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Slack Connect, Workflow Builder Updates on Tap

During its user conference Frontiers today, Slack revealed a series of changes to Slack Connect, its secure shared channels for cross-organization communications and announced new tools and resources for app development.
Connecting with Partners Using Slack Connect DM
Launched in June, Connect allows up to 20 enterprises to communicate in a shared channel, securely. With direct messages, a newly introduced feature for Connect, Slack will be adding the ability for one-to-one communications between an enterprise user and external parties such as partners and customers. A user will be able to share a private invite link that will allow them to direct message with company outsiders participating in a Connect channel, Jaime DeLanghe, Slack’s director of product management for search, and discovery, shared during a No Jitter in a briefing.
Direct messaging for Connect will be available in early 2021, Slack said.
In addition, Slack is working on security and management updates for Connect, DeLanghe said. First, to ensure that you are connecting with a trusted partner, Slack will soon verify organizations for authenticity. To note proper verification, Slack will provide a blue checkmark next to the company name (similar to verified social media accounts), DeLanghe said. Admins will be able to compile an approved list of trusted partners and customers that allow users to create shared channels without the need for additional approval, DeLanghe said. This capability will be available in early 2021.
For secure document management, Slack has introduced an integration with DocuSign so that users can track documents for review and signature without leaving the platform, Slack said. The DocuSign integration is currently available.

A demo on Slack Connect DM

Developer Tools, Integrations Come to Workflow Builder
Besides Connect, Workflow Builder will be updated, as well, Slack said.
Workflow Builder, announced at last year’s Frontiers, allows admins to develop customized workflow processes for specific business needs, DeLanghe said. And now, with a newly available capability called Workflow Builder steps from apps, developers will be able to build workflows that integrate tools from outside of Slack, DeLanghe said. For example, a survey in Slack might connect to a Google Sheet for presentation of compiled results, she said. Datadog, which provides cloud monitoring as a service; Polly, a survey software provider; and Zapier, app integration platform provider, are launch partners for this new Workflow Builder capability, she added.
In terms of app development and deployment, Slack later this year will have a socket mode that allows developers to build apps behind their organization’s firewall, meaning they can gain full access to Slack’s APIs without needing to use HTTP, DeLanghe said. In addition, later this year enterprises also will be able to install apps across the organization, as opposed to on an individual basis, DeLanghe said.
Lastly, Slack will be rolling out a paid enterprise app certification for developers. With the program, set for availability later this year, developers will be able to certify that their apps meet the security, compliance, and scalability requirements of enterprise users, DeLanghe said.