User variables are variables created for local use, while building and running an Interaction.

Once defined, User variables are available only to the Interaction in which they were created (unlike System Variables, which are available for use in any Interaction). 

As a designer, you'll likely create numerous User variables as placeholders for input that customers supply, data that the Interaction retrieves, or pieces of information that you pre-define. These values can be used and referenced at any stage during the Interaction workflow.

For example, a user is purchasing several items on your merchandise website. If the sum total exceeds a certain amount, you will offer him free delivery. To do this, you can create a User variable to store the value of the total cost of his purchase. Then you can analyze this variable in a Decision Point to determine whether or not to offer the user free delivery.

About the Variable Editor

The Variable Editor opens when you add or select a variable from the Solution Explorer. You use the Variable Editor to create, edit, or view variable details. 

Note: The Variable Editor settings that are available will depend on the variable type being used.

The following table details Variable Editor settings:

Setting Description
Variable Name Each variable in the system must have a unique name which is used as its identifier.
Variable Type Values must correspond to a pre-defined data structure, or type. A variable can be used only to store data that matches its type. The drop-down menu displays the available types:
  • Text 
  • Number
  • Currency
  • Date
  • Boolean
  • Image
  • Custom TypeAvailable Custom Types are listed at the bottom of the drop-down list. You define a Custom Type in the Admin Console. Custom Types are objects that contain multiple fields. For example, a "Customer Order" object would contain the customer name, address, and a field for each purchased item. Account Rules and Intelligent Assistant Intents are also accessed as Custom Types.
  • Collection. A collection is a user variable that contains a list of items that are all of the same data type. Collections can be simple collections (e.g, a collection of numbers), or collections of objects.
    If you select Collection, choose the Collection Type: a simple type (text, number, etc) or a custom type.
Default Value Enter a default value to appear to the user (optional). If the user does not provide input, the default value will be used,  so make this value meaningful.
  • For a Boolean variable, select either True or False.
  • For an Enum type, select from one of the pre-defined Enum variables.
Note: Image type variables do not have an option for a default value.
Do not audit the variable's value When this checkbox is selected, the value entered by the user is not saved in the Interact databases. Use this option for protecting sensitive data. This option is dependent on the variable type and may not always be available.
Secure When this checkbox is selected, the information is encrypted for security purposes. This option is only available for Text type variables.
Format Determine the preferred format for the variable type (not relevant for Boolean or Image types). For details, refer to Formatting Variables.

Creating Variables

Create variables using the Variable Editor, which can be accessed either from:

To Create a User Variable:

  1. When variables are displayed, click the  icon to add a new variable. The Variable Editor opens.
  2. In the Variable Name field, enter a unique name for the variable.
  3. From the Variable Type drop-down list, select the relevant variable type:
    • Text
    • Number
    • Currency
    • Date
    • Boolean  (True or False value)
    • Image
    • Custom Type. If Custom Types have already been defined (using the Admin Console), they will appear at the bottom of this list. When selecting a Custom Type, complete the required values that are displayed here.
    • Collection. Create a group of variables of similar data type, or a collection of objects.  For details about this data type, refer to Defining Collections.

  4. If desired, enter a value in the Default Value field. (This field is not relevant for Image variable types.)
  5. Select the Security checkboxes as required. Refer to About the Variable Editor above for more details.
  6. If relevant, define formatting settings for the variable. Refer to Designing Variable Display Formats for more details.
  7. Click Save Variable. The new User variable is stored and the Variable Editor closes.