What is a webhook, anyway?
A webhook is a way to receive a notification about an event via an HTTP Post. Webhooks tell you that something has occurred by notifying you about an event. The event can be anything from a routine sensor data reading from a temperature monitor in your greenhouse, to a new login on your website, a comment posted on your blog, a click on your article. The notification which you recieve from these events are not sent through text message or email; they are done via HTTP POST aka an HTTP callback.
These messages appear at a unique URL on the internet. You hook into an event and the web sends you a notification to signal when your event occurs.
For IoT devices such as Bluetooth sensors, the event notifications can contain all the data collected by the sensor. In other words, you can utilize a webhook to view all your sensor data.
HTTP Requests and HTTP POSTs
When we break down the acronym HTTP, you will see that it stands for “hypertext transfer protocol”. HTTP is a protocol, a fundamental method and platform, for transferring data via the web. In tech terms, a protocol is similar to a language. It is a method of converying meaning – HTTP is one of many protocols just as there are many languages worldwide.
A POST is an action. It is the sending of data to a URL provided. After the initial input, a POST is sent to a given URL, and the URL recieves data and takes action.
Webhooks are a godsend for large coporations and operations to auto-detect anomolies and changes in internal CRM. Scanning pages of data for changes is no longer a task for interns. Once you set parameters for an ‘event’, you will be automatically alerted to any interesting hiccups.
Webhooks become powerful when integrated into cascading workflows wherein an event triggers another event and so on until entire processes are regulated and automated. Webhooks are like an invisible Rube Goldberg machine to turn an event into saved labour, new marketing leads, and increased revenue for a company.
Interested in setting up your own webhook?
Try one of the simplest webhook tools available -> hook.ubeac.io
How does it work?
- Navigate to and click on the “Create Endpoint” button.
- At the top right, select and copy your random, unique Hook URL.
- Paste the URL in your application.
There is a huge gap between sending data from a sensor device to a webhook and using webhooks to automate cascading workflows – but this will get your toes wet.
Congrats on being well on your way to becoming a webhook expert.