Jeff Park

Winter is coming — HipChat Game Of Thrones emoticon pack!

By Jeff Park | 5 days ago | 7 Comments

zOMG… did you guys catch last night’s episode of Game of Thrones?!

We here at HipChat have been going gaga over the new season and we’ve been chatting all about it. Pete was so excited that he created some Game Of Thrones emoticons this weekend, and we’re making them available to everyone.

 (hodor) - (hodor) | (tyrian) – (tyrion) |  (jaime) – (jaime) | (ned) – (ned) | (jonsnow) – (jonsnow)

 (daenerys) – (daenerys) | (joffrey)  – (joffrey)| (tywin) - (tywin) | (arya) – (arya)

Enjoy!

Elena Gorman

Talking about your (software) problems is good for you … and your team!

By Elena Gorman | 3 weeks ago | 1 Comment
This is a guest post by Trevor Parsons (@trevparsons), Chief Scientist and Co-founder of Logentries. Trevor founded Logentries in 2010 after a decade of research and development in enterprise monitoring and performance tools for distributed systems. Trevor holds a PhD from University College Dublin, Ireland.

Logentries now integrates with HipChat

We’re always told that talking about your problems is good for you. In fairness, it always feels good to get it off your chest, right?

If you ask me, the same goes for any software issues. There’s no point in keeping them to yourself. Why not share them with your whole team so that you can discuss as a group and figure out a good resolution?

The Logentries webhooks allow you to send a HTTP POST command with a JSON-encoded parameter payload to a url endpoint when a particular pattern is matched in a log event. In other words you can automate an action when an important event appears in your logs.

Webhooks + Logentries = Reporting in HipChat

Today, we are delighted to announce that now you can use webhooks to integrate into Logentries with your existing HipChat service to perform all sorts of helpful automation.

“The cool thing is that the idea for the new Logentries and HipChat integration came directly from our customers.” Trevor Parson, PhD. Chief Scientist & Founder, Logentries.

We consistently saw Logentries customers building their own integration with HipChat so that teams could easily share issues in the chat tool they use every day. We saw so many users do it themselves that we decided to connect the dots for them.

As a result,  your team can now get notified in your specified HipChat room when something important is going on.

Logentries will send notifications to HipChat in real time (i.e. within seconds of the event occurring) so that your team can immediately react, discuss and assign some remediation (in the case of an error event).

Because HipChat integrates with so many other services, it is a great place to correlate notifications and easily identify and pinpoint the root cause of an issue.

For example, an error event from Logentries might be preceded by a notification from GitHub that somebody just pushed to production moments before.

Get started

Configuring Logentries with HipChat can be achieved in only a few mouse clicks:

  • Create a Tag in Logentries to define an important event (e.g. an error, exception or warning). You do this by specifying a pattern or keyword that matches a log event that is produced when this important event occurs.

  • Then under ‘add alert,’ simply select HipChat, and add your account HipChat Notification Key and HipChat Room Name.

Configure Logentries to integrate with HipChat with a few clicks

Configure Logentries to integrate with HipChat with a few clicks

And that’s it. Next time you get an important event in your logs, a notification will be sent to your chat room with the log message details.

But it’s not all about problems or issues … you can share good news too. Log data today is not only used to record errors or exceptions but can also be used for a wide range of other use cases.

“Log data is ideal for performance monitoring, support, web analytics, product usage and more.” Trevor Parson, PhD. Chief Scientist & Founder, Logentries.

We regularly see users creating notifications when a big sale is made or when someone uses a new feature on a web application. It can be great to share this info in real-time so that the team gets to see the fruits of their labor.

Logentries joins a long list of other services that integrate with HipChat so that you can correlate whatever interesting data you have in your logs with your other development, support, sales or marketing tools.

Furthermore, HipChat’s V2 API (now in beta), also allows you to create add-ons for that automate actions whenever a notification is received. What you can do here is really only limited by your imagination. I’m looking forward to see what our HipChat/Logentries users build next!

Thank you all for the inspiration!

About Logentries

Logentries is a leading SaaS-delivered log management and log analytics service, developed to make machine-generated log data and insights simply accessible to developers, operations, and business analytics customers.

