Triggers BETA

    Triggers are but one of the three building blocks that make up next-generation Slack apps. You will encounter all three as you walk the path of building your Slack app:

    1. Functions define the actions of your app
    2. Workflows group functions into ordered steps
    3. Triggers invoke workflows (⬅️ you are here)

    Since triggers kick off workflows, you need to have a workflow before you can create a trigger. Acquaint yourself with the documentation on workflows, then head back here. We’ll wait!

    Once you’ve created a workflow, you can dive into the guide below!

    Create a trigger

    Triggers can be added to workflows in two ways:

    • You can add triggers with the CLI. These static triggers are created only once. You create them with the Slack CLI, attach them to your app’s workflow, and that’s that.

    • You can add triggers at runtime. These dynamic triggers are created at any step of a workflow so they can incorporate data acquired from other workflow steps.

    Create a trigger with the CLI

    1. Create a trigger file

    Triggers created with the CLI are designed using trigger files. The trigger file you create will supply the information about how you want your trigger to work. For Bolt for JavaScript apps, you will need to create JSON trigger files.

    The specifics of the trigger file’s structure will depend on what type of trigger you want to use.

    The Hello World app from the Bolt for JavaScript starter template uses a link trigger, which is one of several trigger types. You can view its trigger file here.

    2. Run the trigger create command

    Use the trigger create command to create your desired trigger by pointing to a trigger file.

    slack trigger create --trigger-def "path/to/trigger.json"

    💡 In order to run the trigger and launch the full workflow, your application must be running via slack run.

    Slack CLI built-in documentation
    Use slack trigger --help to easily access information on the trigger command’s flags and subcommands.

    Create a trigger at runtime

    The logic of a runtime trigger lies within a function’s code. The specific payload is dependent on the type of trigger you use.

    Within your manifest/functions folder, you’ll have the functions that are the steps making up your workflow. Within this folder is where you can create a trigger within the relevant <function>.js file.

    The create method for runtime triggers takes the form of client.workflows.triggers.create(). Within that method you can leverage inputs acquired in previous steps (i.e. with functions) within the workflow.

    const triggerResponse = await client.workflows.triggers.create({
      type: "shortcut",
      name: "My Trigger",
      workflow: "#/workflows/my_workflow",
      inputs: {
        input_name: {
          value: "value",

    The response will have a property called ok. If true, then the trigger was created, and the trigger property will be populated.

    Your response will include a; be sure to store it! You will use that to update or delete the trigger if need be.

    Development and production triggers

    The triggers you create when you’re running your app locally in a development environment (with the slack run command) will not work when you deploy your app. You’ll need to create any triggers again with the CLI.

    Update a trigger

    Make an update to a preexisting trigger by using the slack trigger update command. Provide the same payload you used to create the trigger in its entirety, in addition to the trigger ID.

    slack trigger update --trigger-id Ft123ABC --trigger-def "path/to/trigger.json"

    Delete a trigger

    You can delete a trigger with the slack trigger delete command.

    slack trigger delete --trigger-id FtABC123

    Trigger types

    There are four types of triggers, each one having its own specific implementation. To learn more about each trigger, visit the linked pages below.

    Trigger Type Use case
    Link triggers Invoke a workflow from anywhere in Slack
    Scheduled triggers Invoke a workflow at specific time intervals
    Event triggers Invoke a workflow when a specific event happens in Slack
    Webhook triggers Invoke a workflow when a specific URL receives a POST request

    Manage access

    A newly created trigger will only be accessible to others inside a workspace once its creator has granted access.

    To manage what user (or many users) have access to run your triggers, you’ll use the slack trigger access command.

    To learn more about this, visit the guide here.


    And that’s the end of our triumphant trek learning about triggers!

    If you want to see triggers in action with their pals, the function and the workflow, check out our sample Hello World app. For a more complex example, you can take a look at our Request Time Off app and its end-to-end tutorial.