Building a Serverless Acronym Bot on GCP using Cloud Functions
I was originally making this tutorial using DynamoDB, API Gateway and Lambda but I decided that I needed more practice with Google Cloud Platform.
The acronyms I’m using for this tutorial are from here.
I’m currently using the GCP Free tier which has two parts as mentioned on their site:
- A 12-month free trial with $300 credit to use with any GCP services.
- Always Free, which provides limited access to many common GCP resources, free of charge.
Installing the bot
After signing into Slack, you’ll need to create a new app and give it a name and workspace. This is assuming you have the proper admin permissions and a slack workspace to do this.
On the next page, under Add features and functionality, select Bots
Next, you’ll Add a Bot User. I left the default on the next page except turning on Always Show My Bot as Online.
Then click Add Bot User.
Jumping back to the Basic Information Tab, click Install App to Workspace
Lastly, you’ll need to authorize the bot to be installed. Once that is done, you should see your bot online in your workspace.
If you scroll down, under the Basic Information tab, you’ll see your verification token. Keep this handy as it will goes into the config.json file we’ll create later.
After jumping over to Google Cloud Platform, you’ll need to navigate to Cloud Functions by clicking the navigation (top-left corner) and clicking Cloud Functions.
Now you could create a function here through the GUI but I just want to navigate to this page while I built the function via Google Cloud Shell. I’ve learned that this resets every time you disconnect. So if you build something in the /tmp/ folder, it won’t be there tomorrow. It save your command history though (woot) if you using the history command.
First command I ran to ensure all components were up-to-date:
gcloud components update
Then, I navigated over to the /tmp/ directory in the Google Cloud Shell and created 3 files.
- config.json — where Slack verification token is stored
- data.json — where list of acronym dictionaries are stored
- main.py — the file that contains the cloud functions logic
cd slackbot# source code here
# https://github.com/pyraven/gcp-serverless-slack-acronymbot/vi config.json
# copy/paste the json from the github
# You'll need to edit this file and add the verification token from # earliervi data.json
# copy/paste as is from the githubvi main.oy
# copy/paste as is from the github# create the cloud function
gcloud functions deploy acronym_bot --runtime python37 --trigger-http
After you create the function (it’ll take a minute or so to deploy), it will output a url which we will use for Slack.
Keep this URL handy and head back over to Slack. We’ll create a new Slash Command here.
NOTE: You can click into this function to find the source code that you deployed if you need it.
Jumping back to Slack:
In the Request URL, you’ll post the Cloud Function URL here and save.
I created a new channel and invited the bot into the channel. Next I took a sec to… well you know…
The results of looking up a few acronyms (DD, AAA, and DDD). The last one of the three doesn’t exist in the data.json file.
And it’s working!
I hope helps someone, somewhere. Have a good rest of your day and thanks for reading. Cheers.