Slack automations

Developing automations requires a paid plan. Don't have a paid plan? Join the Developer Program and provision a sandbox with access to all Slack features for free.

Automations are all about workflows. Developers can create workflow-based apps using certain Slack SDKs and the Slack CLI. The Slack CLI helps you through the entire app creation process - from initialization to deployment.

You can create Slack-hosted workflows written in TypeScript using the Deno Slack SDK. If you'd rather self-host, then you can use the Python and JavaScript Bolt SDKs.

Workflows in your workflow apps can be used on their own, or you can make functions available as steps in Workflow Builder.

Workflow Builder is a no-code way to build workflows, right in Slack. Any user can combine a limited set of steps and triggers to quickly set up an automation.

The app management UI on doesn’t support configuring workflow apps. Also, workflow apps are currently not eligible for listing in the App Directory.

The anatomy of a workflow

Workflows are a combination of functions, executed in order.

There are a three types of functions:

  • Slack functions enable Slack-native actions, like creating a channel or sending a message.
  • Connector functions enable actions native to services outside of Slack. Google Sheets, Dropbox and Microsoft Excel are just a few of the services with available connector functions
  • Custom functions enable developer-specific actions. Pass in any desired inputs, perform any actions you can code up, and pass on outputs to other parts of your workflows. Running premium workflows with custom-built functions has pricing attached to it. Learn more about the pricing model in our help center.

Workflows are invoked via triggers. You can invoke workflows:

  • via a link within Slack,
  • on a schedule,
  • when specified events occurs,
  • or via webhooks.

Workflows make use of specifically-designed features of the Slack platform such as datastores, a Slack-hosted way to store data.

While in development, you can keep your project mostly to yourself, or share it with a close collaborator. If your Slack admin requires approval of app installations, they’ll need to approve what you’re creating first.

Get started

➡️ If you're ready to develop your own workflow-based app with the Slack Deno SDK, begin with our quickstart.

If you'd like to learn more before developing with the Slack Deno SDK, read our guides on TypeScript (a strongly typed evolution of Javascript) and Deno.

If you'd rather build instead of develop check out Workflow Builder.

⤵️ If you want inspiration, explore our samples. Some are listed below.