Set up behaviors for a Central bot

Beta

Zapier Central is a beta product. It’s available for use, but still in active development and may change.

 

Behaviors control what your bot can do. They are composed of:

  • Instructions: a description of what you want the bot to do.
  • Trigger: an app that will kick off the behavior.
  • Actions: apps the bot will use to perform tasks.
  • (Optional) Data sources: documents the bot can use to answer questions and complete tasks. Data sources are shared between all behaviors of a bot. 

A bot can have multiple behaviors, each with its own set of instructions, a trigger, and actions. Each time a behavior runs, it consumes one activity

 

Create a behavior

  1. From your bot Chat screen, click Behaviors.
  2. Click Create behavior. A dialog box will open.
  3. In the Instructions field, describe what you want the bot to do.
  4. Click + Add trigger to select a trigger.
  5. Click + Add action to select an action. You can add multiple actions.

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Each bot must have instructions, a trigger, and at least one action. Below you'll learn more about each of these fields.

 

Instructions

Instructions tell the bot what it should do and you should include what triggers and what actions it should take on your behalf. When you start writing your instructions, the bot will suggest relevant options for the trigger and action fields.

Example

If your instructions say, “When I add a star to an email in Gmail, look at the body of the email and determine if it contains something for me to do. If so, create a task assigned to me in Asana with the relevant details and due date. If there’s nothing I need to do, send me a private message in Slack with a summary of the email.” 

Whenever you mark an email in Gmail with a star, the bot will be alerted through its trigger, and will then analyze the content to identify possible tasks for you. If there are any, it'll create tasks for you in Asana. If it cannot identify any tasks for you, it will send a Slack message with a summary of the content. 

 

Search and browse with a bot

Your Central bots can search the internet for specific queries and browse websites for general information to complete your requests and tasks. Whenever you provide instructions that require accessing an external website, the bot will complete them and return the results.

Note

The bot cannot log in to websites or interact with them. Any information you want it to retrieve needs to be publicly available.

 

Behavior triggers

Behavior triggers are events that start the bot. If you already use Zapier, the bot trigger works similarly to a Zap trigger.

Unlike Zap triggers, bot behavior triggers can be triggered on demand, as well as automatically. You can trigger the behavior: 

  • When new data comes through an app.
  • Whenever you message the bot.
  • When you use a specific keyword or phrase in a message to the bot. 

You can define how to trigger a bot by entering that information in the Instructions field. Then, select one of the bot's suggestions for the trigger, or select any other one. To set up a trigger:

  1. In the Behavior dialog box, click + Add trigger. A dialog box will open.
  2. In the Trigger field, search for and select an app.
  3. Select the trigger you want to use.
    • Click Clear to remove the selected trigger.
  4. If required, in the Connection dropdown menu, select an account to connect to. Certain apps do not require a connection.
  5. Fill out any required fields for your trigger.
  6. Click Add trigger.

 

Behavior actions

Once you write your instructions, the bot will try to find the most appropriate actions. A bot can use multiple actions.

To add an action:

  1. In the Behavior dialog box, click + Add action.
  2. In the Action field, search for and select the app or action name
    • Click Clear to remove the selected action.
  3. In the Connection dropdown menu, select an account to connect to. 
  4. Fill out all required fields
  5. Click Add action.
Note

Private apps will not appear in the list of options for triggers and actions.

 

Test your behavior and enable it

After setting up your behavior, you should test it to ensure the bot is working as expected. You can test a behavior from the Behavior dialog box, by clicking the Test behavior link.

When you’re testing a behavior, your bot will show you a preview before taking actions in your connected apps, so you can ensure it is sending the correct information.

 

Correct a behavior

During testing, if you'd like the bot to do something differently, just send a message telling it what to do. If your bot recognizes that it should update its instructions, it will show that the feedback has been saved and the instructions for the behavior will be updated.

When you're happy with the results, enable the behavior by clicking the Enable behavior toggle, on the top right of the Behavior dialog box.

 

Define how the bot will use action fields

The bot can take different actions depending on the field type.

 

Required fields

You must enter a value or make a selection in a required field. Required fields have the following options:

  • Have AI generate a value for this field: the bot will automatically determine the best value to use for the field.
  • Set a specific value for this field: you manually select a value for the field.
    • If you select this option, a new field will appear, where you can enter a value that will be used whenever the behavior runs.

 

Optional fields

You do not have to enter a value or make a selection in optional fields. They have the same options as required fields, and you can also tell the bot to not include a value for that specific field.

 

Multiple selection fields

You can enter more than one value or make more than one selection in multiselect fields. Besides the options available for required fields, multiselect fields have the option Have AI select a value from one of these choices. If you select this option,  a dropdown menu field will appear below with all possible values for the field. You can then select all options the bot is allowed to use.

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Provide feedback and get help

Submit a feature request, provide feedback on existing features, or get help from the Zapier Central team. You can also discuss Central with other users on Zapier's Early Access Program Slack.

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