Building Dialogs Without a Flow by Frank Nimphius

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An introduction to the new composite bag entities in Oracle Digital Assistant

Oracle Digital Assistant is the next generation of the Oracle chatbot platform. It manages and coordinates multiple smaller-scope skill bots in a composite chatbot solution that helps users complete multitask conversations.

Dialog flows in Oracle Digital Assistant skill bots define the user/bot conversations needed for completing a specific business task. A dialog flow is like a script whose goal is to understand what a chatbot user wants and collect the information needed to perform a particular task. Like human agents in customer service, chatbots can skip portions of a scripted conversation if the information to be collected has previously been provided by the user.

Before Oracle Digital Assistant, chatbots built with the Oracle Cloud platform required a dialog flow state to be defined for each information entity. For example, to create a chatbot for ordering pizza, you needed to create separate dialog flow states to ask for the pizza type, to ask for the pizza size, to ask for the type of crust, and to ask for additional toppings.

With Oracle Digital Assistant, you are no longer required to write all of these separate dialog flow states. Instead, using the new composite bag entity feature, you can group related information into a composite data object. The composite data objects are then automagically resolved at runtime.

This article provides an overview of composite bag entities. Following the hands-on instructions, you will build a composite bag entity for a pizza ordering bot that you then use to reduce the number of dialog flow states in the provided sample bot. Read the complete article here.

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