A webhook is a method used in web development to enable an application to provide other applications with real-time information.
A webhook delivers data to other applications as it happens, meaning you get data immediately. This is more efficient than the typical process of data transfer on the web, which usually involves requesting data with a frequency that can range from minutes to hours.
Event-Driven: Webhooks are triggered by specific events in a source application. When that event occurs, the webhook sees the action, gathers the data, and sends it to a specified URL in the form of an HTTP request.
Push Mechanism: Unlike typical API requests where you need to poll for data frequently (pull mechanism), webhooks are a push mechanism. They send data immediately when the event occurs.
Real-Time Data Transfer: Webhooks allow for near real-time data transfer, making them ideal for applications that require immediate updates, like instant notifications for a chat application or alerts for new transactions in a payment system.
Custom Callbacks: Developers can configure webhooks to call back to any URL. This means they can use webhooks to send data to any external system or application that can accept HTTP requests.
Efficiency and Reduced Load: Since data is sent only when an event occurs, webhooks reduce the need for constant polling. This makes them more efficient and reduces the load on both the server and the network.
Webhooks are a powerful tool in modern web development, enabling applications to interact and share data in a timely and efficient manner, enhancing the functionality and responsiveness of web services and applications.