You may have heard of Slack but if you haven’t, Slack promotes itself as an online messaging application for teams. Our development team use it to communicate with each other on a daily basis and it’s very useful. I won’t go in to the details here as the Slack website does a great job of that; suffice to say, in our experience, Slack definitely helps with reducing inter-team emails whilst maintaining a log of team interactions and project development.
What I would like to discuss here though is how we take Slack a step further and integrate our online software solutions with the third party service.
As part of the messaging service Slack has a built-in notification engine which alerts team members of any new messages which might require their attention. Slack has allowed us as developers to integrate with their service so that we can send automated messages to custom channels on Slack from within our software, which in turn fires a notification to any or all team members who are subscribed to that channel.
We use this level of integration in our software when a client needs to be notified of any important action within the system which they may need to deal with immediately or simply just for their information/attention.
Traditionally we may have sent out these types of notifications by email, however due to the increasing amounts of spam, service providers are cracking down and emails of an automated nature tend to get caught up in spam filters and not delivered. We also find people are reluctant to be notified every time an email is received on their computer/mobile device due to the sheer number of emails received which means users are not alerted immediately to the ‘important’ notifications from our software.
As Slack has software available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, iOS and Android, notifications can be received on pretty much all computers and handheld devices almost immediately and then acted upon accordingly.
We’re big fans of Slack here at CBS, oh, and it’s free to use for small teams, retaining up to 10,000 notifications and messages. They also offer paid plans for greater capacity and more permanent storage.
If you have a need for bespoke software development with live notifications via Slack please get in touch.