Hawaii iOS Developer Meetup – Session 53

During this meetup Adam Smith presented on a chat bot he created to keep himself from eating sugar. It’s call Sugarbot and it’s available for free on the App Store.

We skipped introductions during this meetup to save time. Then Adam setup a project in Google Dialogflow. I suggested the topic of dogs and he went with it. He showed us how to create context and intentions for the chatbot and demonstrated that it worked.

Tyler suggested that the bot’s favorite dog was a sheep dog and Adam coded it. When he asked the bot what its favorite breed was it answered sheep dog.

Next Adam showed us how he created the back end for the bot. He brought up a term that I had heard before but had never know what it meant – webhooks. Adam mentioned that any time he creates a service that requires a call to an API he creates a webhook so that if the server does not respond, his server can handle the failure, and report back to the app with his own failure message.

Noel asked Adam what kind of backend he had set up to send the push notifications. Adam, very kindly, showed us the backend he has set up in Laravel (php and mysql) to run an hourly cron job to send out the push notifications.

I was so inpsired by this talk that I made the topic for March 15th’s meetup Apple Push Notification servers. Already have a few sign ups! This week I’ll be researching how to set this up and if all goes well, I’ll be able to demo something like Whatsapp for messaging with a Firebase backend.

Please RSVP if you’re intersted in attending the meetup on March 15th on Apple Push Notificaitons.


Author: David Neely

Professional Software Developer. Technology and Web Coordinator at the University of Hawaii's Manoa Career Center.