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Twilio Integration

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  • Twilio Integration

    Have any of you Alphaholics tried to integrate an Alpha based web app with the www.Twilio.com API?

    If anybody is interested if foraying into it, I have an app in mind and a fairly good grasp of Alpha Desktop but pretty clueless about Alpha-web.

  • #2
    Re: Twilio Integration

    Thought I'd bump this hoping that after 8 months maybe somebody would have played in the Twilio sandbox with Alpha.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Twilio Integration

      Just received this back from Twilio:

      From To Subject Received
      Alex Chan Walter Morgan [Twilio] Re: API for Alpha Software Version 11 3:19 PM
      Twilio Support Walter Morgan API for Alpha Software Version 11 3:17 PM


      Thanks for your question. We do not provide API clients for vendor-specific languages and platforms, however if you would like to create an API client for Alpha Software we can assist by answering any questions that you have about the REST API. For a list of existing helper libraries, please see: http://www.twilio.com/docs/libraries and please let us know if you have any other questions.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Twilio Integration

        Thanks Walt,

        I'm thinking that it would likely happen in from the Alpha side as they indicated -and Alpha programmer building procedures that would talk with the Twilio API. Very different but in a way similar to the way Alpha communicates with Authorize.net.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Twilio Integration

          Hi John and Walt,

          I too am interested in Twilio integration. I know that you can send a text message to an email address (i.e. every phone comes with an email address such as 55534343@verizon.net) The problem is that this is not true SMS and not all carries support it. Plus I know in Canada they make you pay extra to receive a message such as this.

          As we know Alpha does not have a built in library, but I don't think this should matter. If all we want to do is send a text message, we can simply call the Twilio REST Api using an HTTP POST. I have been doing some research and we could probably use HTTP_FETCH or HTTP_GET methods built into Alpha that we could simply call the Twilio Rest API using that.

          This was my conversation with the representative at Twilio:

          Jason Nassi: Hi, sure, what can we do for you?
          Visitor: Hi Jason, quick technical question, I would like to integrate my applicaiton with Twillio for text messaging, but the web server is an Alpha 5 web server so none of your built in libraries will work...but my question is can I just call the twillio REST api with a regular http post (i just want to send sms messages) or do I need the libraries no matter what?
          Jason Nassi: Nope, you don't need to use the helper libraries, if you can generate your own HTTP POST
          Visitor: really? thats great so just use my auth key etc and send the message, and basically each message I send I get charged 1 cent
          Jason Nassi: Correct. You can do a simple curl, for instance
          Visitor: you mean use curl to generate the http post
          Jason Nassi: Correct. For example, you can use http://hurl.it to generate the request, and then run it again and again in your code.
          Visitor: ok cool thanks thats enough to get me started :) cheers
          Jason Nassi: good luck!


          If you guys are interested in helping me figure this out it would be great. Or if someone from Alpha wants to help develop the http_fetch call, all you need is a sandbox account with Twilio to start trying it out. But I think it would be fantastic for all of Alpha community if with a little bit of Xbasic we could send a true SMS message using Twilio. I can think of a million and one ways I would want to use text messaging. Twilio charges 1 cent per text, but could be possible extra revenue for Alpha developers by charging their clients two cents per text for example.

          Let me know.

          Scott

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Twilio Integration

            Thanks for your thoughts Scott...

            Unfortunately, I am NOT a programmer but can do a lot of things within Alpha because of their tools.

            Expanding on the use cases a bit...

            In the existing Alpha infrastructure, communication to the outside world is pretty much limited to them coming to the website app or sending them emails. We've expanded on that using email-to-fax and as you mentioned, you can do email to SMS but that is very cumbersome and unreliable.

            Think of all of the apps -membership databases, appointment books, etc. etc.- where the ability to communicate efficiently to individuals, subsets, or everybody is important. There is so much email noise that a significant percentage of emails go from the inbox to deleted items without anything more than a cursory glance at the sender or the subject. What if it was important to make sure that the recipient actually received the communications?

            You focused on SMS. You're right, SMS is one of the ways to communicate via Twilio. Consider also, that Twilio can make an app into a virtual phone system! Yes. most developer types shun verbal communication, however there is still a significant portion of the world that still likes/depends on it.

            Example: Appoinment Calendar

            Be it Doctors, hairdressers, or whatever, a missed appointment is missed revenue. What is currently a static list of who is supposed to show up when can become a dynamic tool that can actively keep that from happening. Through a Twilio integration, the appointment calendar can automatically text and/or call the client to remind them of the appointment, get their confirmation or connect them to the office to reschedule. All of that without a single piece of equipment or a phone line.


            Example: Member Database

            Associations, Churches, Schools, Teams, etc... Sometimes information needs to reach people when they are not sitting in front of their computers. A Twilio integration could change the database from a 'list' to an active means to quickly deliver time-sensitive information via phone and/or SMS extremely quickly and efficiently. 'Practice is Cancelled tonight' 'Call your legislator' 'Go to our website for breaking news' 'The kids have all arrived safely at their Disney field trip.


            I have a number of apps I'd like to develop and have actually had a couple already developed using PHP and MySQL. I don't know squat about PHP, but I know how to manipulate databases!

            Anybody ready to figure it out?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Twilio Integration

              SMS (possibly through Twillio) and push notifications are mobile features that I consider very important. They are part of the mobile platform roadmap.
              Bob Moore


              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Twilio Integration

                Hey Bob,

                Any update on this? True SMS integration would be great with a service such as Twillio vs. this email/text message hybrid method a lot of people use.

                Cheers,

                Scott

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: SMS Text Integration

                  Update

                  I am now partnered with a cloud text provider (not Twilio in this case).

                  The revolutionary part is that we can now 'Text-Enable' most existing business landline and toll-free telephone numbers completely separate from the voice network.

                  Although there is a web based interface and I've had a small .net desktop app built using their API, integration with Alpha applications would provide a powerful method to allow businesses to join the text conversation for anything from appointment reminders/scheduling, to restaurant reservations/wait lists, to repair shops (see www.yourcarisready.us) and much more.

                  I would love to partner with an Alpha Developer to see if something can be done.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Twilio Integration

                    John, I am confident that if they have a .Net API, it can be used directly from Xbasic. There are general examples in the Wiki and here on the message board to get you started.

                    Lenny Forziati
                    Vice President, Internet Products and Technical Services
                    Alpha Software Corporation

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Twilio Integration

                      Many thanks Lenny,

                      Unfortunately, although I have a deep fondness and a working knowledge of Alpha since the old DOS days, I don't have the time or talent at this point to even 'get started'.

                      In fact they have examples in C#, cURL, Java, Python, and Web Hooks. Hoping I can find somebody to share the vision.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Twilio Integration

                        We have integrated Twilio into our client apps in Alpha for over a year now, if you would like to has us look at integration into your own client applications, just contact me directly for details.
                        Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
                        Albert Einstein, (attributed)
                        US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Twilio Integration

                          Originally posted by Lenny Forziati View Post
                          John, I am confident that if they have a .Net API, it can be used directly from Xbasic. There are general examples in the Wiki and here on the message board to get you started.
                          PMFJI, but as long as you mentioned it.........do you know of any examples showing how to implement OAuth from Alpha (e.g. DotNetOAuth)? It would be EXTREMELY valuable, to me and I venture to say others, to be able to have this capability. Thanks.

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