A new framework for apps

We're updating the way apps are built for Slack. These changes lay the technical groundwork for future functionality that will make it easier for admins to control the apps installed on their workspace(s).

There are a few apps built on this new framework that are already available in the App Directory, and additional apps will gradually be added in the coming months.


Notable changes

  • Control over channel access
    Apps built on this new framework can be added to all of your workspace’s public channels at once, or added to each channel one at a time, whichever you prefer. This gives admins more control over how apps operate within Slack.
  • Improved app management
    Regardless of who installs the app, all members can manage its configuration and control where it’s used.
  • Apps will be easier for your team to discover
    Once installed to your workspace, members will see the app listed in their channel sidebar, under Apps
  • A dedicated space in Slack
    Apps built on this new framework will have a dedicated direct message space where members can interact with it. In the past, only bots had this functionality. Depending on the app, you might see this space used for personal notifications, onboarding information, or other helpful features.


Adding apps to your channels

Installing one of these new apps is just like adding any other app to Slack. During installation, you'll have the option to add the app to all public channels, select channels, or none at all. Review how to add apps to Slack.

Once added to your workspace, you can invite apps to other channels later on with one of these options:

  • Use the /invite [app name] slash command
  • From your channel sidebar on the left, click the  plus icon next to Apps 
  • From  Channel Details in your right sidebar, click + Add app (under Apps)


Uninstall an app

You can remove an app from the app's page in our App Directory:

  1. From your desktop, visit Slack’s App Directory.
  2. Search for and select the app you want to remove.
  3. On the app's page, click the Settings button.
  4. From the menu to the left, choose Workspace access.
  5. Click Uninstall app to remove the app from your workspace.


Understanding the new app framework

This new framework is best described by the type of “tokens” apps are built with. A token allows an app to connect with your Slack workspace.

Currently, there are two types of tokens that developers can use for their Slack apps. The main difference between the two is how they connect to your workspace:

  • User tokens
    Most apps today are tied to individual members because they are built with user tokens. This means that apps mirror the access of the user who installs it, and are automatically added to every channel that the user is a part of. Most of the time this behind the scenes technical structure goes unnoticed, but if the member that installed the app leaves your workspace, the app they installed will be disabled.
  • Workspace tokens
    With our new framework, instead of being tied to individuals, apps will connect to your workspace(s) via workspace tokens. The channels the app has access to can be easily configured at a granular level. And since the apps are not tied to the installer, they’ll stay connected even if the original installer leaves your company and their Slack account is deactivated.

These apps make it easier to manage the tools you connect to Slack. From here on out, you'll start to see more and more apps built on our new framework become available! 🎉

Note: Workspace tokens are currently in API Preview. Many of these apps have been developed by the Slack Developer community, including GitHub and Sentry.


Try an app built on this new framework

Workspace tokens are currently in API Preview, so only select Slack partners can publish them to our App Directory. Here are a few to try:

📋Asana

An online tool for tracking work and project management.

💻Github

A repository service for hosting source code projects. Make use of the git revision control system to keep track of changes.

🛠Sentry

An open source error tracking system that shows every crash in your stack as it happens, plus the context to fix those errors.

👩‍💻Zendesk

A system for tracking, prioritizing, and solving customer support tickets.

Tip: Interested in building an app on our new framework? Read our API documentation and join our developer preview!

Related Articles

Recently Viewed Articles