WebHook API

pyPreservica now contains APIs for accessing the web hook API.

Webhooks are “user-defined HTTP callbacks”. They are triggered by some Preservica event, such as ingesting objects into the repository. When that event occurs, Preservica makes an HTTP request to the URL configured for the webhook.

Unlike the traditional process of “polling” in which a client asks the repository if anything has changed, web hooks automatically send out information to subscribed systems when certain events have happened.

To receive web hook notifications the 3rd party application requires a web server which can process HTTP POST requests.

To authenticate messages from Preservica to prevent spoofing attacks, the messages are verified through the use of a shared secret key.

The Webhook API requires the user to have at least the repository manager role, ROLE_SDB_MANAGER_USER


Before a system can receive notifications from Preservica, it must subscribe to a notification trigger.

Preservica currently supports three different triggers, “MOVED”, “SECURITY_CHANGED” and “INDEXED”.

The “Indexed” notification is sent after an object has been ingested and the full text index has been extracted, at this point the thumbnail and search contents are available.

When creating a new subscription service you need to generate a shared secret key and pass it as an argument to the subscribe method. This is used to verify the web service which will receive the web hooks.

The URL must be a publicly addressable web server.

webhook = WebHooksAPI()

webhook.subscribe("http://my-webhook-server.com:8080/", TriggerType.INDEXED, "my_shared_secret")

The given URL host will need to respond to a validation challenge during the subscription request. Preservica will make a POST request to the URL with a challengeCode query parameter. The receiver must respond with the expected challenge response or the subscription will fail. The challenge response must take the form:

        "challengeCode": "challengeCode",
        "challengeResponse": "hexHmac256Response"

where hexHmac256Response is a hex hmac256 of the challengeCode using the shared secret as the hmac key.

If the web server is unable to correctly verify the subscription then an exception is thrown.

Listing Subscriptions

You can query the system for a list of current subscriptions for a tenancy.

webhook = WebHooksAPI()

json_doc = webhook.subscriptions()



To unsubscribe to a web hook, you need the subscription id

webhook = WebHooksAPI()


To unsubscribe to all web hooks use

webhook = WebHooksAPI()


Reference Web Server

To receive web hook notifications pyPreservica has provided a reference web server implementation which provides support for negotiation of the challenge request handshake during the subscription request and verification of each webhook event request.

To implement the web server, extend the base class WebHookHandler and implement a single method do_WORK() this method is called everytime Preservica calls the web hook. This method is therefore where any processing takes place. For example updating a catalogue system etc.

class MyWebHook(WebHookHandler):
    def do_WORK(self, json_payload):
    Process the event

The handler can then be used to create a web server, the web server should be run from the same directory as a credential.properties file containing the shared secret which was used to create the web hook subscription.


For example a simple web hook server which prints the events to the console as they arrive would be:

from http.server import HTTPServer
from sys import argv
from pyPreservica import *

class MyWebHook(WebHookHandler):
    def do_WORK(self, json_payload):

if __name__ == '__main__':

    config = configparser.ConfigParser(interpolation=configparser.Interpolation())
    config.read('credentials.properties', encoding='utf-8')
    secret_key = config['credentials']['secret.key']

    if len(argv) > 1:
        arg = argv[1].split(':')
        BIND_HOST = arg[0]
        PORT = int(arg[1])

    print(f'Listening on http://{BIND_HOST}:{PORT}\n')

    httpd = HTTPServer((BIND_HOST, PORT), MyWebHook)
    httpd.secret_key = secret_key

The web server would then be started using:

$ python3 server.py

A more interesting web hook handler might be one which downloads the thumbnail image from each Asset as it is ingested using the pyPreservica EntityAPI()

class MyWebHook(WebHookHandler):
    def do_WORK(self, json_payload):
        client = EntityAPI()
        for reference in list(json_payload['events']):
            ref = reference['entityRef']
            asset = client.asset(ref)
            client.thumbnail(asset, f"{ref}.jpg")