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  4. What's New
  5. What’s New

What’s New

This section contains release information for the Bots Platform v8.0 released on Oct 31st, 2020.

See Major Previous Releases


  • Get an in-depth analysis of your customer engagement with Containment Metrics. Get to know the popular flows that are leading to drop-offs or agent hand-offs.
  • Enhance the conversational experience, with the ability to customize the learning process, personalize Small Talk responses, define business rules for entities, and more.
  • The virtual assistant development and lifecycle management are further simplified with various new features introduced in Storyboard, Knowledge Graph, Bot Import, and Bot Publish, Universal Bots

Insights & Analytics

  • Analyzing your Virtual Assistant’s usage, effectiveness, and performance is now much simpler with the addition of Containment Metrics. This is a one-stop place for sessions trend with the breakup of self-service, drop-off, and agent sessions along with insights into tasks and intents used in these sessions. Note that the Containment Metrics would be available only for the conversation sessions that are started post-release of v8.0. Know more.
  • Proactively close conversation sessions after a certain idle time set to any duration between 5 and 60 minutes. The older way of keeping the session alive till the user returns after 15 minutes of inactivity would soon be discontinued. Know more.
  • Non-interactive sessions are now considered in the conversation sessions for various dashboards and analytics. Non-interactive sessions are those conversations that do not include any message from the user. This change might result in an increase in the number of sessions. Various analytics features and relevant APIs allow you to filter the data for interactive and non-interactive sessions.
  • Chat History provides visibility into the user information with the inclusion of the user data obtained from the channel of interaction, custom tags that were included in the bot, and any previous conversation sessions by the same customer and the corresponding analytics.
  • Filter Chat History on user identity from the Channels. Know more.
  • Filter and download Changelogs in Bot Builder and Audit Logs in the Admin Console.
  • Custom Meta Tags can now be added directly from BotKit SDK, Web / Mobile SDK, IVR, and Webhook channels. Know more.
  • Introducing koreUtil.getSessionId function to get the sessionId, a unique Conversation Session identifier, of the current ongoing conversation. This identifier can be used in generating custom analytics. Know more.
  • New Public APIs: The following REST APIs are now available:
    • Get Analytics API to extract the metrics data related to the intent detection and task performance. Know more.
    • User Engagement Trend API to provide the number of users who have interacted with the bot in a given period across different time intervals. Know more.

NLU & NLP Features

  • Validate the machine learning model using K-fold cross-validation metrics. Know more.
  • Intent detection and traits models can be trained using the skip-gram algorithm. This is in addition to the current ‘n-gram’ algorithm. Know more.
  • Document Annotation Tool augments the FAQ extraction process to support semi-structured PDF documents. Know more.
  • Enable context output and input pre-conditions for Knowledge Graph Organizer nodes to control the behavior of the child paths based on business rules. Know more.
  • Bot training can be further refined by configuring the following additional settings for the NL engines:
    • Knowledge Graph:
      • Cosine similarity dampening to avoid a penalty when user utterance has fewer words than the training question(s)
      • Option to choose between Primary Question or Linked Task Name as the KG Intent Name
    • Machine Learning:
      • Hyperparameters to customize the learning process of the ML Model
      • Non- Intent for better handling out of vocabulary words
      • Split Compound Words (for the German language) for how compound words should be processed – as whole or split to stem words and then processed.
      • K Fold parameter for Cross-Validation

      Know more.

    • Inclusion of confidence scores for entities identified in testing results – utterance and batch. This is available only for Conditional Random Field NER models. Know more.
    • Entity rules can be dynamically set in the script for additional processing hints and validations. These can be used to enhance the user experience by allowing a near-natural language conversation and at the same time perform a few additional validations. Know more
    • Composite Entity has been enhanced to handle JSON objects as input. This is particularly helpful when the enabled channel sends data as a JSON object, for example, Adaptive Card templates from MS Teams and Cisco Spark. Know more.
    • Amend Entity support has been extended to Hidden entities.
    • Improved entity identification in Batch Tests and Utterance Testing when the entity order is not provided.
    • Knowledge Graph’s Training status is included in the Status Tracker. Know more.
    • Language Support Updates
      • Korean – Platform now maintains a list of words that should not be split into canonical forms.
      • Italian – Dependency Parsing Model support
      • German – Support for Compound words splitting
      • Japanese, Russian and Kazakh – Enhancements to sentiment identification and autocorrelation

      Know more.