Elena Gorman

Algolia extends HipChat to customer support

By Elena Gorman | 3 weeks ago | 5 Comments

This is a guest post by Gaetan Gachet, Head of Business Development at Algolia.  

Algolia is a software editor that provides an instant search API, optimized for database search and navigation. Algolia removes the technical hassle of implementing and configuring meaningful and performant search as you type on web and mobile apps. They are the guys behind Hacker News’ search

Algolia uses HipChat's API to provide real-time website support

The bottom right “Chat with us” button checks if Algolia employees are online and then creates a public guest room for real-time support

Algolia’s first steps with HipChat

As a young company, iterations happen so often and have such a strong impact that we need to make sure everyone, from the developers to the sales guys, has the same level of information at any given time. HipChat  lets us do that.

Our first extension of HipChat was to implement public chat rooms to track notifications from our GitHub repository to know what is happening on our website. We see notifications for every GitHub commit, deployment and various bugs on our website. We then began tracking deal flow as well. Now the whole company gets notified whenever a new user signs in or converts.

This has been tremendous for the daily life of our team. Nobody gets left behind and everyone can share his input, even on topics he is not directly involved in.

How one specific need pushed us to think out of the box!

As we matured we realized that the technical nature of our product, a simplified API for real-time search, required greater customer support. We feared losing potential customers along their journey because we weren’t answering their immediate questions or recognizing unidentified friction.

To overcome this, we needed an outstanding live support process to assist existing customers and first-time visitors on our website. The obvious choice was to go with a live support solution but we wanted a solution that could integrate with HipChat.

“Specifically, we did not want to separate our customer support from our internal communication and notification processes. We didn’t find any solution that would do that, so we built it, using HipChat’s API!”

Also, public chat rooms are not limited to a single user. This is very helpful on our end for multi-level/multi-topic support. For instance, we can have our CTO and Business Dev team members answering questions in the same chat room.

This is also true on our customers’ end. As long as they are logged in their Algolia account, anyone on their side can access the chat room. It makes live support a lot easier and allows us to efficiently tackle all the problems in one conversation.

HipChat is particularly well suited for our developer-focused support. We can easily share screenshots and code examples. These developers often use HipChat in their own work environment and they are very comfortable using it.

How Algolia’s HipChat based live support works…

“HipChat’s API let us build a public-facing HipChat room on our website with 50 lines of Ruby and 100 lines of html/JavaScript”

See the code here

Whenever a user hits this button, we use HipChat’s API to check if  anyone on our team is available.

If no one is available, HipChat requests an email for support

If none of Algolia’s employees are online, the raised popup just invites the user to send us an email

If one of us is online, we create a chat room using the API and display it for the user directly on the website.

Algolia uses HipChat for real-time customer support

On our end, every time a user wants to start a conversation, we use HipChat’s API to notify our team (the admin) that someone wants to chat. We only select “Available” accounts connected from the desktop HipChat client.

Everyone who is available gets notified like this:

The HipChat API creates a public room and @mentions every available user to provide support

Algolia’s available team members are @mentioned by name in a new chat room

 

We also offer a “full-screen” mode so that the user can keep chatting with us while using our website. We just split the page in two parts using HTML iframes.

Algolia customers can chat in real-time via HipChat even when they are logged into their Algolia account

Finally, we have set up a daily job that deletes temporary rooms created during the day. This job also backs up the conversations on Dropbox for later usage.

Oh one more thing: because Guest Access is free, it costs us nothing more than our existing HipChat plan!

Elena Gorman

How MongoHQ uses HipChat to Connect a Distributed Team

By Elena Gorman | 4 weeks ago | 0 Comments

Since its conception MongoHQ has grown from a 2 person start-up to a 24 person company. The staff is absolutely multi-locational, with people in California, Alabama, Utah, Illinois, Ontario, Quebec, and London.

In this post, Elisabeth Morgan shares how the MongoHQ team uses HipChat to keep their distributed team on the same page.

