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[DEPRECATED] - Demonstration of integration of GitHub Pull Request management with Slack and using Alarms

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GitHub Slack Bot

The GitHub Slack Bot is a serverless, event-driven, bot designed and built using the OpenWhisk open source project.

This bot is designed to post updates to Slack when a GitHub pull request is ready to merge or a list of pull requests are under review for certain days and haven't merged.


The GitHub Slack Bot is built on a set of three actions (like microservices) which are invoked either by some triggers or by another action in a sequence of dependent actions. One action is invoked by regular pulll request updates received from a GitHub repository and an action sequence (consisting of two actions) is triggered periodically by an internal OpenWhisk alarm (similar to a cron job).

Each of the actions in GitHub Slack Bot are implemented in JavaScript, using the Node.js runtime provided by OpenWhisk on Bluemix. Here’s what each action does within its triggered flow.

Invoked by GitHub repository when any pull request changes

  • Track pull requests - An action that is subscribed to "pull_request" events on GitHub repository. GitHub repository sends pull request payload via HTTP POST which is stored in Cloudant to form a data set of pull requests. Data set in Cloudant is updated when a pull request is:

    • labeled "ready" or "review" or
    • unlabeled ("ready" or "review" label is removed) or
    • updated due to a new push in the branch that the pull request is tracking or
    • closed

Action: track pull requests invoked by GitHub repository

Invoked twice a day by an Alarm trigger

The sequence of actions is invoked by Alarm trigger, which then starts a chain of microservices to retrieve list of delayed pull requests and compose notifications which are posted on Slack.

  • Find delayed pull requests - an action that is invoked every 12 hours with Cloudant data set, retrieves a list of pull requests which are ready to be merged and older than certain days.

  • Post to Slack - an action invoked by find delayed pull requests action. It takes a list delayed pull requests and composes message with pull requests, ID, label, and age in days to post on Slack.

Action Sequence

Finally, here is the sample message posted on Slack showing list of delayed pull requrests from OpenWhisk repo. OpenWhisk project developers at IBM are using this bot to receive such notifications.

Pull Requests Notification

Bringing it all together

So to summarize, this is how all three actions are configured to post notifications on Slack:

Bringing it all together


If you would like to try this yourself, here are the detailed instructions to follow. You will need an account on IBM Bluemix.


  • Setup OpenWhisk CLI

Follow the instructions on IBM Bluemix to setup OpenWhisk CLI. Set your API host and auth key with:

wsk property set --apihost --auth <user>:<pass>
  • Clone this repo:
git clone
cd openwhisk-GitHubSlackBot
  • Export namespace
export OPENWHISK_NAMESPACE=`wsk property get --namespace | awk '{printf("%s", $3)}'`

Step 1: Create Cloudant Service

If you don't have one already, create a new Cloudant NoSQL database by following tutorial on Creating a Cloudant instance on Bluemix or GitHub IBM Bluemix docs.

Also, create a new database if you don't have one.

Step 2: Create Cloudant Package Binding - TrackPRsInCloudant

Get the Cloudant Service Credentials from Step 1.

cat cloudant.json
  "username": "<username>",
  "password": "<password>",
  "host": "<host>",
  "port": <port>,
  "url": "<url>",
  "dbname": "<dbname>"
wsk package bind /whisk.system/cloudant TrackPRsInCloudant --param-file cloudant.json

This will result in a cloudant package and you can verify by running a sample action:

wsk action invoke TrackPRsInCloudant/list-documents --blocking

Step 3: Create an Action - track-pull-requests

wsk action create track-pull-requests openwhisk/actions/js/track-pull-requests.js --param cloudant_package TrackPRsInCloudant

Step 4: Create GitHub WebHook trigger - GitHubWebHookTrigger

  1. Generate GitHub Personal Access Token.
  2. Create a GitHub Package Binding:
cat github.json
  "username": "<username>",
  "repository": "<repository>",
  "accessToken": "<accessToken>"
wsk package bind /whisk.system/github GitHubWebHook --param-file github.json
  1. Create a WebHook trigger for the GitHub pull-request by using PACKAGE/webhook feed created in Step 2:
wsk trigger create GitHubWebHookTrigger --feed GitHubWebHook/webhook --param events pull-request
  1. GitHub sends a "ping" to the new webhook as part of the webhook creation. This can be used to verify that the trigger is actually fired with:
wsk activation list GitHubWebHookTrigger

And creates a webhook under GitHub repository, for example:

WebHook Settings

Step 5: Create a Rule - RuleToTrackPullRequests

wsk rule create RuleToTrackPullRequests /$OPENWHISK_NAMESPACE/GitHubWebHookTrigger /$OPENWHISK_NAMESPACE/track-pull-requests

At this point, any new pull request update is being recorded in Cloudant database, for example:

Cloudant Database

Step 6: Create an Action - find-delayed-pull-requests

cat find-delayed-pull-requests.json
  "cloudant_package": "TrackPRsInCloudant",
  "github_username": "<github_username>",
  "github_access_token": "<github_access_token>"
wsk action create find-delayed-pull-requests openwhisk/actions/js/find-delayed-pull-requests.js --param-file find-delayed-pull-requests.json

If you would like to verify action creation, you can run it with:

wsk action invoke find-delayed-pull-requests --blocking
    "response": {
        "status": "success",
        "statusCode": 0,
        "success": true,
        "result": {
            "prs": []

Step 7: Add Incoming Webhook to Slack

Create a new incoming webhook by following step by step instructions from here.

Step 8: Create Slack Package Binding - PostPRToSlack

cat slack.json
  "username": "<username>",
  "url": "<url>",
  "channel": "#<channel>"
wsk package bind /whisk.system/slack PostPRToSlack --param-file slack.json

You can verify by posting a sample message to your Slack channel:

wsk action invoke PostPRToSlack/post  --blocking --result --param text "Hello World"

Step 9: Create an Action - post-to-slack

wsk action create post-to-slack openwhisk/actions/js/post-to-slack.js --param slack_package PostPRToSlack

Step 10: Create an Action Sequence - SequenceToPostGitHubPRsToSlack

wsk action create SequenceToPostGitHubPRsToSlack --sequence /$OPENWHISK_NAMESPACE/find-delayed-pull-requests,/$OPENWHISK_NAMESPACE/post-to-slack

Step 11: Create Alarm Trigger - Every12Hours

wsk trigger create Every12Hours --feed /whisk.system/alarms/alarm --param cron "0 */12 * * *"

Step 12: Create a Rule - RuleToPostGitHubPRsToSlack

wsk rule create RuleToPostGitHubPRsToSlack /$OPENWHISK_NAMESPACE/Every12Hours /$OPENWHISK_NAMESPACE/SequenceToPostGitHubPRsToSlack

You can fire alarm trigger to verify:

wsk trigger fire /$OPENWHISK_NAMESPACE/Every12Hours


[DEPRECATED] - Demonstration of integration of GitHub Pull Request management with Slack and using Alarms



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