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  • Bots running Bots, Multi-User Support and building up a SAAS business...

    Crazy headline, eh? haha

    So, I've been thinking of what would be the best way to incorporate multi-user support within ESB. I've been thinking about this for years now (don't judge!). I originally thought of making ESB connect to a online database but run all automation scripts locally. That way we could run it on a linux server.

    Today I just realized we would be losing out on a lot of money if we did that!

    The automation is where the real money will be made. UIPath, a automation software, just raised another 200 million and is now value at 7 billion. Yeah, that is a lot of potential!

    Anyway, we want to run the automation on a single server. Even if that means a Windows server. Not a biggie since Amazon, Microsoft and I think Google offers cloud services with Windows server support. If we do that then we can accept connections from our ESB software, but also from websites and CHAT BOTS.

    What is a Chat Bot?

    Those are the chats that you can access on a website and ask it questions. It is totally automated. The cool thing is to be able to use those Chat bots (or websites) to start automation scripts on that Windows server.

    recruiting-chatbot-job-pal-example.jpg

    Say a person opens up a chat bot, on a restaurant Facebook page, and wants to make a reservation. It could kick off a script to check if there is a free table, create a reservation, enter in any requirements from the customer and send the customer a verification email. All from the chat bot.

    Or a person comes to your wordpress website for a refund. They start your customer support chat and asks for a refund. The chat box asks for their email address and product they want to refund. It starts up a automation script to check to see the purchase is still within the refund period, then it creates the refund and sends an email to the customer.

    ESB programs can also access that automation server (with security of course).

    You can build out a full blown SAAS company with this approach.

    I'm not going to lie, this has me as excited as the REST Api stuff. Just when I think I am running out of ideas one pops up and make me work more and more and more.


    How does this sound? Thoughts?



    Thomas

  • #2
    My first 'first' comment! lol

    Thomas, this actually has me more excited as I've been heavily involved with bots for the last 8-10 months and seeing some great results. The bot system I use can connect to any API and do pretty much anything, and what you've described brings this whole concept full circle for me. Automate most anything you can think of that can be automated. The ability to trigger any function through a bot makes it accessible anytime, anywhere... now that's exciting. I've been creating small chat bots to automate functions through apis recently and it makes it so convenient to be able to accomplish these tasks from anywhere I am. That's where I think this gets really valuable.

    If you can't tell, I'm very excited about this and if you need more encouragment to go this route, I'm all in!
    Last edited by tripro; 03-26-2019, 10:42 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by tripro View Post
      My first 'first' comment! lol
      This actually has me more excited as I've been heavily involved with bots for the last 8-10 months and seeing some great results. The bot system I use can connect to any API and do pretty much anything, and what you've described brings this whole concept full circle for me. Automate most anything you can think of that can be automated.
      If you can't tell, I'm very excited about this and if you need more encouragment to go this route, I'm all in!
      So Mark is a no. haha

      I'm thinking of building a API for the automation server so any bot or website or software program can interact with the automation server. It can start scripts and send back results. It's basically doing that with the REST api stuff right now anyway.

      This would also allow us to take advantage of services that have webhooks (that is how those services push data out to other websites).

      The more I think about this the more I am liking it.

      What bot system are you using right now?

      Originally posted by tripro View Post
      I've been creating small chat bots to automate functions through apis recently and it makes it so convenient to be able to accomplish these tasks from anywhere I am. That's where I think this gets really valuable.
      Exactly. I was thinking it would be cool to open up my phone and do some work through a chat bot. Enter in a command, within the chat bot, and it runs the automation script associated with it.


      Thomas

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      • #4
        This would also solve the multi-user problems. You could have anyone working from anywhere on any device. A phone, tablet or computer. Doesn't matter since all data would be going through the automation server.



        Thomas

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        • #5
          Originally posted by TigerSoftware View Post
          What bot system are you using right now?
          I know, hard to cover up my enthusiam Thomas! lol

          Been using TARS (www.hellotars.com). They have a nice, supportive community and responsive dev team. Have been running mainly lead generation. But then noticed the API angle and started setting up chat bots to send emails, create meme's and other tasks that would make business life a lot easier if automated.

