.NET

Creating my first QnA Bot in Azure – pros and cons

Earlier this spring I had an idea of making a QnA Bot within our unit at work. I work as a Data Coordinator, aka BIM Coordinator – I will explain more about BIM in another blog entry. More about me here.

As a Data Coordinator you get a lot of repetitive questions, which most of the time is answered in a manual you or your colleague has spent time creating in order for the project members to read in. However, project members still end up asking via e-mail and of course forgetting and re-asking, which is fine, but I thought I’d want to make this method a bit more effective by creating a QnA Bot.

So I started investigating on how I can create an QnA Bot, so I did a google search “how to create a QnA Bot” and what I got was a tutorial at Microsoft Azure called Create a QnA Bot with Azure Bot Service. And since I’m fiddling with .NET I thought why not try out the Azure services.

In the tutorial you get to create an Azure Web application where you store your QnA data in Windows QnAMAker.ai. It’s all dandy and fine, until the app starts charging me for server fees, which is fine had I done this live.
However, I did this as a test and it charged me ca 40USD for just a few days, so I cancelled it and retried it once I talked to my coworker who was also interested in the bot. Trying my second time around it with the Azure Bot, I realised that it actually just created a web application with a QnA storage. So I started thinking why not create my own desktop application with the QnA Bot?

Why would I want to create my own desktop application QnA Bot? In all honestly, to simply save money, to avoid the hefty server fees during testing. Then once I get to the stage I need to have a more advance QnA Bot, then I will give Azure Bot another chance, however for now I’m seriously considering learning Python to create a Desktop App QnA Bot.

The pros of doing the QnA Bot on my own are:

  • Get to learn Python
  • Python is a great basis for new coders
  • Python is great if you are considering getting into Data Science
  • Creating my own desktop application entirely from scratch
  • CODING! 🙂

The pros with Microsoft’s QnA Bot on Azure?

  • You don’t have to code
  • You save time
  • It’s ready-for use after some tweaks

The cons with Microsoft’s QnA Bot on Azure?

  • It cost a lot
  • Limits to customise the desktop application (with your own bot you can customise it so you get more features, such as notifications etc)

If it wasn’t for the high cost I would’ve definitely gone with the QnA Bot at Azure, but for now I will lay low until I need to start working with the QnA Bot at work and will most likely give it another try in the future, once the company I work for pays for the fee. 😛

Creating a QnA Bot

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