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Thread: SMS Messaging

  1. #1
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Larry Grupido
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    Default SMS Messaging

    I am doing SMS messaging in one of my apps, using the method of sending an email to all participants with their phone number and text message carrier address.

    The problem is that this seems to work intermittently. Sometimes I will send a message and everyone will get it, sometimes only half of the folks will get it.

    There doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason.

    This is a tour company. The text messages are going to people during their trip, providing up to the minute instructions and information. (Such as please meet back at the bus in the north parking lot at 10pm.)

    These people will often only be going on 1 trip, so we don't want to require everyone to download an app - because they won't do it. However, we collect everyone's cell phone carrier and phone number prior to the trip, so I have all that info.

    Currently, I am sending the message in batches of 80 or less, with all of the messages being blind copied. It may be that some servers are rejecting the mass text - but like I said, it works to everyone sometimes and not others - so I don't know what is going wrong.

    Does anyone have a working SMS app that I can adapt to use with my system.

    Willing to pay for the help.

    We would be sending from to 20 to 500 text messages at a time, multiple times per day. Different numbers each time.

    Any suggestions appreciated.

    If you have an app that might work for me, respond here or by private message, please.

    Larry

  2. #2
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    Govindan Gandhi
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    Default Re: SMS Messaging

    look in twilio
    they have api, i am sure you can work with that. i did not try yet.
    Last edited by GGandhi; 05-19-2016 at 02:58 PM.
    thanks for reading

    gandhi

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  3. #3
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    ken tjia
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    Default Re: SMS Messaging

    Larry,
    my esperience, sending using phone number & the phone company extension
    is never reliable ... We had a carrier who for some reason hold back the message for few days.

    plus it is a histle to ask tourist for their carrier company name.

    there are several good discussion on this topics ..
    please search ..

    ken

  4. #4
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Default Re: SMS Messaging

    I am using Twillio now. It works great - no issues.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: SMS Messaging

    thanks for coming back to me Larry,

    I would very much appreciate if you wouldnt mind sharing your code ?

    thanks in advance

    john

  6. #6
    Volunteer Moderator drgarytraub's Avatar
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    Default Re: SMS Messaging

    Larry,

    I just implemented Twilio too. I agree - works great!

    One question though: Have you found a way to use this to send a text message to say, 10 phone numbers at once?
    Gary S. Traub, Ph.D.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: SMS Messaging

    I have a function called Send TW. It takes a contact_id, which is the table for an email or text message.

    I got this function from Alpha Help, I think, and modified it from there.

    FUNCTION SendTw AS C (vContact_ID AS C )

    'debug(1)
    '==CONNECTION AND VARS
    dim cn as SQL::Connection
    dim vHasError as c
    dim cf_1 as extension::CurlFile
    dim flag_1 as l
    dim ce as extension::Curl

    vHasError = "N"

    cn.open("::name::conn")

    vselect = "select sid, token, messagefromid, apiurl from twillio"
    cn.execute(vSelect)
    vTwilioURLPre= cn.resultset.data("apiurl")
    vSID = cn.resultset.data("sid")
    vTwilioURL=vTwilioURLPre+vSID+"/Messages"
    vToken = cn.resultset.data("token")
    vPassword=vSID+":"+vToken
    vFromNumber=cn.resultset.data("messagefromid")
    vFrom="&From="+vFromNumber

    vSelect = "SELECT Subject, Message FROM Contact_Info where Contact_ID = "+ vContact_id

    cn.execute(vSelect)
    vSubject = cn.resultset.data("Subject")
    vMessage = cn.resultset.data("Message")

