Working with Webhooks

Working with Webhooks


Lorna Mitchell

May 25, 2017


  1. 2.

    Webhooks in the Wild Webhooks power: • slack notifications •

    continuous integration services • other integrations @lornajane
  2. 14.

    Webhooks in the Wild: GitHub "ref": "refs/heads/master", "before": "1ae6a404351cead52df24893621d82ba6ec84a1c", "after":

    "e8474d83985330fa36f8862b37ca84ada4313392", "created": false, "deleted": false, "forced": false, "compare": " "commits": [ ... ], "repository": { ... }, "pusher": { ... }, "sender": { ... } @lornajane
  3. 15.

    Designing Webhooks Consider the use cases: • try to include

    all information for common outcomes • consider impact of payload size vs potentially many followup API calls @lornajane
  4. 17.

    Receiving Webhooks It's just a POST request! Advice: • DO:

    accept, store and acknowledge quickly • DON'T: validate or process before acknowledging @lornajane
  5. 18.

    Ngrok for Testing Webhooks - secure tunnel to your

    dev platform Use this tool to: • webhook into code running locally • inspect the request and response of the webhook • replay requests and see the responses @lornajane
  6. 19.

    Storing Data Simplest queue can go in your database! •

    an ID • the payload that came in (extract fields to search on) • a status field (new/processed/failed) A cron job to work through what needs doing and update the status field. @lornajane
  7. 22.

    Storing Data If you outgrow the database method, use a

    queue. • e.g. RabbitMQ, Beanstalkd, Gearman • easy way to link many workers with work to do @lornajane
  8. 24.

    Publishing Webhooks Offering webhook integrations is ideal if: • you

    have clients polling your API a lot • it's common for another system to react to changes in your system • you want to offer notifications for specific events • any of the above apply either internally or externally @lornajane
  9. 25.

    Example App: Retro Guestbook In the olden days, we had

    guestbooks on our websites. • Allow user to leave their name and a comment • Show the comments left so far • Include webhook management for notifications of new comments @lornajane
  10. 30.

    Data Hygiene Workers should be independent • pass in data

    up front if you can • ideally one component talks to each data store • keep metadata and data separate @lornajane
  11. 34.

    About Workers Workers are: • long running processes • may

    be able to process multiple message types • may have many of the same worker (horizontal scaling) • can be any tech (for bursty workloads, try serverless workers) Many microservices patterns also work well here @lornajane
  12. 35.

    Webhooks in Your Applications • Use them WHEN you want

    to notify other systems • Examples of HOW to use webhooks hopefully gave you some ideas • Webhooks are HTTP: we already understand this @lornajane
  13. 37.

    Thanks! • Slides: • Example app: • RabbitMQ: • Bluemix: • Requestbin: • Ngrok: • Website: @lornajane