The best database for non-programmers building Dialogflow bots

For non-programmers, working with spreadsheets is easy. But working with databases is not. A good compromise is Airtable – which is a sort of a combination of a spreadsheet and a database.

On the one hand, it is trivial to input data into Airtable because everything looks like a grid of cells.

On the other hand, you can do some database like operations – notably enforce data types and create links between table records – that you cannot do in regular spreadsheets like Excel and Google Sheets.

Finally, Airtable provides an easy to use API to move data in and out of their tables (if you ever need to migrate away) and also has probably the best UX for non-programmers who wish to do complex workflows without learning how to code.

All this to say, I have decided to use Airtable as the database for this tutorial. 🙂

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Note: while I call it the best database, in reality, actual databases are much, much more powerful than Airtable. However, installing and maintaining and getting the most out of such databases is not easy (even for programmers).


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I am disclosing that I’ve included certain products and links to those products on this site where I will earn an affiliate commission for any purchases you make. My goal with the blog is to teach you how to build chatbots, but please understand I am running BotFlo as a for-profit business.

Just to be safe, you should assume that any links leading you to products or services are affiliate links that I will receive compensation from. However, I only promote those products or services that I have investigated and truly feel are worth your time and money. In every single case, I am either an active user of the product or have been one for an extended period of time. This is why you will also see me throw some brickbats along with the usual bouquets. Among others, I am an affiliate for companies such as Zoho and Airtable.

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The recently released Zoho SalesIQ v2 allows non-programmers to build chatbots using an easy-to-use code less bot builder. What is really unique about Zoho SalesIQ is the fact that you can also integrate AI into their code less bot builder. In my Zoho SalesIQ chatbots course, I explain how to use Zoho SalesIQ to add a chatbot to your website.

"The magic key I needed as a non-programmer"

The custom payload generator was the magic key I needed (as a non-programmer) to build a good demo with rich responses in DialogFlow Messenger. I've only used it for 30 minutes and am thrilled. I've spent hours trying to figure out some of the intricacies of DialogFlow on my own. Over and over, I kept coming back to Aravind's tutorials available on-line. I trust the other functionalities I learn to use in the app will save me additional time and heartburn.

- Kathleen R
Cofounder, gathrHealth