Slack Smart Bot

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Create a Slack bot that is really smart and so easy to expand.

The main scope of this ruby gem is to be used internally in your company so teams can create team channels with their own bot to help them on their daily work, almost everything is suitable to be automated!!

slack-smart-bot can create bots on demand, create shortcuts, run ruby code... just on a chat channel, you can access it just from your mobile phone if you want and run those tests you forgot to run, get the results, restart a server... no limits.

Table of Contents

Installation and configuration

$ gem install slack-smart-bot

After you install it you will need just a couple of things to configure it.

Create a file like this on the folder you want:

require 'slack-smart-bot'

settings = {
    # the channel that will act like the master channel, main channel
    master_channel: 'my_master_channel',
    masters: ["mario"], #names of the master users
    token: 'xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx' # the API Slack token

puts "Connecting #{settings.inspect}"

The master_channel will be the channel where you will be able to create other bots and will have special treatment.

The masters will have full access to everything. You need to use the slack user name defined on

For the token remember you need to generate a token on the Slack web for the bot user.

You can get one by any of these options:

1) Create a Slack App

1) Add a bot user to your app. On Add features and functionality section for your app, select Bots. Click on Add a Bot User

1) On your app click on the menu on the left: OAuth & Permissions and click on Install App to Workspace.

1) Copy your Bot User OAuth Access Token.

Remember to invite the smart bot to the channels where they will be accessible before creating the bot


creating the MASTER BOT

Let's guess the file you created was called my_smart_bot.rb so, just run it:

nohup ruby my_smart_bot.rb&

nohup will prevent the terminal to send the signal exception: SIGHUP and kill the bot. & will run the process in background. You can use instead: ruby my_smart_bot.rb & disown

After the run, it will be generated a rules file with the same name but adding _rules, in this example: my_smart_bot_rules.rb

The rules file can be edited and will be only affecting this particular bot.

You can add all the rules you want for your bot in the rules file, this is an example:

def rules(user, command, processed, dest)
  from =
  display_name = user.profile.display_name

  case command

    # help: `echo SOMETHING`
    # help:     repeats SOMETHING
    # help:
    when /^echo\s(.+)/i
      respond $1
      react :monkey_face

    # help: `go to sleep`
    # help:   it will sleep the bot for 10 seconds
    # help:
    when /^go\sto\ssleep/i
      unless @questions.keys.include?(from)
        ask "do you want me to take a siesta?"
        case @questions[from]
          when /yes/i, /yep/i, /sure/i
            respond "I'll be sleeping for 10 secs... just for you"
            respond "zZzzzzzZZZZZZzzzzzzz!"
            react :sleeping
            sleep 10
            unreact :sleeping
            react :sunny
          when /no/i, /nope/i, /cancel/i
            respond "Thanks, I'm happy to be awake"
            respond "I don't understand"
            ask "are you sure do you want me to sleep? (yes or no)"

    # help: ----------------------------------------------
    # help: `run something`
    # help:   It will run the process and report the results when done
    # help:
    when /^run something/i
      react :runner

      process_to_run = "ruby -v"
      stdout, stderr, status = Open3.capture3(process_to_run)
      if stderr == ""
        if stdout == ""
          respond "#{}: Nothing returned."
          respond "#{}: #{stdout}"
        respond "#{}: #{stdout} #{stderr}"

      unreact :runner

      unless processed

Also you can add general rules that will be available on all Smart Bot channels to ./rules/general_rules.rb

How to access the Smart Bot

You can access the bot directly on the MASTER CHANNEL, on a secondary channel where the bot is running and directly by opening a private chat with the bot, in this case the conversation will be just between you and the bot.

On a Smart Bot channel you will be able to run some of the commands just by writing a command, for example: bot help

Some commands will be only available when the Smart Bot is listening to you. For the Smart Bot to start listening to you just say: hi bot. When the Smart Bot is listening to you, you can skip a message to be treated by the bot by starting the message with '-', for example: -this message won't be treated. When you want the Smart Bot Stop listening to you: bye bot. The Smart Bot will automatically stop listening to you after 30 minutes of inactivity. If you are on a direct conversation with the Smart Bot then it will be on listening mode all the time.

