I’m not a huge fan of most notifications, especially the ones that vie for my constant attention — like badge notifications on my iPhone. However, there is a time and place for focused and timely notifications that have increased my productivity. Many people who’ve never used HipChat before are quick to dismiss it as a simple group chat application. However, once you use it, it becomes apparent that it’s a lot more than a group chat app.

One of my favorite features of HipChat is the ability to bring in relevant notifications into your team’s room. Here’s an example of a notification coming from JIRA:

JIRA’s workflow engine is highly flexible and can be tuned to whatever process you want to support regardless if you’re managing issues, requests, or tasks. We built a JIRA plugin for HipChat that binds to JIRA’s workflow engine (using Post Functions) to allow JIRA project admins to subscribe to any workflow transitions they please. For example, you may not want to notify your team of every issue transition, but maybe just the ones marked with a high or blocker status.

In our Developer Relations room, we find that notifications from Twitter and Zendesk are highly useful for responding to questions or comments by developers in our ecosystem. This is possible through a SAAS based integration service by Zapier.

In other rooms, some teams like to see commit notifications from Bitbucket and Fisheye as well as build notifications from Bamboowe have plugins for those too:

I’ve seen other teams use HipChat notifications to alert them of new product orders/subscriptions that come in. This is all possible through HipChat’s simple REST API. Although, before you attempt to integrate something with HipChat, check to see if that integration already exists on HipChat’s catalog of existing integrations — all 38 of them! If the integration you’re looking for doesn’t exist, the REST API is as simple as…

POST /v1/rooms/message?format=json&auth_token=token HTTP/1.1
Host: api.hipchat.com
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
Content-Length: 138

room_id=10&from=Alerts&message=A+new+user+signed+up

These are just a few great productivity boosters you can use for your teams on HipChat. Of course, there’s also a fun aspect to HipChat including HipChat’s unconventional emoticons.

What do you think? Could your team benefit from these type of features? If you use HipChat, care to share with us what you like to do with it, other than chat?