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ALPR Webhooks

We are excited to announce that Plate Recognizer’s On-Premise ALPR SDK and also API Cloud now support webhooks functionality.

What is a Webhook?

Wikipedia defines as webhook  as “a method of augmenting or altering the behavior of a web page or web application with custom callbacks.”  In layman’s terms, a webhook is basically an auto-forwarding function.

Breaking down the words:

  • Hook is a software function that runs when a specific event happens.
  • Webhook allows for real-time data sharing between applications when certain events occur. 

Webhooks are usually triggered by some event, and whenever that trigger event occurs in the source site, the webhook sees the event, collects the data, and sends it to the URL specified by you in the form of an HTTP request. 

The data sent from the receiving application to the sending application, often including HTTP status codes to let the application know the data was received, is known as the Response or Callback.

Why are Webhooks Important?

A webhook is an essential way for automated messages or information to be shared between applications based on events that occur.  Life without webhooks would be like birthday parties without friends attending—the special event was not broadcasted out for anyone to know.  

Webhooks can be used to:

  • Ascertain if an event has occurred.
  • Ensure that data collected is in sync across multiple web applications.
  • Customize and modify the applications and its functionalities based on needs.
  • Connect two applications in which an event in one application would trigger an event in another application.
  • Create reports.

Here are some popular applications that use webhooks:

  • MailChimp uses a webhook to signup users from your website to your newsletter, and also notifies you when users subscribe, unsubscribe, or update their profiles. 
  • Paypal uses webhooks to tell your accounting app when your clients pay you and when transactions occur.
  • Shopify offers webhooks to keep parts of your commerce system up-to-date by informing you when a product or cart is updated, a checkout is created, an order is paid for, or a refund is initiated.

What are ALPR Webhooks?

ALPR Webhooks are user-defined HTTP callbacks used in license plate recognition software. Webhooks have really come to play an important role in ALPR software systems due to its efficient and automated way of communicating and sharing information.

Here are some ways our customers use our ALPR Webhooks:

  • Parking Access Gates use webhooks to trigger the gate to open based on the license plate of the arriving vehicle.
  • Parking Management embrace webhooks to keep track of all vehicles coming in and out of the parking lot.  
  • Weigh System use webhooks to track the load of big rig trucks and trailers back to the central database.
  • Toll Systems use webhooks to relay the decoded license plate over to the payment system before the barrier opens.

ALPR Webhooks are ideal for the above applications since they are fairly light on resource utilization and save time from systems having to constantly check for new license plate data. 

How to Set Up Plate Recognizer ALPR Webhooks? 

Our Plate Recognizer ALPR software supports webhooks.   Our ALPR Webhooks send an HTTP POST to your URL every time a plate is decoded in our Cloud API or SDK engine.  The POST body contains the license plate data. It allows you to receive an HTTP POST request to a target URL of your choice.

We have ALPR Webhooks described in our API documentation.

Go to the Webhooks settings page to manage your webhooks or add a new webhook target. You can construct one or multiple webhooks per API Cloud account or ALPR SDK license.

To quickly test out this feature, you can use http://webhook.site/.  It generates a unique target URL and displays all the requests made to that URL.  The HTTP Request POST target URL should return a valid HTTP status code (200). 

If the target URL consistently returns an error code, the hook will be removed and we send an email to inform the account owner. 

If you have some creative uses of your Plate Recognizer ALPR Webhook, please do let us know!

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Plate Recognizer provides accurate, fast, developer-friendly Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR) software that works in all environments, optimized for your location. Sign up for a Free Trial!

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