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“Hi! I’m Oswald and I’ve got some exciting news for you”

Michiel Vandendriessche

Today, we added some new features to our Oswald chatbot platform. The biggest change is the introduction of ‘file entities’. We also added some minor improvements to the overall user experience. Read this article to learn all about it!

What are file entities?

Until now there were two ways to add entity values and their synonyms to an Oswald chatbot:

  • Using the Oswald UI
  • Using the Oswald admin API*

With file entities we added a new possibility: add entity values to Oswald by uploading an Excel (.xlsx) file*. The A column represents the entity valuesand the B, C, D, E… columns represent their corresponding synonyms. It’s an easy and clean way to add a large batch of entity values to an Oswald chatbot.

*Only available on the BASIC or PLUS plans

What’s so special about that?

Uploading an Excel file does not seem like revolutionary rocket science. So what else is new about file entities? Well, it turns out file entities are handled by Oswald on a completely different way than other entities. It uses advanced performance optimisation algorithms so the chatbot can handle hundreds, thousands or even millions of entity values for a given entity and still get the same fast response time. So you must remember two things about file entities:

  • File entities can handle countless entity values
  • File entities work exactly the same as user and system entities

That’s easy, isn’t it?

File entities
File entities

Some other updates

Apart from the file entities, the new Oswald version includes three major new improvements (and some performance improvements and bug fixes). Let’s take a quick look at them:

Reworked intents

Intents are one of the most important aspects of chatbot development and today, we gave them a little revamp. First of all, the intents page has a UI that is now more consistent with the entity UI. On the left side you see all your intents. If you click on an intent, you can add/edit/delete training sentences like before.


In addition to the more coherent interface, entities that are used in training sentences for intents are now marked. That way, you get a much clearer overview about which entities are used in each intent. If you click on one of the entities in the training sentences, you immediately see it’s values and synonyms. This gives the chatbot developer a much nicer and clearer experience!

Time travel

Testing a chatbot is important… even crucial! Often you want to test every possible case in a scenario, but you don’t want to go through the complete scenario every time you test a different case! This is why we added time travel. How does it work? You’re testing the chatbot in the chat window, you’re in the middle of a scenario and you want to jump back to another point in the scenario. Just look in the conversation for the point where you want to jump back to and click on the clock-icon. Oswald will travel back in time to that specific point in the scenario, from which you can start testing.

The ‘bot brain’ is now ‘time aware’ in the same way. Next to every reply from the chatbot there is a bot brain icon, which shows you the bot brain at the given time point.

Widget testing

The Oswald widget is the best way to test the published version of your chatbot without having to implement a custom chat UI. Now we made the widget more accessible than ever! If you click on “Go to bot” in the settings page, you can see the chatbot widget on a real-world website (the Oswald product page) and start chatting. This gives you a clear overview of what the widget will look like for your customers!


Are you interested in these new features? Do you want to build awesome chatbots? Request a free demo at www.oswald.ai/demo!

Written by

Michiel Vandendriessche

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