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Esther Agbaje
Esther Agbaje

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API vs. Webhook: What are the differences?

I've been learning more about APIs and Webhooks recently.

Here are three main differences I've found between the two.

But, first, let me explain what they mean.

API stands for Application Programming Interface. APIs act as a software intermediary that allows two applications to talk to each other.

A Webhook is an HTTP-based callback function that provides applications with real-time data based on events. They usually get sent as an HTTP POST request payload to the webhook's configured URL.

1 - The way they work

APIs are request-based. The client or application always has to make an API request to get a response back from the API.

Webhooks are event-based. They get triggered whenever a specific event occurs in the source app.

2 - The flow of information

APIs deliver a two-way flow of information. The client initially makes a request to the API, and then the API sends a response back to the client.

Webhooks deliver a single flow of information. The client only receives data whenever an event is triggered.

3 - Their level of complexity

Designing and building an API could be challenging and requires more server resources than webhooks.

On the other hand, Webhooks are easier to set up and less resource-intensive than APIs.

Both APIs and Webhooks are standard methods of sharing data between applications. They have their uses and specific scenarios where either one works best.


Are there any more differences you'll like to share?

Drop them as comments below 👇🏽

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