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Christoph Rumpel:
The Ultimate BotMan Chatbot Debugging Guide
Nov 19, 2018 @ 11:47:02

Christoph Rumpel, the lead developer on the BotMan PHP chatbot project, has a new post to his site sharing an "ultimate debugging guide" for those having issues with their use of the package.

Starting with BotMan to create chatbots is easy, but dealing with bugs is not. Since there are many external services like Facebook, Telegram or Slack involved, lots of things can and will go wrong. I have run into so many of these bugs and don't want you to struggle with them as I did. So here is my ultimate debugging guide.

The post is broken down into a few different sections, likely related to the questions most asked by users of the BotMan tool:

  • My Chatbot Does Not Respond, What Is Wrong?
  • Facebook Webhook Setup
  • Code Update/Changes Are Not Shown
  • The Loop Problem
  • Laravel Dump Server

Each item in the list comes with a description of the issue, possible steps to resolve it and some links to other tools/resources that can help.

tagged: botman debugging guide ultimate chatbot tutorial

Link: https://christoph-rumpel.com/2018/11/the-ultimate-botman-chatbot-debugging-guide

Christoph Rumpel:
My Laracon EU Conference Chatbot Recap
Oct 31, 2018 @ 13:16:58

Christoph Rumpel has posted a recap of his experience at Laracon EU talking about chatbots and some details on the chatbot he created for the event.

For my book and video-course about building chatbots in PHP I created the Laracon EU conference chatbot. In this article, I will give you all the insights into this project.

On the 12th of July this year, I released my first ebook/video-course called Build Chatbots with PHP. In the last chapter, you can follow me as I create a chatbot for a real client: The Laracon EU conference chatbot. A chatbot that was made to provide information about the Laracon EU conference on <a href="https://m.me/laraconeu>Facebook and Telegram. This article is about my learnings of this projects.

He starts off by talking about the desire to "be real" with his example and how abstract examples, while helpful in the short term, don't provide much value past that. He created the course with this in mind, providing a real-world example to show users the ins and outs of chatbots. He also suggests not messing up the first implementation and points out that chatbots work great with events. He covers some of the features of the bot and how he worked around some differences between the two social media services. He ends the post with some statistics of the users of the bot and the feedback he received.

tagged: laraconeu conference chatbot recap opinion

Link: https://christoph-rumpel.com/2018/10/my-laracon-eu-conference-chatbot-recap

Christoph Rumpel:
Using Facebook Messenger Quick Replies with BotMan
Jul 03, 2018 @ 10:53:08

Christoph Rumpel, lead developer on the BotMan chatbot project, has a new tutorial posted to his site showing how to use Facebook Quick Replies with a BotMan instance.

I guess you already used quick replies for text buttons, right? But did you know that you can ask the user for email, phone number, and current location? It is time to give you a refresh of Facebook Messenger quick replies and how they work in the BotMan chatbot framework.

The post includes a video of the process of integrating these quick replies but also steps through all of the code required. Adding the replies is as easy as using the Button functionality included with the package and adding listeners. The tutorial also shows how to use them in conversations (rather than just one-off calls). It also provides a more "real world" example of asking the user for location, phone number and email with quick replies.

tagged: botman chatbot framework tutorial facebook messenger quickreply button

Link: https://christoph-rumpel.com/2018/07/using-facebook-messenger-quick-replies-with-botman

Christoph Rumpel:
How I Built The LaravelQuiz Chatbot With BotMan and Laravel
May 28, 2018 @ 09:09:14

Christoph Rumpel, lead developer on the BotMan project has a new post to his site walking you through the process and code he used to create a LaravelQuiz chatbot using a combination of the library and Laravel.

Ever wondered how well you know your favorite PHP framework Laravel? Give the LaravelQuiz Chatbot a try, and you will find out. This article is a step by step guide on how I created this chatbot with BotMan and Laravel.

He starts off by introducing the project and what some of the basic features are. Next comes some of the setup, including the botman command line tool and the creation of the BotMan-based project. As the tool uses a connection to Telegram, he also installs the client library for that and sets up the related credentials. Next comes the storage of the questions and answers (migrations and models) and the creation of the QuizConversation class to handle the interactions. There's also code examples for showing the current quiz status, making a "high score" list, and a few other extras. All code and command line calls you need are included in the post.

tagged: laravel quiz botman chatbot tutorial question highscore answer

Link: https://christoph-rumpel.com/2018/05/how-i-built-the-laravelquiz-chatbot-with-botman-and-laravel

Christoph Rumpel:
Make Your Chatbots GDPR Compliant
Apr 23, 2018 @ 09:07:20

With the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) deadline looming on the horizon, there's no better time to make your applications compliant. Christoph Rumpel, a development lead on the Laravel-based Botman chatbot software, as posted a guide to help you ensure your chatbots are compliant.

Only one month left until the GDPR will take effect and people are already freaking out. If you haven't made yourself familiar with this topic, you need to do it now! This article will give you a summary of what you need to know and provide you with steps to make your chatbots GDPR compliant.

His article starts with a brief definition of what GDPR is and what it impacts. He then goes through and lists out some of the key changes that will have to be made to be in compliance including:

  • Increased Territorial Scope
  • Consent
  • Process Personal Data
  • Documentation

With those basics out of the way, he gets into the application of them in chatbot software. To make it easier he's come up with a listing of eleven questions to ask or steps to take to get you closer to compliance. For each he briefly describes it and provides some screenshots of the output from the bot that would be compliant.

tagged: chatbot gdpr compliance personal data regulation europe

Link: https://christoph-rumpel.com/2018/04/make-your-chatbots-gdpr-compliant

Christoph Rumpel:
Build a newsletter chatbot in PHP - Part 3
Mar 27, 2018 @ 10:57:24

Christoph Rumpel has continued his series covering the creation of a chatbot using the Botman package in a new post to his site. The latest post, part three in the series, builds on the base created in parts one and two and integrates the bot with his project website.

