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Create An Intelligent Bot Application Using Microsoft Bot Framework


Introduction

In our previous article, we learned how to Create and Connect a chat bot with Azure Bot Service . In this article, we are going to create an intelligent bot application using Microsoft Bot Framework.

ngrok Software

So first we need to download ngrok software. What is ngrok ?

“ngrok” is a network tunneling software. The Bot Framework Emulator works with ngrok to communicate with bots hosted remotely. Click this link https://ngrok.com/download to download ngrok network tunneling software.

Bot Framework Emulator

The Bot Framework Emulator is a desktop application that allows bot developers to test and debug their bots on localhost or running remotely through a tunnel. So we need to download Bot Framework Emulator for both local and server testing. So please go through this link to download Bot Framework Emulator click here.

After successful download please run the exe file for Bot Framework Emulator. Then first time it will open a “App Settings Window” there we need to provide the exact path of ngrok in our system ( Provide “ngrok” saved folder path in our system ).

The following screenshot “ngrok” saved into C drive Downloads folder ( C:\Users\RajeeshMenoth\Downloads\ngrok ).

Web.config

When you are connecting to remote server or anything other than local host then we need to provide the following credentials “BotId” & “MicrosoftAppId” & “MicrosoftAppPassword” in Web.Config and Bot Framework Emulator. This we will get it from azure “AppSettings” in our created Web App Bot.

<configuration>
<appSettings>
<!-- update these with your BotId, Microsoft App Id and your Microsoft App Password-->
<add key="BotId" value="YourBotId" />
<add key="MicrosoftAppId" value="" />
<add key="MicrosoftAppPassword" value="" />
</appSettings>
</configuration>

Microsoft Bot Framework In Visual Studio

Click on “File -> New -> Project -> Visual C# -> Bot Application”

Note : If the Bot Application Template is not present in the Visual Studio 2015 then please go to “Tools -> Extensions and Updates”. Then search and Install the “Bot Application” in our Visual Studio.

Code

I just changed the default code for Web App Bot. Then we added our own logic into this C# Code in Bot Application.

using System;
using System.Linq;
using System.Net;
using System.Net.Http;
using System.Threading.Tasks;
using System.Web.Http;
using Microsoft.Bot.Connector;

namespace Bot_App
{
[BotAuthentication]
public class MessagesController : ApiController
{
///

<summary>
/// POST: api/Messages
/// Receive a message from a user and reply to it
/// </summary>

public async Task<HttpResponseMessage> Post([FromBody]Activity activity)
{
if (activity.Type == ActivityTypes.Message)
{
ConnectorClient connector = new ConnectorClient(new Uri(activity.ServiceUrl));
// calculate something for us to return
int length = (activity.Text ?? string.Empty).Length;
Activity reply = activity.CreateReply("");

// return our reply to the user
switch (activity.Text)
{
case "hi":
case "hello":
reply = activity.CreateReply($"{activity.Text} buddy, How may I assist you ?");
break;
case "how are you":
reply = activity.CreateReply($"Fine , What about you ?");
break;
case "Where are you ?":
reply = activity.CreateReply($"Bangalore , What about you ?");
break;
case "bye":
reply = activity.CreateReply($"Bye , Thank you !!");
break;
default:
reply = activity.CreateReply($"This is chat bot using Bot Framework !!");
break;
}

await connector.Conversations.ReplyToActivityAsync(reply);
}
else
{
HandleSystemMessage(activity);
}
var response = Request.CreateResponse(HttpStatusCode.OK);
return response;
}

private Activity HandleSystemMessage(Activity message)
{
if (message.Type == ActivityTypes.DeleteUserData)
{
// Implement user deletion here
// If we handle user deletion, return a real message
}
else if (message.Type == ActivityTypes.ConversationUpdate)
{
// Handle conversation state changes, like members being added and removed
// Use Activity.MembersAdded and Activity.MembersRemoved and Activity.Action for info
// Not available in all channels
IConversationUpdateActivity update = message;
var client = new ConnectorClient(new Uri(message.ServiceUrl), new MicrosoftAppCredentials());
if (update.MembersAdded != null && update.MembersAdded.Any())
{
foreach (var newMember in update.MembersAdded)
{
if (newMember.Id != message.Recipient.Id)
{
var reply = message.CreateReply();
reply.Text = $"Welcome {newMember.Name}!";
client.Conversations.ReplyToActivityAsync(reply);
}
}
}
}
else if (message.Type == ActivityTypes.ContactRelationUpdate)
{
// Handle add/remove from contact lists
// Activity.From + Activity.Action represent what happened
}
else if (message.Type == ActivityTypes.Typing)
{
// Handle knowing tha the user is typing
}
else if (message.Type == ActivityTypes.Ping)
{
}

return null;
}
}

}

Localhost

Run our Bot Application in local then it will open our application with a localhost port number. So we can use this in our “Bot Framework Emulator”.

