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Connecting to the outside world

Now that your instance of Forge is up and running, you need a way to communicate with it. Telegram Messenger is a great starting point because it has a free API and it’s very easy to start working with it.

Creating a Telegram bot

We will use an existing integration with Telegram as a way for your system to communicate with the outside world. Just install the telegram adapter:

pip install "telegram-adapter[dev]"

Great! You now need a Telegram bot that you can use for testing. You can create one using Telegram’s BotFather.


Here's a step-by-step guide on how to create a Telegram bot:

  1. Open Telegram and search for the "BotFather" bot.

  2. Type (or click on) /start to begin the conversation with BotFather.

  3. Type (or click on) /newbot to create a new bot.

  4. Follow the instructions provided by BotFather to set the name and username for your new bot. You can use any name you'd like, but the username has to be unique. You will receive a token that you'll use to interact with your bot.

We named our agent Nola, but this name is completely arbitrary, so feel free to choose something in line with the character you picked.

Once you get the bot token, run the following code to integrate the telegram adapter with the platform:

telegram-adapter setup

When prompted to choose which agent should be set to handle signals for the freshly made telegram bot, type in the name of your agent. In this example we are using Nola, in your example you should use your agent.

You’re all set! You now have a way to communicate with the platform through your Telegram bot.

Creating Nola - the interactive agent

Now that you have the communication channel set up between Forge and the outside world, it’s time to design your chatting agent!

The only thing Nola will know how to do at first is repeat after you: whatever message you send her, she will echo the same text back. Let’s start!

We start with defining the class of the agent we want to create. Next to, create a new file with the agent name you picked, for example java/agents/ and paste in the following, adapting the agent name:

package agents;

import com.mindsmiths.ruleEngine.model.Agent;
import com.mindsmiths.telegramAdapter.TelegramAdapterAPI;
import lombok.*;

public class Nola extends Agent {

public Nola() {

public void sendMessage(String text) {
String chatId = getConnection("telegram");
TelegramAdapterAPI.sendMessage(chatId, text);

Make sure you keep the naming consistent! In general, you should change the name "Nola" wherever you see it, and put the name you have chosen for your agent.

We have created a simple helper function sendMessage to make it easier to send messages over Telegram. As each agent of class Nola communicates with exactly one user, we use that user’s Telegram chatId.

Now that you’ve defined your first class, let’s write your first rule! We create a new file inside rules, with path rules/nola/Conversation.drl:

package rules.nola;


import agents.Nola;

rule "Handle message"
message: TelegramReceivedMessage() from entry-point "signals"
agent: Nola()

There's a lot going on, but let's break it down. There are two basic types of conditions we use in the when part:

  • Conditions based on signals, which come from entry-points.
  • Conditions based on facts, which are persistent and represent our knowledge base.

The first line in the when part tells us that we have received a message from the user, which is an external signal.

In the second line we’re just fetching a reference to our agent Nola. In the beginning, the agent instance is the only fact present in our knowledge base.

The syntax with colons denotes simple variable assignment: TelegramReceivedMessage and Nola are assigned to variables message and agent for later referencing in the then part.

Now, if the message comes from the entry point named "signals", and an agent named Nola exists, the then part of the rule starts executing: we just send back the same message the user sent to us.

After we’ve processed the received message, we want to remove the signal from the system and we do


so it wouldn’t trigger other rules.

Ok, time to interact! Run the system again with forge run in your terminal and go to your Telegram bot in the Telegram app. Press /start and write a message to Nola. She will simply repeat the content of each of your messages.

Nice job creating your first interaction! 🎉