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The best way to Create and Automate a Webex Area

Earlier than my profession in data expertise, I used to be an educator. I started instructing inner-city youngsters in a summer time camp, the place I discovered, practiced and taught many worthwhile classes, together with the significance of getting enjoyable and in protecting a optimistic each day routine. Later, I taught for the federal government and was impressed by means of expertise to avoid wasting lives (each authorities and civilian). This was a catalyst for main me again to laptop expertise (I used to be a programmer and technophile as a toddler). Lastly, after incomes a Grasp’s in Schooling and whereas instructing aboard, I discovered how you can make the most of Data and Communications Know-how (ICT) in a each day routine, with a view to switch information to college students. Primarily utilizing a number of the very applied sciences which serve to distract them, to show them. And, to offer them the instruments to show themselves.

Day by day, incremental presentation of related and difficult data is environment friendly, enjoyable and gives a basis for studying, communication and confidence which extends past the partitions of classroom and company workplace alike.


This challenge describes how you can create a Webex bot which posts to a Webex area you’ve created. Adaptive Playing cards can be used to design the message the bot will put up. Information of Python is critical with a view to program the bot, message, and area particulars. GitHub Secrets and techniques, Actions, and Workflows can be utilized to automate precisely what and when the bot posts.


A card just like the above is posted on a daily schedule to the ‘Phrase of the Day’ Webex room. A random phrase is chosen every time from a whole bunch of probably the most cutting-edge and fascinating phrases related to improvement, coding, networking, cloud computing and the sociology of expertise. The phrase is in inexperienced font. A multi-word/sentence definition is supplied beneath that. Under the definition is a button with inexperienced font that’s clickable and can take the consumer to the supply and/or extra data on the phrase of the day.

Create the Webex Room

Click on on the + signal on the prime of Webex and choose ‘Create a Area’. Then title it and click on ‘Create’. Now the room is created and you must see it seem within the rooms column on the left of Webex. Now, we want the Room ID of the brand new room. We are able to get it through the use of the Webex for Builders interactive Rooms API name. Be sure you’re logged in and choose to make use of your private entry token. Within the ‘sortBy’ area, sort ‘lastactivity’. Click on the ‘Run’ button and an inventory of the newest rooms you’ve interacted with needs to be returned.

The room you simply created can be on prime. Save the id of the room. Later, we are going to use that as the worth of our ‘teams_room’ variable. It can save you the opposite values someplace as effectively. It’s good apply to maintain notes when creating issues; you by no means know once you’ll want them.

Craft the Template of the Message to Be Posted to Your Webex Room

I want utilizing Adaptive Playing cards when posting to Webex areas. In the event you’re ranging from scratch, you’ll undoubtedly want the Buttons and Playing cards Designer discovered on Webex for Builders. Mess around with it utilizing ‘Preview mode’ till it appears to be like proper after which copy the code with ‘Copy card payload’. Put it aside someplace.


Subsequent we need to create a message to put up within the Webex area that may comprise the cardboard we simply created. You’ll be able to check this out with the interactive Create a Message on the Webex for Builders web page below the ‘Strive it’ tab. Don’t neglect to stick you Adaptive Card code you saved into the ‘attachments’ area, in addition to the roomID you saved from the earlier API name. Click on ‘Run’ to create the message. If you get it working, click on the ‘Instance’ tab and replica the code. You’ll use this to construct your request.

Constructing the App in Python

Okay, we’ve got our Webex Room and the core of the message, primarily based on the adaptive card. Now, let’s write some Python code that may make all the pieces come collectively and run. I exploit the Visible Studio Code IDE.

Create a digital setting and begin constructing your code inside it.

I exploit Python and the requests library to do all of the work for this app. You’ll be able to see that the code is fairly easy -> https://github.com/xanderstevenson/word-of-the-day-bot/blob/most important/chatops.py. The primary elements are the adaptive card we created, some if/else statements and a easy requests perform for posting to a Webex room. I import ‘return_word’ perform from a file in the identical listing known as ‘phrases’. That is additionally a Python module and principally picks a random time period from an inventory to put up with the cardboard to the Webex room every time the chatops.py module is run.

Create a Bot to Put up the Message to the Webex Area

To this point you’ve your Webex Room and you’ve got Python code to put up messages to your room. However who will put up the messages. That’s the place the bot is available in.