All the specific commands of the bot are specified on your rules file and can be added or changed accordingly. We usually call those commands: rules. Those rules are only available when the bot is listening to you.

Another way to run a command/rule is by asking on demand. In this case it is not necessary that the bot is listening to you.

To run a command on demand:
To run a command on demand and add the respond on a thread:

Examples run a command on demand:

Peter> !ruby puts
Smart-Bot> 2019-10-23 12:43:42 +0000

Peter> @smart-bot echo Example
Smart-Bot> Example

Peter> smart-bot see shortcuts
Smart-Bot> Available shortcuts for Peter:
Spanish account: ruby require 'iso/iban'; 10.times {puts ISO::IBAN.random('ES')}
Peter> !!echo Example
. . . . . . . . .Smart-Bot> Example
Peter> ^echo Example
. . . . . . . . .Smart-Bot> Example

Also you can always call the Smart Bot from any channel, even from channels without a running Smart Bot. You can use the External Call on Demand: @NAME_OF_BOT on #CHANNEL_NAME COMMAND. In this case you will call the bot on #CHANNEL_NAME.


Peter> @smart-bot on #the_channel ruby puts
Smart-Bot> 2019-10-23 12:43:42 +0000
Peter> @smart-bot on #the_channel ^ruby puts
. . . . . . . . .Smart-Bot> 2019-10-23 12:43:42 +0000

If you want the Smart Bot just listen to part of the message you send, add the commands you want using '`' and start the line with '-!', '-!!' or '-^'


Peter> -!This text won't be treated but this one yes `ruby puts 'a'` and also this one `ruby puts 'b'`
Smart-Bot> a
Smart-Bot> b

Peter> -^This text won't be treated but this one yes `ruby puts 'a'` and also this one `ruby puts 'b'`
. . . . . . . . .Smart-Bot> a
. . . . . . . . .Smart-Bot> b

Bot Help

To get a full list of all commands and rules for a specific Smart Bot: bot help. It will show only the specific available commands for the user requesting.

If you want to search just for a specific command: bot help COMMAND

To show only the specific rules of the Smart Bot defined on the rules file: bot rules or bot rules COMMAND


Peter> bot help echo
Smart-Bot> echo SOMETHING

When you call a command that is not recognized, you will get suggestions from the Smart Bot.

Remember when you add code to your rules you need to specify the help that will be displayed when using bot help, bot rules

For the examples use _ and for the rules `. This is a good example of a Help supplied on rules source code:

# help: `run TYPE tests on LOCATION`
# help: `execute TYPE tests on LOCATION`
# help:     run the specified tests on the indicated location
# help:       TYPE: api, ui, smoke, load
# help:       LOCATION: customers, db1..db10, global
# help:  Examples:
# help:     _run api tests on customers_
# help:     _run ui tests on customers_
# help:     _execute smoke tests on db1_

Bot Management

To create a new bot on a channel, run on MASTER CHANNEL: create bot on CHANNEL. The admins of this new bot on that channel will be the MASTER ADMINS, the creator of the bot and the creator of that channel. It will create a new rules file linked to this new bot.

You can kill any bot running on any channel if you are an admin of that bot: kill bot on CHANNEL

If you want to pause a bot, from the channel of the bot: pause bot. To start it again: start bot

To see the status of the bots, on the MASTER CHANNEL: bot status

To close the Master Bot, run on MASTER CHANNEL: exit bot

If you are a Master Admin on a Direct Message with the Smart Bot you can call the bot stats and get use stats of the users. You need to set to true the stats settings when initializing the Smart Bot. Take a look at bot help bot stats for more info.

You can also get the bot logs of the bot channel you are using by calling get bot logs. You need to be a Master Admin user on a DM with the Smart Bot.

