Dialogflow ES Beginner Tutorial

Check out my courses Learn Dialogflow ES and Learn Dialogflow CX if you would like to learn Dialogflow in depth. 

In this tutorial, I will explain how to get started with Dialogflow ES. This guide will be especially useful for non-programmers since it does not require you to write any code.

At the end of the guide, I provide some tips for those who want to learn about webhooks (which does require you to write code).

Also, this is a tutorial-by-example. You will download some example Dialogflow agents, and interact with them inside your Dialogflow account.

This helps in two ways – you get immediate feedback and a “working agent”. Second, you will be able to follow along much more easily. So make sure you actually download the sample agent ZIP files as you follow along with this tutorial.

[00:00] Why I updated this tutorial for 2021

[01:10] What are Dialogflow intents?

[04:44] What are Dialogflow entities?

[11:27] What are Dialogflow contexts?

[18:07] What are Dialogflow integrations?

Download the first agent ZIP file

Click the button below to download the first agent ZIP file.

Log in to Dialogflow

This is the first step. You should be logged in to do the rest of the steps explained in this tutorial.

Create a new agent

Now create a new Dialogflow ES agent. You can name it whatever you want. I have called mine StepByStepTutorial.

Go to Settings

Now click on the Gear like icon next to the agent name and go to the Settings.

Restore the agent ZIP file you downloaded

Now click on the Import/Export and click on the Restore button.

Select the agent ZIP file you downloaded in the previous step.

Enable the Dialogflow Messenger integration

Now click on the Integrations link on the left pane and then click on Dialogflow Messenger. The Dialogflow Messenger integration allows you to add the chatbot to your website.

You don’t have to actually add the bot to your website to complete this tutorial.

If you are interested in doing that, you can check out the Dialogflow Messenger tutorial. Depending on your HTML skills, you might need to hire a programmer to add the chatbot to your website.

Now enable the Dialogflow Messenger integration.

Interact with the bot inside the Dialogflow Messenger integration

Once you click on Enable, you will see a popup chat widget like below.

Type the following user message:

“what is the color of Jupiter”

You will see a response such as what you see below.

Notice that you can also use slight variations of the same phrase, and you will still get the correct response.

Now change the phrase:

“show me the mass of Earth”

You should see the following response from the bot:

“You asked for the mass of Earth”

Close the preview

Click on the Close link to close the preview and go back to Dialogflow console.

Download the next example agent ZIP file

Now we will look at entities.

Once you download the ZIP file, use the Restore ZIP feature to use the ZIP file as your current agent.

Intents view for Planet entity

This is what your list of intents will look like.

Planet entity definition

If you go to Entity and then click on planet, this is what the entity definition will look like.

Test the bot inside Dialogflow Messenger integration

Once again, go to the Integrations link and click on the Dialogflow Messenger integration. You can interact with the bot as before.

Download the third example agent ZIP file

Just like planets, you can also make attribute an entity.

Once you download the ZIP file, use the Restore ZIP feature to use the ZIP file as your current agent.

Inspect the attribute entity

This is what the attribute entity definition looks like:

Test the bot

Once again, we can test the bot inside the Dialogflow Messenger integration.

Download the fourth example agent ZIP file

Now you can download the agent ZIP file which explains contexts.

As before, use the Restore ZIP file button to make this your current agent.

Inspect the intent definitions

This is what the attribute.of.planet intent definition looks like:

This is what the changes.planet intent definition looks like:

This is what the changes.attribute intent definition looks like:

Test the bot

The user can keep asking follow up questions by changing either the planet or the attribute from the previous question.

Further reading

If you are a programmer, check out the Python webhook tutorial. Also read why I don’t recommend using the Dialogflow fulfillment library (which is the default option inside the inline editor).

Why Dialogflow ES chatbots fail and what to do about it

How to integrate a Dialogflow chatbot into your website

Dialogflow ES Must Know Features

Learn about the CTFS framework so you can more quickly debug your bot failures

Dialogflow ES flowcharts

Full training course


The BotFlo app gives you many tools which can speed up your Dialogflow bot development

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"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
Check out my YouTube courses

Dialogflow CX Beginner Tutorial

Dialogflow ES vs CX using a Decision Tree Bot

Intro to NLU for technical non-programmers

Better Dialogflow ES Bots Using the CTFS Framework

Search the autogenerated transcripts of all my YouTube videos
In this free course, I provide some tips for managing large Dialogflow ES bots without compromising on accuracy.