What is a conversation engine?
bBot provides the core framework for creating chatbots and apps that operate via a conversational user interface (CUI).
It gives developers a toolbox for modelling user interactions and service integrations and conducts the flow of data for the entire stack.
What is a bBot?
The name bBot is intentionally generic. It will humbly stand in the shadows of new identities chosen for it by creators.
It's just a handy prefix for succinct code, with two main interfaces of b for conversation state and bot for the core instance.
What a modest and helpful little droid. Bleep Bloop.
Why wouldn't I use < insert megacorp cloud platform >?
The advantage of keeping the conversation layer separate and above the component services is that it provides full control of your data and application logic.
Plenty of services provide parts of a full CUI solution, but can hit a wall as your needs expand beyond their capabilities. It can be costly to scale within these services and sometimes impossible to implement bespoke solutions.
With bBot, when you need to change a service within the stack, you just swap out the integration, instead of re-engineering the entire solution to fit a new platform's requirements.
Where's your "no coding required" conversation designer?
Our approach is a little different, we've focused initially on providing powerful tools for developers, specifically to overcome some of the limitations of visual conversation design platforms.
A code-first interface enables deeper integration between conversation and bespoke business integrations, user authentication, using data from an API in your responses or handling user and conversation data entirely on-premise.
One of the biggest challenges of enterprise CUI is allowing teams access to multiple parallel behaviours and user journeys. It's not feasible to have everyone logging in to a visual conversation design tool and manipulating one behemoth conversation tree.
The tools bBot provides are aimed at users facing exactly these problems. We intend to make it even easier to use and are working on a visual solution, to allow more diverse skill sets access to those features.
But when we get there, it will be a unique solution that provides the same flexibility and value for scale users as the current coding interface.
Why Open Source?
The industry is having a natural reaction to big platform dominance, moving towards open platforms. A model is proving out across many sectors that is user aligned, instead of seeing users as a resource to own.
Take flagship examples like Android, Wordpress, Bitcoin, our friends at Rocket.Chat and new decentralised web protocols like Blockstack.
The products that will thrive are those that focus on benefit to the entire eco-system, with revenue models that are equitable with the growth they enable in their community. These factors provide a more sustainable relationship with our users and long term incentives on both sides.
Just as Rocket.Chat supports independent team messaging and Wordpress supports independent web publishers, we hope bBot will power an eco-system of independent conversational apps.