          Let me know when you're ready to test something

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by tripro View Post
            I know, hard to cover up my enthusiam Thomas! lol

            Been using TARS (www.hellotars.com). They have a nice, supportive community and responsive dev team. Have been running mainly lead generation. But then noticed the API angle and started setting up chat bots to send emails, create meme's and other tasks that would make business life a lot easier if automated.

            Let me know when you're ready to test something
            Definitely. After reading your response there is no way I can not do this. I won't be able to stop thinking about it. haha

            I'm assuming that service sends Json to any api, right? Do you set the parameters that will be sent to the api?

            I looked briefly at DialogFlow (Googles Chat Bot) and Microsoft's Bot Framework. I want to set this up so you can use any bot service or framework you want.


            Thanks!


            Thomas

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by TigerSoftware View Post
              I'm assuming that service sends Json to any api, right? Do you set the parameters that will be sent to the api?
              Haha, yes, me too actually!

              And yes, TARS supports JSON, XML or text. Here is a quick overview of how it interacts.


              The settings of an API call. You can set:

              HTTP Request method (GET, POST, PUT, etc..)
              The URL endpoint to make the request
              Set any header fields that you want to put in the Request. This is useful if you want to pass some API Key or Authorization token or set custom content-type etc..
              Set the data that you want to pass in the API call.
              This data can be:
              x-www-form-urlencoded (default), which will be a list of key value pairs that you can add in the input fields right below it.
              raw, which can be JSON, XML or text and you can select this from the drop-down menu next to it. You can put the corresponding data in the textarea below it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by tripro View Post
                Haha, yes, me too actually!

                And yes, TARS supports JSON, XML or text. Here is a quick overview of how it interacts.


                The settings of an API call. You can set:

                HTTP Request method (GET, POST, PUT, etc..)
                The URL endpoint to make the request
                Set any header fields that you want to put in the Request. This is useful if you want to pass some API Key or Authorization token or set custom content-type etc..
                Set the data that you want to pass in the API call.
                This data can be:
                x-www-form-urlencoded (default), which will be a list of key value pairs that you can add in the input fields right below it.
                raw, which can be JSON, XML or text and you can select this from the drop-down menu next to it. You can put the corresponding data in the textarea below it.
                Nice, looks like a typical REST api call. I would imagine most chat frameworks will work the same way. It is looking like most of the work to get this running is already done. I like that a lot!


                Thomas

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by TigerSoftware View Post
                  Nice, looks like a typical REST api call.
                  I would imagine most chat frameworks will work the same way.
                  It is looking like most of the work to get this running is already done. I like that a lot!
                  Thomas
                  Never heard of it to be honest..YES..i do live under a rock. :/
                  ..had a look at https://hellotars.com/blog/conversion-rate-ppc-chatbot/ and its
                  a good idea, after seeing this example i see my hosting company uses it.
                  Not sure I'd use something like this yet, myself..too much other possibilities with
                  whats coming up in esb..
                  Relating to the quote above if we're heading toward a ESB API release soon is this
                  new bot module going to hold it up or are you thinking longer term?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by schmutly View Post
                    Relating to the quote above if we're heading toward a ESB API release soon is this
                    new bot module going to hold it up or are you thinking longer term?

                    I'm going to finish up what I have right now and get that out. What we are talking about, in this thread, will be coming later.

                    I try to think long term with these programs. The REST API stuff took me years to figure out how I wanted to implement it. I would work on something and then do some research on the REST stuff... then go back to working on something else.

                    The multi-user support was another thing I have been trying to figure out. The approach in this thread takes care of the multi-user issue and opens up access from other sources like those chat bots, webhooks and websites.

                    I really wanted to be able to use webhooks since many webservices has them. I'd love to take advantage of a webservices automatically sending data when something specific happens on their platform. Have that data sent to our automation server and the server can run a script if needed.

                    Don't worry, I'm not going to hold up this release any longer than needed. I added the REST api at the last minute and it cost me a lot of time. Well worth it!


                    Thomas

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I've never used chat bots, but my help desk does have a chat system. Just never used it. If you go to appsumo, they have a lifetime deal on Continually chat bot at https://appsumo.com/continually/ starting at 49.00. You can stack it 5 times I think, so you get unlimited everything for life. You can create sub accounts to share it. We could all get together and chip in, and have unlimited bots. For life. I don't know anything about them, but those in the know could check it out. I'd be in.

