API Integrations allow Conversation Builder to perform some action or access the features or data of an external service. For example, you might want to retrieve information on specific items in your product catalog, so you can use that information in interactions in a dialog.
For practice at using an API integration, try the Integrations tutorial. (You’ll need to complete the Dialogs & Patterns tutorial and the Intents tutorial first, as the tutorials build on each other.)
To add an API integration
- Open the bot, and click Integrations in the upper-left corner.
- Configure the integration settings (required fields are marked with asterisks):
- Integration Name: Enter the name of integration. Enter a name that's meaningful (it describes well the integration's purpose), concise, and follows a consistent pattern. This helps with organization, and it makes it easier for bot developers to work with the integration during bot development.
- Response Data Variable Name: Enter the name of the response data variable.
- Integration Type: Select API.
- Method: Select the type of HTTP request method.
- URL: Enter the request target, the URL.
- Credential: Select the credential to use for authentication if applicable. The bot will automatically enhance the request based on the credential's type and data.
- Request Headers: Add any message headers to include in the request.
- Request Parameters: Add the request parameters to pass in the URL’s query string.
- Post Body: Enter the payload to send.
- Custom Data Fields: Add the fields that will store the result data in key/value pairs. Users who are tasked with creating bots can use and display this data in interactions by referencing these fields as described here.
- Click Save.
Security best practices
When implementing API integrations, follow these security best practices:
- URLs and URL parameters: HTTPS and HTTP are supported. Don’t send credentials or sensitive data in the parameters.
- Credentials: Use a secure form of authentication and authorization. OAuth is recommended, but for a comparative list of credential types, see here.
- API: Your brand’s API should be designed according to security standards. For example, at a minimum, use an authentication mechanism. Also provide support for other best practices, such as protecting the API from high volume and bursts in traffic.