In their final two semesters at the University of Connecticut, all engineering students must undertake a "senior design" team project to solve a real-world problem for a sponsoring company. Over Fall 2017 and Spring 2018, I had the great pleasure of working with Siena Biales, Quinn Vissak, and Matt Rubenstein to create an intelligent chat bot for the company Logicbroker.
Logicbroker simplifies communication between retailers and suppliers. Normally a store retailer receives products from many different suppliers and must communicate with all of their different APIs. Similarly, a supplier may ship items to many retailers and must communicate with all of their APIs. Logicbroker acts as a middleman, enabling both retailers and suppliers to communicate with only one API, the "Logicbroker Commerce API." This API allows clients to communicate through the entire order lifecycle with any partner using one connection endpoint. Regardless if the supplier or retailer sends orders in EDI, XML, CSV, or JSON the same format will be consumed, allowing for seamless integration without having to worry about custom formats or different connection points. A typical flow is shown below.
The purpose of this project was to solve the following problem: providing LogicBroker’s supply chain information to customers in a way which simulates human interaction, rather than a standard web page which displays data. Our team achieved this by creating a cross-platform bot using the Microsoft Bot Framework which works across Facebook Messenger, Cortana, Slack, and Skype. The bot also utilizes natural language understanding of the LUIS API. It allows customers to access relevant information through LUIS entities and intents, using the platform of their choice.
If you want to give it a try, I have a version of the bot hosted on this website. You can start by saying "Hello" and if it requests an API key, enter
Demo for testing purposes. From there you can ask it a multitude of things, such as "Show me recently completed orders" or "What is the status of order XYZ?"