“While there are a number of unique challenges associated with being scattered across the globe, we wouldn’t change it for the world, because it allows us to hire the very best people, without having to worry about pesky matters like the fact that they live in another state or country.” – Elisabeth Morgan, MongoHQ

The main challenge is, of course, trying to communicate and work collaboratively across locations, while developing a happy, friendly company culture. Fortunately we have a number of tools at our disposal to help us out.

Keeping remote teams connected

We use HipChat as our virtual office space, with most conversation taking place in the main MongoHQ room, and some work happening in project specific rooms.

It’s a great remote alternative for real-time communication. It also means that there are logs of conversations that happen while you are away or busy, so it’s reasonably easy to catch up on a day or two of activity most of the time.

MongoHQ watercooler room on HipChat

Beyond the practicalities of communication, HipChat is essential to our healthy remote working culture.

With a couple of central offices (Birmingham, Alabama and San Mateo, California), it would be easy to spend all day interacting with our office-buddies and neglecting our remote colleagues. If this were to happen, our remote folks would feel isolated and unsupported.

We wouldn’t want that, so we have a rule, which is “work as if you’re not here”. That means put it in writing, whether that be on HipChat or one of the collaborative work tools we use like Confluence, Hackpad, and our in-house invention, Compose.

With this method, our remote employees don’t miss out on important information. It also means that they get to experience all the little things that make a work environment friendly, like watercooler chat and  jokes from our bot, Toothy McBotPants.

Going beyond chat with Integrations

We go beyond using HipChat for simply communicating with one-another. We also use it as our notification center.

The MongoHQ team runs a  bunch of integrations on HipChat, including Github, Trello, PagerDuty,  CircleCI, Zendesk, and a number of custom apps, including our in-house commitment management tool, Compose.

MongoHQ integrates Github, CircleCI and their in-house commitment management tool Compose in HipChat

It’s great to have so many tools at our disposal, but sometimes it can be hard to keep track of everything. HipChat solves this problem for the MongoHQ team

Bringing bots to life

Not only does HipChat provide us with a virtual office and central notification system, it’s also given us the opportunity to develop our own virtual workmate, affectionately named Toothy McBotpants.

Toothy is an adaptation of Hubot, Github’s open source chatbot. Toothy lives happily in HipChat and we ask him to do a range of tasks such as telling us who is on call and performing simple web searches.

He also keeps us in-line by reprimanding us when we breach the verbal morality code. Toothy is a rather sensitive fellow with a long list of words that he doesn’t like. Chances are that if it doesn’t offend Toothy, it won’t offend anyone else either.

Toothy also provides essential cheer throughout the day. We’ve programmed him to tell jokes on command.

Toothy proves bots can have a sense of humor.

He also provides  ‘pug bombs’ on demand.

MongoHQ's bot in HipChat performs pug bombs on command

Toothy just PugBombed you

About MongoHQ

MongoHQ is built for developers by developers, and was the first MongoDB-as-a-service platform, which provides a fully-managed experience for MongoDB. MongoHQ offers best practice MongoDB out the box so that developers can focus on what is important to them –their product. MongoHQ comes with 24/7 on-call experts, a performance toolset, and automated disaster recovery backups.

 

Jeff Park

HipChat 1-to-1 Video and Screen Sharing – Now in Beta

By Jeff Park | 1 month ago | 55 Comments

HipChat 1-to-1 video and screen sharing are now available as beta features. Try it out and let us know what you think.

Communicating easily is key to any team’s success. You already have HipChat open to chat with your team, whenever and wherever you want. Now, with 1-to-1 video and screen sharing on HipChat, you’ll no longer need to switch apps or wait for your colleagues to log on in order to talk to them face-to-face. Everything is ready within HipChat.

This beta feature is available on the native Mac/Android apps as well as the web app. Support for iOS is currently pending approval, while support for Windows and Linux will be coming soon.

Lastly, HipChat 1-to-1 video and screen sharing are free to use while in beta, but these features will only be available to paying customers once the beta session is over.

To try it out, make sure to update to the latest version of your native app or download the app at hipchat.com/downloads.

As always, we’d love to hear what you think. Thanks!