Introducing the Conversation API Playground for Actions on Google

While we have seen a lot of adoption with the Actions on Google Node.js library, many developers are interacting directly with JSON responses in the language of their choice. We have seen some developers confused by what responses to provide, and where they are able to customize the JSON. To improve the developer experience for this audience, we’re launching the Conversation API Playground for Actions on Google. This interactive tool can show how to easily work with the API. The screenshot below shows the UI for the Conversation API Playground:

Actions on Google can support some really rich voice and graphical user interfaces. Custom audio, carousels, suggestion chips, and even transactions can all be created through the API, and we’ve worked really hard to build an intuitive and powerful client library for Actions on Google and Dialogflow. However, a client library is only useful for developers who use the language the library is written in, and exposing all that flexibility through the API also really increases the complexity that developers have to deal with. It can be really easy to accidentally misplace a property here or there in the JSON payload that the API understands.

The Conversation API Playground can help you avoid these kinds of errors. You can use the easy-to-follow GUI to generate a working example of what the JSON response should look like.

Building an example response is easy! You can generate one by following three easy steps:

  1. Select the response type from the first drop down menu.

2. Enter your custom data into the fields for that response type. The resulting JSON updates with the custom content you added.

3. (optional) Use the toggle at the bottom to change the JSON between Dialogflow and Actions SDK formats.

You can use this fully functional JSON response as a template and substitute in your own values to quickly get started with our rich responses, without having to worry about small mistakes in the formatting. Clicking on the double-sheet copy icon at the top will copy the entire JSON response to your clipboard, and by clicking the “View in docs” link at the bottom you can see the documentation for that specific response type.

We hope you’ll give the Conversation API Playground a try. You can reach out to us with ideas for improvements or questions on Google+ or Twitter with the hashtag #aogdevs. We can’t wait to see what you’ll build!

Want more? Head over to the Actions on Google community to discuss Actions with other developers. Join the Actions on Google developer community program and you could earn a $200 monthly Google Cloud credit and an Assistant t-shirt when you publish your first app.