    ' I grab all of the recipients phone numbers from the recipients table - so this will send to multiple people.
    vSelect = "SELECT cell_phone_No_Check FROM Contact_recipients as cr inner join view_people_info as p on p.people_id = cr.people_id where Contact_ID = "+ vContact_id
    cn.execute(vSelect)

    if vSubject > " " then
    vMessage=vSubject + " : " + vMessage
    end if

    ce = extension::Curl.Init()
    ce.setOpt("URL",vTwilioURL)
    ce.setOpt("NOPROGRESS",1)
    ce.setOpt("USERPWD",vPassword)
    ' ce.setOpt("POSTFIELDSIZE_LARGE",85)
    ce.setOpt("USERAGENT","curl/7.34.0")
    ce.setOpt("MAXREDIRS",50)
    ce.setOpt("CAINFO","C:\\Program Files (x86)\\a5V12\\CARoot\\ca-cert.pem")
    ce.setOpt("CAPATH","C:\\Program Files (x86)\\a5V12\\CARoot")
    ce.setOpt("CUSTOMREQUEST","POST")
    ce.setOpt("TCP_KEEPALIVE",1)
    vBody = "Body="+urlencode(vMessage)

    while eval_valid("cn.resultset.data("cell_phone_No_Check")")

    vToNumber= cn.resultset.data("cell_phone_No_Check")
    vTo="&To=+1"+vToNumber

    vPostFields=vBody+vTo+vFrom

    ce.setOpt("POSTFIELDS",vPostFields)
    ce.SetOpt("FILE",cf_1)
    flag_1 = ce.Exec()

    flag_1 = cn.ResultSet.NextRow()

    end while

    ce.close()

    sentout:

    ' if we made it this far, the email was sent.
    vUpdate = "update Contact_Info set Sent = 1 where Contact_ID = "+ vcontact_id
    cn.execute(vUpdate)

    errorout:

    cn.close()

    if vHasError = "Y" then
    save_to_file(vcode, "c:\a5webroot\wtsql\cc\emailstatus.txt")
    end if

    SendTW = ""

    END FUNCTION
    Last edited by lgrupido; 09-02-2017 at 11:35 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: SMS Messaging

    larry
    if the vSid, token you say above are true sid and token., please remove that. twilio charges by usage. your sid and token can be harvested here and used elsewhere.
    thanks for reading

    gandhi

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: SMS Messaging

    thanks, didn't notice that in my testing examples.

  10. #10
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    Alan Owen / Toby Burton / Jamie Eccott
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    Default Re: SMS Messaging

    Twillio works great. Been using it for over a year now. No Issues

  11. #11
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    Default Re: SMS Messaging

    Thanks for posting this Larry. I was hoping for a built in way to use action scripting, but if this is what is needed to send SMS to multiple people, I will give it a try.
    Gary S. Traub, Ph.D.


  12. #12
    "Certified" Alphaholic CharlesParker's Avatar
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    Default Re: SMS Messaging

    Ok, I am taking a stab at this myself tonight and I have an xbasic error I cannot figure out.

    Code:
    FUNCTION SendTw AS C (e as p)
    
    debug(1)
    '==CONNECTION AND VARS
    dim cn as SQL::Connection
    dim vHasError as c
    dim cf_1 as extension::CurlFile
    dim flag_1 as l
    dim ce as extension::Curl	
    
    vHasError = "N"
    
    cn.open("::Name::DropsConn")
    
    vTwilioURLPre= "https://api.twilio.com/2010-04-01/Accounts/"
    vSID = "my-SID-here"
    vTwilioURL=vTwilioURLPre+vSID
    vToken = "my-TOKEN-here"
    vPassword=vSID+":"+vToken
    vFromNumber="+my-NUMBER-here"
    vFrom="&From="+vFromNumber
    
    
    vSubject = "New post"
    vMessage = "There is a post"
    
