Difference between API and Webhook


Overview in Webhook

Webhook, a user defined HTTP call-backs, is a process of web development through which you can alter the behaviour of a web page or web applications by means of custom call-after functions. These call back functions can be maintained, managed and modified by third party developers and users who may not be affiliated with the originating website or application.

Communication is the basic key stone for success in this digital era. We humans develop our communication skills through various languages. But what about machines? How do machines communicate each other?

Here comes API and Webhook which plays as the communicating platform between two different machines. However both API and Webhook sync and relay data between two different applications, they both have different means of working and purpose.
Let us discuss in deep about both the topics to know their difference.

API and Webhook; what is the difference between them?

In simple words, an API (Application Programming Interface) gets your job done only when it is programmed. On the other side, the Webhook is an automated process which is programmed to do its job when it meets the criteria’s.

An API can be used to communicate from one server to another website through which it can List, Create, Edit or Delete items. But to do these above options, we have to initiate the process at its first place. There must be request initiated from your end.

On the other hand, Webhooks are automated calls from a website to a server in which the automated calls are triggered when it meets the mentioned criteria’s.
For example, if you re-type your password for three or more times for an account, an automated message will be forwarded to the account holder.

An API and Webhook differ in initiating their requests.

Webhook – When to use?

Webhooks are most commonly used in performing smaller tasks and requests however at certain circumstances Webhook can act more appropriate than API.
For example, when your application often requires certain essential updates but you don’t want to waste your resource, at that time Webhook would be of great advantage to you.

When there isn’t an API around to work with, you can create a Webhook solution to provide the required data to the app to perform its function.