Why I created BotFlo
Some time back, I created a tool called the Dialogflow CSV Importer which could take a CSV file and convert it into a Dialogflow agent ZIP file with a single click.
It got a lot of positive reviews such as these:
Aravind’s CSV Upload tool is extremely helpful for non-coders or those more comfortable working from a spreadsheet interface to quickly create an intelligence Dialogflow bot with context. - Deborah K
Thank you Aravind for this mighty little tool. This is amazing! It simply converts a ton of work hours into few seconds.
It’s a life saver! Thanks again! - Muhammad H
As a non-technical user, entering content in Dialogflow was repetitive and time-consuming at best. Lather, rinse, repeat…and repeat….and repeat. Aravind’s CSV importer is a game changer. With it, you can build and store your core content in a spreadsheet or table where it is easily updated and reviewed in a commonly viewed interface. Then, when you’re ready, you can batch update or import the entire thing – saving you tons of time! Worth every penny! Highly recommended! - Randy R
Bot Generators software is worth the price of the bundle alone. - Micheal G
But it also had many limitations.
Since it was a desktop app, there were quite a few features I couldn't even implement. For example, converting the agent ZIP file from Dialogflow back into CSV (because the format is very complex, and changes very often).
So I have now released a web based version of the Dialogflow CSV Importer.
And it includes a free demo, which you can first try out and then decide if it does the job.
The app is in beta, but the functionality is already on par with the desktop app. And there are many more features on the way!
How to convert your CSV file into a Dialogflow agent ZIP file
Here are the steps to turn your CSV file into a Dialogflow agent ZIP file.
First sign up for Airtable
Make a copy of the base
Then go to this Airtable base and make a copy into your own Airtable account
Modify and download one of the CSV formats
You will notice that there are 3 formats.
First you need to understand the difference between the 4, 8 and 10 column formats. (Described at the bottom of this article in the section "Understanding the different CSV column formats").
Then you can make the updates in your own table and download the CSV.
Login to the CSV Importer web app
You can access the app here.
Note: Since the app is in Beta and still in development, the actual UI might be quite different to the screenshots you see below.
You first need to login using your Google account.
Once you log in, you will be presented with two options. Choose the button which says "Convert CSV file to agent ZIP file".
Select the language from the dropdown list
Then select the language of your agent from the dropdown list once you log in. BotFlo CSV to ZIP converter supports all languages supported by Dialogflow.
You can use only one language per agent at the moment, but this is something which we will update soon. (Do you need multiple languages in the same agent? Leave a comment below this article)
Select the CSV file
First select the appropriate CSV file from your local machine by clicking on the "Choose File" button
Upload the CSV file
Now click on the Upload button.
Semicolon as CSV file separator
If you are creating your CSV file by exporting from Excel, sometimes you might need to check if your CSV file uses commas or semicolons as separators. If it uses semicolons (e.g. Spanish language Excel is known to do that), then click on the checkbox which says "Use semicolon as CSV separator".
For most people, this is not required.
Check the preview
You will be able to see a Preview of all the data from the CSV file along with a button which lets you download the agent ZIP file. Check the CSV file to make sure your input data is OK.
Download agent ZIP file
On the same page, you will also see a button at the top named Download. Clicking on the button will download the agent's ZIP file to your local machine.
Use Dialogflow's Restore ZIP
Now you can use Dialogflow's Restore ZIP feature to restore the agent ZIP file.
Test the agent
You should be able to test the agent inside the Dialogflow simulator. For example, if you used the sample CSV file from Step 2, you will get the following response in the simulator.
For trial users, you can have up to 5 rows per intent, and a max of 100 rows per CSV file. This limitation is removed for paid users.
Upgrade to BotFlo Plus (paid tier)
You can upgrade to the paid tier and create an agent with no row limitations. You can get 1 week access for $19 or 1 month access for $49. Note that these are one time payments and do not auto-renew.
More details on how to upgrade are available once you log in to the app.
Understanding the different CSV column formats
To make sure everything works properly, you need to spend a few minutes understanding the CSV file format.
Common CSV file errors
Here is a list of errors that I have seen people make quite often.
Wrong file format
You can upload only CSV files.
Wrong number of columns
At the moment, BotFlo CSV to ZIP converter can only handle 4-column, 8-column and 10-column CSV files. If you have a different number of columns, the conversion process will not work.
No name for the intent
I have seen some people upload CSV files where they have numbered the intent ID correctly but do not provide a name for each intent properly.
Do not leave blank and empty rows in your CSV file. The converter cannot handle those.
Invisible blank cells
Sometimes people do not realize that they are uploading blank cells (because it is hard to notice them). Take care that you are deleting any unwanted blank cells from your spreadsheet before exporting it to CSV.
Do you have any thoughts? Feature requests? Bug reports? Suggestions for UX improvements?
Please leave a comment below. (All comments are moderated, so it might be a few hours before they show up).
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