    • Small Talk
      • The Batch Testing functionality now supports the identification of Small Talk intents. Know more.
      • Ability to contextually answer Small Talk with access to the contextual information from the user’s utterance. Know more.
    • Various improvements to the NLP engine that will have a positive impact on your bots. These improvements include enhancements in the identification of PoS tags, processing of interjections during intent pattern evaluation, improvements in identification of yes and no confirmations, scoring process, up-gradation of ChatScript version, new pattern syntax, and more. Know more.

Bot Development and Lifecycle Management Features

  • Bot Import functionality has been enhanced to completely override the bot definition in the in-development copy with the definition present in the import file. This would include the deletion of tasks and languages not included in the import definition. Also included is the option to auto-publish the bot post successful bot import. Know more.
  • Bot Versions can now be exported. Know more.
  • Storyboard – The storyboard experience has been enhanced with the following:
    • Ability to link scenes from another story;
    • Ability to access version history and revert to a previous version;
    • Enhanced comment behavior for better collaboration;
    • Ability to add tags to Notes, change the background image of the Preview page, and support for image template;

    Know more.

  • Universal Bot enhancements include:
    • Ability to use the tasks from the linked bots for defining the event handlers in the Universal Bot.
    • Ability to configure up to 15 (as opposed to the current limit of 5) linked bots as Fallback bots.
    • Ability to mark linked bots as Inclusive bots that will always be considered for Intent Detection at the time of evaluating the user utterances.
    • Ability to add up to 500 (from the current 50) training utterances per linked bot for the training of the ML model.
    • Inclusion of in-context linked bot’s information as part of the bot context to aid in the customization of the bot definition or the end-user experience.

    Know more.

  • Channel Enhancement
    • New channel enablements:
      • Skype for Business On-Premise channel support for on-premises installations. Know more.
      • IVR – AudioCodes voice channel. Know more.
  • Namespaces – categorize variables into Namespaces and map these Namespaces to various components of the bot definition. This would facilitate the loading of only relevant variables while executing specific components thus improving the bot’s performance and response times. Know more.
  • Users can be allowed to set an Alert on any day of the week in addition to the current daily, weekends, and weekdays. Know more.
  • A new event Telephony Welcome Event has been introduced. This event will be triggered when the platform receives a voice call from channels like IVR, Twilio or Audio Codes. This replaces the current Twilio Voice Welcome Event. Know more.
  • Synchronous webhook channel support has been extended for Digital forms.

Administration and Security Enhancements

  • Ability to customize the customer Data retention period. Know more.
  • AD Sync support extended to OUD (Oracle Unified Directory). Know more.
  • Availability of the JWT Token generator tool on Developer Portal. Know more.
  • Support expiry of JTI for BotKit JWT. Know more.

SDK Versions

The following is the recommendation for the versions compatible with this release:

  • Web/Mobile SDK & Widget SDK:
  • BotKit SDK:
    • version 8.0.0 source GitHub link
    • Updated to include support for adding custom tags; closing conversation sessions and more.
    • Usage instructions: Botkit SDK

Release Details

You can find the full list of features and enhancements in the v8.0 here.

You can also find the details of all the minor updates to the platform after the release of v8.0 from here.


  • The support to present end-users with an alphabet index value for selecting intents and list of items is deprecated and will soon be discontinued.
  • Action, Information, and Flow tasks will no longer be supported by the platform and will soon be discontinued. We recommend using the Dialog Tasks and Digital Forms to build these use-cases.
  • The previous definition of waiting for the user to return to make the decision to close a conversation session will be deprecated. You need to set the definition of session time from the Configuration Settings.

See here for details.