Introducing Nylas Workflows: Automate Calendar Events Creation + Omni-Channel Notifications

Use pre-built templates to automatically create events and send scheduled notifications via email, SMS, Slack, and/or MS Teams.

Dominic Corsaro | February 17, 2021

Approximately one-third of a typical business person’s workday is spent on administrative processes that could be automated. From scheduling meetings, to sending follow-ups, to manually entering data between systems to keep information organized, there’s a lot of room for improvement in existing business workflows. As your software application scales, so does the amount of administrative tasks your users have to take on, stagnating their growth on your platform – until now.

Nylas Workflows is a new, intelligent workflow automation product that simplifies and automates manual business processes with just a few lines of code. Workflows can be implemented into your software application out-of-the-box, saving valuable research & development hours while boosting your users’ productivity by 20% through automation features.

The first set of Workflows templates include complex actions like finding availability across internal and external participants and sending notifications across multiple mediums, including email, SMS, chat applications, and more.

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Workflows are comprised of templates that are accessible via a single endpoint. The first Workflows include:

  • Event Reminder: Create events and generate reminders for the upcoming event via email, SMS, Slack, and/or MS Teams – reducing a tedious business process to a single API request. 
  • Omni-Channel Notifications: The Omni-Channel Notifications template allows your users to schedule and send notifications and alerts across email, SMS, Slack, and/or MS Teams. Send notifications immediately or schedule them to send at a specific time.
  • One-to-Many Meeting: Calculate availability across multiple participants, schedule a meeting, and generate reminders via email, SMS, Slack, and/or MS Teams.
    *Coming soon
  • Meeting Detection: Analyze emails, create calendar events if meetings are detected within the message, and generate reminders via email, SMS, Slack, and/or MS Teams. *Coming soon

Building In-House Automation Features is Complex and Expensive

Your users leverage various third-party communication platforms throughout the day and need a way to quickly and seamlessly bridge the gap between them. Organizing meetings with either internal or external participants require ways to alert participants of upcoming meetings faster than just email alone. 

However, building automation features across multiple data sources requires more customization and flexibility than you can reasonably build quickly. Connecting to different third-party solutions requires teams to divert resources to develop and maintain each integration. Nylas Workflows solves this by providing a single endpoint to kickoff a multi-step workflow.

Save Users’ 20% of their Time by Automating Event Creation & Omni-Channel Notifications

Nylas Workflows cements your application as your customers’ core productivity hub with ready-made automation features. Automating your users’ business processes results in a higher adoption rate and frees up valuable time to work on key business initiatives. In addition to expanding your platform’s offerings, you now empower your users to leverage various third-party communication platforms without building the integrations one by one.

How to use the Event Reminder Template

The Event Reminder template leverages the Nylas connectivity APIs and multiple endpoints to create calendar events and generate reminders across email, SMS, Slack, and MS Teams.

To set up the Event Reminder template, you make a POST request to api.nylas.com/workflows with the template name `calendar-event-reminder` with the request body as below: 

To set up this template, you need to define a payload that has two actions:

  • Action One: Create a calendar invite using the event creation endpoint.
  • Action Two: Configure one or more reminders:
    • Enter a value for the `time_before_event` flag.
      • This determines when the reminder will send out. 
      • The time is formatted in minutes.
    • Reminders are sent to all participants who accepted meeting invites and can be sent via SMS, Slack, and MS Team.

Here is an example showing a POST request kicking off an Event Reminder template for an upcoming meeting with a scheduled email reminder:

curl --location --request POST 'https://api.nylas.com/workflows' \
--header 'Authorization: Bearer ACCESS_TOKEN' \
--header 'Content-Type: application/json' \
--data-raw '{
 "template": "calendar-event-reminder",
 "data": {
   "create_calendar_event": {
     "calendar_id": "your-calender-id",
     "when": {
       "start_time": 1607812301,
       "end_time": 1607814101
     },
     "title": "Let'\''s meet",
     "description": "Don'\''t forget to wear masks folks.",
     "location": "Coffee Shop at Mandalore",
     "busy": true,
     "participants": [
       {
         "name": "John Doe",
         "email": "[email protected]",
         "status": "yes",
         "phone_number": 15149998877
       }
     ]
   },
   "reminders": [
     {
       "type": "email",
       "time_before_event": "600",
       "subject": "Don'\''t forget",
       "body": "Reminding you about our meeting.",
     }
   ]
 }
}'

Here is the same scenario showing a POST request kicking off an Event Reminder template for an upcoming meeting with a scheduled SMS reminder:

{
   "template": "calendar-event-reminder",
   "data": {
       "create_calendar_event": {
           "calendar_id": "your-calendar-id",
           "when": {
               "start_time": 1607812301,
               "end_time": 1607814101
           },
           "title": "Let's meet",
           "description": "Don't forget to wear masks folks.",
           "location": "Coffee Shop at Mandalore",
           "busy": true,
           "participants": [
               {
                   "name": "John Doe",
                   "email": "[email protected]",
                   "status": "yes",
                   "phone_number": 15149998877
               }
           ]
       },
       "reminders": [
           {
               "type": "sms",
               "time_before_event": 60,
               "message": "Don’t forget our coffee meeting!"
           }
       ]
   }
}