Cloud Bots

If you want to create a bot that will be running on a different machine: create cloud bot on CHANNEL. Even though the cloud bots are running on different machines, the management can be done through the MASTER CHANNEL. The new cloud bot will be managed by your Master Bot like the others, closing, pausing...

Cloud Bots are typically used to run commands on specific environments or even different OS or networks.

Extending rules to other channels

If you want to extend the use of your specific rules on a Bot Channel to a third channel you can use the command: extend rules to CHANNEL

From that moment everybody part of that channel will be able to run the specific rules from the other channel but just on demand, for example: !run something

To stop allowing it: stop using rules on CHANNEL

Using rules from other channels

To be able to access the rules from other channel or from a direct conversation with the bot, first of all you need to be a member of that channel. Then on a direct conversation with the Smart Bot or from another bot channel: use rules from CHANNEL

When you want to stop using those rules with the bot: stop using rules from CHANNEL

Also you can always call the Smart Bot from any channel, even from channels without a running Smart Bot. You can use the External Call on Demand: @NAME_OF_BOT on #CHANNEL_NAME COMMAND. In this case you will call the bot on #CHANNEL_NAME.

Running Ruby code on a conversation

You can run Ruby code by using the command: ruby THE_CODE.


Peter> !ruby require 'json'; res=[]; 20.times {res.push rand(100)}; my_json={result: res}; puts my_json.to_json
Smart-Bot> {"result":[63,66,35,83,44,40,72,25,59,73,75,54,56,91,19,6,68,1,25,3]}

Also it is possible to attach a Ruby file and the Smart Bot will run and post the output. You need to select Ruby as file format.


Easily starts a REPL session so you will be able to create a script directly from the slack conversation. You will be able to share the REPL so they can run it or see the content.

It Will run all we write as a ruby command and will keep the session values until we finish the session sending quit, exit or bye

You can specify a SESSION_NAME that admits from a to Z, numbers, - and _. If no SESSION_NAME supplied it will be treated as a temporary REPL. If 'private' specified in the command the REPL will be accessible only by you and it will be displayed only to you when see repls

To avoid a message to be treated when a session started, start the message with '-'.

Send puts, print, p or pp if you want to print out something when using run repl later.

If you declare on your rules file a method called project_folder returning the path for the project folder, the code will be executed from that folder.

By default it will be automatically loaded the gems: string_pattern, nice_hash and nice_http

To pre-execute some ruby when starting the session add the code to .smart-bot-repl file on the project root folder defined on project_folder

If you want to see the methods of a class or module you created use ls TheModuleOrClass

You can supply the Environmental Variables you need for the Session

repl CreateCustomer LOCATION=spain HOST=''
repl CreateCustomer: "It creates a random customer for testing" LOCATION=spain HOST=''
repl delete_logs
private repl random-ssn

Running Example:

Peter> !repl Create10RandomUsers: "This is just an example"
Smart-Bot> Session name: *Create10RandomUsers*
Peter> http ="")
Smart-Bot> #<NiceHttp:0x00007fc6e216e328 @host="", @port=443...>
Peter> request = { path: '/api/users' }
Smart-Bot> { :path => "/api/users" }
Peter> = { name: '1-10:L', job: 'leader|worker' }
Smart-Bot> { :name => "1-10:L", :job => "leader|worker" }
Smart-Bot> { :name => "kLam", :job => "leader" }
Peter> 10.times { }
Smart-Bot> 10
Peter> puts "10 Random Users Created"
Smart-Bot> 10 Random Users Created
Peter> quit
Smart-Bot> REPL session finished: Create10RandomUsers

Peter> run repl Create10RandomUsers
Smart-Bot> Running REPL Create10RandomUsers
Smart-Bot> Create10RandomUsers: 10 Random Users Created

Other REPL commands: see repls, run repl SESSION_NAME ENV_VAR=value, get repl SESSION_NAME, delete repl SESSION_NAME

Sending notifications

You can send notifications from MASTER CHANNEL by using notify MESSAGE. All Bot Channels will be notified.

