Integrating Asana with Pantheon using Quicksilver Hooks

Learn how to integrate Asana project management application with the Pantheon.

Contributors: Scott Massey.

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Asana is a flexible project management tool which helps teams to collaborate on projects in either an waterfall or kanban framework. It allows for projects to be spun up and managed quickly and easily, and has an extremely well designed user interface.

In this guide, we are using Asana to manage a website project on Pantheon. When changes are pushed to Pantheon that include the Asana task's unique ID, the commit message will appear within the task.

Before You Begin

Be sure that you:

  • Have a Drupal or WordPress site on Pantheon

  • Install Terminus:

      curl -O && php installer.phar install
  • Generate a Machine Token from User Dashboard > Account > Machine Tokens, then authenticate Terminus:

      terminus auth:login --machine-token=‹machine-token›
  • Install the Terminus Secrets Plugin:

      curl -L | tar -C ~/.terminus/plugins -xvz

Create a Machine User in Asana

Start by creating a new machine user in Asana. This user is referred to as a "machine user" because the account is used to automatically create comments out of commit messages on Pantheon using a PHP script.

  1. Select + from the left hand menu, next to existing team members:

    Add a user

  2. Enter a name and email address for the machine user, which acts as the intermediary between Asana and the Pantheon Site Dashboard. Then click Send Invite.

    We suggest naming machine users relative to their function, in this example we name our new user Automation User. The email needs to be an account you have access to:

    Create an automation user

  3. Check the address used in the last step for an email from Asana. Click the Accept Invite button and follow prompts to set the machine user's password. You should be logged in as the machine user.

  4. Click on your profile in the top right, and select My Profile Settings:

    My profile settings

  1. Select Apps, then Manage Developer Apps:


  2. Scroll down to Personal Access Tokens, then click + Create New Personal Access Token:

    Create a token

  3. Give the token a name which denotes it's purpose and save the string generated for the next steps.

Securely Store User Credentials on Pantheon

Next, we need to provide Pantheon with the credentials for our new machine user. We'll securely store these values in the private path of Pantheon's filesystem.

We use the filesystem private path in this section because we don't want to track sensitive data like passwords in the codebase with git.

In the commands below, replace <site> with your site name, <user> with your Asana machine account username, and <password> with its password.

  1. First, let's check for existing secrets using Terminus:

      terminus secrets:list $

    If no existing keys are found, execute the following to create a new secrets.json file and upload it to Pantheon:

      $ echo '{}' > secrets.json
      $ `terminus connection:info $ --field=sftp_command`
      sftp> put ./files/private secrets.json
      sftp> bye
      $ rm secrets.json

    Otherwise, continue to the next step.

  2. Write the machine user's token to the private secrets.json file:

    terminus secrets:set $ asana_access_token '<API token>'


When it comes to keeping production keys secure, the best solution is to use a key management service like Lockr to automatically encrypt and secure keys on distributed platforms such as Pantheon.

Configure Quicksilver Integration

Next we'll add Pantheon's example Quicksilver integration script for Asana to the private path of your site's codebase. The private path within the codebase is tracked in version control and is accessible by PHP, but not the web.

  1. If you haven't done so already, clone your Pantheon site repository and navigate to the project's root directory:

    `terminus connection:info $ --fields='Git Command' --format=string`
    cd $SITE
  2. Set the connection mode to Git:

    terminus connection:set $ git
  3. Create a copy of Pantheon's asana_integration.php in the project's private path:

    mkdir private
    mkdir private/scripts
    curl --output ./private/scripts/asana_integration.php
  4. Create a pantheon.yml file if one doesn't already exist in your root directory.

  5. Add the following workflow into your pantheon.yml file to hook into the platform upon code being pushed to fire off the Asana integration script:

    #always include the api version
    api_version: 1
          - type: webphp
            description: Asana Integration
            script: private/scripts/asana_integration.php


    api_version should be set once in pantheon.yml. If you have an existing pantheon.yml with this line, don't add it again.

  6. Commit and push changes to the Dev environment:

    git add .
    git commit -m "Create private/scripts/asana_integration.php and configure platform hooks"
    git push origin master

Test Asana Integration on Pantheon

  1. Grab the ID for a task you're working on, which is last part of the open task's URL:

    Asana task ID

  2. Push a code change to Pantheon containing the Asana task ID in the commit message in brackets (e.g., [398734709134915]). This workflow will trigger asana_integration.php script, which will search commits for possible task IDs and comment in Asana when found.

    git commit -m "[398734709134915] Adding changes as per latest revision"
  3. Return to the issue in Asana to see a message from our machine user:

    Asana message


In this guide, we covered a simple integration between Asana and Pantheon. Feel free to expand our example. Additionally, if you use GitHub with Asana, you can further integrate with Unito, a free integration service. This should reduce a few steps in the development process for your team by letting the robots handle the communication.