Do you know what SaaS stands for ?

Yes it means Software as a Service. You may know some products that are like SaaS For example Twilio, PayPall, Zuora, Stripe and many others

The platforms that i mentioned above are services that we can integrate our Applications

Before we explain what is a Webhook it is important to know the above

Webhook or Callout is a user defined HTTP callback. What does that mean ?

Short answer:

If some Event take place in a SaaS platform that your App is using, then that Event may trigger a http call to your App, which will be a call to endpoint that you created on your App

long answer (with example):

Imagine that you have an online ebooks store and customers can buy your ebooks by PayPall

lets imagine a Synchronous flow without using Webhook

Synchronous flow

This solution have some problems:

  • How will your App know how long to wait for a payment confirmation? Can we guarantee a fixed max time ?

This is were Webhooks and Callouts comes into play!

Thy will help you to implement the flow in a more Asynchronous manner

lets imagine a Asynchronous flow:

Asynchronous flow part 1

Here the flow ends on your app and will continue on the SaaS platform where the Payment Confirmed Event will trigger a Webhook

Asynchronous flow part 2

TaDam!

That flow is much more reliable and solves one of the scary scenarios: when client paid for the product but due to latency the synchronous flow may decide that the payment was unsuccessful

Payment is one of the examples, there are many more examples where our App is using some external SaaS platform and we would like to consume some Events form those platforms in our Apps

What do you think ? Let me know in comments below to help me improve this article

Thanks for reading!

I am a Software Engineer 👨‍💻 that works remotely, builds his own projects, and shares the journey online