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Use Rundeck Webhooks

Use Rundeck Webhooks


What is a Webhook?

Webhooks are messages sent from applications or systems when something happens. They are a way for applications to share real time events with other applications rather than relying on polling for updates or changes.

How would I use them?

Rundeck can be configured to receive webhook events from external systems and to run job(s) based on the information sent in the Webhook.

Webhooks in Rundeck

Webhooks are configured within a project. The Welcome Projects have default Webhooks included in their build. Below are highlights for the Enterprise and Community versions.

Note: If you haven't followed the Exercise Steps in the Tutorial we encourage starting with that walk-through and leverage our Welcome Projects for the Exercises.

  1. Click on Webhooks in the Project Menu and choose the Run Jobs - Webhook Example entry.
  2. The Post URL is the URL that external systems would submit a POST http event to trigger this webhook.
  3. Name Run Jobs - Webhook Example
  4. On the Handler Configuration tab, the Webhook Handler is Advanced Run Job (more on this in future steps)
  5. The Actions section has a single rule called Run Job 1
  6. Expanding the rule by clicking Edit to see the details.
  7. The rule is running a job called Demo/Linux/Gather Linux Versions - Docker against all nodes (.*)

Webhook Handlers

In the previous step we noted the Advanced Run Job (Enterprise)/Run Job (Community) Webhook Handlers. Webhook Event Handlers are custom handlers that can be developed as Rundeck Plugins to interact with external systems. They can respond to authentication calls, pre-process inputs, and provide configuration defaults for specific systems. Process Automation includes Webhook Handlers for PagerDuty, GitHub, AWS SNS, DataDog and many more.

Enterprise Features

Advanced Rule Processing

Below is a highlight of some of the features of Advanced Rule Processing.

Actions and conditions target jobs based on webhook event contents. Often-times webhook payloads from 3rd party systems can’t be edited or updated. If something is sending a lot of events that logic would trigger the job with every event and result in messy Activity logs. Performing logic at the Webhook step, whether the job should run, helps streamline event processing.

Run Multiple Jobs within a single Webhook. Having a single URL to set in a 3rd party solution simplifies the efforts on that side and keeps the customization within Rundeck to manage their Automation workflows.

Process batched webhook payloads. Many 3rd party webhook senders will send messages in a “batch”. This feature allows processing each entry in the batch as its own event against the rule set.

All of the solution specific Enterprise Webhook Handlers (PagerDuty, GitHub, AWS, etc.) leverage these same features.

Webhook Debugging

“Why didn’t my webhook do X?!”

Process Automation includes a Webhook Debugger integrated with the Webhook builder. The Debugger makes troubleshooting incoming webhooks and why they did (or did not) trigger certain rules in the Advanced Rule Processing Handlers.

There is a Debug tab, but likely at this stage there are no events that have been logged to see debug information for. We will show the Debugger during the Exercise later.

Webhook Exercise

  1. Navigate to Webhooks in the Project Menu.
  2. Click Create Webhook Button.
  3. In the Window on the right enter Check Process Status for Name.
  4. Leave the Users and Roles field as default.
  5. On the Handler Configuration tab, click Choose Webhook Plugin and select Advanced Run Job.
  6. Click the Add Action Button.
  7. Enter Action 1 for the Action Name.
  8. Click the Choose a Job and select the Demo/Linux/Process Status job.
  9. Enter .* for the Node Filter to run against all nodes.
  10. Click the Add Option button.
  11. Enter process for the Option Name and $.process for the Option Value.
  12. Click the Add Condition button.
  13. Enter $.process for the Event Field and change the operator to exists and set Value to ..
  14. Click the Create Webhook button.

After following these steps and clicking Create Webhook the URL will be populated. Click your new Webhook on the left and copy the Post URL to your clipboard.

To trigger the webhook use the curl command below or your favorite webhook tool (Postman). Replace the <<URL HERE>> with the value from your webhook.

curl -X POST -H "Content-Type: application/json" -d '{"process":"java"}' <<URL HERE>>

Enterprise customers can use the Debug tab to see if the Advanced Processing rule was successful or not.

Post Exercise Activity

If your Webhook was successfully run new entries will show up on the Activity Tab.

Feel free to change the java in the payload from the curl command to check other processes that might be running on your nodes.