The bot endpoint like this : http://your_bots_hostname/api/messages&#8221;

Bot Endpoint

In the Bot Framework Emulator we can add our localhost or remote server “bot end point”. We can directly connect localhost port number in Bot Framework Emulator. But note that in the actual server endpoint we need to given “Microsoft App ID” and “Microsoft App Password”.

Actual endpoint of our chat bot is getting from Apps Setting ( for this we need to create a Web Chat Bot in Azure Using Bot Service ).

Application Settings

We will get all the credentials of our Web Chat Bot App ( Azure ) in Apps Setting ( for this we need to create a Web Chat Bot in Azure Using Bot Service ).

Output

Click on the “Connect” then it will trigger our Bot Application.

Summary

We learned how to Create An Intelligent Bot Application Using Microsoft Bot Framework. I hope this article is useful for all Azure chat bot beginners.

Reference

Download

See Also

You can download other ASP.NET Core source codes from MSDN Code, using the link, mentioned below.

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Create & Deploy an ASP.NET Core web app in Azure


Introduction

Nowadays, most people are choosing web hosting on a cloud platform. Microsoft lovers like us basically select “Microsoft Azure” as our hosting environment.That’s the reason I have written this new article defining a simple way of hosting in Azure.

Before reading this article, you must read the articles given below for ASP.NET Core knowledge.

Azure Account 

First, we need to create an account on the Azure portal. Only then can we host the application in the cloud environment. So, please check the following steps to create an Azure account.

Azure Account Registration

Create an account through this link to Azure Portal.

Domain Registration

We need to host our application in a particular domain. Check the following steps –

  1. Click on “All resources” on the left side menu and it will open a dashboard with an empty or already existing list of resources that we have created earlier.
  2. Click on the “Add” button and it will open another window with multiple options. We can choose an appropriate option to host our application.
  3. As per our requirement, we choose “Web + Mobile” and clicked on the “Web App” on the right side.
App Name Creation

App Name Creation

4. It will open another form to fill up our app details to host. We need to give a unique name in the “Appname” section and It will create a subdomain for our ASP.NET Core application.

5. We choose subscription as “Free Trial” because we created a free account on the Azure portal.

6. We need to host our app resources in Resource group, So first we need to create a resource group name in our Azure account. But we choose existing resource group name “AzureDemo” that we are already created in our Azure account.

7.”OS ( Operating System )” we selected as “Windows”( As per our requirement ).

8. We can create our own App Service Plan name.

9. Application Insight will give you the more clarity about your hosted app. Eg. analytics, etc.

10. Click on the “Create” button and wait for the build success.

Resource Group Name

Resource Group Name

11. Another way to create the Resource Group Name – click on “Resource groups -> Add”.

Resource Group

Resource Group

12. Once the build is succeeded, then we can see this output.

Build Succeeded

Simple steps to create an Asp.Net Core Application

  1. Open our  VisualStudio then click on File > New > Project.
  2. Select Visual C# > Web > ASP.NET Core Web Application.
  3. We have given our application name as “MyFirstAzureWebApp”.
  4. Then, click OK.
  5. Click on the “Ctrl+F5”

App Publishing into Azure
We created a default ASP.NET Core application ( We have done some changes in UI Section) for the publishing process.

  1. Right click on the application and click on the Publish menu.
App Publishing

App Publishing

2. Click on the “Microsoft Azure App Service”

3. We choose our existing resource group name ( That we created ! “AzureDemo” ) in our Azure Portal and It will display the App Name inside the “AzureDemo” folder. This will display only when we are login through the Visual Studio using Azure credentials ( Email & Password).

Resource Name

Resource Name

OutPut

The application is hosted in given domain address  http://menoth.azurewebsites.net/

Reference

See Also

You can download other ASP.NET Core source codes from MSDN Code, using the link, mentioned below.

