What is ChatOps?

ChatOps, sometimes known as conversation-driven collaboration or conversation-driven DevOps, is the use of chat clients, chatbots and other real-time communication tools to facilitate software development and IT operations tasks. GitHub is typically credited with originating the term ChatOps.

How does ChatOps work?

In a ChatOps environment, the chat client serves as the primary channel for communication about ongoing work. Tools that software developers and operations managers already use are integrated into a collaborative communication environment to improve ticket tracking and automated incident response.

There are many ways to deploy a ChatOps environment. For example, a notification system sends an alert that an Incident has occurred, and the chat client responds by using a plugin or custom script to execute a preprogrammed command.

ChatOps tools

There are three main categories of tools for deploying a ChatOps working environment:

  • notification systems, offered by vendors such as PagerDuty and Splunk On-Call;
  • chatbots, such as AWS Chatbot and Hubot; and
  • chatroom integration tools, such as Slack and Mattermost.

ChatOps benefits

Automating repetitive tasks can reduce human error, and the collaborative nature of a ChatOps environment provides instant visibility and documentation. By supplying a real-time historical log of activities in an IT environment, the ChatOps approach also supports regulatory compliance and security efforts.

This was last updated in January 2023

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