A channel is a communication stream that can be connected to Front. The most common channel type is email, but Twitter DMs, Facebook Messenger, and SMS are other great examples of communication channels that teams can use to send and receive messages in Front.
With the Channels API, a new channel type will display in the “Add a Channel” menu for your team, or for all Front teams if you apply to publish your app, along with the other channels that come out of the box with Front. Teams can then send and receive messages over that channel with all the collaboration, automation, and integration Front offers.
The user experience in Front is all about team collaboration, automation, and streamlining workflows through context. Creating a channel in Front means this new communication stream will be empowered by Front with comments, assignments, rules, synchronized contacts, and plugins. Take this example below, a user connected their Drift account and is immediately able to send and receive Drift messages without leaving Front as well as assign that conversation to a teammate or look up this contact in Salesforce.
When deciding if the Channels API is right for your project, consider the following:
Is the Channel I'm looking to add something that should be publicly available to all Front users?
If the answer is yes, then you're probably in the right place. Our Channels API was designed with partnerships in mind so you'll be building something that can be easily offered to all Front users.
If the answer is no, then you might be better off leveraging a Custom Channel. While similar in functionality, a Custom Channel offers a simpler setup if you're only planning on using this at your company.
Please note that Custom Channels and the Channels API don't have complete feature parity and there are private use cases that can only be achieved with the Channels API.
Updated 6 days ago