Go to Webex for Builders / My Apps and ‘Create a New App’ (You’ll must be logged in to do that). Select ‘Create a Bot’. Observe all of the steps and create the bot. You’ll then get a Bot Entry Token. Save this because the TEAMS_ACCESS_TOKEN variable within the ‘~/.bashrc’ file with the road export TEAMS_ACCESS_TOKEN=””. Use the command ‘supply ~/.bashrc’ to load the variable into the setting. You’ll be able to test this labored with the command ‘echo $TEAMS_ACCESS_TOKEN’. In my most important module, chatops.py, you’ll see the road ‘access_token = os.environ.get(“TEAMS_ACCESS_TOKEN”). This units it up so the bot is the one doing the posting within the Webex area. Cool, proper?

Working the App out of your Native Console (for debugging)

Now I can run the command ‘python chatops.py’ or ‘python3 chatops.py’ to run the app domestically (for the reason that Python verrsion is 3.8.10). Each time I run this command, a brand new random phrase of the day will seem within the Webex area. I solely use this for testing functions.

(venv) alexstev@ALEXSTEV-M-FCUD wod % python chatops.py
your message was efficiently posted to Webex Groups

Working the App on Schedule (Utilizing GitHub Workflows and Actions)

So as to run the app on a schedule, we use GitHub workflows. So as to do this, you’ll have to create a GitHub repo named ‘.github’ and creat a listing in it known as ‘.github/workflows’. In order that structrure will seem like this: ‘.github/.github/workflows/’.

Subsequent, you need to create a workflow file within the workflows listing. It should comprise a reputation, a set off, a job, and primary steps (together with checkout and run). To be taught extra about what all this implies, take a look at this tutorial: How To Construct Your First GitHub Actions Workflow. I even have a ‘workflow templates’ listing within the ‘.github’ repo that accommodates the workflow as a template, in addition to a properties.json file describing all the pieces.

That is what mine appears to be like like –> https://github.com/xanderstevenson/.github/blob/default-branch/.github/workflows/wod-workflow.yml

It’s solely 29 traces of code! Automation all day!


One key element in my workflow is that this line ‘TEAMS_ACCESS_TOKEN: ${{ secrets and techniques.TEAMS_ACCESS_TOKEN }}’. I retailer that within the repo you’re studying now below Settings -> Secrets and techniques -> Actions.

Now we need to join the Workflow we created with the repo and the code we need to run. In my word-of-the-day-bot GitHub repo, I click on on the Actions tab and click on on ‘New workflow’ and discover my workflow listed amongst all of the really useful and prebuilt workflows in a piece titled ‘By Alexander Stevenson’. In the event you’ve already executed this, you possibly can return a step to Actions and click on ‘Choose workflow’ to select the workflow you need.

If all the pieces is setup appropriately, the code will run utterly and the Webex area will obtain a brand new message. If not, you’ll get an electronic mail to the deal with related along with your GitHub account. You may as well click on on the ‘Actions’ tab in your code repo and also you’ll see an in depth description of why your code failed.

Phrase Alternative and Sources

For this challenge, phrases had been chosen that are related to fashionable and future applied sciences. I additionally intentionally selected phrases which have cross-functional use in community and software program improvement. Moreover, I selected a mixture of phrases which can be of curiosity to a variety of IT professionals, i.e., engineers, managers, human sources personnel, testers, programmers, builders, cybersecurity, and many others..

I used a wide range of sources to seek out probably the most cutting-edge phrases however with out getting too deep or technical. Neither did I select phrases which might be too frequent or easy. Final however not least, I attempted to compile an inventory of phrases that may make anybody who makes use of them sound good. Properly, probably not. Really, humor is a typical theme. Making an attempt to onerous to sound good often has the alternative impact.

Sources (not all-inclusive)

Rework Wikipedia Article to MP3 Recordsdata

By clicking on the ‘Be taught Extra’ button on every Phrase of the Day message, customers are taken to a webpage which is able to present an excellent deeper definition. The overwhelming majority of the time, this can be a Wikipedia article. Personally, I plan on studying your entire article in order that I can actually grok every time period.

A colleague of ours at Cisco, John Capobianco, has developed a bundle known as wikitrola, which is able to rework any Wikipedia web page into an MP3 file.

You probably have neither the time, endurance, nor need to learn the Wikipedia article, simply use wikitrola and you’ll hearken to it whereas multitasking or enjoyable.

Codebase Updates

I had created an empty init.py file within the root listing out of behavior. Earlier than Python 3.3 this was executed to to make Python deal with the directories as containing packages and facilitate importing between modules. From Python 3.3+ Implicit Namespace Packages are supported which permits the creation of a bundle with out an init.py file. This nonetheless solely applies to empty init.py information. So empty init.py information are now not essential and will be omitted.


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