Incoming webhook integrations

An incoming webhook allows a third-party service to push data to Zulip when something happens. There are several ways to set up an incoming webhook in Zulip:

In an incoming webhook integration, the third-party service's "outgoing webhook" feature sends an HTTP POST to a special URL when it has something for you, and then the Zulip "incoming webhook" integration handles that incoming data to format and send a message in Zulip.

New official Zulip webhook integrations can take just a few hours to write, including tests and documentation, if you use the right process.

Quick guide

  • Set up the Zulip development environment.

  • Use Zulip's JSON integration,, or a similar site to capture an example webhook payload from the third-party service. Create a zerver/webhooks/<mywebhook>/fixtures/ directory, and add the captured JSON payload as a test fixture.

  • Create an Integration object, and add it to the WEBHOOK_INTEGRATIONS list in zerver/lib/ Search for WebhookIntegration in that file to find an existing one to copy.

  • Write a draft webhook handler in zerver/webhooks/<mywebhook>/ There are a lot of examples in the zerver/webhooks/ directory that you can copy. We recommend templating from a short one, like zendesk.

  • Write a test for your fixture in zerver/webhooks/<mywebhook>/ Run the test for your integration like this:

    tools/test-backend zerver/webhooks/<mywebhook>/

    Iterate on debugging the test and webhooks handler until it all works.

  • Capture payloads for the other common types of POSTs the third-party service will make, and add tests for them; usually this part of the process is pretty fast.

  • Document the integration in zerver/webhooks/<mywebhook>/ for getting it merged into Zulip). You can use existing documentation, like this one, as a template. This should not take more than 15 minutes, even if you don't speak English as a first language (we'll clean up the text before merging).

Hello world walkthrough

Check out the detailed walkthrough for step-by-step instructions.


Files that need to be created

Select a name for your incoming webhook and use it consistently. The examples below are for a webhook named MyWebHook.

  • zerver/webhooks/mywebhook/ Empty file that is an obligatory part of every python package. Remember to git add it.
  • zerver/webhooks/mywebhook/ The main webhook integration function, called api_mywebhook_webhook, along with any necessary helper functions.
  • zerver/webhooks/mywebhook/fixtures/message_type.json: Sample JSON payload data used by tests. Add one fixture file per type of message supported by your integration.
  • zerver/webhooks/mywebhook/ Tests for your webhook.
  • zerver/webhooks/mywebhook/ End-user documentation explaining how to add the integration.
  • static/images/integrations/logos/mywebhook.svg: A square logo for the platform/server/product you are integrating. Used on the documentation pages as well as the sender's avatar for messages sent by the integration.
  • static/images/integrations/mywebhook/001.png: A screenshot of a message sent by the integration, used on the documentation page. This can be generated by running tools/screenshots/generate-integration-docs-screenshot --integration mywebhook.
  • static/images/integrations/bot_avatars/mywebhook.png: A square logo for the platform/server/product you are integrating which is used to create the avatar for generating screenshots with. This can be generated automatically from static/images/integrations/logos/mywebhook.svg by running tools/setup/

Files that need to be updated

  • zerver/lib/ Add your integration to WEBHOOK_INTEGRATIONS. This will automatically register a URL for the incoming webhook of the form api/v1/external/mywebhook and associate it with the function called api_mywebhook_webhook in zerver/webhooks/mywebhook/ Also add your integration to DOC_SCREENSHOT_CONFIG. This will allow you to automatically generate a screenshot for the documentation by running tools/screenshots/generate-integration-docs-screenshot --integration mywebhook.

Common Helpers

  • If your integration will receive a test webhook payload, you can use get_setup_webhook_message to create our standard message for test payloads. You can import this from zerver/lib/webhooks/, and it will generate a message like this: "GitHub webhook is successfully configured! 🎉"

General advice

  • Consider using our Zulip markup to make the output from your integration especially attractive or useful (e.g., emoji, Markdown emphasis, or @-mentions).

  • Use topics effectively to ensure sequential messages about the same thing are threaded together; this makes for much better consumption by users. E.g., for a bug tracker integration, put the bug number in the topic for all messages; for an integration like Nagios, put the service in the topic.

  • Integrations that don't match a team's workflow can often be uselessly spammy. Give careful thought to providing options for triggering Zulip messages only for certain message types, certain projects, or sending different messages to different channels/topics, to make it easy for teams to configure the integration to support their workflow.

  • Consistently capitalize the name of the integration in the documentation and the Client name the way the vendor does. It's OK to use all-lower-case in the implementation.

  • Sometimes it can be helpful to contact the vendor if it appears they don't have an API or webhook we can use; sometimes the right API is just not properly documented.

  • A helpful tool for testing your integration is UltraHook, which allows you to receive webhook calls via your local Zulip development environment. This enables you to do end-to-end testing with live data from the service you're integrating and can help you spot why something isn't working or if the service is using custom HTTP headers.

URL specification

The base URL for an incoming webhook integration bot, where INTEGRATION_NAME is the name of the specific webhook integration and API_KEY is the API key of the bot created by the user for the integration, is:

The list of existing webhook integrations can be found by browsing the Integrations documentation or in zerver/lib/ at WEBHOOK_INTEGRATIONS.

Parameters accepted in the URL include:

api_key (required)

The API key of the bot created by the user for the integration. To get a bot's API key, see the API keys documentation.


The channel for the integration to send notifications to. Can be either the channel ID or the URL-encoded channel name. By default the integration will send direct messages to the bot's owner.

A channel ID can be found when browsing channels in the web or desktop apps.


The topic in the specified channel for the integration to send notifications to. The topic should also be URL-encoded. By default the integration will have a topic configured for channel messages.

only_events, exclude_events

Some incoming webhook integrations support these parameters to filter which events will trigger a notification. You can append either &only_events=["event_a","event_b"] or &exclude_events=["event_a","event_b"] (or both, with different events) to the URL, with an arbitrary number of supported events.

You can use UNIX-style wildcards like * to include multiple events. For example, test* matches every event that starts with test.

For a list of supported events, see a specific integration's documentation page.