Trello integrates automation tool Butler with Slack, Jira

Ultimately, Trello plans to let third-party developers build their own integrations with Butler, with the goal of making Trello the "command center of work"

Trello, the collaboration and project management platform owned by Atlassian, announced Monday that it's integrating its no-code automation tool Butler into Slack and Jira. The company says it aims to extend Butler's capabilities beyond Trello so that, ultimately, Trello can become the "command center of work." 

"We're starting to expand beyond the walls of Trello by tying this to other tools,"  Trello CEO Michael Pryor said to ZDNet. 

Trello acquired Butler in 2018, after it proved to be one of the platform's most popular automation integrations. Back in October, Trello made the no-code automation tool a core feature for Trello users. Butler allows users to automate any set of actions in Trello with rule-based triggers, with the click of a button, or through scheduled commands based on regular intervals or due dates. 

Now, users can create an automated workflow that includes actions in the popular communication app Slack or Jira, the Atlassian-owned bug tracking and project management platform for developers. 

For instance, a sales team that's using Trello as a CRM may regularly draft contracts that require review from their company's legal team. When such a contract is added to Trello, they could use Butler to automatically send a message to the #legal-team channel in Slack. 

With the Jira integration, teams using Trello could set up automatic triggers to send tickets to developers using Jira. For instance, a marketing team may want to notify their engineering team when they're ready to work on updates to their company's website. 

"We have a lot of customers using Jira and Trello," Pryor said. "We've heard from them a lot that, 'We want to work in the tool we want to work in, but we want the work to flow seamlessly between those tools."

On the communication side, Pryor said Trello started with a Slack integration in part because it's what they use internally. 

Trello plans to add more Butler integrations in the future with tools that fall into three categories: Communication (like Slack, or Microsoft Teams), Project Tracking (like Jira) and Documentation Collaboration (such as Atlassian's Confluence, Google Docs or Dropbox). 

The integrations are the first step toward Trello's longer-term vision to let third-party developers plug their own tools into Butler. That opens up "infinite possibilities," Pryor said, for automating workflows between Trello and other products.

By empowering developers and advanced Trello users to build a variety of automated workflows, Pryor said, the platform becomes more accessible to a wider range of users, for a range of custom use cases.