Published: November 16, 2016
This guide covers how to submit your app to the Slack App Directory. If you haven't yet built your Slack app but are curious about how to do so, head over to see our other tutorials and documentation about building a Slack app.
Please note that your app does not need to be listed in the App Directory for it to work, so no need to submit any apps used only by your team.
It's Monday again and everyone's excited to jump into Slack and use the new Slack app you've built. It's been helping your team be more productive and everyone's talking about what a difference it's made. So you start to wonder, maybe there are other Slack teams who would find it just as handy as your team does?
Luckily, you see the Slack App Directory is just the place to share your app with other teams who might also benefit from using it. After spending weeks writing and testing your app, you're ready to submit it to the Slack App Directory. You're excited at the thought that just a week from now, your app will be published and searchable in the App Directory (conditions may vary depending on temperature, humidity level, and any feedback the review team has for you).
Since you know you might be out of the office when the review team gets back to you, you also add one of your Slack team members as a collaborator on the app, allowing them to check in on the submission and make any changes necessary during and after the review process. Yay teamwork! (Learn more about App Collaborators)
To get started, you click on the "Manage Distribution" section of your app's configuration page, accessible from api.slack.com/apps.
This opens the Submission Checklist, which gives you a detailed list of items looked at during the review (here's an overview. These are some of the most common areas of failure during the review, so you read through the checklist carefully, to make sure that you follow each item.
Before you submit everything, you also install your app from scratch on a new Slack team, just to make sure everything's in tip-top shape and working as it should be.
As you complete the checklist, you see the status bar fill up, bit by bit. Each checked item brings your closer to unlocking the next step — you might even uncheck and recheck a couple of items just for fun. Once you've completed the checklist, you're met with your prize: the satisfyingly green "Submit App" button.
Go ahead, press it. You're eager to see what happens next. Oh look, you get the chance to read everything over on the summary page for your submission. Doesn't it look good?
This gives you the chance to double-check your app's details and make sure everything's looking good. You read through the summary carefully to check for typos in your descriptions and errors in any links (peksy typso).
But wait! You realise that you've uploaded your app's old icon and you've forgotten to add one of the scopes your app needs.
Using the handy dandy "Cancel" button, you can return to the checklist and your app's configuration pages to upload the new icon and add that final
Once you're happy with your submission, and you've read through all the checklist items carefully, you get the satisfaction of hitting the Submit button twice in a row! Twice! (If you find you need to change something in your app while it's in the review process, just head back over to your app and hit the "Keep editing" button to remove it from the review and edit it.)
Now that your app's submitted, you keep your fingers crossed, make a cup of the beverage of your choice and start building your next Slack app (your team needs easy access to their Star Trek gifs). Typing with your fingers crossed is a little difficult though so you decide to take your new puppy for a walk in the park instead.
Fast forward a few days, and what's this? You see that you've received an email notification from Slack (the owls were taking a break that day). Your app's been returned and the status changed to "Needs Revision".
Never fear, you see it's just some feedback about your app's description, and a question about the scopes your app's requesting. There's also a suggestion about using message formatting to make your app's messages look their best.
After asking a question you had for the review team by replying to the email notification you received, bippity-boppity-boo, you've made changes and your app's looking better than ever. All you need to do is click through the remaining checklist items and re-submit your app!
Since variety is the spice of life, you consider making a cup of an alternative warm beverage to enjoy while you wait for the next review of your app.
The app review team's nodding their heads in appreciation of your newer icon and beautiful message formatting (they do enjoy beautiful message formatting). Your app is returned having completed the review successfully. 🎉
You're excited, your listing is ready to go, but your team has a launch plan for marketing the app! They want it published in the App Directory at exactly 11:43am.
You have the bridge and the power to publish the listing to the App Directory. Just navigate to your app from https://api.slack.com/apps and you can see the option to "Publish" it to the App Directory.
Your app should be live before your blog post and tweets, so you take a deep breath and you hit "Publish". Congratulations, your app's in the App Directory! Now your future customers can find your app from the search bar at slack.com/apps. Time to get the wheels turning on the marketing plan.
Your app's in the App Directory, meeting new Slack teams and you've uncovered a way to add more sparkle to your app's functionality. It's time to update your app's description (we understand, we like ✨).
Submitting updates to the Slack-side configuration of your app will send your app back to the Review Team before you can publish changes to the live version. When you'd like to make changes for the first time, you'll create a development copy of your app using the "Edit App" option, which allows you to make changes to test and submit without affecting your live App Directory app.
You can confirm that you want to create a development copy of the app in the next step.
And, voilà, here's your development copy! Now you can see all your development app's settings, from
Basic Information to the Event Subscriptions section. Perhaps you'll add a bot user to your app in the "Bot Users" section. Remember to update your Permissions Scopes in the OAuth & Permissions section too!
After you create the Slack button for your development app, you'll be able to add the
bot scope and test the new functionality on a test Slack team.
You'll notice that, along with the settings for your development app, you also have two new sections in your app's configuration pages:
The "Live App Settings" section shows you the Client ID and Client Secret for your live app. You also find a handy "Show My App in the App Directory" toggle in case you ever need to remove your app from the App Directory.
Imagine, one day a few months from now, you find there's a small bug in the onboarding process for your new bot. You don't want new users finding the app while it's not working quite as it should be, so you'd like to remove it from the App Directory temporarily. Just toggle the "Show My App in the App Directory" option to hide it for now.
Once you've fixed that bug and are happy that everything's working you can go back to your Live App Settings to show the app in the App Directory again.
The "Update App Directory App" section allows you to submit the changes you've made in your development app settings for review before you publish those changes to your live app.
Once again, you have control of when you publish those updates to your app once they've passed the review. When you click through to your app from https://api.slack.com/apps (or from the email notification link) you'll be met with another shiny green "Publish" button.
With your app in the App Directory and performing well with the great functionality you've added, you're ready to see it as a featured app. The App Directory team looks out for great apps to feature during the review process, so you make sure your app stands out.
The app installation page is the first impression customers will have of your app so you ensure the page is clear and nicely designed, with lots of helpful information about your app and what it does. Think of this as the landing page where your app can shine: a place to give users important details about how to install and use your app.
You take another look at your app's onboarding to make sure that it helpfully guides users through from installation to first use, providing helpful information without being bothersome. You also provide a helpful support page where users can get in touch with you if they have any questions.
Overall, your app is helpful, but not intrusive; well designed, but simple; and will make a team's working life simpler, more pleasant, and more productive. This is exactly what the App Directory team looks for.
Congratulations! You've made it through the app review process, avoided the dragons
The App Directory and Developer Support teams would love to help if you have any questions about building your app or submitting it to the App Directory, so do say hello to them at email@example.com.