Direct messaging app Slack has introduced a twist on its app integrations with a new building blocks tool which developers can build and string together into pre-packaged kinds of work-flows. The unique American business communication platform announced the new feature at the Frontiers Conference earlier this week.
Steve Wood, senior vice president of product management at Slack, said that the new approach required redesigning the entire platform with the idea of accommodating these reusable building blocks.
In the past, a developer could build an app in Slack, and it did what the developer wanted. These building blocks put the end-user in control, which should make the entire platform more accessible and customisable.
“In this new world, we’re actually making the platform remixable going forward, so when you install an app, you can access these building blocks, and you can link them together, and they can actually talk to each other in channels. You can wire them together to build the workflows that you need for the kind of work you are trying to do,” Wood explained.
He said that the motivation behind this approach is that employees typically need to use an increasing number of apps to do their jobs, and this will provide a way to string them together and choose appropriate tasks inside these workflows built-in Slack. Instead of forcing the user to jump between apps, in Slack or not, the software is doing the work for them.
The company said the tool itself is an interface for developers to build functions and triggers, which developers can create in a new Slack command-line interface (CLI). The trigger starts a function that gets the work flowing. These can then be saved as an individual app or block, or developers can string multiple blocks together.