Building a Beer Bot using Power Virtual Agent ๐Ÿบ.


Note: You can check out a live version of the Beer Bot here!

Have you ever had one of those mindless moments at the off licence, where you stand and stare at the endless selection of beers on offer – IPAs, Porters, Pale Ales, Pilsners, Lagers, Stouts, Red Ales… It can be overwhelming and difficult to decide what to go for. Well not anymore, PVA has the perfect solution for you:

Meet Bob, The Beer Bot!

Enter Bob, The Beer Bot – Bob will ask you a series of questions to determine not only your taste preferences but also the scenario in which you find yourself consuming your beverage of choice. This functionality is achieved by chaining together a number of Topics that ask various questions such as “Are you drinking outside?” or “Do you like the taste of roasted coffee?”.

This is where PVA really shines – being able to set a question to identify a boolean value (Yes/No) made things super fast to build. If they answered Yes, they would be directed to a question asking them if it is hot outside. Any other response (which would be a No response) results in a different, unrelated question.

A look at some of the topics built out for this bot

It’s important to note that these topics that make up our beer quiz don’t have any trigger phrases associated with them – this is because we didn’t want these topics accessible by just typing in the correct words. They can only be accessed at various points within the quiz’ flow.

Next, the user will flow through a series of these questions before arriving at one of eight possible beer choices. When they reach the end of the conversation, the end user is presented with a recommendation for a beer along with a picture of their choice:

Getting the images to display was the tricky bit. Thanks to my good friend Mary Thompson who has this video that explains how to add images to a PVA message. We use Power Automate to generate a variable that returns the location of the image, which is then displayed by PVA:

Once the end user has completed the quiz, we end the session by either having them start the quiz over, or by completing a quick survey sharing their experience with us. A nice, real world scenario here would be to display a link to the specific product or product family to the end user so they can browse their chosen beer types!

And there you have it! A super simple, yet highly effective, use of PVA. Cheers! ๐Ÿป

As always – please drink responsibly!

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