Building Your First Conversational App

chen Tutorials October 30, 2017

In this example, you’ll build a basic “what happened today” conversational application that provides simple, built- in responses to user’s requests. A conversational app is essentially the container or project and it contains intents, entities, and the responses you want to deliver to your user. Intents are the mechanisms that pick up what your user is requesting (using entities) and direct the app to respond accordingly. is a build-once-deploy-anywhere platform, where your app can be deployed as an Alexa skill, Google Home action, Facebook Messenger bot, or a chatbot on your website

For simple replies that don’t include information gathered outside of the conversation, you can define textual hard-coded responses. More advanced responses can be made using your own logic and integrations. In later sections, you’ll add responses gathered from an external API call. For now, you’ll cover the basics.

Create a conversational app

A application represents your conversational interface through Amazon Alexa, Google Home or Facebook Messenger bot. To create an app:

  1. If you don’t already have a account, sign up. If you have an account, log in.
  2. Click on Create New App in the navigation. If it’s your first application, you will be redirected to the Create New App wizard automatically.
  3. Select your industry. For the purpose of this tutorial, select “Other”. Click Next to continue.
  4. Select your company’s name. For the purpose of this tutorial, enter “What Happened Today” as your company name. Click Next to continue.
  5. Select the devices you want to support with your app. For this demo select Messenger, Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Chatbot. Click Next to continue.
  6. In “What will the user ask your bot?” enter “What happened today in history”. Click Next to continue.
  7. In “What do you want the bot to answer?” enter “You created my first conversational app”. Click Next to continue.
  8. Your new application is ready. You can start testing it in the simulator, or click Customize to continue developing your app

Customize your application

An intent maps what a user says with what your app does. This intent you create in the previous step will be invoked when the user asks for information on what happened today. To make sure you understand your users, you will need to provide as many samples as possible for each different intent.

To add samples to an intent:

  1. Click the intent “WhatHappenedTodayInHistory”
  2. In the User Says section, enter more examples of what you might expect a user to ask for. The more examples you provide, the more ways a user can ask a question and the conversational app will understand. Enter these examples:
    • What happened on this day in the past
    • What took place today
    • What occurred today
    • What happened today


  3. Click Save to apply your changes

Try it out

Now that your app can understand basic requests from the user, try out what you have so far.

In the chat console on the right, type in a request. This can be something like “what happened today”. After you type the request, hit “Send”.

The chatbot will answer “You created my first conversational app”

What’s next?

In the next part, you’ll get relevant historical information via an API call.