Manage webhooks

Webhooks provide a way to configure Bitbucket Data Center and Server to make requests to your server or another external service, whenever certain events occur. A webhook consists of:

  • One or more events – the default event is a repository push, but you can select multiple events to trigger the webhook.
  • A URL – the endpoint where you want Bitbucket to send the event payloads when a matching event happens. You can add additional event context such as project or repo key as URL variables and send data to multiple URLs using a single webhook.

There are two stages to the webhook: Creating webhooks and Triggering webhooks. Once you've created a webhook for an event, every time that event occurs, Bitbucket sends a payload request that describes the event to the specified URL.

You can create webhooks both at the project and the repository level. A webhooks created at the project level is inherited by all repositories in that project.

If you're having problems with a webhook, see Troubleshooting webhooks.

On this page:

When to use webhooks

Use webhooks to integrate applications with Bitbucket. For example:

  • Every time a user pushes commits in a repository, you may want to notify your CI server to start a build.
  • Every time a user pushes commits or creates a pull request, you may want to display a notification in your application.
  • Every time a user pushes commits to a repository, and a mirror synchronizes those changes, you may want to notify your continuous integration system to start a build.

Advantages of webhooks

Without webhooks, you need to poll the API if you want to detect when events occur in Bitbucket. However, polling the API is inconvenient, inefficient, and error-prone.

Webhooks mean the API doesn't have to check for the same activity every minute.

Securing your webhook

You can secure your webhook using a secret token or by using basic authentication.

Secret token: Use secret tokens to authenticate the payload and ensure that contents are not tampered between Bitbucket and your endpoint. Combined with HTTPS,

it helps ensure the message transmitted is the one that Bitbucket intended to send.

When you define a secret for a webhook, each request is signed via a Hash-based Message Authentication Code (HMAC). The default for this algorithm is HMACSha256. The header X-Hub-Signature is defined and contains the HMAC. For example, the header of the POST request would be plain text encoded as follows:

x-hub-signature: sha256=c3383246d4fd871e66e962b50cc12222222222222222222222222222222222

To authenticate the validity of the message payload, the receiver can perform the HMAC algorithm on the received body with the secret as the key to the HMAC algorithm. If the results do not match, it may indicate there was a problem with transmission that has caused the message payload to change. 

Basic authentication: If your endpoint uses basic authentication (a username and password), use this method to secure your webhook. When the webhook data is sent, the authorisation header will be included  in the HTTP request. The authentication credentials for the Authorization header are base64 encoded.

Creating webhooks

You can create a webhook through Bitbucket, or with the API.

Project admins can create project-level webhooks (which are inherited and displayed at the repository-level) and repository admins can create repository-level webhooks using the below steps:

  1. Navigate to the project or repository based on where you want to create the webhook.
  2. Select Project Settings > Webhook or Repository Settings > Webhook, and then select Create webhook.
  3. Enter a Title with a short description, and the URL of the application server.
    You can also add URL variable. Learn how to add URL variables
  4. Optional: Select an authentication method and add additional details based on the authentication method you've selected.
  5. Optional: To integrate with internal URLs that are using a self-signed certificate, clear the enable SSL/TLS certificate verification checkbox. Learn more about using self-signed certificates
  6. Webhook events: Select the event/s to trigger the webhook. 
    By default, the event for the webhook is a repository push, as demonstrated by the Repository push field.
  7. Optional: Use the Test connection button if required.
  8. Optional: If you don't want the webhook to be active after you create it, toggle off Active.
  9. Select Create.

To create a webhook using the API, you need to know the format of the HTTP request that Bitbucket expects and the format of the HTTP response that Bitbucket returns to your server. 

Adding URL variables

You can add the following URL variables:

URL variablesCan be used with
project.keyAll events
repo.slugRepository and pull request events
repo.ref.branchNameRepository push events
pr.fromRef.branchNamePull request events
pr.toRef.branchNamePull request events

Triggering webhooks

When an event associated with a webhook occurs, Bitbucket sends a request to the webhook URL containing the event payload.

You can create webhooks for the following events:

Project events

  • Modified (available in project-level webhooks only)

Repository events

  • Push
  • Modified
  • Forked
  • Comment added to commit
  • Comment edited on commit
  • Comment deleted on commit
  • Mirror synchronized
  • Secret detected

Pull request events

  • Opened
  • Source branch updated
  • Modified
  • Reviewers updated
  • Approved
  • Unapproved
  • Changes requested
  • Merged
  • Declined
  • Deleted
  • Comment added
  • Comment edited
  • Comment deleted

When changes to multiple branches are pushed together, a separate webhook request is sent for each branch change.

Troubleshooting webhooks

When you perform an action to trigger a webhook and it doesn't work, you can use the Event log page to figure out what went wrong.

To view the event log and troubleshoot, navigate to the Webhooks page and select View details (from the Actions column) against the webhook that doesn't work.

Click through the latest request results (such as Webhook event details) to troubleshoot the issue.  

Circuit breaking

To help protect your instance of Bitbucket, circuit breaking has been implemented in the Bitbucket webhooks system. This means badly behaving webhooks are skipped for a period of time if they are consistently failing.

By default, when a webhook fails five times, it is considered unhealthy and is skipped.

Initially, it will only be skipped for a short period (10 seconds) but as it continues to fail it will gradually skip for longer periods, up to a max of 10 hours. 

A webhook may also be skipped if there are too many webhooks in flight. If there are 250 webhooks being invoked, further requests will be skipped until the number in flight drops below 250.

These limits are entirely configurable if your instance has different requirements. For more information, see Configuration properties.

If a webhook is being skipped, you can see so via the JMX metrics output by Bitbucket, or via the logs.

Last modified on Jul 26, 2023

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