eWeLink releases Webhooks to eWeLink Web

Today we discovered eWeLink has released the Webhooks feature to eWeLink Web. It is available to all users with an eWeLink Advanced subscription. The functionality of the Webhooks for eWeLink are currently limited. This article is both informative and opinionated.

Demand for integrating eWeLink compatible devices web requests in own projects

Many users asked for a way to integrate the operation of their devices into their own project with web requests. The most requested feature to achieve this is an API. An API makes it possible to interact with another service by requesting specific URL’s. With an API each device would be availble with such an URL and all features of a devices could be operated in this way.

On https://dev.ewelink.cn you can request access to the Coolkit Open Platform (Coolkit is the company behind eWeLink) to communicate with their API. This API is expensive to use, but free to personal developers. Although support and functionality is limited for personal developers.

Webhooks to the rescue! Or not?

Recently eWeLink announced Webhooks will come to eWeLink Web. We as eWeLink Community Website were excited about this news and couldn’t wait to see the feature appearing at eWeLink Web. Today we discovered the Webhook feature is available. But does it unlock the full potential? We believe it doesn’t.

eWeLink choose to link Webhooks only to scenes. You need to create a scene at eWeLink Web (it is not possible to do this at the phone, although that would be a great feature) and many devices are not supported to include in those scenes. So completely control all features of each indivual device is not possible.

Example of a Webhook scene
Example of a Webhook scene

The Webhook implementation of eWeLink is also lacking a way to send a webrequest to your own webserver (quite common for webhooks). So letting your webapplication react on a device that went on/off, reached a certain temperature, measured a certain amount of current, etc. is not possible.

Looking from the security aspect the need to create a link for each individual Webhook scene is a good think but looking at the aspect of usability it is not very convenient to create a new link with a new hash each time. It is not easy to administer each individual hash in your own web application. An API with a single URL, hash and a parameter to request available webhook scenes and to request an easy to remember webhook identification would be much more convenient. Although this idea more looks like an API.

Conclusion

eWeLink did a good job by offering some web driven automation options to hobbyist web application developers, but the functionality is very limited. As eWeLink Web is developing every day we truly hope more Webhook functionality or even an API will arrive to eWeLink Web.

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