                      Mike M

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Bots have been all the rage lately and I'm sick of them, but just from promoting so much sub-par junk to our subs. Andrew Warner, founder of Mixergy, had a nice launch, however, for his chat bot training. A lot of our subs purchased a chat bot setup plr guide and videos, and that was one of the bigger promotions for a plr product we've had this year.

                        Sounds good to me, Thomas. While promoting all this stuff I was thinking the same thing about how if we could tap into that market using ESB it would end up some long term income. The chat bots and bot technology in general is here to stay and will become more capable in time. For ESB to branch off into that - or include that - would be a good move, imo.

                        Mel

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MikeM View Post
                          I've never used chat bots, but my help desk does have a chat system. Just never used it. If you go to appsumo, they have a lifetime deal on Continually chat bot at https://appsumo.com/continually/ starting at 49.00. You can stack it 5 times I think, so you get unlimited everything for life. You can create sub accounts to share it. We could all get together and chip in, and have unlimited bots. For life. I don't know anything about them, but those in the know could check it out. I'd be in.

                          Mike M
                          I have to finally come out and be honest. I am a chat bot.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mel Bel View Post
                            Bots have been all the rage lately and I'm sick of them, but just from promoting so much sub-par junk to our subs. Andrew Warner, founder of Mixergy, had a nice launch, however, for his chat bot training. A lot of our subs purchased a chat bot setup plr guide and videos, and that was one of the bigger promotions for a plr product we've had this year.

                            Sounds good to me, Thomas. While promoting all this stuff I was thinking the same thing about how if we could tap into that market using ESB it would end up some long term income. The chat bots and bot technology in general is here to stay and will become more capable in time. For ESB to branch off into that - or include that - would be a good move, imo.

                            Mel
                            Chat bots was just an example. I'm not saying ESB will be creating chat bots or anything like that. I want to set up the automation server so that a chat bot or a webhook or a website can send data to the server and get it returned.

                            As of right now, we are running ESB on a single computer. We are able to get data from many different places. That is especially true for the new REST api stuff. So we are pulling data into ESB/Smartflo. ESB can also push that data out with the new REST api, but everything has to be initiated within ESB.

                            Now, what this thread is about is responding to outside events. A Chat bot is an example of it sending a request to ESB and ESB running it's automation script and returning a result.

                            Webhooks is another good example. It works the same as the chat bot but happens on a webservice platform. An example would be a person signs up for a list on SendGrid or whatever email platform. SendGrid sends the data to a webhook (if you have one added) when that happens. That means you could have it sent to ESB and then a automation script is ran based on that event.

                            Same goes if a person fills out a form on a website. Have the form data sent to ESB and a script runs based on what you want to happen when someone signs up. You could add the form details to a local database or check what offers are available and send them a affiliate offer or add them to a email service provider or all of them.

                            Your programs will be able to respond to events outside of ESB. Huge!



                            Thomas

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                            • #15
                              Yeah, sounds great. I guess I just had chat bots stuck in my brain.

                              I seem to recall you asking all of us before if we would be interested in running the automation server on a remote Windows server...I was thinking "yes" at the time, but because I didn't own the Expert version I just kept my opinion to myself. I think most people here were not interested.

                              I'm not sure about the technical terms...but I thought it would be a good idea to be able to have like a central ESB automation server in the "cloud" where customers access it with their client-side software we sell them, and then the cloud automation server does the actual tasks we set up and returns the information to the client software and even to multiple users within the same business entity.

                              But yeah, if the initial request came from outside ESB to ESB and then have ESB perform the scripts and provide the results, including rerouting results to not only ESB, but to Google Docs (or whatever else), similar to Zapier, that would really be useful in a big way for a lot of companies.

                              Anyhow, this all sounds similar and a good idea however you set it up. I make jokes about people wanting automation because they're lazy, but I'm applying that to this crowd we market to only (the do-everything-for-me crowd). Automation for business makes businesses more efficient and if we can do something with ESB at scale that provides that automation, it's going to be good for them and good for us.

                              This could actually go well beyond anything like Zapier is capable of.

                              Mel

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