Blocks

Blocks are the rectangles on your canvas that represent a certain place in the conversation.

Chatlayer offers multiple block types serving different functionalities. On your bot canvas, the blocks appearing are either:

  • Build by yourself by choosing out of our available block types.

  • Default blocks existing for any bot on Chatlayer.

Block types

There are 4 kinds of blocks that you can choose from to build your flows. Each block type comes with its own colour and functionalities.

The blocks menu is available on the left-hand side of your bot canvas.

Message

Any message a bot is sending to a user is what we call a bot message. This includes text messages, buttons, quick replies, etc.

pageMessage

Condition

If you want to add rules to determine where a user is guided to, based on the value of a variable, you can do it with this block type.

pageCondition

Collect input

Use Collect input blocks to gather input from your users.

pageCollect input

Action

Action blocks allow you to configure the settings of a user session, such as the language that will be used to reply to your user, or the offloading of a user.

pageAction

Intent

Intent blocks represent an intent from the user.

pageIntents

Default blocks

When you create a bot from scratch on Chatlayer, a few predefined blocks appear in your General flow:

  • Not understood: a block show when your bot didn't understand the user.

  • Introduction: the first message that is send to the user to open the conversation.

  • Error occurred: a block triggered when an API integration fails to complete a certain request, or when Chatlayer considers your bot to be blocked in a loop.

  • Block disabled: appears when you disable your bot in the Settings.

Not sure where to go from there? We've got you covered with a tutorial to create your first bot.

Blocks view

Chatlayer offers two different views of your block, where you can configure what the bot will answer to a user.

Flows view

The Flows view displays your flows on the bot canvas in a tree-like visual.

To access the Flow view:

  1. Open your bot.

  2. Under the Bot dialogs tab, click on Flow.

Table view

In the Table view, you can visualize your blocks as a table, which is helpful for searching, filtering and sorting blocks.

To access the Table view:

  1. Open your bot.

  2. Under the Bot dialogs tab, click on Table.

To filter the blocks that you wish to see:

  1. Click on the filter icon in the top-right corner of the screen.

  2. Filter either by Name, Flow, Intent, Variables, Context or Block type.

  3. Click on Apply.

Block settings

You can modify your block when you open it, either under the Settings tab or the NLP tab.

You can set up your block by using the Settings tab.

General settings

To access your block general settings:

  1. Open your block.

  2. At the top of the windown, click on the Settings tab. From there, you can access and modify different pieces of information:

Block name

Your block name.

Type

Your block type.

Flow

The specific flow or subflow where your block is stored.

Label

You may use the Label field as a custom identifier for your block when integrating solutions through the Webhook Channel API .

For example: say you want to store the number of times some specific block ( eg. Greeting Message ) has been triggered. You have added a custom label to that block (eg. messages_greeting). Now if you delete the Greeting Message and recreate it, its unique identifier on the Chatlayer side will change, but you could still add messages_greeting as the custom label again.

If you use this custom label in your system to check if the block has been triggered then nothing on your side needs to be changed, just make sure the label of the recreated block is the same as the label of the block you deleted.

Parent

In this field, you can define a Parent block. A Parent block is a tool to visually organise your blocks. Changing the parent block will have no impact on the flow of the conversation: it is purely for organising the blocks in a visual way on the canvas.

Parent-child links will appear as dotted arrows on your bot canvas.

The parent block and the child block should be in the same flow.

ID

This is the ID associated with the block. You can use this to debug your bot using the Emulator.

NLP settings

To access your block NLP settings:

  1. Open your block.

  2. At the top of the windown, click on the NLP tab. From there, you can access and modify different pieces of information:

Give output context & lifespan

Here, you can select an output context for your bot if you wish to re-use the same intent at different points in the conversation. Learn more about context and lifespan below:

pageContext

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