Reddit Slack Bot#

This tutorial demonstrates how to set up a simple workflow to search for Reddit posts of interest and send them to a Slack channel. We will make use of secrets to store Reddit and Slack credentials, and LaunchPlans to schedule workflows at constant interval, so we never miss a Reddit post we might be interested in.

Run on Union BYOC

Run this example on Union BYOC.

Create an account

Once you have a Union account, install 'union[byoc]'

pip install 'union[byoc]' flytekitplugins-envd

Export the following environment variable to build and push images to your own container registry:

# replace with your registry name
export IMAGE_SPEC_REGISTRY="<your-container-registry>"

Then run the following commands to run the workflow:

git clone
cd unionai-examples
# follow the example below to create secrets before running this command
union run --remote tutorials/reddit_slack_bot/ reddit_wf --kickoff_time 2024-01-01 --lookback_days 1000

The source code for this tutorial can be found here .

Creating Secrets to Access Reddit and Slack#

For our workflow to access Reddit and Slack, we need to set up some credentials with Slack and Reddit, and share them with our workflow in a safe way. For Reddit, we create a developer app which will give us a client ID and secret. We will refer to these as reddit_client_id and reddit_secret_key. Once we have collected our reddit_client_id and reddit_secret_key, we securely store them using the unionai CLI tool. To add reddit_client_id we run:

unionai create secret reddit_client_id

and paste the client ID when prompted.

After, we can do the same for reddit_secret_key.

For Slack, we will need a Slack API bot token which can be configured and created for a specific channel by following Slack’s documentation. We will call this token slack_token. Similar to how we added reddit_client_id and reddit_secret_key, we securely store the slack_token in the CLI using:

unionai create secret slack_token

Once our secrets are set up, we continue by importing some of the workflow dependencies and setting some constants like the frequency in which we want to run the workflow, the Slack channel we want to post to, and the reference names of our secrets:

import os
from datetime import datetime, timedelta
from typing import List, Dict
from flytekit import (
import requests
from requests.auth import HTTPBasicAuth
SLACK_CHANNEL_NAME = "#reddit-posts"
REDDIT_CLIENT_ID = "reddit_client_id"
REDDIT_SECRET_KEY = "reddit_secret_key"
SLACK_TOKEN = "slack_token"

Defining a Container Image#

The previously imported packages are either in the Python Standard Library or included by default in the base flyte image used by Union. However, if we want to include additional packages we define an ImageSpec which will create an image under the hood, so we don’t have to worry about writing a Dockerfile.

image = ImageSpec(
    registry=os.environ.get("IMAGE_SPEC_REGISTRY"), packages=["slack_sdk==3.28.0"]

Collecting Reddit Posts#

For our task, to use reddit_client_id and reddit_secret_key, we specify them in the @task decorator using the secret_requests argument. Then all we need to do is format a request and parst the result. We will only return posts since the last time we ran the workflow; specified by DAYS_BETWEEN_RUNS.

We also make use of caching by setting cache=True in the @task decorator. By adding kickoff_time and lookback_days as arguments to the task we keep the function code independent of the current time. Now if get_posts ever gets called multiple times, we will not make unnecessary requets to the reddit API.

def get_posts(
    kickoff_time: datetime, lookback_days: int, search_terms: List[str]
) -> List[Dict[str, str]]:
    """Query Reddit API for certain search terms over a specified time period.

    :param datetime kickoff_time: The time the workflow was kicked off. This represents
    the most recent time for which Reddit posts are queried.
    :param int lookback_days: Number of days before kickoff_time for which we query
    Reddit posts.
    :param List[str] search_terms: List of terms we want the Reddit posts to include.
    :return: List of recent posts.
    # Load Secrets and Authenticate
    reddit_client_id = current_context().secrets.get(REDDIT_CLIENT_ID)
    reddit_secret_key = current_context().secrets.get(REDDIT_SECRET_KEY)
    auth = HTTPBasicAuth(reddit_client_id, reddit_secret_key)

    # Format and run request for reddit posts
    query_string = "+".join(search_terms)
    result = requests.get(
        f"{query_string}&sort=new", auth=auth
    result_json = result.json()
    posts = result_json["data"]["children"]

    # Get only recent posts
    days_ago_datetime = kickoff_time - timedelta(days=lookback_days)
    days_ago_timestamp = days_ago_datetime.timestamp()
    recent_posts = [
            "title": post["data"]["title"],
            "description": post["data"]["selftext"],
            "link": post["data"]["url"],
        for post in posts
        if post["data"]["created_utc"] >= days_ago_timestamp

    return recent_posts

Posting to Slack#

Given the reddit posts returned by our previous task, we define a helper function to format them in a more readable format for Slack.

def format_posts(posts: List[Dict[str, str]]) -> str:
    """Format Reddit posts for readability in Slack.

    :param List[Dict[str, str]] posts: List of Reddit posts.
    :return: Human-readable string.
    formatted_message = "*Recent Posts:*\n\n"
    for idx, post in enumerate(posts, 1):
        formatted_message += f"*{idx}. <{post['link']}|{post['title']}>*\n"
        formatted_message += f"{post['description']}\n\n"
    return formatted_message

We define another task to send our posts to slack. This time we use the ImageSpec we previously wrote that contains the slack_sdk package.

@task(container_image=image, secret_requests=[Secret(key=SLACK_TOKEN)])
def post_slack_message(recent_posts: List[Dict[str, str]]):
    """Format Reddit posts and send them to Slack.

    :param List[Dict[str, str]] recent_posts: List of Reddit posts.
    from slack_sdk import WebClient

    slack_token = current_context().secrets.get(SLACK_TOKEN)
    client = WebClient(token=slack_token)

    response = client.chat_postMessage(
        channel=SLACK_CHANNEL_NAME, text=format_posts(recent_posts)
    assert response["message"]["text"]

Creating the Workflow#

Finally, we chain these tasks together into a simple two-step workflow with some default inputs.

def reddit_wf(
    kickoff_time: datetime = datetime(2024, 1, 1),
    lookback_days: int = DAYS_BETWEEN_RUNS,
    search_terms: List[str] = ["flyte", "ml"],
    """Workflow to query recent Reddit posts and send them to Slack.

    :param datetime kickoff_time: The time the workflow was kicked off. This represents
    the most recent time for which Reddit posts are queried.
    :param int lookback_days: Number of days before kickoff_time for which we query
    Reddit posts.
    :param List[str] search_terms: List of terms we want the Reddit posts to include.
    recent_posts = get_posts(
        kickoff_time=kickoff_time, lookback_days=lookback_days, search_terms=search_terms

Defining a Schedule#

Using our previously created workflow, we define a LaunchPlan that will run on a schedule defined by a standard cron expression. In this example we have a LaunchPlan querying for posts containing “flyte” and “ml”.

    default_inputs={"lookback_days": DAYS_BETWEEN_RUNS, "search_terms": ["flyte", "ml"]},
        schedule=f"0 0 */{DAYS_BETWEEN_RUNS} * *",

To register and activate this LaunchPlan we run:

unionai register tutorials/reddit_slack_bot/
unionai launchplan flyte_reddit_posts --activate

Our workflow will now run on the configured schedule until we deactivate the LaunchPlan either in the UI or using:

unionai launchplan flyte_reddit_posts --deactivate