Deploying a Virtual Assistant on the cheap

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Dev Consultant Ben Williams demonstrates how to use the stock Virtual Assistant bot template to deploy to a minimal priced set of Azure resources for small POC testing.


The Virtual Assistant Solution (VA) brings together all of the supporting components and greatly simplifies the creation of a new bot project including: basic conversational intents, Dispatch integration, QnA Maker, Application Insights and an automated deployment. Since it is designed to also encompass many of the best practices needed for an enterprise grade application, its deployment templates include enterprise grade solutions in Azure. This means setting up services with the capability of high availability and scale. But… sometimes you just want to test something out with the bare minimum pieces and cost just to see it work and see how it works.

The VA template deploys its resources via an ARM template and you can supply a parameters file to the deployment script to change how that deployment happens. The thing I was interested in recently was deploying to the smallest and least expensive dev/test instances of the various services in order to keep the cost down. Since this was just for demo purposes and I would be the only one talking to the bot, I didn’t need the capacity and scale of the default install.

Keep reading on Ben’s blog

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