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
  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
    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 and follow us @Mixmax.