Summary

We learned how to create and deploy an ASP.NET Core web app in Azure. I hope this article is useful for all ASP.NET Core & Azure beginners.

 

Sending SMS using ASP.NET Core With Twilio SMS API


Introduction

In this article, we will explain how to Send SMS using ASP.NET Core With Twilio SMS API. Twilio provides third party SMS API for sending sms over the global network. So we can learn a little bit through this article.

Before reading this article, you must read the articles given below for ASP.NET Core knowledge.

Package Installation

  1. Install-Package Twilio -Version 5.9.1

This package will install all the sms,video,etc related classes,methods and API’s for twilio.

  1. Install-Package jQuery.Validation.Unobtrusive -Version 2.0.20710

This package will install all the bootstrap & validation related Jquery libraries in our project.

Important Notes

1. If you don’t have any twilio account then you should register a free account using the following link Click here & I choose language as “C#”.

2. Once registration is completed then we can access Dashboard and Console of our twilio account. We will get “Account SID & Auth Token Id” from Dashboard for sending sms.

Dashborad Console

Dashborad Console

3. We need a Twilio From number because that number has sent sms to the global network! So we need to enable Twilio SMS number ( This will send sms from ur “To” numbers ). Go to this link click here and Click on the “Get a number” button in the “Programmble SMS Menu” mentioned in the following screenshot.

Get a Number

Get a Number

4. You have to get $15 for sending sms In the twilio trial account. I can see in my account they are charging $1 + for each sms and after that you need to buy a paid plan.

Name Spaces

The following namespaces are providing “ASP.Net Core MVC” & “Twilio SMS API” Classes & Methods.

using System;
using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Mvc;
using RegistrationForm.ViewModels;
using Twilio;
using Twilio.Types;
using Twilio.Rest.Api.V2010.Account;

Configuring ASP.NET MVC in ASP.NET Core

We are going to add “UseMvc” Middleware and “AddMvc()” Configure Services in Startup.cs Class. The code given below clearly mentions that manually we need to add our controller name and an action name in “MapRoute”. We can change this controller name and action name, which is based on our requirement in the Applications.

 app.UseMvc(routes =>
            {
                routes.MapRoute(
                    name: "default",
                    template: "{controller=Home}/{action=Index}/{id?}");
            });

Startup.cs

The class given below contains the complete middleware details in our Applications. I choose a default project in our Visual Studio 2015. So automatically it will generate the following classes & methods.

using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Builder;
using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Hosting;
using Microsoft.Extensions.Configuration;
using Microsoft.Extensions.DependencyInjection;
using Microsoft.Extensions.Logging;

namespace SMSApp
{
    public class Startup
    {
        public Startup(IHostingEnvironment env)
        {
            var builder = new ConfigurationBuilder()
                .SetBasePath(env.ContentRootPath)
                .AddJsonFile("appsettings.json", optional: true, reloadOnChange: true)
                .AddJsonFile($"appsettings.{env.EnvironmentName}.json", optional: true)
                .AddEnvironmentVariables();

            if (env.IsDevelopment())
            {
                // This will push telemetry data through Application Insights pipeline faster, allowing you to view results immediately.
                builder.AddApplicationInsightsSettings(developerMode: true);
            }
            Configuration = builder.Build();
        }

        public IConfigurationRoot Configuration { get; }

        // This method gets called by the runtime. Use this method to add services to the container.
        public void ConfigureServices(IServiceCollection services)
        {
            // Add framework services.
            services.AddApplicationInsightsTelemetry(Configuration);

            services.AddMvc();
        }

        // This method gets called by the runtime. Use this method to configure the HTTP request pipeline.
        public void Configure(IApplicationBuilder app, IHostingEnvironment env, ILoggerFactory loggerFactory)
        {
            loggerFactory.AddConsole(Configuration.GetSection("Logging"));
            loggerFactory.AddDebug();

            app.UseApplicationInsightsRequestTelemetry();

            if (env.IsDevelopment())
            {
                app.UseDeveloperExceptionPage();
                app.UseBrowserLink();
            }
            else
            {
                app.UseExceptionHandler("/Home/Error");
            }

            app.UseApplicationInsightsExceptionTelemetry();

            app.UseStaticFiles();

            app.UseMvc(routes =>
            {
                routes.MapRoute(
                    name: "default",
                    template: "{controller=Home}/{action=Index}/{id?}");
            });
        }
    }
}

Code
The following code help to send sms over the global network using ASP.Net Core With Twilio SMS API.

