Slack, the team collaboration and messaging chat app, hosts the Slack Real Time Messaging (RTM) API for embedding real time chat functionality within clients. This WebSocket based API enables developers to programmatically receive events as well as send messages using Slack in real time. Once connected, the server will provide a continuous stream of events, recent messages, and updates made to the Slack team. The websocket connection uses JSON for requests and responses, and uses OAuth2 for authentication.
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Bots are a handy way to automate simple tasks that you might typically do on your own, such as updating calendar appointments. In this tutorial on Full Stack Python, Matt Makai explains how to build your first chatbot using the Slack API and Python to begin returning simple messages.