Engineering

Implementing Webhooks Securely: A Technical Guide for Developers

Anjali Arya
June 2, 2024
Implementing webhooks requires careful consideration of technical aspects such as retries, security, scalability, and developer experience. This guide provides detailed best practices for building a robust and scalable webhook system.
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Webhooks are a powerful way to enable real-time communication between applications, allowing one application to send data to another as soon as an event occurs. When building a webhook system, there are several key technical considerations and best practices to keep in mind:

Check SuprSend documentation about Outbound Webhook for communication.

1. Handling Retries and Failures

  • Implement automatic retries with exponential backoff to handle temporary failures
    • Start with a short delay (e.g., 5 seconds) and double the delay with each retry
    • Limit the number of retries to prevent infinite loops
    • Provide a way for consumers to configure the retry behavior, such as through a dashboard or API
  • Provide a way for consumers to manage retries and failures on their end, such as a dashboard or API
    • Allow consumers to view the status of each webhook delivery attempt
    • Provide a way for consumers to manually retry failed deliveries
  • Log all webhook delivery attempts for debugging and auditing purposes
    • Record the request and response data for each delivery attempt
    • Store the logs in a durable storage system, such as a database or object storage

2. Securing Webhooks

  • Use HTTPS for all webhook endpoints to ensure secure communication
    • Obtain a valid SSL/TLS certificate from a trusted Certificate Authority (CA)
    • Configure your web server to enforce HTTPS for all incoming requests
  • Implement webhook signing to verify the authenticity of incoming webhooks
    • Generate a secret key for each consumer and use it to sign outgoing webhooks
    • Provide consumers with the public key to verify incoming webhooks
    • Validate the signature of each incoming webhook to ensure it was sent by your system
  • Provide a way for consumers to manage webhook signing keys, such as through a dashboard or API
    • Allow consumers to view and rotate their signing keys
    • Provide a way for consumers to configure the signing algorithm (e.g., HMAC-SHA256)

3. Scalability and Performance

  • Use a message queue or event streaming platform to handle high volumes of webhooks
    • Decouple webhook delivery from the main application logic
    • Use a durable message queue to ensure that webhooks are not lost in case of failures
    • Scale the message queue horizontally to handle increased traffic
  • Ensure your webhook delivery system can scale horizontally to handle increased traffic
    • Use a load balancer to distribute incoming webhooks across multiple worker nodes
    • Ensure that worker nodes are stateless and can be easily scaled up or down
    • Monitor the performance of your webhook delivery system and add more worker nodes as needed
  • Monitor webhook delivery latency and error rates to identify and address performance bottlenecks
    • Track the end-to-end latency of webhook deliveries
    • Monitor the error rates for each consumer and identify any outliers
    • Use this data to optimize your webhook delivery system and identify areas for improvement

4. Developer Experience

  • Provide clear documentation on how to integrate with your webhook system
    • Include step-by-step guides for common integration scenarios
    • Provide examples of how to implement webhook signing and verification
    • Offer a FAQ section to address common questions and issues
  • Offer sample code and libraries in popular programming languages to simplify integration
    • Provide sample code for common programming languages (e.g., Python, Node.js, Java)
    • Offer libraries that handle common tasks, such as signing and verifying webhooks
    • Ensure that the sample code and libraries are well-documented and actively maintained
  • Allow consumers to test webhooks in a sandbox environment before going live
    • Provide a separate sandbox environment for testing purposes
    • Allow consumers to configure their webhook endpoints and signing keys in the sandbox
    • Provide a way for consumers to view and verify the webhooks sent in the sandbox

5. Monitoring and Observability

  • Provide a dashboard or API for consumers to monitor the status of their webhook subscriptions
    • Allow consumers to view the delivery status of each webhook
    • Provide graphs and charts to visualize webhook delivery metrics
    • Offer alerts and notifications for failed deliveries or other issues
  • Log all webhook delivery attempts and failures for debugging and auditing purposes
    • Record the request and response data for each delivery attempt
    • Store the logs in a durable storage system, such as a database or object storage
    • Provide a way for consumers to view and search the logs
  • Offer webhooks for key events in your system, such as subscription changes or usage limits
    • Allow consumers to subscribe to webhooks for events that are relevant to their use case
    • Ensure that the webhook payloads contain all the necessary information for consumers to take action
    • Provide clear documentation on the available webhook events and their payloads

By following these best practices and considering the technical aspects of implementing webhooks, you can build a robust and scalable webhook system that provides a great developer experience for your consumers.

You can find more about Outbound webhooks from SuprSend webhook provider for communication by going through this documentation: Outbound Webhook (suprsend.com) Here are the Top 6 Webhook Provider for Developers.

Written by:
Anjali Arya
Product & Analytics, SuprSend
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Implement a powerful stack for your notifications

By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.