In part one and two we created a Facebook Messenger chatbot that let your users subscribe to your newsletter. We stored that information in the database and sent out our first newsletter. In the last third part, we integrate this bot to a website and write our first tests.

He then walks you through the process of using the Facebook Customer Chat Plugin to integrate it into the site (using the Facebook JavaScript SDK). He includes instructions on whitelisting your domain and including the plugin into the site's source using a few custom configuration options. With the integration complete he then takes a step back and shows the creation of several tests evaluating the fallback handling and subscription conversation responses.

tagged: chatbot tutorial series part3 integrate facebook testing fallback subscribe

Link: https://christoph-rumpel.com/2018/03/build-a-newsletter-chatbot-in-php-part-3

Christoph Rumpel:
Build a newsletter chatbot in PHP (Part 1 & 2)
Mar 02, 2018 @ 09:56:21

On his site has posted parts one and two of a series showing how to build a chatbot that can help provide more direct interaction with your users via a "newsletter" feature.

Since the beginning of the year, I am working on a new project of mine. It's a book called Build Chatbots with PHP. Follow the link to find out what it is about and who it is for.

More interesting to us is the newsletter, to which you can subscribe on the book's website. About once or twice a month I will send out an email with news on the development of the book.

He starts part one by outlining the general plan and functionality for the bot and its integration with Facebook. The tutorial then walks through the installation and configuration of the BotMan Studio project. It also shows the setup of the application on the Facebook service and how to connect it to the BotMan application. He walks through the setup of a few commands to welcome the user and start the conversation. Part two continues the process showing how to store the user and subscription information and how to send the newsletter notifications. He also makes some suggestions of extra functionality you might want to add like a typing indicator, a "fallback" for unknown commands.

tagged: introduction part2 part1 series tutorial chatbot newsletter facebook

Link: https://christoph-rumpel.com/2018/02/build-a-newsletter-chatbot-in-php-part-1

Christoph Rumpel:
The BotMan WebDriver explained
Feb 14, 2018 @ 10:23:10

In this post to his site Christoph Rumpel covers a feature of the Botman chatbot library in a bit more depth: the WebDriver making interaction with the bot in a current application simpler.

The WebDriver is one of the best features about the BotMan library. Still I see a lot of people struggling with the concept and how to use it. Let's clear things up and let me show you how I already used this driver in production.

He starts off by talking about chatbots in general and how they're "more than just messengers" and can provide more real-time information to visitors to your site. In order to enhance the basic bot functionality, it needs to work with another source - in this case an API accessed via the WebDriver. He then gets into some example code showing how to use the driver to access an API and some explanation of the pieces involved.

tagged: botman chatbot webdriver driver tutorial introduction example

Link: https://christoph-rumpel.com/2018/02/the-botman-webdriver-explained

Laravel News:
Botman Playground: Start Your Next Chatbot Idea In Your Browser
Feb 13, 2018 @ 09:35:58

On the Laravel News site there's a new post covering a new feature in Marcel Pociot's "Building a Chatbot" series (that makes use of the Botman package). This latest addition, a playground for testing and debugging bots allows you to get up and running without having to set up a complete environment.

Marcel Pociot recently launched a course called “Build A Chatbot,” a step-by-step video course on developing, extending, and testing Chatbots and Voicebots. Marcel is the author of Botman, a PHP chatbot framework for building chatbots.

Along with his Build a Chatbot course, Marcel launched Botman Playground, which provides a quick way to get started building and debugging chatbots without setting up a local development environment.

The playground allows you to set up a new bot, add commands and test the result with an included widget, all in-browser. The playground also allows you to set up connections to external services like Facebook, Telegram and Cisco Spark. The only catch is that you must be signed up for Marcel's Build a Chatbot course to gain access.

tagged: chatbot playground botman browser code test widget

Link: https://laravel-news.com/botman-playground

Nicola Malizia:
Make your Telegram bot with Laravel and BotMan
Sep 13, 2017 @ 09:41:54

Nicola Malizia has written up a post showing you how to create a Telegram bot using Laravel and the BotMan package. BotMan is a project that seeks to make it easier to work with chat commands directly in an application with some handy tools included.

After a long time I’m here to talk about Telegram bots. Lately, I discovered a nice PHP library for building Telegram Bots and I want now to show you it’s potential? - ?BotMan.

BotMan is a framework agnostic PHP library that is designed to simplify the task of developing innovative bots for multiple messaging platforms, including Slack, Telegram, Microsoft Bot Framework, Nexmo, HipChat, Facebook Messenger, WeChat and many more.

The best part of this library is that you can integrate with Laravel, thus taking benefit of the vast ecosystem around it.

He then walks you through the installation of the BotMan package and creation of a simple "Hello world" kind of bot. He then shows how to install the driver for the Telegram. He then shows how to connect the bot to Telegram, execute it and expose it to the world via ngrok and how to test it out. He finishes the post with a more real world situation: creating a bot that allows users to subscribe and receive broadcasts when an announcement is made.

tagged: botman chatbot tutorial laravel telegram subscribe

Link: https://unnikked.ga/make-your-telegram-bot-with-laravel-and-botman-b8199e58461d