Chapter 6. Existing Technology

While the term may be new to many, the concepts and technology behind ChatOps have been around for quite some time. Persistent group chat has long existed in a variety of forms. Chatbots, while suddenly a hot topic, have been part of IT’s arsenal for many years. For some, much of what you will find in this text may not sound all that different from what you were doing using Internet Relay Chat (IRC) many years ago. As with any technology, however, there have been advancements and evolution within our tools and the ways that we can utilize them. The concepts of ChatOps are not unique to any one specific chat client or chatbot. However, understanding what teams are currently using for their own ChatOps efforts may help you frame where to start. Learning about existing technology and what can be accomplished with it will help you form ideas and provide a starting point for you and your team.

Chat Services

While persistent group chat has existed for quite some time and IRC has been a staple of IT culture for many years, it wasn’t until more recently that modern group chat tools began to evolve into something much more user-friendly and valuable to a larger group of users in the organization. 37signals’s Campfire application was one of the first to provide much of the same functionality as IRC, but with a cleaner and more user-friendly design. Additionally, the ability to integrate third-party services and leverage APIs opened the door to much more for ...

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