Webhooks

Webhooks allow clients to build or set up integrations that subscribe to activity occurring in the Absorb LMS. When these activities occur, Absorb will send an HTTP request to the Webhook's configured URL listener. For example, a listener can be built to react when a new Learner is created, a Course is completed, or a new Competency is gained.

Absorb offers Webhook Events for both Admin and Learner activities in the LMS. Common uses could be when a Course is completed by a Learner, or when a new Course is created by an Admin.

 

Webhooks vs. API

There are excellent use cases for both integration methods depending on the individual needs of the client. REST APIs request information from an outside system to the LMS, while Webhooks push information from the LMS to an outside system. Webhooks can be more efficient when an outside system is looking to respond to an activity that occurs in the LMS. To satisfy this using APIs, the outside system would need to poll (or ask the LMS repeatedly) to see if a change has occurred.

APIs are:

  • Generally synchronous, where the client sends a request and waits for a response from the server.
  • Used to request or send data to a system.

 

Webhooks are:

  • Asynchronous and Event-driven, designed to react to Events rather than requests.
  • Efficient. Reduces the need for frequent API polling, decreasing the workload and improving responsiveness.
  • Real-time: Enables immediate action based on Event occurrence, which is crucial for time-sensitive operations.

 

Using Webhooks: What is an Event?

Events represent activity occurring in the LMS about which an outside system can receive notifications. These can be Admin driven activities, like the creation of a new User, or Learner driven activities, like the completion of a Course. The below tables contain all currently available Events:

Administrator Events

  • User Created
  • Online Course Activated
  • Enrollment Completed by Admin
  • Department Created
  • Department Deleted
  • Group Created
  • Group Deleted
  • Curriculum Activated
  • Curriculum Deactivated
  • Curriculum Added
  • Instructor Led Course Activated
  • Instructor Led Course Deactivated
  • Instructor Led Course Added

 

Learner Events

  • Enrollment Completed by Learner
  • Certificate Awarded
  • Competency Awarded
  • Course Credits Awarded
  • Session Enrollment Completed
  • Self-Assessment Completed *
  • Learning Path Completed *

* Requires Skills subscription

 

What Does a Standard Payload Look Like?

Webhook notifications from the LMS are intended to be lean. They indicate that a change has occurred, and provide keys to learn more about that change. A typical payload will contain the following data:

  • The Event name
  • The User ID of the Learner who has taken the action, or for whom the action is on behalf of.
  • The ID of the Admin who performed the Event (if this is an Admin Event).
  • Information about the transaction - Client ID and Correlation ID.

 

Webhook Receiver URLs

A Webhook receiver, or listener URL, is a small program intended to receive a standard set of data (the Webhook payload) and then perform an action in response to that notification. Because the Webhook payload is lean, it is typical that a Webhook receiver will also make use of the Absorb RESTful API to learn more about the change made to the system which prompted the Event.

Each client Webhook receiver will be unique, as each use case may differ from client to client. You may also require different information from the LMS in order to complete your response to the Event. Using the RESTful API to request the information you need will allow you the flexibility necessary to satisfy the response.

As an example, if the Event triggered was a new user creation, then the Webhook receiver may choose to perform a GET call to the API to request all details about that new Learner and then perform an action with the information provided.

 

Configuring Webhooks

The following section contains the steps necessary to begin set up and begin utilizing Webhooks. Webhook configuration can only be done by a System Administrator.

  1. Access the Admin Experience.
  2. From the Admin Interface, access the Account menu on the top right of the page.
  3. Click Client Settings from the list of available options.

  4. Click the New Webhook button.
    New Webhooks.png
  5. Complete the Webhook configuration form.
    Webhook Configuration Form.png
    • Name: Enter a Name. This Name is internal, for the purposes of recordkeeping.
    • Events: Select from the available Events in the drop-down menu. More than one Event may be selected.
    • URL: Enter a listener URL. This is the location where Event information is sent from the LMS.
  6. Prior to saving, if the listener being used is ready to accept Webhook Events, an option to test the Webhook listener via the Test Webhook button is available.
    • The interface will show either a success or failure message, along with the response from the listener URL.
    • Example success message:
      Webhook Success.png
    • Example failure message:
      Webhook Failure.png
  7. When all changes are complete, click the Save button at the bottom of the modal window.
Additional Webhook Considerations
  • Once a Webhook has been saved, it will appear in a list view on the modal and can be edited or removed as required.
  • If at any time a particular Webhook needs to be paused, edit the Webhook and set the Enable Webhook toggle to Off.
  • If a single listener URL has been programmed to receive Event notifications from more than one Event, this should be configured as a single Webhook with multiple Events, rather than as multiple single Event Webhooks.

 

Best Practices

The following sections contain information pertinent to Webhooks, which may prove valuable. If you have additional questions or concerns related to Webhooks that aren't addressed within the context of this article, please reach out to your Client Success representative.

 

Test in Sandbox

As with all integrations, testing in production is not advised. Ensure that testing is completed in a sandbox Portal, and only once thoroughly tested, apply the changes to production Portal.

Given that Events are triggered more frequently in production, ensure that the listener URL being utilized is properly configured before moving to a production environment.

 

Go Live Process

To configure Webhooks in a production Portal, follow the same steps as in a sandbox Portal. Recreate the new Webhook and save this configuration. The receiver URL may be the same as the Sandbox configuration, but this could vary dependent on the use case.

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