Building Chat Bots on Drupal

In my previous blog Chatbots - An Evolving Strategy to Drive Customer Engagement I explained how business development opportunities can be enhanced using mechanized messengers. Innovative strategies in Product Design, Customer Service, Customer Engagement, Product Knowledge has become vital in businesses today. Chatbots is an excellent user interface platform for quality conversations making consumer experience delightful. Chatbots are used across businesses among various industries.

Building chatbots depends on number of factors like experience with programming language, understanding A.I, writing stellar bot conversations, understanding your company's requirement, purpose of deploying chatbot - Customer Service, Customer Engagement or Product design etc.

Drupal is an Enterprise Class Content Management tool and is a preferred backend for many chatbots to manage their content and users. Many existing Drupal Customer portals are also implementing additional Chatbot interfaces to enhance their Engagement with their Customers.

In this blog I will share some approaches of how Chatbots can be built on top of Drupal.

The different component of the Solution:



  1. Backend Portal (Existing Drupal Customer Engagement Portal) – The data (Users, User-Taxonomy mapping, Content, Alerts/Notification Messages, FAQs) will be provided by the Drupal Application. Services/API, UI components will be built on this Drupal layer.
  2. Chatbot Middleware – This will be the layer that will service the queries and connect the Bot with the backend.
  3. Messenger Interface - Chatbot will be on Facebook Messenger. (This will leveraging Facebook -third party platform).

Architecting the Registration Workflow & User Management

  1. The Workflow for user Registration of the Chatbot need to cater to two both existing and new users. Development of Social Sign In, exposing Login and Registration APIs on the Portal to connect with the Bot.
  2. The existing users of the Portal, when they add the Bot to their Facebook Messenger for the first time, the process will be facilitated by a sign in to the portal using an API. The Facebook credentials will then on be mapped automatically to the user profile on the Portal.
  3. Access to Bots for New FB users who have do not already have a portal account will be presented a registration widget that will simulate the website registration process. This would be made possible by integrating with the registration API.

Implementing Content Related Features

  1. Content Discovery -Navigation of questions to provide a guided conversation. The user will be presented with the key categories. On selection of the intended category the questions will be presented. The Content must be well categorized in Drupal and appropriate APIS seed to be created in Drupal to facilitate the guided Search.
  2. Content Discovery could be built using NLP (Natural Language Processing) based approach.
  3. Automated handling of new user queries, by way of initiating a New Content add and Push back answer through Bot could also be built.

In all the above cases the content will reside in Drupal and the middleware will orchestrate the needed data to be presented via chatbot and parsing of inputs from end users.

Implementing Alerts & Notifications

  1. Push of Alerts/ Notifications - When alerts are generated, then push notifications will be initiated for applicable facebook messenger contact IDs.
  2. The Scenarios and Content will be managed in Drupal.

Marketing and Promoting the Bot

  1. The App will also be aptly promoted on the existing site so that the existing users can update their Facebook profile details.
  2. Email campaigns could be used to promote this feature.

Check out some other interesting articles on Chatbots exclusively covering why they have become evolving technology.

PayPal payments and notifications are coming to Facebook Messenger

How travel chatbots work better than travel apps

Bank of America launches AI chatbot Erica — here's what it does

Also Checkout some blogs on Drupal and Chatbots.

White House open sources Facebook Messenger chatbot

Acobot Live Chat Robot & Customer Support Widget built on Drupal

About the Author
Gomathi Viswanathan

With over 18+ years of Experience in Software Development in a variety of business domains, Gomathi brings to the table the expertise and the industry best practices in Project Management.