Product management glosary


What is Webhook?

A webhook is a method of augmenting or altering the behavior of a web page or web application with custom callbacks. These callbacks may be maintained, modified, and managed by third-party users and developers who may not necessarily be affiliated with the originating website or application. Webhooks are a way to receive valuable information when it happens, rather than continually polling for that data and receiving nothing valuable most of the time. They have become a popular means of integrating different applications and services, allowing them to communicate with each other in real-time.

How Webhooks Work

Webhooks work by sending an HTTP request, usually a POST request, to a specified URL when a particular event occurs. This URL is known as the webhook endpoint and is provided by the user or developer who wants to receive the webhook notifications. When the event is triggered, the webhook sends the relevant data to the endpoint in the form of a payload, which can be in various formats such as JSON or XML.

For example, let's say you have an e-commerce website, and you want to be notified whenever a new order is placed. You can set up a webhook that sends an HTTP request to your specified endpoint whenever a new order is created. This way, you can receive real-time notifications about new orders and take appropriate actions, such as updating your inventory or sending a confirmation email to the customer.

Advantages of Webhooks

Webhooks offer several advantages over traditional polling methods:

  • Real-time notifications: Webhooks provide real-time updates, allowing you to react immediately to events as they occur.
  • Reduced server load: Since webhooks only send data when an event occurs, they reduce the need for constant polling, which can put a strain on your server resources.
  • Customization: Webhooks can be customized to send only the data you need, reducing the amount of unnecessary information being transmitted.
  • Integration: Webhooks make it easy to integrate different applications and services, allowing them to communicate with each other in real-time.

Security Considerations

While webhooks offer many benefits, they also come with some security concerns. Since webhook endpoints are publicly accessible, they can be vulnerable to attacks if not properly secured. Some best practices for securing your webhook endpoints include:

  • Authentication: Require authentication for your webhook endpoint, such as using an API key or token, to ensure that only authorized requests are processed.
  • Validation: Validate the payload data to ensure it matches the expected format and contains the necessary information.
  • Encryption: Use HTTPS to encrypt the data transmitted between the webhook and your endpoint, protecting it from eavesdropping and tampering.
  • Rate limiting: Implement rate limiting to prevent abuse and protect your server resources from being overwhelmed by too many requests.


Webhooks are a powerful tool for real-time communication between applications and services. By sending HTTP requests to specified endpoints when events occur, webhooks provide a more efficient and customizable alternative to traditional polling methods. However, it is essential to implement proper security measures to protect your webhook endpoints from potential attacks. With the right precautions in place, webhooks can be a valuable addition to your product management toolkit.