If you want to send a notification message to all channels the bot joined and direct conversations with the bot: notify all MESSAGE

And if you want to send a notification message to the specified channel and to its extended channels: notify #CHANNEL MESSAGE


Sometimes your commands or rules are too long and you want to add a shortcut to be executed.

If you have for example a rule like this: run tests on customers android app and you want to add a shortcut: add shortcut run tca: run tests on customers android app

From that moment you will be able to run the command: run tca

That shortcut will be available for you, in case you want to make it available for everybody on the channel: Example:

Peter> !add shortcut for all spanish bank account: ruby require 'iso/iban'; 3.times {puts ISO::IBAN.random('ES')}
Smart-Bot> shortcut added
Peter> !spanish bank account
Smart-Bot> ES4664553191352006861448

In case you want to use a shortcut as a inline shortcut inside a command you can do it by adding a $: Example:

Peter> !add shortcut cust1: 3488823-1233
Smart-Bot> shortcut added
Peter> !add shortcut cust2: 1111555-6688
Smart-Bot> shortcut added
Peter> !run tests $cust1
Smart-Bot> Running tests for customers 3488823-1233
Peter> !run tests $cust1 $cust2
Smart-Bot> Running tests for customers 3488823-1233 1111555-6688

To see available shortcuts: see shortcuts and to delete a particular shortcut: delete shortcut NAME


To add specific commands to be run automatically every certain amount of time or a specific time: add routine NAME every NUMBER PERIOD COMMAND or add routine NAME at TIME COMMAND

If you want to hide the routine executions use add silent routine. It won't show the routine name when executing.


add routine run_tests every 3h !run tests on customers
add routine clean_db at 17:05 !clean customers temp db
add silent routine clean_db at 17:05 !clean customers temp db
add routine clean_custdb on Mondays at 05:00 !clean customers db

Also instead of adding a Command to be executed, you can attach a file, then the routine will be created and the attached file will be executed on the criteria specified. Only Master Admins are allowed to use it this way.

Other routine commands:

  • pause routine NAME
  • start routine NAME
  • remove routine NAME
  • run routine NAME
  • see routines

Limit who has access to a command

If you want to define who has access to certain commands you can specify it on the settings when starting the Smart Bot:

settings = {
    # the channel that will act like the master channel, main channel
    master_channel: 'my_master_channel',
    masters: ["mario"], #names of the master users
    token: 'xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx', # the API Slack token
    allow_access: {
      repl: [ 'marioruiz', 'peterlondon', 'UMYAAS8E7F'],
      ruby_code: [ 'marioruiz', 'UMYAAS8E7F', 'samcooke']

You can use the user name or the user id.

If you want to change who has access to a certain command without restarting the Smart Bot you can do it on the rules file:

config.allow_access.repl = ['marioruiz', 'samcooke']

These are the commands that are possible to be limited:

bot_help, bot_rules, bot_status, use_rules, add_shortcut, delete_shortcut, repl, run_repl, get_repl, delete_repl, see_repls, ruby_code, see_shortcuts, create_bot


Send a file

    #send_file(to, msg, filepath, title, format, type = "text")
    send_file(dest, 'the message', "#{project_folder}/temp/logs_ptBI.log", 'title', 'text/plain', "text")
    send_file(dest, 'the message', "#{project_folder}/temp/example.jpeg", 'title', 'image/jpeg', "jpg")

Download a file

When uploading a file the message added to 'Add a message about the file' will be the command treated by the bot rule. Then in your rules file:

    when /^do something with my file/i
      if !files.nil? and files.size == 1 and files[0].filetype == 'yaml'
        require 'nice_http'
        http = "", headers: { "Authorization" => "Bearer #{config.token}" })
        res = http.get(files[0].url_private_download, save_data: './tmp/')
        # if you want to directly access to the content use: ``


Bug reports and pull requests are welcome on GitHub at


The gem is available as open source under the terms of the MIT License.