Fun Links 2016-04-15

BOTS! While the picture that forms in your head may vary when you hear that word, I suspect before too long it may become as common a term as social media is now. There is a proliferation of messaging bots at the moment. And as you may guess, that means a large number of services are popping up to enable the simple and convenient hosting, development and maintenance of your bots.

The following are a sample of such services with various takes on the issue. Some even allow you to piece together a bot without any programming. We certainly have come a long way since the Eggdrop IRC bots of 20+ years ago.

Chatfuel gives you the tools to build your bots without needing to program. You can hook up your data and leverage existing modules to create a bot to engage your customers. At the moment, it only supports Telegram, but more providers are on the way.

Meya is another bot host/platform which allows you to write your bots in Python and Node.js. It also has some built-in bot components. It also has integrations with other sites like Facebook and Trello to provide information to your bot in addition to a local datastore.

Microsoft Bot Framework
Microsoft is also jumping on the messaging bandwagon, with their Bot Framework. You can build your bots with Node.js or C#, and their SDK is open source. It provides connectors to SMS, Office 365 mail, Skype, Slack, and others.