Streamlining Webhook Development: How a Webhook Proxy Tool Can Transform Your Workflow


In the world of web development, integrating, and testing webhooks is a task that developers frequently encounter. Webhooks, essentially user-defined HTTP callbacks, are crucial for creating interactive and responsive applications. However, testing these webhooks locally can be a difficult task due to the inherent limitations of local development environments.

At Ayrshare, a key capability of our social media API are webhook callbacks, e.g. scheduled post status (let you know when a schedule post has been published) or direct message notifications. Thus it is vital to provide our users with an easy way build and test their webhooks. This is where Ayrshare’s Node.js-based Webhook Proxy Tool comes into play, offering a comprehensive solution for local webhook testing.

Understanding Webhooks

To appreciate the utility of the Webhook Proxy Tool, which is a webhook relay, it’s essential to grasp what webhooks are and why they are important in modern web development. A webhook is a method for an app to provide real-time information to other applications when a certain event occurs. Unlike typical APIs where you need to poll for data frequently, webhooks are automated calls from server to server, making them more efficient for real-time updates.

The Local Testing Challenge

The primary hurdle in local webhook testing stems from the fact that the development server on a local machine is not inherently accessible from the internet. This limitation means external services cannot send webhook events to the local server, hindering the testing and development process. Traditional solutions involve complex network configurations to expose web services or tunneling services for outbound connections, which can be cumbersome and not always secure.

Introducing the Webhook Relay Proxy Tool

Our Webhook Proxy Tool is a webhook relay built using Node.js, a popular JavaScript runtime known for its efficiency and scalability, and can be run at the command line. This tool acts as a bridge between the public internet and your local development environment, enabling you to test webhooks effortlessly without altering your network settings, needing a public IP, or deploying your app prematurely.

Features at a Glance

  • Effortless Forwarding: Route requests from a temporary public URL to your local server.
  • Real-time Logging: Captures and displays every request in both console and log files.
  • Custom Port Settings: Flexibility to configure the port on which the relay proxy server runs.
  • Clear Log Option: Allows you to start fresh with every testing session by clearing old logs.
  • User-Friendly Design: Simple command-line interface for ease of use.

Setting Up the Tool

System Requirements

  • Node.js (version 18 or above) with NPM installed.

Step-by-Step Installation Guide

  1. Clone the Repository: Obtain the Webhook Proxy GitHub repository: git clone
  2. Install Dependencies: Run npm install in the project directory to set up the necessary packages.

Usage Guide

Execute the tool with command line arguments:

  • Use –webhook [URL] to specify the local server’s URL.
  • The –log flag activates logging to the console and a file.
  • Specify a custom port using –port [number].
  • Opt for –clear-logs to erase previous logs for a new session.

Example Command

node webhook-proxy.js --webhook http://localhost:8000/webhook/ --log --port 3002

What does this line command do?; it configures the tool to forward requests to http://localhost:8000/webhook/, enables logging, listens on port 3002, and starts with a clean log file.

If you don’t want to forward the request and just log on the default port 3000, use:

node webhook-proxy.js --log

Example Response

Here is a sample response of running: node webhook-proxy.js –webhook http://localhost:8000/webhooks –log

Webhook proxy is now listening at
All requests on this endpoint will be forwarded to your webhook url: http://localhost:3000/webhooks

Process Id: ps82Gq4NRJ2ceY8rb9rbp
Received at 2023-11-27T22:05:57.060Z
HTTP Method: GET
Query: /fun?type=sun

Process Id: ps82Gq4NRJ2ceY8rb9rbp
Webhook Response:
Looking good.

Process Id: 0YCuMfTg9L_KBUu4Lwx61
Received at 2023-11-27T22:06:19.715Z
Query: /
{ "fun": "sun" }

Process Id: 0YCuMfTg9L_KBUu4Lwx61
Webhook Response:
Looking good.

Two calls were made, a GET and a POST. Each has its own Process Id, which can be used to match the initial call and the webhook response.

How It Benefits Developers

Streamlined Testing

Developers can test webhooks in real-time without deploying their application, making the development process faster and more efficient.

Simplified Debugging

With detailed logging, it becomes easier to track down and fix issues, leading to a smoother development experience.

No Need for Complex Configurations

The tool eliminates the need for intricately configured networks or external tunneling services, making it a hassle-free solution. We use the localtunnel NPM package for relay proxy tunneling, but you can use others such proxies such as ngrok.

Enhanced Security

Testing within the local environment reduces risks associated with exposing the development server to the public internet. Also, if you want to integrate directly with the Facebook Graph API, you’ll need to set up a tunnel to your local machine.

Bringing It Together

The Webhook Proxy Tool is a great webhook relay tool that we’ve found useful for our own development and for our users. By bridging the gap between local development environments and the public internet, it offers a practical, efficient, and secure way to test webhooks.