This article is a pre-release chapter in the upcoming “Take Control of Slack Basics,” by Glenn Fleishman, scheduled for public release later in 2016. Apart from Chapter 1, Introducing Slack, Chapter 2, Get Started with Slack, and Chapter 12, Start a Slack Team, these chapters are available only to TidBITS members; see “Take Control of Slack Basics” Serialized in TidBITS for details.
Chapter 10: Manage Bots and Integrations
Slack wants to provide more features—way more features!—than the company could ever create on its own. Its approach is to be a platform upon which other services can build. This commitment, and third-party developers’ embrace of it, has become one of the best things about Slack.
Making conduits to other ecosystems possible, and providing access to extra single-purpose tools, even tiny ones, makes Slack richer and more useful. These third-party connections are called integrations, though Slack has moved to more frequently referring to them as apps.
For example, your team may already be using an integration with a task-management system like Trello or JIRA to push certain notifications into a Slack channel or to you via a direct message. Integrations also include automated-response systems, or bots. A bot appears like another team member, and can respond to a variety of requests, from ordering a pizza to updating a linked calendar.
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