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Robert Alexander
Robert Alexander

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A mobile alternative to ChatOps

At my last job we considered implementing ChatOps in our Slack to make deploying, and managing our service lightweight but we ran into some concerns that stalled the effort.

ChatOps promises to let you perform operations from your mobile devices, making Ops task quick and easy to perform even on the go.

In this post I discuss an idea that gains some of the benefits, while avoiding some of the challenges of ChatOps.

Security of Slack ChatOps

Your chat system isn't a strong security boundary. A ChatOps bot will need to implement security including whitelisting users who can perform actions and determine which actions each user can perform.

This is redundant as these users probably also have IAM credentials with groups or roles for managing their access, meaning you now have two different authorization systems to manage.

Overhead of Setting up ChatOps

We created AWS Lambda functions so engineers could manage the service from the AWS command line by just invoking a function. Adding ChatOps that re-used these functions would be another layer, which depending on how we chose to implement it could be time consuming and distract from core development efforts.

An Alternative

What if engineers could invoke Lambda functions directly from an Android app using their existing IAM credentials?

AWS Lambda Invoker is an open source Android App that does exactly that.

The app comes with a mobile friendly, native JSON editor that aims to reduce the burden of writing JSON function inputs.

Tweak your Lambda function to log invocations to Slack, and you have a similar audit trail to ChatOps with much lower setup overhead.

The AWS Console app for Android doesn't support running Lambda functions, so this tool is also a general extension to the AWS experience on Android.

Try it out:

Learn more here:
Getting Started

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