Bots allow you to
- Send content into and out of Zulip.
- Send content to and from another product.
- Automate tasks a human user could do.
A bot that sends content to or from another product is often called an
Zulip natively supports integrations with over 90 products, and with
hundreds more through Zapier and IFTTT. If you're looking to add an
integration with an existing product, see our
list of integrations, along with those of
Zapier and IFTTT.
Anatomy of a bot
You can think of a bot as a special kind of user, with limited permissions.
Each bot has a name, avatar, email, bot type and API key.
The name and avatar play the same role they do for human users. They
are the most visible attributes of a bot.
The email is not used for anything, and will likely be removed in a
future version of Zulip.
The bot type determines what the bot can and can't do (see below).
The API key is how the bot identifies itself to Zulip. Anyone with the
bot's API key can impersonate the bot.
The bot type determines what the bot can do.
||Send messages into Zulip
||Third party integrations
||Send messages into Zulip, read messages where the bot is addressed
||Third party integrations, most custom bots
||Anything the bot creator can do
||Automating tasks, bots that listen to all messages on a stream
|API super bot (self-hosted only)
||Anything any user can do
It's generally best to pick the most restricted bot type that is sufficient
to do the task at hand. Anyone with the bot's API key can do anything the
A few more details:
Outgoing webhook: The bot can read private messages where the bot is a
participant, and stream messages where the bot is @-mentioned. When the
bot is PM'd or at-mentioned, it POSTs the message content to a URL of your
choice. The POST request format can be in a Zulip format or a
This is the preferred bot type for interactive bots built on top of Zulip
Generic: Note that if you truly want to impersonate yourself
(e.g. write messages that come from you, rather than from a look-a-like),
you'll need to use your personal API key.
API super bot: You cannot create this from the web interface. Contact
email@example.com if you'd like information on how to set this up.
By default, anyone other than guests can add a bot to a
Zulip organization, but administrators can
restrict bot creation. Any bot that is added
is visible and available for anyone to use.