An event is a record of activity in a system, such as Zendesk, Slack, or Mailchimp. Typically, an event is recorded when a user or the system takes an action. Examples of events include:

  • Creating a ticket in Zendesk Support
  • Posting a message in a Slack channel
  • Subscribing to a list in Mailchimp

By sending and receiving event data, a system can know when certain actions have occurred in the other system. Developers often use events in one system to trigger actions in another system.

Zendesk's developer platform gives you several ways to send event data from Zendesk to external systems. It also gives you ways to receive and act on events from outside systems in Zendesk. You can even use Zendesk events to trigger automated actions in Zendesk itself.

Sending Zendesk events to external systems

You can use the following solutions to send event data from Zendesk to outside systems:

Zendesk apps

A Zendesk app is an application that runs in a Zendesk product, such as Support or Sell. The Zendesk Marketplace has several integration apps that let you connect Zendesk to popular services, such as Salesforce or Shopify. These apps require no development to install or set up.

If your external system doesn't have an app on the Zendesk Marketplace, you can use the Zendesk Apps framework (ZAF) to build your own. The ZAF SDK's client.on() method lets you listen for and handle Zendesk events. The Zendesk events available to the client.on method vary based on the app's product and location.

For example, apps in the Support ticket sidebar can listen for ticket change events. When the app's client.on() method detects such an event, it can use the client.request() method to send an HTTP request to an external system.

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Zendesk webhooks

A webhook lets you send an HTTP request to a specified URL when a Zendesk event occurs. The system that receives the request can then act in response to the event.

For example, you can use a webhook to send a request to Trello's Create a Card API endpoint when someone creates a Support ticket. This lets you auto-create Trello cards for tickets in Zendesk Support.

Although they require some knowledge of REST APIs to set up, webhooks don't necessarily require development. You can create webhooks directly in Admin Center.

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ZIS integrations

A Zendesk Integration Services (ZIS) integration lets you set up and run an automated workflow when a Zendesk event occurs. This workflow can include HTTP requests to one or more external systems.

Although both can send requests to outside systems, a ZIS integration supports more customization and offers more functionality than a Zendesk webhook. However, it also requires more setup. We recommend using a ZIS integration if you need to:

  • Use more complex conditional logic in your workflow
  • Iterate through data as part of your workflow
  • Send multiple HTTP requests in response to a single event
  • Store relationships between entities in Zendesk and another system
  • Store configuration data for another system

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Amazon EventBridge

Amazon EventBridge is an event bus service. You can think of an event bus as a pipeline that receives events from a system as they occur. The Zendesk Events Connector lets you stream Zendesk events to EventBridge.

You can send event data in Amazon EventBridge to other AWS services, such as AWS Lambda or Amazon SNS. This lets you build applications that subscribe or react to Zendesk events.

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Receiving external events in Zendesk

You can use the following solutions to receive and act on events from external systems in Zendesk:

ZIS inbound webhooks

You can configure a ZIS integration to run automated workflows based on an inbound webhook.

Creating an inbound webhook gives you a unique URL. You can send an HTTP POST request with a JSON payload to this URL. The request's payload contains the event data you want to track. When the ZIS integration detects the event, it runs the workflow you've configured.

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Events API

The Events API lets you store user activity events from other systems in Zendesk. For example, you can use the Events API to track customer activity for an online store.

You can then use a ZIS integration to start automated workflows in response to user activity events. Alternatively, you can build a private Zendesk app that retrieves events from the API. The app can then act in response to the events.

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Automating Zendesk actions based on Zendesk events

You can use the following solutions to kick off automated actions in Zendesk in response to Zendesk events:


Triggers are event-based business rules that run in Zendesk after a ticket is created or updated. You can think of triggers as if-then statements. If the ticket meets a set of predefined conditions, then an action is performed. For example, you might have a trigger that automatically replies to customers when they create a ticket.

You can create triggers directly in Admin Center.

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ZIS integrations

You can use a ZIS integration to make Zendesk API requests in response to Zendesk events. This is useful for automating workflows that require iteration or complex conditional logic. For example, you can set up a ZIS integration to automatically redact attachments in ticket comments when a ticket is solved.

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