Dialogflow usage considerations

Before using Dialogflow, there are some important usage scenarios to be considered. There are multiple ways in which to use Dialogflow, and this page provides guidance on whether you should use certain features.

Dialogflow Console

Dialogflow has a web interface console that you can use to create, build, and test agents. In most cases you will use the console to create and build agents. You may also choose to use the console for manually testing agents by using the simulator.

Integrations

If your application runs on a device or service that directly handles user interactions for you (for example, Google Assistant), you should use one of the many integrations options. These integrations provide platform-specific features that make building agents simple.

If you are using Actions on Google (AoG) and Google Assistant, see dialogflow.com/docs, which has similar documentation with a focus on integrating Dialogflow with AoG and Google Assistant.

API

If you write code that directly interacts with your end user (for example, your company's user chat service), you should use the Dialogflow API (See Agent interaction using the API).

You can use the API to:

  • Build agents: In most cases you should use the Dialogflow Console to build agents, but using the API may be preferred for advanced scenarios.
  • Match intents: When using the API to match an intent, your code passes an end-user query to the API. Dialogflow then responds with a matched intent, which your code uses to perform some action and respond to the user.

Fulfillment and creating responses

In most cases, your application will need to take some action and create non-static responses for each end-user query. This is often done by your server code. If you are using integrations as described above, fulfillment is the best option for performing actions and creating responses. If you are using the API as described above, fulfillment is unnecessary because the API calls provide your code with everything it needs to take actions and create responses. However, if you find the fulfillment mechanism useful, you may use the API and fulfillment together.

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