AWS gets a chatbot

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AWS, Amazon’s cloud computing arm, today announced the beta launch of the AWS Chatbot, a chatty little chap who slides into your Slack and Amazon Chime channels and can inform you of any issues with your AWS resources.

It’s hard to imagine DevOps teams that don’t use Slack or similar tools, so it’s actually a bit of a surprise that AWS, which has long offered all of the tools to build chatbots, didn’t launch a similar service before.

The bot hooks into the Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS), which in turn allows you to integrate it with other AWS services. Right now, that list includes Amazon Cloudwatch, AWS Health, Budgets, Security Hub, GuardDuty and CloudFormation. That’s not exactly every AWS service, but it covers most of the bases for companies that want to keep an eye on their AWS deployments.

Product Page Diagram AWS Chatbot How It Works.302d64136f803e8de362c33846f653599c780c39

“DevOps teams widely use chat rooms as communications hubs where team members interact—both with one another and with the systems that they operate,” writes AWS’s product manager Ilya Bezdelev in today’s announcement. “Bots help facilitate these interactions, delivering important notifications and relaying commands from users back to systems. Many teams even prefer that operational events and notifications come through chat rooms where the entire team can see the notifications and discuss next steps.”

In good AWS fashion, it takes a bit of work to get everything set up for the AWS chatbot to work.

Right now, though, all of this seems to be a one-way street, too. You can get alerts to Slack, but at least in the beta, you can’t push any commands back to AWS yet. That means this chatbot likes to talk but isn’t much of a listener yet. Chances are, though, we’ll see more of that functionality once it hits general availability.