Upcoming Bot Username Changes

May 18, 2018
Niall Murphy
Niall MurphyTechnical Lead Engineer straight outta Ireland
Upcoming Bot Username Changes

Following the rebranding of Cisco Spark to Cisco Webex Teams, all newly created bots will now be given a domain of webex.bot. Existing bots, which use the sparkbot.io domain, will remain unchanged until August 31, 2018. However if you, as a bot developer, would like to update the domain to webex.bot before then, you now have that option when you select a bot on the My Webex Teams Apps page.

There are a few things that you will want to consider when deciding when to update your bot's domain. Remember, the bot's address (username and domain) is the identifier that you give to your customers so that they can open a 1-to-1 space with your bot or add it to a group space. When you change the domain, you will need to update all of the places where you externally advertise the bot's address.

When the address changes, all existing space memberships remain unchanged; the bot is still a member of any spaces previous to the domain change. In this respect, it is like changing the bot's avatar. Similar to avatar changes, the Webex Teams clients may not reflect the address change for several days. This will not prevent your users from communicating with the bot. New users will only ever see the new address and will not be aware that there ever was an address with @sparkbot.io.

Before changing the domain, you will want to ensure that your bot will behave correctly with the new name. One useful precaution is to search your codebase for the string 'sparkbot.io'. If it appears anywhere in your code then that code is going to misbehave when the address of your bot changes from mybot@sparkbot.io to mybot@webex.bot. Your code might be checking the personEmail field of the message sender to see if it is from your own bot. This is useful if you want to avoid replying to your own messages. One way to fix this is to change the code to use the new address: mybot@webex.bot. However, a better fix is to stop using the bot's address completely. Instead, check the personId of the sender against your bot's personId. While a bot's address can change, the personId cannot, so your code will survive any future domain or username changes.

We will support bots with @sparkbot.io addresses until August 31, 2018. After that time, all bots will be migrated to the webex.bot domain. All new bots created on the Webex for Developers portal will use the new @webex.bot domain. If you try to create a new bot with a matching username, it will be refused. For example, if you own mybot@sparkbot.io then it will not be possible for anyone to create a bot with the address mybot@webex.bot.

If you have any questions about this change, our Webex Developer Support Team is available 24/7 to help. Please contact them with your concern.

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