In this article, we'll help you get a better understanding of FireHydrant and how to best utilize our Slack integration. If you haven't already set up our integration, check out Integrating FireHydrant with Slack.
At its core, the FireHydrant Slack integration is designed to be a low-friction way of opening an incident, compiling notes and messages automatically, and assembling the right people fast. This guide will help you get started with FireHydrant commands in Slack.
Starting an Incident
To declare an incident on Slack, you'll need to type in:
An alternative option would be to use our Slack shortcut.
Once an incident is declared, you'll be brought to a dialogue that will ask you about information on the incident. The only required field is the name of the incident. When you select "Open", by default, FireHydrant will automatically create a new Slack channel on your behalf (this automation can be customized by creating or editing existing Runbooks).
The FireHydrant Slack integration will act as your scribe and record all of the chatter and attachments pasted into the channel, e.g., if you paste an image of a graph, we’ll collect that image and store it in your timeline automatically.
You can inform other channels of the incident you’ve opened by running:
/firehydrant notify #general
In this example, FireHydrant will post a message into the general chatroom about the incident.
Automatic Channel Notifications
Alternatively to notifying manually, FireHydrant also allows you to configure channels that will automatically receive notifications about an incident. This is available by adding a "Notify Channel" step to your Runbook for a given incident.
Once you’re inside the dedicated incident response channel (e.g., #incident-343), you will have the option to add an impact (services, environments, and/or functionalities) onto an incident. For example, if you want to add a service named "Firehose", you can type in:
/firehydrant add impact
From here, you'll be brought to a dialogue that will allow you to search for the impact you’d like to add. When you click "Add", FireHydrant will automatically add the selected impact into the incident, this example being our service "Firehose".
Adding Action Items
You'll have the option to add action items during an incident, whether that's creating a task that needs to be done immediately or creating a follow-up ticket that needs to be done in the future. You will also have the option to assign an action item to a specific user:
/firehydrant add action-item
Note: If you're using our JIRA integration, adding an action item will automatically create a ticket in JIRA.
Notes and Status Updates
If you’d like to post a more formal note or post a status update about the incident, you can add a note right from the dedicated incident response channel by running:
/firehydrant add note
Once the description is filled out, you'll have a few different options on where to post the note. You can either post the note privately on Slack (this is valuable if you’d like to only add notes to your retrospective timeline in the future), post the note to FireHydrant's built-in status page feature (private and/or public), or post the note right to your Statuspage.io.
For example, posting a note onto FireHydrant’s private status page (which can be sent to other stakeholders within your organization, like customer success, sales, etc.) will populate the following message:
Private status pages have a TTL of forty-eight hours after an incident. After forty-eight hours, FireHydrant will return a 404 error.
FireHydrant allows you to configure as many incident roles as you'd like. These are valuable to quickly delegate responsibilities to responders during an incident.
To assign a user a role during an incident, you can simply run:
/firehydrant assign role
From here, you'll be brought to a dialogue where you can select an existing FireHydrant user and assign them a role.
All of the roles you create in FireHydrant for your organization are available for assignment via this command.
When users are assigned roles, they’ll receive a direct message in Slack (provided that their FireHydrant account is linked with Slack) saying they’ve been assigned the role. Team members can be added within the FH UI by visiting "Organizations" "Members".
To confirm if your FireHydrant account is linked with Slack, run the command:
Resolving an Incident
Once you’ve fixed that pesky incident, you can mark it as resolved in the incident channel by typing:
This will automatically mark the incident as resolved for you.
To view all the FireHydrant commands on Slack, you can also type in:
When responding to incidents with our Slack integration, you'll now be able to focus on the issue at hand while letting FireHydrant act as your command center and your scribe. Next, we'll discuss the simplicity of creating retrospectives after an incident is resolved on FireHydrant.