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Generic response type for data

Please add a response type that allows returning a named piece of data as output from a dialog node.

We want an easy way to add named variable data to the output just like we can easily add variables to the context.  However context variables are only suitable for data that is accumulated over time, but sometimes we need to return data that is only to do with the current output response.

For example, we want to return ouput text plus a Colour for the text bubble and the name of a Sound recording to play, some Animation instructions, and a variable called "Status" with a value of "success" that can be used later in analytics on the chat logs.


Currently to do this you need to edit the JSON for the node to set an element under the Output structure, however this is no-longer a good option:

1) Customized JSON is hidden in the tooling, so a dialog developer does not know at a glance that there is custom JSON hiding within a node.

2) The new generic structure is more complicated to edit and one might mess up the structure or any outputs from parent nodes through customized JSON.

Problems with doing this as context variables:

1) Context variables hang around until deleted.  The value we want is for this output response only.

2) If we have multiple output nodes giving multiple text responses, the context variables might overwrite each other, or will be otherwise not relatable to the output text.

3) Context variables are not processed upon return from a digression, so if using context variables to return data for an output node, you cannot use digressions.

  • Mar 18 2019
  • Needs review
Why is it useful?
Who would benefit from this IDEA? Developers of more complex chatbots that want to do more than just text replies.
How should it work?
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  • Timothy Donovan commented
    04 Jun 13:48

    This idea could be achieved by extending the "Rich response" types that are now available to include a "user_defined" response type ( similar to that in the output of version 2.0 of the API response).