    ' trying to grab all of the recipients phone numbers from the sharedto table - so this will send to multiple people.
    vSelect = "SELECT phone FROM sharedto where notify = 'Yes' AND userid = 'my-USERID-here' "
    cn.execute(vSelect)
    
    ce = extension::Curl.Init()
    ce.setOpt("URL",vTwilioURL)
    ce.setOpt("NOPROGRESS",1)
    ce.setOpt("USERPWD",vPassword)
    ce.setOpt("USERAGENT","curl/7.34.0")
    ce.setOpt("MAXREDIRS",50)
    ce.setOpt("CAINFO","C:\\Program Files (x86)\\a5V12\\CARoot\\ca-cert.pem")
    ce.setOpt("CAPATH","C:\\Program Files (x86)\\a5V12\\CARoot")
    ce.setOpt("CUSTOMREQUEST","POST")
    ce.setOpt("TCP_KEEPALIVE",1)
    vBody = "Body="+urlencode(vMessage)
    
    while eval_valid("cn.resultset.data("phone")")
    
    vToNumber= cn.resultset.data("phone")
    vTo="&To=+1"+vToNumber
    
    vPostFields=vBody+vTo+vFrom
    
    ce.setOpt("POSTFIELDS",vPostFields)
    ce.SetOpt("FILE",cf_1)
    flag_1 = ce.Exec()
    
    flag_1 = cn.ResultSet.NextRow()
    
    end while
    ce.close()
    cn.Close()
    
    END FUNCTION

    The error is "bad expression character" at the while statement with "while" being the cuplrit. Any ideas? Also when I commented it out I of course did get a phone number back but only one row, also I did NOT get a text from twilio. My account is working fine if I just use the action button for a twilio message but I want to send out the message to multiple numbers not just one.
    NWCOPRO: Nuisance Wildlife Control Software My Application: http://www.nwcopro.com "Without forgetting, we would have no memory at all...now what was I saying?"

  13. #13
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Larry Grupido
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    Default Re: SMS Messaging

    Try this:

    while eval_valid("cn.resultset.data("phone")")


    (You can't have quotes inside your quotes!)

  14. #14
    "Certified" Alphaholic CharlesParker's Avatar
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    Default Re: SMS Messaging

    that looks the same, no?
    This is a screenshot showing the error @ the "while"
    while error.JPG

    Changing it to
    while eval_valid(cn.resultset.data("phone"))
    does get rid of the error though...
    Last edited by CharlesParker; 06-17-2018 at 11:17 PM.
    NWCOPRO: Nuisance Wildlife Control Software My Application: http://www.nwcopro.com "Without forgetting, we would have no memory at all...now what was I saying?"

  15. #15
    "Certified" Alphaholic CharlesParker's Avatar
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    Default Re: SMS Messaging

    so I got around the error, however, I am not receiving an SMS and not sure how to debug. The debugger shows a phone number in the Phone variable and all of the other info such as SID and Token are good so not sure how to get this working...
    NWCOPRO: Nuisance Wildlife Control Software My Application: http://www.nwcopro.com "Without forgetting, we would have no memory at all...now what was I saying?"

  16. #16
    "Certified" Alphaholic CharlesParker's Avatar
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    Default Working Code - SMS Twilio

    Ok, after a while I started to figure out what I needed to do. Here is the working xbasic code for me.

    Code:
    FUNCTION SendTw AS C (e as p)
    
    debug(1)
    '==CONNECTION AND VARS
    dim cn as SQL::Connection
    dim vHasError as c
    dim cf_1 as extension::CurlFile
    dim flag_1 as l
    dim ce as extension::Curl	
    dim vSendNumber as c
    
    
    vHasError = "N"
    
    cn.open("::Name::DropsConn")
    
    vTwilioURLPre= "https://api.twilio.com/2010-04-01/Accounts/"
    vSID = "my-SID-here"
    vTwilioURL=vTwilioURLPre+vSID+"/Messages.json"
    vToken = "my-TOKEN-here"
    vPassword=vSID+":"+vToken
    vFromNumber="my-TwilioNUMBER-here"
    vFrom="&From="+vFromNumber
    
    
    vSubject = "New post"
    vMessage = "There is a post"
    
