While technology evolves, the number of chat applications such as WhatsApp, Messenger increasing rapidly. As chat applications are used for day to day life, virtual chatbots imitate the human conversations for various tasks becoming a special place in the technology world. As of the oxford dictionary “ A Chatbot is a computer program designed to simulate conversation with human users, especially over the Internet.”
When it comes to chatbot development, developers can find multiple chatbot frameworks with a lot of sources which helps developers to develop a chatbot and integrate to different chat applications easily.
Existing Chatbot Frameworks.
· Microsoft Bot Framework
· IBM Watson
Let’s dig into deep of these frameworks.
Microsoft Bot Framework
The above diagram from the bot framework official documentation explains everything about Microsoft Bot Framework at a glance. Bot Framework SDK contains services to create bots easily and it is available in C#, JS, Python, and Java. But as detailed in the diagram we need azure bot service to connect our chatbot with chat applications such as telegram, messenger, etc.
Another product by Facebook Engineering and is also coming as an SDK for NodeJS, Python, Ruby and Go.
In my opinion, Dialogflow is the most famous chatbot framework and this helps the developers to create a simple chatbot without any programming knowledge. But this is a Google Service runs on the Google cloud platform. This means the users do not have control over their chatbots.
IBM Watson is also a chatbot service as dialogflow provided by IBM. These chatbots can be built easily but they have only limited features and also need to pay to expand.
Rasa can be considered as an open source machine learning framework for automating conversations. This framework supports integrating the bot to various chat applications easily. Developers just need a piece of knowledge in programming into some extent to develop bots with Rasa. But on the other hands this framework gives full control over the chatbot. This chatbot can setup in our own server and use as we like. And also as this is an open source framework we can extend their given functionalities as we like.
One of these chatbots cannot be marked as the best chatbot framework as the decision differentiates with the requirement of the developer. If someone needs a quick and small chatbot for a demo without any huge functionalities such as consuming 3rd party APIs, Dialogflow maybe a suitable framework.
But if someone needs to get data from 3rd party API and have to work with a lot of users with low cost and customized functionalities, Rasa may be a suitable framework for him. We can setup rasa in our own server and use as much without any limitations, and also we can customize their code to extend their functionalities as we need.