Collaboration is the staple of modern workplaces. Teams used to communicate with e-mails, but the hassle of finding and keeping track of information made them move to chat-based apps.
Team chat apps made it possible to connect the whole team in a single place. But, collaboration doesn't stop with the team members; it extends to clients, tools, and bots, which are required by teams to work effectively and stay on track with goals.
ChatOps brings chat clients, communication tools, and bots to you, all in a single location while keeping a record of all the collaborative work in the integrated environment.
ChatOps is making developers collaborate more efficiently. This article brings you the best ChatOps tools and technologies to streamline your dev team's work.
How ChatOps came to be
ChatOps is a term coined by GitHub to describe "the work of monitoring and controlling infrastructure and operations from the command line interface and into the chat window, often with the aid of a useful, conversational Al-based bot that can trigger tasks and send error reports."
A collaborative team gets established through well-structured chat and messaging. ChatOps tools will ensure that your chat tool works efficiently to supplement your team's work. ChatOps enhances your organisation's work by bringing everything you need to function digitally into a single location, providing a hive for easy collaboration.
DevOps and ChatOps are the two faces of the same coin.
What key features should a ChatOps tool include?
There are features you should look for in ChatOps tools to elevate your developers’ work truly:
1. Multiple collaboration channels such as rooms, teams, and discussions, among others
2. The ability to easily share files
3. An inbuilt and put-together push notification management
4. Video conferencing
5. Access to conversation history
6. Easy integration with the other tools used by you
7. A well-structured chatbot framework
10 best ChatOps tools
Here are the best ChatOps tools for you to incorporate into your digital environment to enhance the work of the developers in your organization:
It enables real-time conversations and integrates with multiple conversation channels like email, Facebook page, Twitter, WhatsApp, or Instagram and shows discussion from various channels, diminishing the time needed to switch between tools. The result is an increase in productivity without sacrifices to data security.
Here are Rocket.Chat's biggest advantages:
1. Self-hosted, air-gapped, or secure cloud deployment options to meet your security and compliance needs.
2. E2E encrypted, ISO 27001 certified, and supporting compliance with GDPR, CCPA, LGPD, and HIPAA.
3. Wide range of customization and white-labeling options.
GitHub, Inc. wrote the first version of Hubot and chose to describe Hubot as a customizable life-betterment robot. Written in CoffeeScript on Node.js, Hubot is open-source, scriptable, and a standardized way to share scripts. Hubot can be deployed on Heroku. When it comes to UNIX and Windows, you must perform additional steps, such as installing a Node.js package. On Azure, you will need to install azure-cli via npm.
In summary, here's what Hubot offers:
1. Core scripts; for posting images, translating languages, and integrating with Google Maps.
2. Repository of community Hubot scripts and packages to add to your robot.
Lita, the robot companion for your chat room, is a chat bot written in Ruby with persistent storage provided by Redis that uses a plugin system to extend to different chat services and provide new behavior to automate your business. It is free and open source. There are several plugins you can install for Lita or write your own. Use chat as the primary interface for business operations, and simple to have Lita perform commands.
Mattermost is an open-source platform for secure collaboration written in Go and React that runs as a single Linux binary with MySQL or PostgreSQL. You can deploy a Mattermost Self-hosted instance in minutes via Docker, Ubuntu, or tar. In addition to the web interface, Android, iOS, Windows PC, macOS, and Linux clients are also available for download.
Mattermost' strong points include:
1. Team messaging, task and project management, and workflow orchestration in one place
2. Integrated with the tools you rely on, from Jira to GitHub to PagerDuty.
Eggdrop is an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) bot. It sits on an IRC channel and performs automated tasks such as protecting the channel from abuse, allowing privileged users to gain op or voice status, logging channel events, providing information, hosting games, etc. It runs on Linux, BSD, SunOs, Windows, Mac OS X, and Friends and has IPv6 support.
Here's what you can do with Eggdrop:
1. Module and Tcl scripting support, with which you can make the bot perform almost any task you want.
2. Link multiple Eggdrop bots together to form a botnet.
CloudBot is a simple, fast, expandable open-source Python IRC Bot that runs on Python 3.6 or higher. You can install CloudBot on UNIX (Linux, etc.) and Windows. It sits on an IRC channel and performs automated tasks while looking like a user. The Cloudbot is expandable and can be scripted to perform more tasks.
Lazlo is an event-driven ChatOps automation framework for Slack in Go. Unlike the prototypical IRC bot that responds to text, Lazlo starts at runtime and stays resident in memory. Outwardly, Lazlo acts like a bot, but internally Lazlo works as an event broker for launching plugins, essentially an alternative chatbot platform in Go.
Lazlo in a a couple of bulletpoints:
1. Message callbacks, Event callbacks, Timer Callbacks, Link Callbacks, Question Callbacks
2. Write powerful modules in Go and extend Lazlo by writing simple plugins that use Hubot-like syntax in Lua.
1. Integrated with your team, projects, and your code.
2. Free chat rooms for your public repositories
Errbot is an easily extensible open-source chatbot written in Python that allows you to start scripts interactively from your chatrooms. It runs under Python 3.6+ on Linux, Windows, and Mac. After the initial installation and security setup, Errbot can be administered by just chatting to the ChatOps.
1. Extensive plugin framework
2. Conversation flows to track conversation states from users.
3. Webhook callbacks support
4. Built-in administration and security
StackStorm is an open-source extendable platform for integration and automation across services and tools. StackStorm helps you compose operational patterns as rules and workflows or actions and stores it as code. Stackstorm can automate and streamline nearly any part of your business.
What makes StackStorm stand out?
1. Auto-remediation, security responses, troubleshooting, and deployments
2. Integrates with your Existing Infrastructure
Choosing a ChatOps tool
ChatOps tools gather all the required collaborators in one integrated place, providing a channel for easy collaboration while capturing the history of every work.
Incorporating ChatOps tools into your digital work environment will enhance the developers' work. Multiple collaboration channels, the ability to share files, push notification management, video conferencing, access to conversation history, easy integration with other tools, and a well-structured chatbot framework are the features you should look for in a ChatOps tool.
With several options and the additional features offered, the choice rest with your team and the needs specific to your team.
Launch your fully-featured workspace today by signing up to try Rocket.Chat for free.