August 11, 2016

Zapier Can Do More for You with Webhooks

This article is part of a series of articles explaining how to use advanced Zapier features to obtain custom solutions that would otherwise be out of reach using just the provided Zaps.

What are Webhooks?

Webhooks are a way for Zapier to connect with apps or specific operations that haven’t been included as Zaps. Data can be sent to or from Zapier.

Why You Should Care

Webhooks can allow for some very custom functionality to be implemented. They can interface with custom apps; apps that are not included with Zapier; or included apps in ways that are not currently available. They also allow for more advanced workflow. For example, you can:

Zapier

What are the Drawbacks?

You will have to know about Web APIs. Any communication with external apps must have authentication within the Zap. That means you will have to store sensitive information, like a token, directly within the Zap or make the Zap retrieve it from some other location. It cannot use your existing Connected Accounts. It cannot handle authentication schemes that require callbacks. It also will also not work well with SOAP requests. Furthermore, the request must not take more than a couple seconds to respond.

Fortunately, newer web services are easier to work with and are less likely to suffer from all the drawbacks. Using Webhooks can greatly increase the power of Zapier for you.

For more detailed information on the specific Webhook Triggers and Actions checkout Zapier’s help documentation.