What is Webhook? Slack, Discord, Azure Webhook Examples

Anjali Arya
May 29, 2024
Learn the ins and outs of webhooks: discover what they are, their benefits, and how they compare to APIs. Plus, learn how to set up and test webhooks with Slack, Discord webhook examples.

Imagine ordering something online and tracking its delivery status instantly. How convenient would that be? Well, webhooks play a significant part in making that kind of interaction possible. So, what is a webhook?

Check out the best webhook provider for communication and implement it in your application.

What is Webhook?

Webhooks are essentially user-defined HTTP callbacks. Put simply, they are a way for one application to provide real-time information to another application by pushing data to a specified URL when a specific event occurs. Think of it as an alarm bell system for your apps.

Consider a scenario where you submit a job application on a website. Behind the scenes, the site makes an HTTP request to the employer's applicant tracking system (ATS) via a webhook. Upon receiving the request, the ATS creates a new candidate profile and returns a confirmation to the initial website. All this happens almost instantaneously!

For example, imagine having a GitHub repository that tracks bugs. Whenever a bug report is opened, modified, or closed, wouldn't it be nice to immediately notify your project management tool so everyone stays on top of things? Enter webhooks. Using webhooks, you can configure GitHub to send an HTTP POST request containing details about the bug report to your preferred endpoint—your project management tool, say Trello, Jira, Asana, etc. Once the target application receives the HTTP payload, it executes a defined function accordingly.

Key Components of Webhooks

Three primary elements constitute a webhook:

  1. Event: Something that triggers the webhook, such as submitting a form or adding items to a shopping cart.
  2. Payload: Information passed from the origin application to the recipient application in the form of JSON or XML data.
  3. URL: The target endpoint where the payload is sent, usually hosted on the recipient application's side.

Webhooks vs. APIs

Often confused with APIs, webhooks and APIs differ significantly. APIs are primarily concerned with fetching data, requiring clients to actively query the API endpoint. On the contrary, webhooks focus on sending data passively, minimizing the need for frequent polling. Key differences between webhooks and APIs include:

  • Polling frequency: Traditional APIs depend on client-side queries to extract data, introducing inherent lag times. Meanwhile, webhooks proactively distribute time-sensitive payloads devoid of extraneous calls.
  • Security concerns: Owing to their passive nature, standard APIs pose fewer security risks compared to state-changing operations initiated by webhooks. Thus, stringent authentication measures typically accompany webhook deployments.
  • Developer effort: Building sophisticated webhook architectures necessitates advanced planning and development efforts, contrasting with relatively simplistic consumer-oriented API designs.
Category Webhooks APIs
Request Type Push (event-triggered) Pull (request-initiated)
Real-time Factor High (near-instantaneous) Low (on-demand)
Resource Consumption Lower (no continuous polling) Higher (periodic requests)

That said, choosing between webhooks and APIs ultimately depends on individual project requirements, available resources, and overall risk tolerance.

So, when faced with questions like "what is a discord webhook?" or "what is a github webhook," remember that they are merely instances of webhooks adapted for specific platforms.

Creating a Simple Webhook System

Let's walk through building a rudimentary yet practical webhook implementation. We'll utilize Python Flask to establish a basic HTTP server that listens for incoming POST requests.

First, initialize a virtual environment and install Flask:

    $ python3 -m venv env
    $ source env/bin/activate
    (env) $ pip install flask


Next, create a file named and paste the following code snippet:

    from flask import Flask, request, jsonify
    import os

    app = Flask(__name__)
    PORT = int(os.environ.get('PORT', '80'))

    @app.route('/my-custom-endpoint', methods=['POST'])
    def handle_payload():
        # Validate secret token
        if request.headers.get('X-Secret') != WEBHOOK_SECRET:
            return 'Invalid secret.', 401

        # Process payload
        payload = request.json
        print("Received payload:", payload)

        # Return success response
        return jsonify({'status': 'success'})

    if __name__ == "__main__":, threaded=True)


Replace WEBHOOK_SECRET with a random value. Then, execute the script:

		(env) $ FLASK_ENV=development flask run --port 80


Your server is now listening for incoming POST requests at http://<server-ip>/my-custom-endpoint. Try sending a test payload using curl or Postman. Don't forget to set the Content-Type header to application/json, and include a custom X-Secret header for added security.

Discord Webhooks & Creating Custom Discord Integrations

Popular chat platform Discord offers robust support for webhooks, empowering developers to craft seamless bot-like functionality directly within channels. To implement a Discord webhook, follow these general steps:

  1. Navigate to the desired channel's configuration page.
  2. Click "Create Webhook" under the "Webhooks" tab.
  3. Name your webhook and add an optional avatar.
  4. Copy the generated URL for later reference.

Once created, you can now leverage said URL to dispatch custom HTTP requests complete with attachments, embeds, mentions, and more. Note that creating a Discord webhook does not grant access permissions beyond posting to designated channels.

Slack Webhooks & Configuring Slack Alert Systems

Similar to Discord, Slack boasts strong support for webhooks, providing developers with easy means of broadcasting targeted messages across channels. To generate a Slack webhook, visit <> and perform the following:

  1. Create a new app or select an existing one.
  2. Scroll down to the "Features" area and click "Incoming Webhooks."
  3. Activate Incoming Webhooks by toggling the switch.
  4. Optionally choose which workspace(s) to install the webhook.
  5. Generate a unique webhook URL.

With this newly minted URL, developers can initiate HTTP POST requests carrying richly formatted payloads capable of rendering images, links, emojis, and more. Likewise, configurable filters permit fine-grained control over incoming data streams, ensuring only pertinent information reaches the intended audience.

Testing Webhooks Locally

Debugging complex webs of interconnected applications demands thorough testing procedures. Fortunately, dedicated solutions exist specifically for validating webhooks locally prior to deployment. Popular options include Postman Interceptor, ngrok, and, offering quick insight into payload structures, encoding schemes, authorization protocols, and error handling mechanisms. Furthermore, leveraging webhook testers helps identify discrepancies between anticipated behavior and actual outcomes, saving precious debugging cycles along the way.

However, when sharing your creation with colleagues, consider utilizing public webhook testers like or Webhook Tester | Webhook Testing Tool (

Azure Functions & Serverless Computing

Microsoft Azure provides a compelling alternative to conventional monolithic infrastructure models through its serverless computing capabilities. Specifically, Azure Functions afford developers granular control over event triggers, input parameters, and output results, thereby fostering modularity and scalability. Coupled with flexible pricing plans, Azure Functions present an attractive option for managing ephemeral compute loads spurred by incoming webhooks.

Locating Slack Webhook URIs

Should you lose track of your Slack webhook URI, retrieving it requires revisiting the original installation source. Regrettably, Slack itself does not maintain a central registry of deployed webhooks. Therefore, diligent note-keeping proves crucial when dealing with numerous integrated applications.

Webhook Use Cases Across Industries

Industry giants such as Google, Facebook, Salesforce, and Amazon employ webhooks daily to synchronize internal systems and augment user experiences. Common scenarios span payment gateways, social media feeds, IoT telemetry monitoring, supply chain logistics, and countless others. Moreover, webhooks fuel innovative business intelligence dashboards, analytical reporting suites, and machine learning pipelines, further underscoring their indispensable role in contemporary technology landscapes.

Wrap Up

Hopefully, this introduction to webhooks has sparked curiosity and inspired experimentation. Remember, webhooks open doors to endless possibilities, facilitating seamless connections between dissimilar applications and enhancing overall user experiences. Happy hacking!

Written by:
Anjali Arya
Product & Analytics, SuprSend

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