[HttpPost]
        public IActionResult Registration(RegistrationViewModel model)
        {
            ViewData["Message"] = "Your registration page!.";

            ViewBag.SuccessMessage = null;

            if (model.Email.Contains("menoth.com"))
            {
                ModelState.AddModelError("Email", "We don't support menoth Address !!");
            }

            if (ModelState.IsValid)
            {
                try
                {
                    // Find your Account Sid and Auth Token at twilio.com/user/account
                    const string accountSid = "AXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX";
                    const string authToken = "6XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX";
                    TwilioClient.Init(accountSid, authToken);

                    var to = new PhoneNumber("+91" + model.Mobile);
                    var message = MessageResource.Create(
                        to,
                        from: new PhoneNumber("+18XXXXXXXXXX"), //  From number, must be an SMS-enabled Twilio number ( This will send sms from ur "To" numbers ).
                        body:  $"Hello {model.Name} !! Welcome to Asp.Net Core With Twilio SMS API !!");

                    ModelState.Clear();
                    ViewBag.SuccessMessage = "Registered Successfully !!";
                }
                catch (Exception ex)
                {
                    Console.WriteLine($" Registration Failure : {ex.Message} ");
                }

            }

            return View();
        }

New Tag Helpers

We used latest ASP.NET Core Tag Helpers in Registration page to access controller and actions, validation etc.





<div asp-validation-summary="All" class="text-danger"></div>



<label asp-for="Name"></label>  
<input asp-for="Name" class="form-control" />  
<span asp-validation-for="Name" class="text-danger"></span>  
<a asp-controller="Home" asp-action="Home" class="btn btn-info">Cancel</a>

Inject Tag Helpers

In the way given below, we can inject the Tag Helpers in our Application. Now, create the default “_ViewImports.cshtml” file in View Folder and add the code given below in that file.

@addTagHelper "*,Microsoft.AspNetCore.Mvc.TagHelpers"

Client Side validations

The Client Side validation is done with the help of Bootstrap & jQuery etc.

Validation

Validation

Registration Page

The message will send to the respective mobile number that you have given in the mobile number column in registration page.

OutPut

We will get a sms from the Twilio account, once we have registered successfully.

Reference

Download

See Also

You can download other ASP.NET Core source codes from MSDN Code, using the link, mentioned below.

Summary

We learned how to Send SMS using ASP.NET Core With Twilio SMS API. I hope this article is useful for all ASP.NET Core beginners.

QR Code Generator in ASP.NET Core Using Zxing.Net


Introduction

In this article, we will explain how to create a QR Code Generator in ASP.NET Core 1.0, using Zxing.Net.

Background

I tried to create a QR Code Generator in ASP.NET Core, using third party libraries but in most of the cases codes are not fully supported in ASP.NET Core because of some version issues etc. I searched a lot in Google but finally I found “Zxing.Net” and it is a library, which supports decoding and generating of the barcodes. I had a discussion with MicJahn and came up  with a great solution.

Before reading this article, you must read the articles given below for ASP.NET Core knowledge.

Zxing.Net

A library, which supports decoding and generating of the barcodes (Example: QR Code, PDF 417, EAN, UPC, Aztec, Data Matrix, Codabar) within the images.

Assemblies Required

The assemblies given below are required for QR Code Generator.

using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Razor.TagHelpers;
using System;
using System.IO;
using ZXing.QrCode;

Packages required

We need the packages given below for drawing and creating QR Code Generator.

