Read form data input by users on cards

Stay organized with collections Save and categorize content based on your preferences.

Users can input data on cards that Chat apps receive and read. Widgets that let users enter data include:

  • TextInput for free-form text entry that also supports suggestions
  • SelectionInput for list items and menus, like checkboxes, radio buttons, and dropdown menus
  • DateTimePicker for date and time

Receiving data input by users lets Chat apps do lots of useful things, including:

  • Update customer service cases
  • Create work orders
  • Authenticate with Web services

This guide describes how to receive and read the data that users enter in cards.

How receiving data works

A Chat app presents a card to the user as a dialog or card message.

In this example, the dialog asks the user to enter information about a contact, using TextInput and SelectionInput widgets. When collecting a lot of information from users, Chat apps can open sequential dialogs.

A dialog featuring a variety of different widgets.

When finished, the Chat app receives the values users entered in the dialog as JSON.

Receive form data from dialogs

When users click a button on a dialog, the data that they entered gets submitted to the Chat app, and the app receives an Event where:

The data users enter in the dialog are available on the Event as Event.common.formInputs, a map where keys are string IDs assigned to each dialog widget and values represent user input for each widget. Different objects represent different input data types. For example, Event.common.formInputs.stringInputs represent string inputs.

When a user submits a dialog, your Chat app receives an Event from Google Chat, such as the following example:

JSON

{
  "type": enum (EventType),
  "eventTime": string,
  "threadKey": string,
  "message": {
    object (Message)
  },
  "user": {
    object (User)
  },
  "space": {
    object (Space)
  },
  "action": {
    object (FormAction)
  },
  "configCompleteRedirectUrl": string,

  // Indicates that this event is dialog-related.
  "isDialogEvent": true,

  // Indicates that a user clicked a button, and all data
  // they entered in the dialog is included in Event.common.formInputs.
  "dialogEventType": "SUBMIT_DIALOG",
  "common": {
    "userLocale": string,
    "hostApp": enum (HostApp),
    "platform": enum (Platform),
    "timeZone": {
      object (TimeZone)
    },

    // Represents user data entered in a dialog
    "formInputs": {

      // Represents string data entered in a dialog, like text input fields
      // and check boxes
      "stringInputs": {

        // An array of strings entered by the user in a dialog.
        "value": [
          string
        ]
      }
    },
    "parameters": {
      string: string,
      ...
    },
    "invokedFunction": string
  }
}

Your app can access the first user-entered value at event.common.formInputs.NAME.stringInputs.value[0], where NAME is the name field of a TextInput widget.

After receiving the dialog form data, the Chat app responds by either acknowledging receipt or by returning an error, both of which are done by returning an ActionResponse:

  • To acknowledge successful receipt, respond with an ActionResponse that has "actionStatus": "OK".
  • To return an error, respond with an ActionResponse that has "actionStatus": "ERROR MESSAGE".

The following example checks for the presence of a name value. If absent, the app returns an error. If present, the app acknowledges receipt of the form data and closes the dialog.

Node.js

/**
 * Checks for a form input error, the absence of
 * a "name" value, and returns an error if absent.
 * Otherwise, confirms successful receipt of a dialog.
 *
 * Confirms successful receipt of a dialog.
 *
 * @param {Object} event the event object from Chat API.
 *
 * @return {object} open a Dialog in Google Chat.
 */
function receiveDialog(event) {

  // Checks to make sure the user entered a name
  // in a dialog. If no name value detected, returns
  // an error message.
  if (event.common.formInputs.contactName.stringInputs.value[0] == "") {
    res.json({
      "actionResponse": {
        "type": "DIALOG",
        "dialogAction": {
          "actionStatus": "Don't forget to name your new contact!"
        }
      }
    });

  // Otherwise the app indicates that it received
  // form data from the dialog. Any value other than "OK"
  // gets returned as an error. "OK" is interpreted as
  // code 200, and the dialog closes.
  } else {
    res.json({
      "actionResponse": {
        "type": "DIALOG",
        "dialogAction": {
          "actionStatus": "OK"
        }
      }
    });
  }
}

Apps Script

/**
 * Checks for a form input error, the absence of
 * a "name" value, and returns an error if absent.
 * Otherwise, confirms successful receipt of a dialog.
 *
 * Confirms successful receipt of a dialog.
 *
 * @param {Object} event the event object from Chat API.
 *
 * @return {object} open a Dialog in Google Chat.
 */
function receiveDialog(event) {

  // Checks to make sure the user entered a name
  // in a dialog. If no name value detected, returns
  // an error message.
  if (event.common.formInputs.contactName.stringInputs.value[0] == "") {
    return {
      "actionResponse": {
        "type": "DIALOG",
        "dialogAction": {
          "actionStatus": "Don't forget to name your new contact!"
        }
      }
    };

  // Otherwise the app indicates that it received
  // form data from the dialog. Any value other than "OK"
  // gets returned as an error. "OK" is interpreted as
  // code 200, and the dialog closes.
  } else {
    return {
      "actionResponse": {
        "type": "DIALOG",
        "dialogAction": {
          "actionStatus": "OK"
        }
      }
    };
  }
}

Python

def receive_dialog(event: Mapping[str, Any]) -> Mapping[str, Any]:
  """Checks for a form input error, the absence of a "name" value, and returns
     an error if absent. Otherwise, confirms successful receipt of a dialog.

  Args:
      event (Mapping[str, Any]): the event object from Chat API.

  Returns:
      Mapping[str, Any]: the response.
  """

  if common := event.get('common'):
    if form_inputs := common.get('formInputs'):
      if contact_name := form_inputs.get('contactName'):
        if string_inputs := contact_name.get('stringInputs')
          if name := string_inputs.get('value'):
            return {
              'actionResponse': {
                'type': 'DIALOG',
                'dialogAction': {
                  'actionStatus': 'OK'
                }
              }
            }
          else:
            return {
              'actionResponse': {
                'type': 'DIALOG',
                'dialogAction': {
                  'actionStatus': 'Don't forget to name your new contact!'
                }
              }
            }