Developers

Creating the building blocks of automation

The next-generation platform is now out of beta and available to all developers

Author: Taylor Singletary, Head of Developer Relations24th April 2023

Our next-generation platform for automating and integrating everything with Slack is out of beta for developers and gradually rolling out to all teams over the next two weeks. After nearly three years of experimentation, development and testing with the community, we’re ready for you to show your teams (and us!) what’s possible with:

  • A new modular architecture grounded in building blocks like functions, triggers and workflows. They’re remixable, reusable and hook into everything flowing in and out of Slack. 
  • A faster, more intuitive developer experience, including new tools like the Slack CLI and TypeScript SDK that simplify and clarify the most tedious parts of building on top of Slack.
  • Secure deployment, data storage and authentication powered by Slack-managed serverless infrastructure. And a fast, Deno-based TypeScript runtime keeps you focused on your code and your users.
  • A flexible user experience that makes it easy to share what you built anywhere in Slack. Add a link trigger and your workflow becomes portable – you can share it in a message, add it to your bookmarks, put it in a canvas and more.

Listening to developers, admins and users is critical to building, maintaining and evolving a platform like ours. We know that it wasn’t the easiest building custom integrations – from ensuring that they’re enterprise-ready from day one to keeping them fresh whenever new Slack features are released.

After witnessing our customers’ success in automating work with Workflow Builder, we knew that we had to make it even more extensible for developers and bring that automation power to more people. Your input reverberated in every carefully considered decision that we made and brought us to where we are today!

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

A peek into what’s next

As excited as I am about this developer release, I’m ecstatic to see where you’ll take your creations next.

Workflow Builder will soon be a supercharged no-code tool that puts the power of automating Slack and integrating everyday tools directly into the hands of users. The functions and workflows that you create will become infinitely remixable as users discover new ways to combine triggers, inputs and outputs with functions for the software that they use the most.

Workflow Builder with Custom Functions

 

Our platform is also designed to make workflows automatically extensible to the Slack surfaces of today and tomorrow. You can focus on business logic, and we’ll make sure that your functions and workflows just work in any new experience introduced in Slack. 

For example, canvas is a new persistent surface where teams can create, curate and share essential information like text, files, link unfurls and more in a single view. From day one, you’ll be able to embed workflows too, so it’s easy to discover and use them in a relevant context, like adding an IT request workflow to an onboarding canvas.

What you need to know about pricing

These changes to our platform are designed to simplify and streamline development through new capabilities, like reusing custom functions and running your app on our managed infrastructure. To reflect that added value, our next-generation platform will have a paid component:

  • Not all workflows are the same: Only those built with certain advanced functionality will be subject to additional costs:
  • Pay for what you use: Pricing is based on the number of times that someone in your workspace ‘runs’ a premium workflow. Every organisation is different, so we want to ensure that you’re in control and have the flexibility to scale up or down usage as your needs evolve.
  • Plenty of runs to get started: Every paid Slack subscription includes an allotment of premium workflow runs. This allows you to use premium workflows for free, so that you don’t incur any costs until you’ve had the chance to see the value first. 

To give you all the time that you need to try premium workflows, we are offering a six-month promotion period, from 24 April to 31 October. During this period, customers will not be charged for any premium workflow runs. You can find more information on pricing here

Thank you

If you’ve ever used the platform to automate any part of your life, thank you. If you only use webhooks, or if you’re a seasoned slash command expert on all of our hundreds of RPC methods, and you know every block in the Block Kit book, thank you. If you’ve ever told us what you think (especially if it was hard but necessary for us to hear), thank you.

A special thank you to the very engaged developer communities in Japan, around TypeScript and Deno, and to everyone working together to solve problems and make the platform better. 

Finally, thank you to every Slack administrator for paving the way with a new integration paradigm for your organisation. Your work is monumental and we’ve had you in mind all along while developing our new automation platform.

Start building

You are standing in an open field. Read our docs here. Get inspired by tutorials and samples there. Join the conversation in the Slack Community. And remember, a new Workflow Builder is on the horizon that will evolve this platform game even further.

We can’t wait to see what you build!

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