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How Glean Apps work
How Glean Apps work

How to create a Glean App

Sue Kim avatar
Written by Sue Kim
Updated this week

What are Glean Apps?

Glean Apps empower everyday users to create no-code custom generative AI assistants tailored to specific business needs. Glean Apps are published in the Glean App Library for easy discovery by other users in the organization. Additionally, Glean Apps can integrate into communication tools like Slack, enhancing real-time responses in specific channels.

Glean Apps leverage all of Glean's core competencies including enterprise search, conversational AI assistant, enterprise data connectors, user permissions, and data governance.

Part 1: Creating a Glean App

Who can create Glean Apps?

Admins, Setup Admins, and Members with the App Creator role can create Glean Apps. Refer to How to enable your organization to create Apps to learn how to assign the App Creator role to other teammates.

Navigate to Apps

If you have the permission to create Glean Apps, you will see the wrench icon in your left nav. Click on the icon and choose Apps to open the App overview page.

In the Apps overview page, click on the New App button at the top of the page.

1) Setup

In the Setup tab, you can specify basic info, knowledge source, instruction, actions, and triggering.

Basic info

To start creating a Glean App, provide basic information, including its name and display description. This will help your coworkers understand how and when to use the app to answer their questions.

Knowledge sources

Add the knowledge sources the App can pull from. These can be individual files, folders, or even all of the data in an entire app. All of a Glean App’s results are secure and permissions-enforced, so only the people who have access to the source knowledge will get access to it.

Add a document as a knowledge source

  • Click on Find document IDs

  • Search for the document.

  • If you see the document you’re looking for in the autocomplete dropdown, hover on it and then click on the Add ID button.

  • If you don’t see the document you're looking for in the autocomplete dropdown, press Enter to view all search results. Hover on a result, and click the Add ID button

Add a container as a knowledge source

  • Click on Find container IDs

  • Search for the container.

  • If you see the container you're looking for in the autocomplete dropdown, hover on it to copy its ID. Otherwise, press Enter to view all search results.

    • If the result is the container itself, click Add ID.

    • If the result is an item inside another container, and you want to add that container, click on Add container ID.

  • Important: If your container includes another container, the nested container is not added as a knowledge source. We are currently working to support nested containers.

Add a data source as a knowledge source:

  • Click the input field and choose a data source from the dropdown. Glean App will reference all information available from this data source when generating an answer.


Add the app’s custom instructions. This tells the app what it should do, and provides important context for it to successfully execute whatever specific task you put forward. We recommend specifying:

  • What sort of task or tasks the app is expected to perform

    • You are a competitive intelligence agent for Acme Corp. Your role is to be a colleague to sales representatives and help them understand how Acme’s products compare to those of its competitors.

  • How the app should structure its response

    • Whenever a user asks a question comparing two products, always respond in tabular form. That table should include a column that lays out why Acme is superior to the competitor.

  • What action to take if the app can complete its task

    • Always offer to compose an email to a prospective customer that includes this information

  • What to do if the app can’t complete its task

    • If you cannot answer the question, instruct the user to contact

Actions (beta)

This is currently a beta feature.

Enable additional functionalities for your Glean App by specifying read and write Actions. Each App can have up to 5 Actions.

Triggering (beta)

This is currently a beta feature.

Specify triggering instructions to allow Assistant to intelligently invoke your Glean App to answer questions.

Triggering instructions should be detailed and include example phrases. For example, for an HR Assistant, you might include the following:

Automatically trigger this App when a user asks about HR and administrative questions including company culture, benefits, professional development, work-life balance, 401(k), PTO, vacation policy, and company holidays. Example phrases:

  • When is the next company holiday?

  • What is our allowance for a gym membership?

  • How much can I expense for a hotel while traveling for work?

  • What are the commuter benefits?

Only an Admin can enable triggering for all or some teammates.

Triggering occurs in all surfaces where Glean App is published, e.g. Chat, Slack, or API. Test to verify that Assistant correctly triggers your Glean App and maintains chat quality. Assistant may not trigger this App in rare instances even if the instructions are met.

2) Publish

In this tab, you will specify where to publish your App. You can currently publish to Chat or to Slack. All Apps are enabled by default to be published as a Chat API endpoint.


Select Visible to all or Visible to some teammates to publish your App to the Apps library in Chat.


  • To publish an App to Slack, choose a Slack channel where you want the App to respond.

    • If your deployment has multiple Slack instances, you will see an option to first choose the instance and then the channel.

  • If you don't see the channel in the list of dropdown, click on Can't find a channel and add the Slack channel ID by following the directions below.

How to find channel IDs

To find a channel's channel ID, go to the channel in Slack and click on the channel name in the top bar. In the modal that appears, scroll down to the bottom of the "About" tab. Copy the channel ID shown and paste it into Glean.

Finalize and Publish

When done, click the Publish button at the bottom of the screen.

Part 2: Using a Glean App


If you published to the App library, your teammates will be able to access your App from Chat.

You can also use the "test app" button available at the bottom of the creation screens to open your App in Chat.

If triggering is enabled for your Glean App, Assistant will intelligently invoke your App if it determines that the App is best qualified to answer a question.


If you published to Slack, add the Glean app to each channel listed above. The scope will be confined to what you specified when setting up the App.

  1. Type /add and click Add apps to this channel

  2. Select the Glean app

Start asking your App some questions! Your App will generate answers based on the knowledge sources and instructions you've provided.

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