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What is the Difference Between a Webhook and an API?

December 23rd, 2022 | 3 min. read

What is the Difference Between a Webhook and an API?

Shaterria Simpson

Shaterria leads Global Partnership and Alliance Marketing at VergeSense, with a passion for developing joint marketing programs and creating shared value through partnership experiences for workplace leaders and their organizations.

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As a workplace leader, it’s important to be in the know when it comes to technological advances. Especially when those advances have the power to make your business run smoother than ever before. 

Today, we are going to delve into two such technologies—webhooks and APIs—and how they can help benefit your business in the long run. 

What is an API? 

API stands for application programming interface. They are a set of protocols that allow two applications or pieces of software to communicate with one another. 

APIs provide developers with a way to easily integrate two different programs without having to manually write code from scratch. This makes development processes much faster and more efficient. 

For example, if you want to add a calendar feature to your website, you would use an API to access the calendar data from another source (such as Google Calendar). This allows you to quickly add the necessary functionality without having to build it yourself. 

What is a Webhook? 

Webhooks are essentially the opposite of an API—they send data from one system to another instead of collecting data from one system like an API does. 

A webhook allows you to receive notifications when certain events occur on your website or application, such as when someone subscribes or purchases something from your store. Webhooks are great for keeping you up-to-date with what’s happening on your site without having to constantly monitor it yourself.  

How Can They Benefit my Workflows? 

Using webhooks and APIs can streamline many processes within your business. For example, if you have a customer database that needs regular updates, you could use a webhook or API connection between your customer database and another system such as Salesforce or Zendesk so that any changes made in either system will be automatically reflected in both systems in real-time. 

This saves time by eliminating manual data entry tasks and ensures accuracy since all information will always be up-to-date across all systems. Additionally, using webhooks or APIs allows you to quickly share data between different platforms without needing specialized coding knowledge or dedicated staff members – saving money on development costs as well as freeing up valuable resources for other projects within your organization.        

How do Webhooks and APIs Work Together? 

Webhooks and APIs work together because they both enable communication between different systems, but in different ways. 

An API collects data from one system, while a webhook sends notifications about changes that happen in another system. 

Both technologies can be used together for maximum efficiency, enabling seamless integration between multiple systems and providing real-time updates about what’s happening on your website or application. 

How Webhooks and APIs Promote Business Efficiency

At the end of the day, understanding webhooks and APIs is key if you want your business operations running smoothly. 

They may seem intimidating at first glance but once you understand how they work together, you’ll be able to leverage them for maximum productivity and efficiency within your company's tech stack.  With that being said, it's time for you as a workplace leader to arm yourself with knowledge on these tools so you can use them as efficiently as possible. 

Interested in learning more? Here's how APIs promote workplace efficiency.