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Automation through Webhooks
Introduction to Webhooks
You may already know about Front’s Open APIs and have utilized them before to do things like fetching the details about a recent conversation or export analytics data. But are you interacting with data between your systems in a real-time dynamic way? If you aren’t using our Webhooks integration, the answer is probably no.
With traditional REST APIs (like that which you’ll find in our Core API), you can programmatically retrieve or post updates to Front. For example, I could list all of the conversations I’ve had with a particular contact or add a tag to any specific client conversation. What if I wanted to do something like add a tag based on the customer region in a CRM like Salesforce, or assign the conversation to the Account Manager? This information is dynamic and could change at any moment, and you want to leverage it in real-time.
Webhooks solve this problem and provide you the layer of interactivity you need. They introduce a “don’t call us; we’ll call you” concept to your tech stack and enable you to perform real-time logging of the activity or even dynamic updating to Front’s system.
Here’s an example to show how this could work:
Imagine you want to have a real-time dashboard that shows the total number of new conversations vs. reopened conversations vs. archived (closed) conversations. In our old world of REST APIs, you’d have to continually call Front to see if anything has changed, when maybe only one of those calls would return any new data.
Front and Webhooks integration
Using Front, you can enable the webhooks integration and configure a rule that triggers a Webhook server notification.
Once you enable the integration, you’ll see a dropdown in your rule actions to “Send to a Webhook.”
Define your server address here. You can use your server, own or you can even make use of middleware like Zapier, to receive the webhooks and trigger other cascading lookups, logging, or actions. Each webhook event you receive will contain information like the conversation ID, author, contact (etc.) You can find a preview of the event payload here.
What else can I do with the Webhook?
Front’s Webhooks integration is just the beginning of cascading actions. Here are just a few examples of things customers have done using webhooks through Front:
Log all events to a data warehouse in real-time
Trigger a lookup in your CRM and assign the conversation to the appropriate Account Manager
Create a real-time dashboard displaying information about the number of conversations touched by your reps
Add a comment to the conversation in Front containing additional information from your back-end systems
While Webhooks may be the trigger that informs you of new data, you’ll probably still want to leverage our Core API to do things like update the conversation assignee or add a comment. Our Webhooks integration often won’t stand alone in accomplishing your goal.
P.S. Worried about security? You can also secure your webhook by validating the payload originated from Front
If you have any questions about how to leverage Front’s Webhooks feature or just want to brainstorm, feel free to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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