Webhooks 101: What You Need to Know About Alertra's New Webhooks Features

Over the past few weeks we have discussed how Alertra has implemented webhooks to enhance our website monitoring services. We've discussed how these webhooks can help you enforce your site's uptime and how we are using these powerful tools to monitor the stats of 50 popular websites. If you're still not sure about webhooks, how they work, or what they can do for your site, here are some basics to help you get started.

What is a Webhook?

To put it in the simplest of terms, when it comes to web development a webhook is a way to use custom callbacks to augment or alter the behavior of a webpage or application. These user-defined HTTP callbacks are most often triggered by an event. Alertra's webhooks are triggered by any device events, such as OnDown, OnUp, and OnWarning events. When a triggering event occurs, Alertra makes an HTTP request (or multiple requests) to the URL (or URLs) that has been configured for the specific webhook. Let's say, for example, an OnDown event triggers a callback. Alertra can call an external URL to change the DNS entry for the website that has gone down so that the site points to the IP address of a backup web server, ensuring that the site remains accessible to visitors. While this may seem complicated in theory, the truth is that the process is entirely automated, ensuring seamless uptime for your site even if your site's primary host goes down.

What Do Alerta's Webhooks Feature?

Webhooks can be set up in a number of ways and can perform a variety of functions. Some of the powerful features that Alertra's webhooks offer include:

  • The ability to call any simple external URL or any HTTP-based API
  • Support for all HTTP methods including GET, POST, PUT, etc.
  • Support for authentication methods such as Basic Authentication, NTLM, OAuth, and more.
  • The ability to perform multiple API calls in sequence.
  • The ability to cache JSON return values and refer to those values in subsequent calls.
  • The ability to record API responses in the Webhooks section of alert emails.
  • The ability to receive Android and iOS push notifications when an event is triggered.
  • The ability to integrate account default webhooks that can be triggered for any device in the account, including new devices.

Getting Webhooks on Your Account

If you would like to integrate Alertra's powerful webhooks into your Alertra account, all you need to do is contact our support department. While a public interface has not yet been released for our webhooks, our support team can work with you to implement the webhooks that would best serve your needs. If you have any questions about how our webhooks can enhance your monitoring service, our support department can also answer any questions you might have regarding these new and powerful features.