News

Empower everyone to automate work with the all-new Workflow Builder

New automation capabilities to unlock more powerful workflows, no matter your technical expertise

By the team at Slack6th September 2023

In the quest for efficiency, companies often get stuck in an automation paradox. The more people seek automation, the more overwhelmed IT teams become, already struggling with a 41% spike in projects in the past year. Requests pile up in a backlog while you’re still bogged down by manual tasks, with no relief in sight – and the cycle starts all over again.

That’s why a few years ago we launched Workflow Builder – our no-code automation tool that empowers everyone to automate work in Slack. Since then, nearly one million people have built workflows without a single line of code, with 80% of them coming from non-technical backgrounds. T-Mobile’s support team streamlined tedious status reports, Noom’s HR team accelerated onboarding, and Canva’s finance team saved nearly 64 hours a week with async stand-ups. It’s a win-win, lightening the load for IT while driving productivity for all. 

Today we’re introducing a brand-new Workflow Builder to make automation simpler yet powerful for everyone, regardless of their technical expertise. This upgrade opens up a whole new realm of automation possibilities – making it easy to connect your tools in a few clicks, bring workflows seamlessly into your team’s workday and unlock deeper customisation with apps hosted in Slack.

Workflow Builder has empowered our users to explore new, creative approaches to automating tasks within Slack, all while freeing up valuable time for more strategic work.

Rebecca HoffmanAVP, Product Manager of Collaboration Tools, AllianceBernstein

Keep your conversations and tools in sync

On average, workers report using up to 52 different work tools each week to get work done. While each tool may add value, switching between them can be both frustrating and costly. And when teams create processes in one tool but collaborate in another, context gets lost, alignment suffers and progress slows.

That’s where Workflow Builder comes in: it’s the glue that keeps everything together across your people and tools. Now, with the expanded automation toolbox in Workflow Builder, you have more flexibility to customise workflows to your exact needs.

Connect tools in Workflow Builder without any code


With new built-in Slack steps and
connectors from productivity essentials like Salesforce, Google Workspace and Atlassian, it’s easy to build powerful workflows that automate across multiple systems in just a few clicks.

So how does it work in practice? Let’s say you’re starting a new project. You have a checklist in mind – tools to set up, people to involve and a working cadence you would like to establish. With Workflow Builder, you can put that work on autopilot:

  • Create a new project channel for your team to collaborate in
  • Invite the right people to the channel
  • Start a new project in Asana to track tasks and milestones
  • Schedule a call in Zoom for the kickoff meeting


The result? No more jumping between tools. Everything happens automatically, saving you time and freeing you up from manual coordination. Once a workflow is published, you can pay it forward and let other people use it too, helping standardise unstructured processes and spread efficiency gains across the organisation.

We are already power users of Workflow Builder, and these new capabilities will unlock even more advanced use cases for a wider, non-coding audience.

Karl OwenSenior Distinguished Engineer, Dell

Easily bring automation into your flow of work

The reality is, even with the promise of efficiency, new processes don’t always catch on. The time and effort it takes to learn, access and use them can keep your team stuck in old ways.

With Slack, it’s easy to minimise that friction. By bringing automation where your team is already working, you can reduce the learning curve and get new processes off the ground faster. It’s as easy as adding a link to a workflow and sharing it across relevant places in Slack:

  • Embed it in a canvas, allowing people to quickly move from reading to taking action – all in one place 
  • Add it to a channel’s bookmarks, creating more opportunities for people to discover and use workflows in a relevant context 
  • Send it in a Slack message, easily redirecting people to a process without needing to explain each step 
Share a workflow in a canvas or in a Slack message


We’re also introducing a new centralised place for apps and workflows under the
Automations  view in the More tab. In the coming weeks, you’ll be able to find and launch all available workflows from one place and use templates to jump-start your building process. If you come across a useful workflow created by someone else, it’s easy to duplicate it in Workflow Builder and customise the rest.

Build enterprise-grade custom apps, hosted in Slack

When customers want to transform end-to-end processes, they turn to custom apps built with our open APIs and flexible developer tools. Take Nutanix – the company transitioned from a traditional IT ticketing desk to an automated system in Slack, resulting in 34% faster ticket resolution with 27% fewer technicians. Spotify also drove a 40% increase in efficiency by using real-time alerts in Slack to automate campaign optimisation.

Our next-generation developer platform now makes it quicker and easier to build custom apps that achieve that kind of transformation. We’ll host your apps in Slack at no added cost, so you can focus on writing code instead of managing infrastructure. And your apps will run in an enterprise-grade environment that meets Slack’s security and compliance standards.

Next-generation custom apps are modular, too, making them more flexible and versatile. You can extend custom functions to Workflow Builder, where more people can discover and use them in their own workflows. A single custom function can power unlimited automations, expanding your impact and lowering the cost of development as adoption scales.

A block of code from a coded function turns into a custom step in Workflow Builder

 

What sets the platform apart is the sheer amount of options and support it offers. The development experience was fluid and expansive, helping us explore new ways to integrate our support structure directly in Slack.

Tyler BeckettSaaS Operations Engineer, Workiva

Transitioning to a new world of automation in Slack

The new Workflow Builder is already on its way! If you’re on Slack Pro or Business+, you can use it now. If you’re on Slack Enterprise Grid, it will be available to you in the coming weeks. If you’re a developer on any paid subscription, you can start building with the next-generation platform right away. 

You can build with the new Workflow Builder and next-generation platform as part of your Slack subscription and create as many workflows and custom apps as you’d like. However, workflows that contain custom functions or two or more connector steps will have usage-based pricing that kicks in when you exceed a monthly allotment of workflow runs included in your Slack subscription.

We want to make this transition as easy as possible. We’re offering a promotion period until 31 October, so you have time to test out more advanced functionality, like custom functions and connectors, at no cost. All of your existing workflows from the legacy Workflow Builder will remain free, and most  will automatically migrate to the new version. 

If you have questions, please reach out to your account team or contact us at feedback@slack.com. We’re here to help!

Jump-start your automation journey 

To get started, users can explore the Workflow Builder resource hub, where you can learn more and find inspiration on what to automate in Slack. 

Developers can head over to our API documentation and sign up for our upcoming webinar series, where technical experts will show you how to build a custom app in a live coding demo.

We can’t wait to see what you build!

 

The information above is for informational purposes only, and not as a binding commitment. Please do not rely on this information in making your purchasing decisions because ultimately, the development, release and timing of any products, features or functionality remains at the sole discretion of Slack and is subject to change.

 

 

 

Footnotes

  1. The Automations hub will be available to all customers on paid plans in the coming weeks.
  2. If you’ve built workflows in the legacy Workflow Builder that use webhooks or Steps from Apps, they will not be automatically migrated to the new version. We are making one exception for Google Sheets and will automatically migrate workflows that use the ‘Add to spreadsheet’ step to the new Workflow Builder. You can continue using workflows with webhooks or Steps from Apps until September 12, 2024, when Slack ends support for all legacy Workflow Builder functionality. Slack admins will receive an email with more details if their organization is affected.

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