Building Your First Slash Command

Tuesday, Nov 17th, 2015

Mixmax is a communications platform that brings professional communication & email into the 21st century.

This post is part 2 in an engineering blog series about building on top of the Mixmax SDK. See part 1 here.

Let’s walk through step-by-step how to build a new /giphycats command using the Mixmax SDK. This command is a spin on the built-in /giphy command that appends the word “cat” to Giphy searches. After all, your email needs more cats.

  1. Ensure that you have git and node (>=0.12) installed on your system
  2. Check out the open source Giphy Mixmax command by running git clone https://github.com/mixmaxhq/giphy-example-slash-command
  3. Inside the directory, run npm install and then npm start. You shouldn’t see any errors and it should say [nodemon] starting `node server.js`
  4. Restart Chrome in a special temporary mode so the self-signed HTTPS urls. See here.
  5. Verify it’s working by visiting https://localhost:9145/typeahead?text=happy and https://localhost:9145/resolver?text=happy in your browser. It should show JSON results.
  6. Go to Mixmax Integration Settings
  7. Click Add Slash Command and enter the following values:
    Input NameValue
    NameGiphy Cats
    Commandgiphycats
    Parameter placeholder[search]
    Typeahead API URLhttps://localhost:9145/typeahead
    Resolver API URLhttps://localhost:9145/resolver

    Adding /giphycats to the Mixmax Integrations page

Now refresh Gmail and you should be able to type /giphycats in a new Mixmax window:

/giphycats in Mixmax

However, this command isn’t living up to its name - it needs cats! Let’s fix that. Open up the file api/typeahead.js and replace the line q: term, with q: term + ' cats',. Now all search terms will be automatically appended with the word cats. Now try:

/giphycats in Mixmax

Much better! Now you have more cats in your email. Feel free to explore around and implement a Slash Command of your own.

Use cases:

  • customer support at your company can type /kb <search term> to bring up a list of knowledgebase articles to insert a link to in the email
  • any Mixmax user can search your product catalog by typing /yourbrand <search term> to share a link with their friends

Interested in working on an email platform of the future? Email us at hello@mixmax.com and follow us @Mixmax.