Apps are lightweight, interactive add-ons to Mattermost which can use any HTTP-compatible hosting mechanism to run without dedicated infrastructure. Apps can:
When you develop using the Apps Framework, your apps can:
Apps are available as a Developers Preview and we’re looking for your feedback! Share constructive feedback in the Mattermost Apps channel on our Mattermost community instance.
That depends on your use case, as they each have benefits.
The built-in incoming webhook is great for simple use cases. It requires the incoming payload to contain a valid Post JSON object - but some external systems don’t allow the customization of the fields included in the webhook payload. Compared to built-in webhooks, an App or plugin can be customized to receive an HTTP webhook posting from another system, and can process the incoming data then augment it or make an actionable message in a channel.
A plugin should be used when you need to directly alter the UI in Mattermost or you have a feature that requires low latency with the server (such as replacing characters in any message before it is saved). Currently, plugins have several UX hooks that Apps cannot access, however we plan to add/migrate more UX hooks into the Apps Framework over time. Please see the plugin documentation for more information.
The App framework provides a few differences from plugins, including:
Any language you want. We currently have an official driver for Go, and we are planning to release other drivers in the future in conjunction with our community.