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Power Virtual Agents bots as skills with Bot Framework bots – Public Preview

We are happy to announce that Power Virtual Agents bots can now be used as a skills with Bot Framework bots. If you have Bot Framework bots deployed in your organization, you can now easily extend them with Power Virtual Agents functionality using this new feature.

If a Bot Framework bot matches a user utterance to Power Virtual Agents bot skill’s trigger phrases at runtime, it will automatically pass this user utterance to the Power Virtual Agent bot to handle. The Power Virtual Agents bot will then evaluate the user utterance, extract the Entities for any slot-filling and kick off a matching Power Virtual Agents Topic.

Add your Bot Framework bot to Allowlist in Power Virtual Agents

All Bot Framework bots intending to use a Power Virtual Agents bot as a skill must be added to the Allowlist of this bot first. The Allowlist can be found under the Manage tab on Skills page in Power Virtual Agents:

Manage allowlist for Power Virtual Agents bot

Manage allowlist for Power Virtual Agents bot

By default, no Bot Framework bots can use your Power Virtual Agents bot as a skill. To enable some Bot Framework bots to establish a skill connection to your Power Virtual Agents bot , add them to your bot’s Allowlist by their App ID. 

Add Bot Framework bot's App ID to the Allowlist

Add Bot Framework bot’s App ID to the Allowlist

Download a Power Virtual Agents skill manifest

Every Power Virtual Agents bot now has a skill manifest, a JSON file that describes skill’s name, interface, and skill’s trigger phrases. Bot Framework bots will use this manifest to configure a skill connection to the bot. At runtime, the manifest data will be used to identify when a skill should be triggered in response to a user utterance.

All Power Virtual Agents skill manifests are automatically generated and updated according to version 2.2 skill manifest schema. A Virtual Agents bot has 2 different skill manifests, Test manifest and Published manifest.

Test manifest — allows to connect to the Test version of your Power Virtual Agents bot. The Test manifest is immediately available for every Power Virtual Agents bot. It is automatically updated every time you Save bot content. You can use the Test manifest to test out the changes in your skill  before Publishing them.

Published manifest — allows to connect to the Published version of your Power Virtual Agents bot. The Published manifest is only available for Power Virtual Agents bots that have been Published at least once. It is automatically updated every time you Publish your bot.

Both Power Virtual Agents bot’s skill manifests can be found on Manage allowlist panel and will be downloaded as .zip archives.

Download Power Virtual Agents skill manifests

Download Power Virtual Agents skill manifests

Connect to a Power Virtual Agents skill bot in Bot Framework Composer

You can use the Power Virtual Agents bot skill Test manifest or Published manifest to create a skill connection for your Bot Framework bot in Composer.

In Bot Framework Composer project, use + Add button and choose Connect to a skill menu option.

Connect to a skill in Composer

Connect to a skill in Composer

On Add a skill screen in Composer, select a Power Virtual Agents manifest .zip archive and follow the Skill connection wizard in Composer:

Select manifest .zip archive in Composer

Select manifest .zip archive in Composer

Your Power Visual Agents bot is added as a skill in Composer and now your Bot Framework bot is extended with Power Virtual Agents Topics:

Power Virtual Agents bot added as a skill in Composer

Power Virtual Agents bot added as a skill in Composer

Current limitations – Public Preview

  • This feature is not available to users who only have the Teams Power Virtual Agents license. You must have a trial or full Power Virtual Agents license.
  • Power Virtual Agents bot skill Topics can only be invoked by a user utterance from a Bot Framework bot. Invoking Power Virtual Agents Topics as skill Actions is not supported in Public Preview.
  • Only the Bot Framework bots that are deployed in the same tenant as the Power Virtual Agents bots can be added to the Allowlist.
  • Power Virtual Agents cannot act as a skill for other Power Virtual Agents bots. Only Bot Framework bots can be added to Power Virtual Agents Allowlist. Trying to add a bot App ID that belongs to a Power Virtual Agent bot will result in error.
  • Only user-created Topics and Composer intent triggers added to the bot will be added to Power Virtual Agents bot skill manifest. System Topics and Composer dialogs added to Power Virtual Agents bot will not be included in skill manifest.

Learn more

For more information, visit the documentation on using a Power Virtual Agents bot as a skill.

Join our Power Virtual Agents community to share your ideas, provide your comments, and help drive the future direction of our product development.