Webhooks – Beauty, Functionality.. Largely unseen??


Webhooks… What they Are?

Visually and syntax friendly calls/callbacks used to form data, page structure etc on the fly, without the need to grant any access to change or modify internal structure or content. Early on, used primarily with the developers in mind in testing/frame-working etc, to let programmers and developers alter data, structure and media on the fly. More recently, they been left available to the public (usually in a secure fashion at least) to use for their personal needs, as they require very little maintenance, are secure (if setup properly) and give users a massive grasp over how they are seeing, interacting and working with a website or piece of software.

Common as can be nowadays, they have been repurposed by everything tech for the same reasons listed above. Being able to interact with a website, some software, a server etc on the fly, quickly and simply, all while keeping content secure is obviously a winning combo. One of the bigger questions I get asked when discussing technology is usually directed towards software/tools/hacks i might refer to. Lately, with cloud infrastructure running rampant, people are stepping away from commonly known tools (such as everybody favorite, Fiddler) and towards lightweight, agile cloud iterations of similar software. OK, lecture over   (more or less), on to the tools!

Webhook Debugging

Webhook Inbox – Gets HTTP requests, captureing data for further use/inspection/manipulation.
RequestBin – The OG post catcher! Inspects HTTP Requests.
InspectBin – Similar to RequestBin with live updates
RespondTo.it – My choice of web-based debuggers.
Runscope Request Captures – HTTP request inspection with sharing, live updates, SSL, persistent URLs, search, comparisons and more.

Webhook Utilities

Webhooks.io – Scalable webhook platform – where I send clients looking for heavy development/usage. Solid.
Hookify – Edit, integrate, manage and direct webhooks – Still in Beta, only usable IF you already were accepted.
Webscript – Scripting engine based on LUA, a serverless solution built with compatability in mind – apps, scripting, browsers and more all can use this comfortable and see static results through each usage. It also (most importantly IMO) works with and around Cron jobs, allowing for easy automation without any server-heavy load.

API Testing

Runscope Radar – HTTP/RESTful API testing in the cloud. Kind of tough to explain breifly, but it basically runs API routines/requests upon any changes to a project in development – TL;DR: Runs tests anytime something changes. Webhooks catch, log and notify about anything that deviates outside of the norm you map out.
SoapUI – Free, Cross platform testing solution, and the first tool i did any API work with!
StopLight – Beast testing tool for HTTP

Self Hosted API Gateways

3scale – hybrid, full featured API Management solution. Highly scalable, secure and flexible. The defacto gateway!
Tyk – Same as 3scale, less the hybrid technology (local API traffic management, reporting and developer space in the cloud).
ApiAxle – rate limiting, authentication and analytics. We all hate the tedium. Let ApiAxle do it for you!

GUI HTTP Clients

Postman for Chrome – Among the (literally) thousands oh chrome HTTP plugins, this is simply the winner.
Paw 2 – OS X HTTP client.
Echo – Another OS X HTTP client.

Find any of these (or maybe, all? they all fit a vary particular pattern for something..) intriguing or even necessary? Want the other half of this equation (load testing, API documentation, response mocking, JSON etc)? Have no damn idea WTF i’m talking about? We’ll come back to this one shortly, where we will finish off the toolset and see some practical examples. Finally, we’ll talk about how these can tremendously increase your productivity and efficiency, both in the development process as well as during live production.


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