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WhatsApp Business API Webhook Integration with Data API

Vishal Turi10 min read • Published Apr 05, 2023 • Updated Apr 05, 2023
AtlasData APIJavaScript
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This tutorial walks through integrating the WhatsApp Business API --- specifically, Cloud API --- and webhook setup in front of the MongoDB Atlas Data API.
The most interesting thing is we are going to use MongoDB Custom HTTPS Endpoints and Atlas Functions.
The WhatsApp Business Cloud API is intended for people developing for themselves or their organization and is also similar for Business Solution Providers (BSPs).
Webhook will trigger whenever a business phone number receives a message, updates the current state of the sent message, and more.
How we are going to use the Atlas services to integrate WhatsApp Business API and Webhook
We will examine a way to set up webhooks to connect with WhatsApp, in addition to how to set up a function that sends/receives messages and stores them in the MongoDB database.

Prerequisites

The core requirement is a Meta Business account. If you don't have a business account, then you can also use the Test Business account that is provided by Meta. Refer to the article Create a WhatsApp Business Platform account for more information.
WhatsApp Business Cloud API is a part of Meta's Graph API, so you need to set up a Meta Developer account and a Meta developer app. You can follow the instructions from the Get Started with Cloud API, hosted by Meta guide and complete all the steps explained in the docs to set everything up. When you create your application, make sure that you create an "Enterprise" application and that you add WhatsApp as a service. Once your application is created, find the following and store them somewhere.
  • Access token: You can use a temporary access token from your developer app > WhatsApp > Getting Started page, or you can generate a permanent access token.
  • Phone number ID: You can find it from your developer app > WhatsApp > Getting Started page. It has the label "Phone number ID", and can be found under the "From" section.
Next, you'll need to set up a MongoDB Atlas account, which you can learn how to do using the MongoDB Getting Started with Atlas article. Once your cluster is ready, create a database called WhatsApp and a collection called messages. You can leave the collection empty for now.
Once you have set up your MongoDB Atlas cluster, refer to the article on how to create an App Services app to create your MongoDB App Services application. On the wizard screen asking you for the type of application to build, choose the  "Build your own App" template.

Verification Requests endpoint for webhook

The first thing you need to configure in the WhatsApp application is a verification request endpoint. This endpoint will validate the key and provides security to your application so that not everyone can use your endpoints to send messages.
When you configure a webhook in the WhatsApp Developer App Dashboard, it will send a GET request to the Verification Requests endpoint. Let's write the logic for this endpoint in a function and then create a custom HTTPS endpoint in Atlas.
How we are going to handle the verifications requests from WhatsApp Webhook Configuration
To create a function in Atlas, use the "App Services" > "Functions" menu under the BUILD section. From that screen, click on the "Create New Function" button and it will show the Add Function page.
Here, you will see two tabs: "Settings" and "Function Editor." Start with the "Settings" tab and  let's configure the required details:
  • Name: Set the Function Name to webhook_get.
  • Authentication: Select System. It will bypass the rule and authentication when our endpoint hits the function.
To write the code, we need to click on the "Function Editor" tab. You need to replace the code in your editor. Below is the brief of our code and how it works.
You need to set a secret value for VERIFY_TOKEN. You can pick any random value for this field, and you will need to add it to your WhatsApp webhook configuration later on.
The request receives three query parameters: hub.mode, hub.verify_token, and hub.challenge.
We need to check if hub.mode is subscribe and that the hub.verify_token value matches the VERIFY_TOKEN. If so, we return the hub.challenge value as a response. Otherwise, the response is forbidden.
Now, we are all ready with the function. Click on the "Save" button above the tabs section, and use the "Deploy" button in the blue bar at the top to deploy your changes.
Now, let's create a custom HTTPS endpoint to expose this function to the web. From the left navigation bar, follow the "App Services" > "HTTPS Endpoints" link, and then click on the "Add an Endpoint" button. It will show the Add Endpoint page.
Let's configure the details step by step:
  1. Route: This is the name of your endpoint. Set it to /webhook.
  2. Operation Type under Endpoint Settings: This is the read-only callback URL for an HTTPS endpoint. Copy the URL and store it somewhere. The WhatsApp Webhook configuration will need it.
  3. HTTP Method under Endpoint Settings: Select the "GET" method from the dropdown.
  4. Respond With Result under Endpoint Settings: Set it to "On" because WhatsApp requires the response with the exact status code.
  5. Function: You will see the previously created function webhook_get. Select it.
We're all done. We just need to click on the "Save" button at the bottom, and deploy the application.
Wow, that was quick! Now you can go to WhatsApp > Configuration under Meta Developer App and set up the Callback URL that we have generated in the above custom endpoint creation's second point. Click Verify Token, and enter the value that you have specified in the VERIFY_TOKEN constant variable of the function you just created.

