AI-Driven Stack Overflow Bot from Microsoft: First look

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I guess there would be very few developers who do not use StackOverflow in their day to day life. StackOverflow is part of a developer’s life.

Whenever we have some issues or doubts we go to the browser -> opens StackOverflow or search for the question on the browser -> StackOverflow link opens and then we can clear our doubts or issues.

Now imagine you have an active bot in your Visual Studio Code and as soon as you have any issues, just ask that to the bot without leaving Visual Studio Code.

Sounds interesting right?

It is possible with AI driven StackOverflow bots as Microsoft has teamed up with Stack Overflow to create a bot that will answer your programming questions from inside the Visual Studio code editor.

Let us see what are the things required to run the bot.

Requirement:

  • Node 8.1.4 or more
  • StackBot directory

Steps to run:

  • Run npm install in StackBot directory
  • Run npm start in StackBot directory
  • Navigate to http://localhost:portNumber/ to interact with bot

Please note that as this bot uses a number of services(including Bing Custom Search, LUIS, QnA Maker, and Text Analytics), you will need to create applications and generate keys for each one. Microsoft has created a GitHub page with the necessary details which can help you to guide on how to do this.

For this article, we will concentrate more on Visual Studio Code capability to run StackOverflow bot.

Configuration of the bot in Visual Studio Code

As I explained earlier, Visual Studio Code allows developers to quickly call the bot using some simple commands.

Steps:

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  • From the Bot dashboard, add ‘Direct Line’ channel which will communicate with your bot’s backend service

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  • Add site with appropriate name which will then redirect to the page where you can generate the tokens

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Once you add a site:

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  • Click on Show to view the keys:

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  • Copy the tokens and go back to Visual Studio Code
  • Open user settings and add the new field named StackCode.directLineToken, assign the token you copied earlier into this field
  • If everything is done correctly, a pan would be opened which is the interactive window, nothing but the bot

Microsoft has given the bot demo in Ignite conference last month where they showed how powerful the bot is.

Let us see some examples of the bot:

Whenever you want to get help from StackOverflow, just start the StackOverflow bot:

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Which will open the StackOverflow bot:

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Now you can just write down your question in the text and bot will give the answers:

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It can even help you if you need the code.

For example, you are in a need to convert Name+Surname into Surname, First Initial of your name.

Just ask this to the bot:

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And the bot will reply the code for you with the code:

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It can even read the image you uploaded into the bot.

For example, you have an exception, you take the screenshot of the exception and just upload that image into the bot:

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It is really mind-blowing.

 

 

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Basic information for Ready API (SoapUI): API Testing

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What is SoapUI?

SoapUI is an open-source web service testing application for service-oriented architectures (SOA) and representational state transfers (REST). Its functionality covers web service inspection, invoking, development, simulation and mocking, functional testing, load and compliance testing.

Basic kick off with SoapUI:

Once you get SoapUI installed, it will have the dashboard as shown below:

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To add sample test, we need to select between SOAP or REST:

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We will select URL as we want to test REST API. Once URL is selected, we need to provide the URL we need to test. For example I am using StackOverflow public API to get the users:

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Once we click on Next, it will create one new project and in that project it will create a TestSuite where all your test will reside:

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Once we run the test, it will show green or Red color whether the test is passed or failed:

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If the test is passed, it will show the response in JSON which we have got with REST GET request:

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Now as it is mentioned in very first image, if we perform some security tests then it will ask about the things we need to add in security test as shown below:

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Once we click on Finish, it will show the result as below:

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We can get detailed report as well:

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I created one sample Web API on my machine which returns 2 values and I published the API project. When I gave localhost URL in ReadyAPI, It created one new project in ReadyApi and it gave the result as shown below:

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So if the API would be installed on IIS then also APIs can be tested using Ready Api.

As it works with GET, it can work with POST\PUT\DELETE as well:

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Virtual service:

SoapUI provides a feature called Virt in which we can create a virtual service, so if testers want to mock the service without calling the actual REST API, it is possible with SoapUI. We need to create a new Virt as below:

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This Virt can behave as GET\POST etc as per your need and Once the Virt is created, we can even host that Virt on localhost by applying some settings.

To conclude this, if we want to test the scenario of a user account creation, we will create one project and in that there would be a test suite named “Test account creation” and in that suite we can add different test cases as shown below:

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Try it out.