What is an endpoint?
In the digital world, the term "endpoints" generally refers to the interfaces or points at which applications (apps) interact with a network or other software to exchange information and perform tasks seamlessly. They enable the Internet and its services to be used efficiently - from simple data transfers to complex API interactions. Endpoints are typically the end points of a communication link where data exchange begins or ends.
Endpoints come in many forms: Hardware endpoints physically connect computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets, routers, or other network devices to a network. Software endpoints are applications, programs, or services that are accessible over the Internet or a network. An API endpoint provides functions or services that other software can access. API endpoints are the specific URLs or paths used to access these functions.
What is a webhook?
A webhook is a type of specialized endpoint that is activated in response to specific events to provide real-time notifications or automated communications. Imagine webhooks as messengers that help applications to communicate with each other in real-time.
In technical terms, a webhook is a way for one application (the sender) to automatically send data to another application (the receiver) whenever a specific event occurs. This event could be anything from a new event in Desk-Net, the update of a story or a user sign-up.
How do webhooks work?
Here's a simplified explanation:
Setting up webhooks: The receiver application provides a unique URL to the sender app. This URL serves as the destination where the sender will send data whenever the specified event happens.
Event trigger: When the designated event takes place in the sender app, such as a user completing a form, the sender recognizes it and generates the relevant data.
Data transmission: The sender application then sends this data to the URL provided by the receiver application via an HTTP POST request. This is similar to how your web browser communicates with a website to load a page.
Handling the data: The receiver application receives the incoming data via the webhook URL. It processes the data and performs the necessary actions based on the event received. For instance, it may send out data of stories to trigger the creation of a new template or task in a connected CMS (see also: Desk-Net's Global Export Integration)
Why use webhooks?
Webhooks offer several advantages in the world of web development and app integration:
Real-time updates: Webhooks allow applications to react instantly to events, providing real-time updates to users and enabling rapid responses to critical actions.
Reduced polling: Without webhooks, applications often need to constantly check for updates by polling other services at regular intervals. This can be resource-intensive and inefficient. Webhooks eliminate the need for such polling, making communication more efficient.
Automating workflows: Webhooks make it easy to automate processes and workflows between applications. For example, when an editor changes the planned publication date of a story, a webhook can automatically update the corresponding template/task in a connected CMS.
Seamless integration: Webhooks facilitate seamless integration between different services, allowing developers to build interconnected systems that work together effortlessly.
(Article written with help of AI)