You’ve heard of DevOps. Have you heard of ChatOps?

You’ve heard of DevOps. Have you heard of ChatOps?

What is ChatOps?

Simply, ChatOps is managing your operations from a single chat client verses switching to various multiple tools.

The idea is that your whole team would be using a chat client and communicating back and forth with each other using the chat client. Your applications and systems would also use the chat client to send notifications and statuses. Thus, in one chat client, you would be getting information from all your teammates and your systems. Furthermore, you can execute commands directly in the chat client – this is the coolest idea!! These chat commands can execute a variety of things like restarting a machine, asking for a status of some event, deploying software, running a scan, generating a report, making a query, approving a request, etc.



For example, if your system went down, you would get a notification directly in the chat client from the impacted system. In the chat client, you can perform queries to inquire about the outage. The rest of your team can share their ideas and thoughts in the chat client and collaborate on how to resolve it. You then run commands directly in the chat client… for example to restart the entire system. More importantly, your whole team is seeing this together and conversing with each other… so, everyone is learning and pairing.



There are 2 main components in a ChatOps system:

  1. Chat Client: The chat software allows your team to communicate with each other through text messages. Typically, the chat software allows you to create your own “chat rooms” which help to organize and keep track of conversations. There are various chat clients. One of the most popular is Hipchat. Other popular chat clients are Slack, FlowDock, and Campfire.
  1. Chatbots: A chat-bot is an application that integrates with the chat client and listens for requests and executes commands. There are various chat-bots such as Hubot, Lita, Err.


Implicit and Explicit Chatbot Requests

You can code your chat-bot to implicitly or explicitly respond to queries. An implicit request is typing in the chat client,  “Does anyone know which builds are in red?”. Your chat-bot may then see the request and perform the query and return the answer: “There are 12 builds in red: build1…build12 [from T-150]”. An explicit request is calling your chat-bot directly to answer: “T-150 how may features are in red?”. T-150 is the name of your chat-bot.


Want to know more?

Alden Mallare

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