All You Need to Know About ASP.NET WebHooks

A few months ago, Microsoft announced a new feature built upon ASP.NET web APIs. Web APIs are important elements in the ASP.NET development process for creation of web applications. A new feature called WebHooks is an innovatively better and easy way for the implementation of a common event pattern. WebHooks define an exclusive HTTP pattern for connecting together the Web APIs and SaaS services. When an event is generated in a web service, a notification is sent to the subscribers through HTTP POST request that provides receivers with information about the event and therefore gets them to act according to it.

Shortly defined, WebHooks are a kind of user defined HTTP call backs which are implemented in web services. For example, webhooks indicate various events happened in services like it may indicate that payment is initiated in PayPal or about a file change in DropBox or else commitment of code change in GitHub and similarly other.

In ASP.NET development, WebHooks plays a vital role to support webhooks in a web application. It makes the process of sending and receiving the webhooks in an application much easier.

  • Receiving WebHooks:

On the receiving side, there are receivers that are responsible for accepting and verifying the webhooks from any number of senders. For installing the receivers you need to install Nuget packages for providers from whom you want to get these from. Receivers come with built-in support for large number of services including GitHub, Dropbox, MailChimp, Instagram, PayPal etc. Moreover, one can also build their own support for other services as well with custom webhooks.

  • Sending WebHooks:

A sender is responsible for creation, management and storage of webhooks. It is they who send the event notifications to the subscribers. The senders can define their own set of events for the subscribers to subscribe from and will notify them when the things happen.

  • Process Flow of WebHooks:

Initially, the sender displays the event for which the subscribers can subscribe to. These events can be any change in a system like an object insertion, process completion, change in the status of a service or any other observable change in a system.

The receiver on the other end subscribes for the event exposed by the sender by registering the webhooks that contain:

- URI specifying where the event notification is to be posted.
- Filters specifying the events for which the webhooks are to be discarded.
- Key for signing the HTTP POST request.
- Data included in the body of the HTTP POST request.

When the event occurs, the appropriate registrations are found and HTTP post requests are submitted to the corresponding subscribers. This is how the webhooks work in ASP.NET.

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