Comparing Webhooks and AWS EventBridge for Receiving External Events: Pros and Cons published 3/1/2023 | 4 min read

When it comes to integrating with external services, one of the most common scenarios is to consume events from them. But how should you go about doing this? There are two main approaches: implementing a webhook in your system to receive updates or integrating with the remote party's EventBridge to receive events directly. In this post, we'll compare these two approaches and discuss their pros and cons.


Webhooks are a simple way to receive events from external services. The basic idea is that you provide a URL for the external service to send events to, and your system listens for incoming requests at that URL. When an event occurs in the external service, it sends a POST request to your URL with a payload containing information about the event.


One of the biggest advantages of webhooks is their simplicity. They're easy to set up and require minimal configuration. You just need to provide a URL and make sure your system can handle incoming requests. This makes them a good choice for smaller integrations or when you're just getting started with event-driven architectures.

Another advantage of webhooks is that they provide a lot of flexibility. You can choose which events you want to receive and what you want to do with them. You can also easily switch to a different webhook provider if necessary, as long as they support the same webhook format.


The biggest drawback of webhooks is that they can be unreliable. Because you're relying on an external service to send events to your system, there's a risk that events might be lost or delayed. This can be especially problematic if you're dealing with time-sensitive events, such as financial transactions or real-time messaging.

Another issue with webhooks is that they can be difficult to secure. Because your system is exposed to incoming requests from an external service, you need to make sure you're properly validating and sanitizing the incoming data. Failure to do so could leave you vulnerable to attacks like SQL injection or cross-site scripting.


EventBridge is a serverless event bus service provided by AWS. It allows you to create rules that listen for events from various sources, including AWS services and third-party integrations. When an event is received, EventBridge can trigger one or more targets, such as a Lambda function or an SNS topic.


One of the biggest advantages of EventBridge is its reliability. Because events are sent directly to your AWS account, there's little risk of events being lost or delayed. This makes it a good choice for critical integrations or high-traffic scenarios.

Another advantage of EventBridge is its flexibility. Because it supports a wide range of sources and targets, you can use it to build complex event-driven architectures that integrate with multiple services and systems. It also provides advanced filtering and transformation capabilities, allowing you to customize how events are processed and routed.


The biggest drawback of EventBridge is its complexity. Because it's a serverless service, there's a lot of configuration and setup required to get it up and running. You'll need to create rules, configure permissions, and set up targets. This can be daunting for teams that are new to serverless or AWS.

Another issue with EventBridge is that it's tightly coupled to AWS. While it does support third-party integrations, you'll need to set up a custom integration for each service you want to integrate with. This can be time-consuming and may require specialized expertise.


In conclusion, both webhooks and EventBridge can be effective ways to receive events from external services to your system. Webhooks provide a simple and straightforward solution, with easy setup and maintenance, but can lack some of the more advanced features of EventBridge. EventBridge, on the other hand, provides a more robust solution with more advanced features such as filtering, transformation, and fan-out capabilities, but requires additional setup and maintenance, and may come with additional costs.

Ultimately, the choice between webhooks and EventBridge will depend on the specific needs of your system and the external service you are integrating with. It's important to carefully consider the pros and cons of each approach and choose the one that best fits your requirements.

You may also like reading: