Breaking down barriers for Slack app adoption
As Slack app developers, we create solutions that save time, increase productivity, and foster effective communication. Our most popular apps connect Slack to Atlassian and are used by all kinds of organizations — even the most security-conscious enterprise companies.
Previously, connecting to on-prem systems were a challenge, but now Socket Mode makes it much simpler.
Cloud is the future
At Nextup.ai, the majority of our customers use our secure multi-tenant SaaS platform. To build trust with these companies we have SOC-II Type 2, HIPAA compliance, bug bounty, and offer data residency. However, for a select set of enterprise customers, opening an internal system (Jira Data Center) to our static IP address is not a viable option.
66% of IT experts agree that security is actually their biggest concern when adopting enterprise cloud computing strategies. Historically, these concerns have stopped firms from opening internal systems to cloud-hosted offerings.
Any SaaS founder knows that larger clients have larger security concerns. As such, running critical tools on-prem has been the de facto move for most enterprise companies.
To satisfy this on-prem demand, we started offering a dockerized version of our software in 2017 and instantly started learning a ton about working with enterprise customers. Our on-prem version streamlines security reviews and allows our customers to configure the solution in a way that works best for their team.
However, data center, infrastructure, and firewall changes can be challenging to implement even with a dockerized instance. The process requires a time commitment from already busy teams.
Expediting the process with Socket Mode
Socket Mode changed the paradigm for enterprise and has allowed our docker container to function without exposing software outside our firewall. Below is an excerpt from Slack API documentation.
Socket Mode allows apps to use the Events API and interactive components of the platform — without exposing a public HTTP Request URL. Socket Mode helps developers working behind a corporate firewall, or who have other security concerns that don’t allow exposing a static HTTP endpoint.
It’s a simple, secure means for us to connect without having to manage additional layers of software like proxies or punching holes in firewalls.
Socket Mode helps enterprises:
- Reduce the risks associated with web-based access to on-prem systems
- Reduce complexity via easier onboarding
- Innovate faster and reduce time to MVP/POC
When we sign up for a productivity tool, we’re doing so because the tool can save time for our whole team. That’s the ROI. If enterprise employees must jump through hoops to get tools approved by the proper stakeholders and (rightly-cautious) IT departments, how much time is really saved?
Some of our customers even build proxy servers to safely transfer data between the public internet and their internal servers. Now they can securely operate behind a firewall without the usual bureaucracy headaches. Socket Mode helps ensure that Nextup’s productivity tools for Slack and Atlassian really do save time for our customers.
How we added support for Socket Mode
When Slack announced Socket Mode we immediately knew our customers would want to adopt this new model. Significant time is saved when we reduce the number of teams required to deploy our integration. However, the security benefits alone are well worth it.
The great part of the implementation is the way socket mode mirrors the existing events our system already processes. With identical payloads, the migration process was actually quite simple.
All our development team had to do was:
- Add a way to enable/disable socket mode on a per-server basis
- Securely store and retrieve the app token
- Implement using Slack’s socket mode SDK
The Slack SDK made this process so simple that the actual development work took less than a week!
Where to go from here
Our Enterprise version is not intended for everyone and in 99% of cases, we recommend our secure SOC-II and HIPAA compliant cloud hosting model.
But let’s face it — not all companies are ready for cloud or have committed to migrating yet. For this reason, we support high-quality, on-prem installations for enterprise teams.
Security is important, let’s treat it as such.
To build your own application for on-premise software with Socket Mode, visit the Slack API documentation for an introduction to some core concepts, the new app token, and related sample code.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.