The internet went from static websites and applications to real-time-based software in the last decade. It is not uncommon to find the latest websites or apps with real-time services between themselves. Real-time service isn't always about customers. In this case, it is about webhook.
Have you ever encountered webhooks mentioned in an app setting you're using? Did you know that you can use it for conversation? Yes, webhooks are a method for sending automated messages to other apps.
It is like a way through which two or more apps can talk with each other and notify when somethings happen. For instance, PayPal informs the accounting app when someone pays you, or WooCommerce tells you about new orders in Slack. Sometimes, you need to know how to use webhooks to transfer data from one app to another.
In this post, you will find all the details of webhooks, including how to use them and the list of the most popular ones available.
What Is A Webhook?
Third-party services can provide real-time updates to your app using a webhook. Webhook provider events or actions trigger updates, then deliver to your app via HTTP requests. When you get the request, you handle the request with custom logic, such as sending an email or saving the data in a database.
Imagine you utilize PayPal - a payment provider — for billing and want to inform consumers immediately whenever a payment fails. The following is an example of how a webhook may work:
- You charge a consumer who has signed up for your service but declined the payment.
- You've set up a PayPal webhook to communicate real-time payment failure updates to your control web service. As a result, PayPal gives you an HTTP message when a payment fails.
- You get the HTTP request, process it, and send it to the consumer through email.
This article uses PayPal as an example because invoicing is a prevalent issue. PayPal provides extensive developer documentation with several webhook examples and recommended practices.
Here are some more examples of how you can use webhooks:
- You want to notify your #social-mentions PayPal channel whenever someone mentions your firm on Twitter.
- You use Github to host an open-source project. When someone reports an issue, you should leave a remark with a "we'll get back to you soon" message and notify your team's #github-issues Discord channel.
- You may have worked with APIs (application programming interfaces) and believe that you can accomplish everything with them.
How to set up Webhook
It's usually a three-step procedure using webhooks:
Step 1: Obtain the webhook URL from the application you wish to transmit data.
Step 2: Paste the URL into the webhook area of the app from which you wish to get data.
Step 3: Select the types of events you want the app to send you notifications.
We'll use BotPenguin webhooks as an example to demonstrate how this works.
In this scenario, BotPenguin will be the application that provides data, and HTTP will be the application that receives it.
Step 1: Go to HTTP and select "Create a Request Bin" from the drop-down menu.
Step 2: Copy the URL for the endpoint from the page. It is the webhook URL to which your information is delivered.
Step 3: Go to your BotPenguin dashboard's settings page. Select "Custom Integration" from the Integrations tab.
Step 4: Paste the endpoint URL from HTTP into the URL box on the custom integration page.
Step 5: Choose the events for which you wish to get notifications. In this scenario, let's say you want to be alerted when an email bounces, a user unsubscribes, or a user converts. Then select "Test URL" from the drop-down menu.
Step 6. Return to HTTP and select the new "Post" option to view the test results that BotPenguin sent over.
You can see everything BotPenguin delivered over the webhook URL using HTTP. This data would then be used by the receiving application in the case of a genuine incident.
The List of Most Popular Webhook available (Glossary of Webhooks: Term Definitions)
HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. A protocol is just an agreed-upon method of communication, such as how you greet someone when you first meet.
HTTP is a protocol that governs how data ("hypertext") is sent from a web server by applications like web browsers. Your web browser and the server interact very precisely to negotiate for the resources your web browser requires — all HTML, pictures, and other material. It is an example of the protocol in operation.
Query String Parameters (URL)
Because you usually don't provide data in getting requests, they don't have a body. You have to tell the server what it is — the URL path you requested when you receive anything.
The route doesn't always inform the server exactly what you're looking for. If you ask a server for /stock data, the server will need to know "what stock?" To convey this, you can use query string parameters on various websites:
An API (Application Programming Interface) is a type of programming interface. The interface is often a set of HTTP endpoints with which your app or other services may communicate in a defined way. Stripe, for example, offers a charging API. Stripe allows businesses to manage invoicing and subscriptions on their websites. For example, you may submit a POST request to their API to create a new subscription for a client. A GET request to the same API endpoint will return a list of all your active subscriptions.
What are examples of Webhook in action?
SendGrid provides Webhooks to let you know when your transactional emails have been sent, opened, or if they have failed to reach the intended recipient. Using SendGrid to send crucial emails to your users would be beneficial since you'd know if they hadn't been delivered or opened. You could take steps to contact them again or use another method of communication.
Webhooks are available from BotPenguin for typical activities, like subscribing, unsubscribing, and changing your profile. It would be beneficial if you used BotPenguin to sign users up for your newsletter from your website and wanted to transmit that information to your CRM system.
Stripe provides a variety of events that you can utilize as Webhooks inside your app. A successful or failed charge helps you maintain your records up to date. In contrast, the subscription will expire event allows you to start the renewal process on your end. It may involve sending the user a notification, an email, or even a voucher-based on their behavior.
Webhooks allow Shopify to keep the rest of your commerce and fulfillment system up to date. Shipping an order or upgrading your accounting software, so you don't have to input new transaction information is an example of this manually.
In conclusion, Webhooks are comparatively more straightforward and faster than API. Webhooks are used for building software for the company's internal purposes. It keeps different services up to date as it's effortless to use. It operates smoothly and lessens the manual workload of entering data, which is prone to error. It serves as an invaluable tool for a large company's continuous workflow. Nowadays, Webhooks is moving towards customer services. It makes sense when companies like Shopify, BotPenguin, and others use it to have real-time service for their customers. Webhook is a powerful tool and can serve the future of real-time web conversations.