Last week I was at ICON UK. My session “Do You Wanna Build a Chatbot” was in the Other Technologies track, mainly because (as track manager) I wanted as many others as possible in the Development track. It’s also an area relevant to IBM technology and also relevant to Domino. The slides will be up shortly on the ICON UK SlideShare. There is plenty of good information and links about Watson Assistant. But as this is a constantly developing area, if you’re reading this some months after September 2018 I would recommend cross-referencing against the latest documentation.

Much of the session was spent digging into the sample chatbot I put together for ICON UK’s FAQ’s area. That’s been disabled now, but no doubt you’ll want to dig into it. So in the attached zip below, you’ll see the JSON code that you can upload to your own Watson Assistant workspace to test against using the “Try It” area I mentioned during the session.

I also said that the focus was Watson Assistant, not chatbots in general. But you’ll probably want to get an idea of how to integrate the Watson Assistant service with something “real”. So I’ve also attached an XPages application. There are two key requirements:

  1. The Watson Developer Cloud Java SDK needs to be installed. For ease, I’ve added it to an XPages library on OpenNTF.
  2. Because of certain Java calls, you’ll need to make some Java security policy changes to java.policy or java.pol file. Bear in mind they may get overwritten by server upgrades though, e.g. your imminent upgrade to Domino 10 on your dev server 😉

Once you have that, you’ll need to make a couple of changes to the application. In the Code > Java area there is a watson_conversation.properties file, which holds the credentials for your Watson Assistant service. The username and password are as on the “Deploy” tab of your workspace. The conversationId needs setting to the workspace ID. Once you have that, you have a fully working XPages app to test your conversation.

chatbot_iconuk

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