15 Platform Version

Starting with Release 20.08 of Oracle Digital Assistant, each bot (skill or digital assistant) is tied to a specific platform version that corresponds with a release version of Digital Assistant.

This means that the bot continues using that platform version, even when the Digital Assistant instance is upgraded.

The platform version impacts the behavior of your bots. In some cases, this means the addition of features (like the addition of built-in entities). In others, it merely means fine-tuning of the platform's Natural Language Understanding (NLU). Each platform version remains valid for 18 months.

Since a given version of a bot is now permanently tied to a platform version, you can thoroughly test that bot, optimize its training corpus, and put it into production without worrying that its behavior will change when your Digital Assistant instance is upgraded to a new release.

For new bots, you specify the platform version when you create the bot. You can select the current version (recommend) or any other active or deprecated version. For bots created in Release 20.06 or earlier, the platform version is set to 20.06.

The platform versions for a digital assistant and skills in a digital assistant do not have to match. You can use different platform versions for each.

To upgrade a bot's platform version, you need to create a new version (or clone) of the bot.

Lifecycle Phases of Platform Versions

Each platform version goes through the following lifecycle phases:

  • Active - Released within the previous six months.

    You should always use an active platform version (preferably the latest) when you are developing a new bot.

  • Deprecated - Released within the previous six to 12 months.

    You can continue development of your skill in this phase, but we encourage you to move to an active platform version to take advantage of new features and improvements and to lengthen period you can use the bot without needing to update the platform version.

  • Obsolete - Released within the previous 12 to 18 months.

    Published bots with obsolete platform versions will continue to function. However, you can no longer modify or train draft bots with this status. To continue development of a bot with this status, you need to clone it or create a new version and specify an active (or deprecated) platform version.

    If any of your bots (published or draft) are on platform versions with this status, it is important to create new versions of them before they reach Invalid status. Once they are in Invalid status, you will not be able to create new versions or clones of them.

  • Invalid - Released more than 18 months ago.

    All bots with this status will stop functioning. In addition, it will no longer be possible to clone, import, or create a new version of a bot with this status.

Change a Bot's Platform Version

To change the platform version for a skill or digital assistant, you need to create a new version of the bot itself (or clone the bot) and set the platform version in the new version of the bot. In the new version or clone, you can change it to any platform version that is newer than the base bot's platform version and that has either active or deprecated status.

Here are the steps for updating platform versions of digital assistants and skills by creating new versions of the bots.

For digital assistants:

  1. Click icon to open the side menu to open the side menu and select Development > Digital Assistants.

  2. In the tile for the digital assistant that you want to version, click icon to open the Options menu and select Version.

  3. Fill in the Version field with a unique version number for the digital assistant.
  4. Select the platform version you want to switch to from the Platform Version dropdown.
  5. Click Create.

For skills:

  1. Click icon to open the side menu to open the side menu and select Development > Skills.

  2. In the tile for the skill that you want to version, click the Options icon, and select Version.

  3. Fill in the Version field with a unique version number for the digital assistant.
  4. Select the platform version you want to switch to from the Platform Version dropdown.
  5. Click Create.

Best Practices for Managing Platform Versions

To continuously improve the quality of your skills and digital assistants, while making sure that there aren't any regressions, here are some best practices:

  • Generate test cases from the beginning of the development cycle so that you can later do regression tests on the new versions.

    Even though updates in the platform generally improve the overall quality of bots, these updates could cause unexpected results in intent resolution that require you to update the training corpus of your skills.

    You can use both:

    • Batch tests for intents, which you save as a CSV file and run in the intent tester. See Batch Test Intents.
    • Test cases, which you can record in the bot tester and then save as part of your bot's metadata. SeeTest Cases.
  • Test and retrain skills and digital assistants based on user queries every two months. This well help you improve intent resolution over time.

    As part of this process, create new versions of the bots on the most recent platform version and compare the test results for the bot versions that are on the new platform with the versions on the existing platform. If the test results for the bots on the new platform don't reveal regressions, consider moving those versions of the bots into production.

  • Update skills and digital assistants to the latest platform version (and thoroughly test them) every 6 months. Though you don't strictly need to update your bots that often, it is likely that you will greatly benefit from doing so, given the ongoing platform enhancements.

Extended Bots and Platform Versions

When you extend a skill or digital assistant, you inherit the platform version from the base bot and can't change it. Similarly, when you rebase an extended skill or digital assistant, your bot inherits the platform version that is used by the new version of the base bot.

Platform Versions in Migrated Instances

If you have an instance that has been migrated from the Gen 1 Cloud infrastructure to Release 20.8 or later of the Gen 2 infrastructure, your bots will be assigned a platform version of 20.06.