Webhook vs endpoint: how the two differ

As you integrate applications, you’ll come across a wide range of terminology and concepts that are easy to misconstrue.

And while we can’t cover all of them in this article, we’ll break down two that you’ll need to firmly understand: webhooks and endpoints.

You can read on to learn their definitions, some of their use cases, and how they compare. 

What is a webhook?

It’s a specific approach to integrations that allows you to sync data in real-time. 

More specifically, a destination application registers a webhook endpoint in a source application. From there, any time a predefined event occurs in the source application, the app makes a POST request to the registered endpoint; the destination application then receives and processes the data provided in the POST request’s payload. 

A visualization of a webhook

Related: How REST APIs and webhooks compare

Webhook examples

Let’s cover webhook use cases that span both internal and customer-facing integrations.

Create invoices for newly-closed deals

Say you want to streamline the process of creating invoices so that you can invoice clients faster.

To do this, your ERP system can register a webhook in your CRM to listen for when an opportunity is updated to “closed-won.”

Whenever this happens, the CRM immediately makes a POST request to the endpoint; the ERP system can then use the data provided in the payload to create the invoice.

Webhook example with Salesforce and NetSuite

Add any candidates your product recommends to clients’ ATS solutions 

Imagine you offer a product that uses machine learning to help clients detect target candidates for specific roles.

To ensure that your product’s recommendations are added to clients’ ATS solutions—so that candidates can be followed-up with quickly—your clients can register a webhook from their ATS solution to your product that listens for newly-recommended candidates. Any time this event happens, your product makes a POST request to the associated client’s endpoint with details on the candidate. The client’s ATS solution can then immediately use the information provided in the payload to create a new profile for that candidate. 

Webhook example with your product and clients' ATS solutions

Related: Examples of APIs and integrations

What is an endpoint?

It’s a component of an API that specifies where you can access and interact with a specific resource.

An endpoint is presented as a URL, which includes information on the API version and resource, and it might include a parameter(s) to filter the resource.

Endpoint examples

Here are just a few real-world examples of API endpoints.


The payment processing platform offers a wide range of endpoints to access the different resources they’ve made available. That said, if you wanted to access the charges resource, the API endpoint would be https://api.stripe.com/v1/charges.

The endpoint clearly specifies the API provider, the API version (v1), and the resource (charges). You can also append a parameter(s) to narrow down the resources you interact with. For instance, you can use a customer ID to filter by a specific customer.


The gift-giving platform also provides a comprehensive suite of endpoints to help you interact with all the pertinent data in the platform.

For instance, their sends resource can be accessed via the endpoint https://app.sendoso.com/api/v3/sends.

Like Stripe, you can clearly tell what the API’s version is (v3) as well as the resource (sends). You can also drill down further using parameters. As an example, you can use a page parameter to only retrieve the first page of results.

Given all this context, the differences between endpoints and webhooks are pretty clear, but it can be difficult to pinpoint how, exactly, they differ. We’ll help you compare the two more clearly by providing a concise comparison in the following section.

Endpoint vs webhook

Webhooks and endpoints are key components of integrating applications. However, they play different roles. A webhook is a specific method for connecting applications, while an endpoint is part of what the client application uses when making an API request.

Related: Polling vs webhooks

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The platform also provides tooling to help your customer-facing team manage customers’ integrations and maintenance support to ensure your integrations are reliable.

You can learn more about Merge by scheduling a demo with one of our integration experts.