"CoreCompat.System.Drawing": "1.0.0-beta006",    
"ZXing.Net": "0.15.0" 

C#

QRCodeTagHelper class given below contains QR Code Generator methods etc.

namespace QRCodeApp {  
    [HtmlTargetElement("qrcode")]  
    public class QRCodeTagHelper: TagHelper {  
        public override void Process(TagHelperContext context, TagHelperOutput output) {  
            var QrcodeContent = context.AllAttributes["content"].Value.ToString();  
            var alt = context.AllAttributes["alt"].Value.ToString();  
            var width = 250; // width of the Qr Code    
            var height = 250; // height of the Qr Code    
            var margin = 0;  
            var qrCodeWriter = new ZXing.BarcodeWriterPixelData {  
                Format = ZXing.BarcodeFormat.QR_CODE,  
                    Options = new QrCodeEncodingOptions {  
                        Height = height, Width = width, Margin = margin  
                    }  
            };  
            var pixelData = qrCodeWriter.Write(QrcodeContent);  
            // creating a bitmap from the raw pixel data; if only black and white colors are used it makes no difference    
            // that the pixel data ist BGRA oriented and the bitmap is initialized with RGB    
            using(var bitmap = new System.Drawing.Bitmap(pixelData.Width, pixelData.Height, System.Drawing.Imaging.PixelFormat.Format32bppRgb))  
            using(var ms = new MemoryStream()) {  
                var bitmapData = bitmap.LockBits(new System.Drawing.Rectangle(0, 0, pixelData.Width, pixelData.Height), System.Drawing.Imaging.ImageLockMode.WriteOnly, System.Drawing.Imaging.PixelFormat.Format32bppRgb);  
                try {  
                    // we assume that the row stride of the bitmap is aligned to 4 byte multiplied by the width of the image    
                    System.Runtime.InteropServices.Marshal.Copy(pixelData.Pixels, 0, bitmapData.Scan0, pixelData.Pixels.Length);  
                } finally {  
                    bitmap.UnlockBits(bitmapData);  
                }  
                // save to stream as PNG    
                bitmap.Save(ms, System.Drawing.Imaging.ImageFormat.Png);  
                output.TagName = "img";  
                output.Attributes.Clear();  
                output.Attributes.Add("width", width);  
                output.Attributes.Add("height", height);  
                output.Attributes.Add("alt", alt);  
                output.Attributes.Add("src", String.Format("data:image/png;base64,{0}", Convert.ToBase64String(ms.ToArray())));  
            }  
        }  
    }  
}   

Index.chtml

The code given below will display QR Code Generator.

@{  
    ViewData["Title"] = "Home";  
}  
   
<h2>@ViewData["Title"].</h2>  
<h3>@ViewData["Message"]</h3>  
   
A library which supports decoding and generating of barcodes (like QR Code, PDF 417, EAN, UPC, Aztec, Data Matrix, Codabar) within images.  
   
<qrcode alt="QR Code" content="https://rajeeshmenoth.wordpress.com/" />  
 https://rajeeshmenoth.wordpress.com/  

_ViewImports.cshtml

The code Injecting TagHelper given below is in the entire Application.

@addTagHelper "*, QRCodeApp"  

project.json

The dependencies given below are required to create QR Code Application.

{  
  "dependencies": {  
    "Microsoft.AspNetCore.Diagnostics": "1.0.0",  
    "Microsoft.AspNetCore.Mvc": "1.1.2",  
    "Microsoft.AspNetCore.Mvc.Core": "1.1.2",  
    "Microsoft.AspNetCore.Server.IISIntegration": "1.0.0",  
    "Microsoft.AspNetCore.Server.Kestrel": "1.0.1",  
    "Microsoft.AspNetCore.StaticFiles": "1.1.1",  
    "Microsoft.Extensions.Logging.Console": "1.0.0",  
    "CoreCompat.System.Drawing": "1.0.0-beta006",  
    "ZXing.Net": "0.15.0"  
  },  
   
  "tools": {  
    "Microsoft.AspNetCore.Server.IISIntegration.Tools": "1.0.0-preview2-final"  
  },  
   
  "frameworks": {  
    "net452": { }  
  },  
   
  "buildOptions": {  
    "emitEntryPoint": true,  
    "preserveCompilationContext": true  
  },  
   
  "publishOptions": {  
    "include": [  
      "wwwroot",  
      "web.config"  
    ]  
  },  
   
  "scripts": {  
    "postpublish": [ "dotnet publish-iis --publish-folder %publish:OutputPath% --framework %publish:FullTargetFramework%" ]  
  }  
}  

Output

QRCode Generator

QRCode Generator

Reference

See Also

You can download other ASP.NET Core 1.0 source codes from MSDN Code, using the links, mentioned below.

Conclusion

We learnt how to create a QR Code Generator in ASP.NET Core 1.0 Using Zxing.Net. I hope, you liked this article. Please share your valuable suggestions and feedback.

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