Establish a Conversational Parent-Child Relationship Using Value List Entities in Oracle Digital Assistant by Frank Nimphius

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Parent-child relationships are a common pattern in software development. The relationship usually describes a one-to-many dependency between two sets of data, one of which (the child) depends on the choice of the other (the parent). For example, a chatbot that handles expenses may prompt a user for providing the type of an expense, which could be accommodation, transportation, parking fees, office supplies and many others. Then, if a user selects transportation as the type of expense, the system may prompts with a dependent list of options, that may include flight, rental car, train, taxi, bus, others  as selectable values.

This article explains how to define parent-child relationships in Oracle Digital Assistant using the System.CommonResponse component and a composite bag entity. It’s one more article on the topic of model-driven conversations (see:  TechExchange: Model Driven Conversations in Oracle Digital Assistant – Build Better User Interfaces By Using Entities For Everything )

Example

The example you can download for this article is a skill that shows car manufacturers and their dependent car types. As shown in the image below, a use could type a message like “show a list of cars” for the chatbot to display a list of manufacturers.

When the use selects a manufacturer from the list, then the dependent list contains the available car types for this selection. Read the complete article here.

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