ChatOps is a collaboration model that connects people, tools, process, and automation into a transparent workflow. This flow connects the work needed, the work happening, and the work done in a persistent location staffed by the people, bots, and related tools.
ChatOps helps to connect people, bots, and tools in an automated and transparent workflow, allowing them to see the complete status of their work and systems. The transparency strengthens the feedback loop and enhances collaboration. Some say it is “IM-enabled devops.”
These solutions give users access to important information directly from the chat window, drastically reducing context switching. If you already have a chat window open in listening mode, then it will help to connect it with the other tools and platforms with which you have already been working. In addition, ChatOps provides user-specific commands that feel intuitive because people can send commands to the chat robots just as they would to any of their human colleagues.
Initially, a few ChatOps bots, including Hubot, Lita, and Err, allowed developers to run code directly from their chat windows, but today there are many more options. Since launching in 2013, Slack now has millions of daily active users — and it’s likely that you might be one of them.
Slack provides its own built-in Slackbot, but there are several other third-party solutions as well, such as StackStorm, Deploybot, and Blockspring, that can work with other chat products like Atlassian’s HipChat and IRC. You should think carefully when selecting your bot because your choice will define the language that you’ll use for the ChatOps framework in every aspect of implementation and integration. Check out this Product Hunt list of Slack chatbots.
Another option people use is HipChat, which is considered the leading ChatOps solution for enterprises and is competing directly with Slack. You can access HipChat through Hipchat Connect, an app store of ready-made apps that is currently in beta.
Slack made some changes and unveiled a new and advanced capability: Users could use its chat to call a Lyft ride. Using the “/Lyft” command, Slack communicates with the Lyft’s APIs, allowing you to use the service via Slack.
Although bots are not a new concept, Facebook’s recent announcement that it’s beginning to integrate AI services within its array of applications brought attention to them again. With the integration of bots within Facebook’s Messenger app, its 900 million users will be able to receive more efficient customer service and avoid the annoyance of waiting for assistance on the phone. Facebook has also publicly announced that brands and developers will be able to build their chatbots for Facebook Messenger, following in the footsteps of Slack and Hipchat.
This is a very interesting opportunity for startups to improve and commercialize ChatOps further to become more secure, reliable, and feature-rich. I’m sure some new companies are already launching in this domain.
Real benefits for the software teams to invest in ChatOps:
– Forces to automate tasks:
it forces you to automate repetitive tasks. All those manual, creepy scripts that your team has created over time (and rarely documented), now have to be put into a central place, consumable by the chatbot. Not only it reduces your team’s technical debt, but it also makes your entire software release process more reliable and efficient.
– Eliminates fear:
Instead of going through a number of manual tasks, which is error-prone, it’s now as simple as giving the bot a single command, entirely automated behind the scenes.
– Fosters collaboration:
Magic things happen when the information about your internal processes appears in the same place, available to everyone in your team.
People start having conversations around the problems that arise and collaboratively come up with their respective solutions. In many cases, due to the asynchronous nature of communication, it’s more productive to discuss things in a chat than holding a regular meeting.
– Makes things easier to find:
After having the tasks run from within chat and hopefully fruitful discussions around them, you’ll start noticing that you suddenly have this central place of everything what’s happened.
Most of the chat systems today provide rich search interfaces, bookmarking and even advanced exporting features to help you find things quicker.
– Boosts productivity:
With gained automation, confidence, collaboration, and transparency, every developer in your team will certainly enjoy not only building features, but also being responsible for shipping them. The features will be delivered in smaller increments, resulting in less errors and faster build-learn-measure cycle, thus making your entire team more productive and users happier.
ChatOps and DevOps:
DevOps is about knocking down barriers between developers and operations teams, and in doing so reducing organizational frictions wherever possible. And that’s certainly the spirit behind ChatOps – the term for the hyper-collaborative way of running DevOps, including operating aspects of systems and infrastructure, through online chat.
Proponents of ChatOps say it streamlines communication in a centralized and powerful way. Born within Github, ChatOps evolved from its open source chat bot, Hubot, which has changed the way the web-based Git repository runs operations through the automation of deployment, graphing, monitoring, provisioning, and even mitigating security events.
Think of Hubot, a Node.js app that is commonly run on Heroku, as a robot that helps keep everyone informed in a centralized place and in real-time, or in a near real-time.
At ads we believe that productivity comes with effective team collaboration. To make that happen we use tools such as hip chat and slack. This tool helps in sharing of files, folder and making a communication with the team thus, making process less time consuming and effort less. Hence, with experience we can say that use of this technologies will surely help increase the productivity of the work delivered by the company.