Workflow Builder Ultimate Guide 2023
Teaching users & developers how to automate their Slack workspaces with Workflow Builder. Taking you beyond the Slack docs and answering the questions I wished were answered when I started.
- In early 2023 we should see the launch of
if-thenlogic to Workflows, according to multiple press releases from Sept 2022 - Technzine.eu, Tech Crunch.
- “Also early next year, Slack will expand its library of Workflow Builder steps with tasks like automatically creating channels and alerting users once they start a workflow and providing integrations for additional third-party apps and tools.”
What is a Slack Workflow?
Slack Workflows are a tool to let you automate your Slack workspace and more. You create them using the
Slack Workflow Builder tool, which will be getting a ton of updates and new features in 2023.
Fun fact! Slack Workflow Builder was originally a Slack app called Missions, which was then acquired by Slack in 2018 and built into what you know today.
- Slack Docs | Workflow Builder: Steps from Apps
- Slack Help Docs | Workflow Builder
- Slack Bolt Python | Workflow Steps
🏃♀️Using Workflow Builder
The nitty-gritty of getting Slack Workflow Builder to do your bidding and use workflows in Slack.
There are 5 triggers available right now:
New channel member(single channel)
Emoji reaction(single channel)
Scheduled date & time
Wishing you could use any Slack event as a trigger, rather than just these 5? Slack is likely to add many of them in the next year or two, but if you need a solution for the interim, there is a free, open-source app (Workflow Buddy) that lets you proxy any Slack event as a trigger.
Slack started off with just 2 built-in steps:
Send a message,
Send a form. They also provide the ability to use Steps from other apps, but you have to already have them installed to use them (or to even search them).
Steps from Appslets developers get real creative with new functionality. If you’re looking to be able to send HTTP requests/webhooks with Slack Workflows, choose random channel members, and much more, take a look at the free, open-source app that adds a ton of useful utilities for no-code builders.
Workflow Builder execution analytics & errors
Slack does provide some limited analytics information to help you track & debug how your workflows are running.
Can you format messages as variables for the Webhook Trigger?
Unfortunately, NO as of Fall 2022. Your Slack Markdown formatting will show up during execution as literal text like
*bold * [Reddit src]. Unfortunate as that would unlock a lot of interesting programmatic messaging.
Steps from apps not visible after install
Have seen issues in the past when installing Slack apps but not being able to view their Steps when I go to Workflow Builder. Some things you can try:
- Reinstall the Slack app.
- Close out and reload your Slack desktop client.
- Check the workspace Slack Admin permissions for Workflows.
Best of luck, and if you find something new, please reach out so we can add it as a suggestion for future adventurers.
Looking to build your own
Steps from apps? Check out the Workflow Builder Developer Guide).