Stickier Slack apps with workflow steps
You can now develop components of a Slack app that will soon be available as steps in Workflow Builder, enabling anyone to create custom workflows in Slack that integrate with their external tools.
Since launching Workflow Builder late last year, hundreds of thousands of builders have published workflows that are used millions of times monthly. 75% of these builders are non-technical, indicating a need for more tools that empower anyone to uniquely customize how they work in Slack.
The basics of Workflow Builder
Without writing a single line of code, builders can create channel-specific workflows that automatically run through a sequence of steps when triggered. This comes in handy for things like onboarding new teammates, handling requests, team stand-ups, and more.
Workflow steps from apps
Now you can code a workflow step for your Slack app that builders can then choose when creating a custom workflow. Each app can have up to ten workflow steps.
Until today, builders could only select from native Slack steps, like sending a message or creating a form. With steps from apps, builders will be able to create workflows that, for example, send data to an external service, create tasks in project management trackers, or update the status of a ticket in an external ticketing system.
A new workflow step for Google Sheets will make it easy to push data from Slack right into a spreadsheet. This comes in handy for workflows that collect information through a form, so builders can configure their workflow to automatically send those form responses as a new row in the Google Sheet of their choice.
An opportunity to extend your reach
By adding workflow step functionality to your new and existing apps, customers will have new ways to connect your service to their daily work in Slack. When deciding which steps to develop, it’s important to identify the most valuable actions people can take with your app.
Once available through Workflow Builder, anyone will be able to automate routine tasks that include custom interactions with your app — whether that’s receiving, or sending information to Slack from your service.
The team at Polly, a polling app for Slack, is building a workflow step for their app’s most popular use case — requesting feedback. This workflow step will be useful for teams that triage time-sensitive information, like customer support tickets. For example, they can build a workflow that is triggered by an emoji reaction, which then sends a pre-built customer satisfaction survey administered by Polly.
Deeper customization for enterprise-grade workflows
If you develop custom Slack apps that integrate with your company’s internal tools, you can also hook those business-critical integrations into Workflow Builder by simply adding workflow step functionality.
Perhaps your company uses an internal task management system, and you’ve already built a custom app that sends notifications to Slack with task updates. If someone wants to see more details or create a new task in the system, they have to leave Slack and log into that separate tool.
By making your app available as a workflow step, builders can create workflows that automate routine processes, like creating a new task, to keep work moving forward without leaving Slack.
Now available in open beta, you can start coding your app’s steps today. Go to the Slack app configuration page, choose your app, select “workflow steps,” and toggle on the feature. Visit Slack API for documentation, tutorials, design guidelines, and more.
Need more hands-on support? Join next week’s webinar, Extending your app with Workflow Builder, to dive deeper with the Workflow Builder team — plus lots of time for Q&A.
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