Event Notifications webhook endpoint

The Event Notifications endpoint is a POST request. Whenever new events occur, it will send a notification to the callback URL. We will cover two types of notifications: received messages and message status notifications if you have subscribed to the messages object under the WhatsApp Business Account product. First, we will design the schema and write the logic for this endpoint in a function and then create a custom HTTPS endpoint in Atlas.
This is how we will read the notifications from WhatsApp Webhook
Let's design our sample database schema and see how we will store the sent/received messages in our MongoDB collection for future use. You can reply to the received messages and see whether the user has read the sent message.

Sent message document:

Received message document:

Let's create another function in Atlas. As before, go to the functions screen, and click the  "Create New Function" button. It will show the Add Function page. Use the following settings for this new function.
  • Name: Set the Function Name to webhook_post.
  • Authentication: Select System. It will bypass the rule and authentication when our endpoint hits the function.
To write code, we need to click on the "Function Editor" tab. You just need to replace the code in your editor. Below is the brief of our code and how it works.
In short, this function will do either an update operation if the notification is for a message status update, or an insert operation if a new message is received.
Now, we are all set with the function. Click on the "Save" button above the tabs section.
Just like before, let's create a custom HTTPS endpoint in the "HTTPS Endpoints" tab. Click on the "Add an Endpoint" button, and it will show the Add Endpoint page.
Let's configure the details step by step:
  1. Route: Set it to /webhook.
  2. HTTP Method under Endpoint Settings: Select the "POST" method from the dropdown.
  3. Respond With Result under Endpoint Settings: Set it to On.
  4. Function: You will see the previously created function webhook_post. Select it.
We're all done. We just need to click on the "Save" button at the bottom, and then deploy the application again.
Excellent! We have just developed a webhook for sending and receiving messages and updating in the database, as well. So, you can list the conversation, see who replied to your message, and follow up.

Send Message endpoint

Send Message Endpoint is a POST request, almost similar to the Send Messages of the WhatsApp Business API. The purpose of this endpoint is to send and store the message with messageId in the collection so the Event Notifications Webhook Endpoint can update the status of the message in the same document that we already developed in the previous point. We will write the logic for this endpoint in a function and then create a custom HTTPS endpoint in Atlas.
This is how we are going to send whatsapp message using WhatsApp Business API and Atlas Data API
Let's create a new function in Atlas with the following settings.
  • Name: Set the Function Name to send_message.
  • Authentication: Select "System." It will bypass the rule and authentication when our endpoint hits the function.
You need to replace the code in your editor. Below is the brief of our code and how it works.
The request params should be:
  • body: The request body should be the same as the WhatsApp Send Message API.
  • headers: Pass Authorization Bearer token. You can use a temporary or permanent token. For more details, read the prerequisites section.
  • query: Pass the business phone ID in businessPhoneId property. For how to access it, read the prerequisites section.
This function uses the https node module to call the send message API of WhatsApp business. If the message is sent successfully, then insert a document in the collection with the messageId.
Now, we are all ready with the function. Click on the "Save" button above the tabs section.
Let's create a custom HTTPS endpoint for this function with the following settings.
  1. Route: Set it to /send_message.
  2. HTTP Method under Endpoint Settings: Select the "POST" method from the dropdown.
  3. Respond With Result under Endpoint Settings: Set it to "On."
  4. Function: You will see the previously created function send_message. Select it.
We're all done. We just need to click on the "Save" button at the bottom.
Refer to the below curl request example. This will send a default welcome template message to the users. You just need to replace your value inside the <> brackets.
Great! We have just developed an endpoint that sends messages to the user's WhatsApp account from your business phone number.

Conclusion

In this tutorial, we developed three custom HTTPS endpoints and their functions in MongoDB Atlas. One is Verification Requests, which verifies the request from WhatsApp > Developer App's webhook configuration using Verify Token. The second is Event Notifications, which can read sent messages and status updates,  receive messages, and store them in MongoDB's collection. The third is Send Message, which can send messages from your WhatsApp business phone number to the user's WhatsApp account.
Apart from these things, we have built a collection for messages. You can use it for many use cases, like designing a chat conversation page where you can see the conversation and reply back to the user. You can also build your own chatbot to reply to users.
If you have any questions or feedback, check out the MongoDB Community Forums and let us know what you think.

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