has been able to develop the solution by working with partners on their own virtual assistants. It is also worth noting, as these are in-house assistants, they won’t be in the way of the company’s own Cortana plans.

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“To increase developer productivity and enable a vibrant ecosystem of reusable conversational experiences, we are providing developers initial examples of reusable conversational skills. These skills can be added into a conversational application to light up a specific conversation experience, such as finding a point of interest, interacting with a calendar, tasks, or email, with more to follow. Skills are fully customizable and consist of language models for multiple languages, dialogs, and code.”

Open Source

As an open source project, anyone can create an assistant. In fact, we imagine some non-enterprise developers may want to play around with this tool and create an automated tool.

Either way, because of its open nature, dev’s have full control over outcomes. For example, you will have total control over the result and how users will be able to interact with the assistant.

“The scope of this functionality is broad, typically offering end users a range of capabilities. To increase developer productivity and enable a vibrant ecosystem of reusable conversational experiences, we are providing developers initial examples of reusable conversational skills.”

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