As it is known, applications are no longer standalone applications. Integration has begun to occupy a very large place in software. We frequently encounter situations where not only third party services but also different applications we have developed need to work in an integrated manner. While providing these integrations, we use the APIs provided by the applications. These APIs can be implemented with methods such as SOAP / REST Services, GraphQL, RPC. When integrating our software into another application, we use the API of this service appropriately, send data to this service or extract data from this service.
APIs often need to be triggered. In other words, since the API resources do not know what content you need and when, you need to request these contents from the API, that is, you need to create a request. If you are faced with a situation where you only need to follow some events, for example, did you receive mail on your mail server, you need to disturb the API source periodically for this. This means that the APIs are unnecessarily busy while there is no content yet. As a solution to this situation, Webhook has been developed.
What is Webhook
Hooking, which is a computer science term, is a method that allows us to catch messages that interest us by intervening at some points (with methods such as interceptors) during the operation of the components in the system. In a way, we can think that at a certain point in an application that does not belong to us, we callback to run the code that belongs to us.
Webhooks are defined as HTTP callback. A webhook is an automatic message sent from applications when something happens. It allows you to send real-time data from one application to another when a certain event occurs.
Services that provide WebHook (WebHook Providers) notify our application when an event that interests us occurs, by sending an HTTP request to a URL that we define. In a way, back-ends send events among themselves. In this way, our software is aware of the event in real-time and takes the necessary actions.
Usages and benefits of Webhooks
For example, in an e-commerce system, you want to know the status of your cargo for the product you purchased. In this case, when you want to query the status with Rest API, which is the classical method, you should make a request to the query service and check it regularly.
By using Webhooks, you can create a process that will send a notification to the user through the application as soon as the product is delivered to the cargo. By doing this in real time, you can inform the user of instant developments.
The Slack application is also suitable for Webhooks. For example, in the software development ecosystem, when one of the application servers fails, you can send alert messages to the entire software team from Slack with a webhooks installation.
If we look at these examples, Webhooks stand out especially in customer experience and real-time updates.
It saves users from the trouble of tracking and loss of time. You can increase the customer experience by sending a notification as soon as the user receives approval with Webhooks during the approval waiting period as a result of a transaction made in the system.
With webhooks, you can inform the users of your system in real-time when there is an improvement. This will increase user satisfaction.
Webhooks simply allow you to send real-time data from one application to another when a certain event occurs. You can set up an event-based structure by integrating Webhooks into your system.