Channel connector

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During the development of a chatbot application one often encounters problems with the handling of data formats of different channels. As soon as the application is to be accessible from several channels, it must bring the messages to a unique format. If this is not done, source code duplicates may occur.

Description of backend and channel connector architecture

A solution for this would be so-called Channel Connectors. They know the formats of several channels and convert the data of these channels to one format. The formatting does not have to be done by the Chatbot application anymore. An example of a connector is Smooch (the top connector in the figure). Smooch knows the data formats of the channels Slack, Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram, Twitter and more, bundles them and brings them to a self-defined scheme. [1]

In order to illustrate the basic concept more clearly, the data formats of Facebook and Slack are compared with each other.

Facebook: [2] Slack: [3]

Facebook data format

Slack data format


It is noticeable that the message "This is a text message" can be reached differently in the Facebook data set than in the Slack data set. Therefore, algorithms must be written that map these formats to a common schema. With this, the message can then always be addressed in the same way. Channel connectors take over this role and thus save chatbot developers implementation effort.

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[1] Smooch
[2] Facebook, Developer Docs
[3] Slack, Block Kit Builder