Here is the workflow you receive for both:

{
  "workflow_id": "cBgqGMqecCefYTGT6zzJL43517",
  "message": "Workflow was successfully created. Please use the workflow id to track its status.",
  "workflow": {
    "template": "calendar-event-reminder",
    "data": {
      "create_calendar_event": {
        "calendar_id": "string",
        "when": {
          "start_time": 1607812301,
          "end_time": 1607814101
        },
        "title": "Let's meet",
        "description": "Don't forget to wear a masks folks.",
        "location": "Coffee Shop at mandalore",
        "busy": true,
        "participants": [
          {
            "name": "John Doe",
            "email": "[email protected]",
            "status": "yes",
            "phone_number": 15149998877,
            "comment": "string"
          }
        ]
      },
      "reminders": [
        {
          "type": "email",
          "time_before_event": "600",
          "send_at": 1610052521,
          "subject": "Don't forget",
          "body": "Reminding you about our meeting.",
          "file_ids": [
            "string"
          ],
          "tracking": {
            "links": true,
            "opens": true,
            "thread_replies": true,
            "payload": "Link clicked"
          }
        }
      ]
    }
  }
}

How to use the Omni-Channel Notifications Template

The Omni-Channel Notifications template uses the Nylas connectivity APIs to send scheduled notifications via email, SMS, Slack, or MS Teams.

To set up the Omni-Channel Notifications template, you make a POST request to api.nylas.com/workflows with the template name `omni_channel_notifications` with the request body as below:

  • Action: Create one or more notifications that you want to send at a specific time
    • Notifications can be of type: email, SMS, Slack, or MS Teams.
    • For each of the notification:
      • Provide an epoch time for the send_at attribute 
      • Notifications are sent at the specified time.

Here is a scenario showing a POST request kicking off an Omni-Channel Notifications template for an upcoming meeting with a scheduled SMS reminder.

{
   "template": "omni-channel-notifications",
   "data": {
       "notifications": [
           {
               "type": "sms",
               "send_at": 1610052521,
               "recipient_number": "+14158908000",
               "message": "Hey! Please confirm if you are attending."
           }
       ]
   }
}


Here is the workflow you receive for the SMS reminder:

{
  "workflow_id": "cBgqGMqecCefYTGT6zzJL43517",
  "message": "Workflow was successfully created. Please use the workflow id to track its status.",
  "workflow": {
    "template": "omni-channel-notifications",
    "data": {
      "create_calendar_event": {
        "calendar_id": "your-calendar-id",
        "when": {
          "start_time": 1607812301,
          "end_time": 1607814101
        },
        "title": "Let's meet",
        "description": "Don't forget to wear masks folks.",
        "location": "Coffee Shop at mandalore",
        "busy": true,
        "participants": [
          {
            "name": "John Doe",
            "email": "[email protected]",
            "status": "yes",
            "phone_number": 15149998877,
            "comment": "string"
          }
        ]
      },
      "reminders": [
        {
          "type": "sms",
          "time_before_event": "600",
          "send_at": 1610052521,
          "message": "Hey! Please confirm if you are attending."
        }
      ]
    }
  }

Learn more about how to use both templates in our docs here.

Workflows for Every Industry

With the Event Reminder template, you can automate scheduling processes fast without sacrificing performance, reliability, security, or velocity. Empower your users to be more efficient and productive regardless of the meeting type. Here are a few examples below:

  • CRM: Sales reps set meetings with various stakeholders throughout deal cycles, and due to timing constraints, cannot afford no-show meetings. Reps need a solution to remind all participants faster than just email. The Event Reminder template empowers reps to auto-generate reminders to send out 30 minutes before the meeting via an SMS and email.
  • General: An end user schedules a meeting for their team and creates a calendar invite within your application. After the event has been created, the application sends out an automated reminder in both Slack and an email using the Event Reminder template.

The Omni-Channel Notifications template empowers your users to seamlessly notify contacts across various communications platforms – making your application the centerpiece of their business tools. Here are a few examples below:

  • Healthcare: A telehealth platform is enhancing its appointment scheduling capabilities. Leveraging the Omni-Channel Notifications template, their platform sends an SMS alert before an appointment and a follow-up SMS with a survey link to their patients.
  • Recruiting: Recruiters work many open roles at any given time and spend much of their time scheduling interviews. Using the Omni-Channel Notifications template, they set up scheduled reminders to send each candidate 30 minutes before each interview via SMS and email.
  •  

Automation Features Are the Future

Nylas Workflows enable you to increase your users’ productivity without diverting your resources or roadmap. These templates empower your end-users with streamlined scheduling workflows that connect with various third-party platforms and improve end user experience with your application. Supercharge your end-users’ productivity by automating away repetitive tasks, freeing up time for more sophisticated projects.

Speak to a platform specialist to learn more about the Event Reminder and Omni-Channel Notifications templates and other Nylas Workflows.

Dominic Corsaro

Dominic is a Product Marketing Manager at Nylas. In his spare time, he loves to hike and go to the beach with his dog.