    ' trying to grab all of the recipients phone numbers from the sharedto table - so this will send to multiple people.
    'this assumes you have a table called sharedto with columns named phone,notify and userid.
    vSelect = "SELECT phone FROM sharedto WHERE notify = 'Yes' and userid = 'my-Email-here' "
    cn.execute(vSelect)
    
    ce = extension::Curl.Init()
    ce.setOpt("URL",vTwilioURL)
    ce.setOpt("NOPROGRESS",1)
    ce.setOpt("USERPWD",vPassword)
    ce.setOpt("USERAGENT","curl/7.34.0")
    ce.setOpt("MAXREDIRS",50)
    ce.setOpt("CAINFO","C:\\Program Files (x86)\\a5V12\\CARoot\\ca-cert.pem")
    ce.setOpt("CAPATH","C:\\Program Files (x86)\\a5V12\\CARoot")
    ce.setOpt("CUSTOMREQUEST","POST")
    ce.setOpt("TCP_KEEPALIVE",1)
    
    vBody = "Body="+urlencode(vMessage)
    
    while eval_valid(cn.ResultSet.data("phone"))
    	
    vSendNumber= cn.ResultSet.data("phone")
    vTo="&To=+1"+vSendNumber
     
    vPostFields=vBody+vFrom+vTo
    
    ce.setOpt("POSTFIELDS",vPostFields)
    ce.SetOpt("FILE",cf_1)
    flag_1 = ce.Exec()
    
    flag_1 = cn.ResultSet.NextRow()
    end while
    ce.close()
    cn.Close()
    
    END FUNCTION

    SO what this does is get the phone numbers from the table called sharedto with a column called "phone" and cycle through them sending an SMS to each phone number retrevied by the sql select statement.
    Cool - multiple SMS messaging!

    I have to say this is way less involved than trying to setup pushwoosh for SMS messaging - criminy, you have so many other services involved when you consider iOs and Android - firebase, and on and on.

    In the end, there are a few minor changes in what Larry posted but not much!

    I don't know why, but until I actually used the code Curl-genie myself and compared the results of that with what Larry had I didn't get it!

    Now comes the fun part of tweaking it to get the values from the various fields and a more in-depth SQL select statement to allow message blocking by users...
    Last edited by CharlesParker; 06-18-2018 at 02:49 AM.
    NWCOPRO: Nuisance Wildlife Control Software My Application: http://www.nwcopro.com "Without forgetting, we would have no memory at all...now what was I saying?"

  17. #17
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    Larry Grupido
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    Default Re: SMS Messaging

    Sorry Charles, I didn't realize that my message had stripped some information.

    I put in \\ before the Quote signs. (Hopefully this one will get through.)

    Glad you were able to sort it out.

  18. #18
    "Certified" Alphaholic CharlesParker's Avatar
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    Default Re: SMS Messaging

    A few questions...
    If I hard code in my SID and Token into the Xbasic does that expose that information to the web?

    I noticed in working preview that I would get an error saying that the data array was NULL - not everytime though. Since there are only two records and during testing they do not change I was wondering if that error was related to working preview limitations OR if the while statement might need to be written differently. Anyone with expertise in xbasic that can offer any advice on the structure here - please feel free to comment!
    It seems like the "end while" statement might not be in the place in the code perhaps...


    Thanks Larry for what you posted and shared, it really helped me see the way!
    NWCOPRO: Nuisance Wildlife Control Software My Application: http://www.nwcopro.com "Without forgetting, we would have no memory at all...now what was I saying?"

  19. #19
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    Default Re: SMS Messaging

    I don't think it exposes that info to the web because the xbasic is run on the server, not client side.

    However, you are better off creating a table of constants and storing it there. That way you can use it in other places if you need to without having to put it in more than 1 place.

  20. #20
    "Certified" Alphaholic CharlesParker's Avatar
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    Default Re: SMS Messaging

    I thought about that but I also thought about the fact that if I make a SQL call to the database that is just another round trip I could eliminate by hardcoding it. If I do have to use it in other places the actual character count of code is negligable and again since it isnt going to change (at least not for now!) I thought hard coding it would be faster without having to hit a database for the info.
    NWCOPRO: Nuisance Wildlife Control Software My Application: http://www.nwcopro.com "Without forgetting, we would have no memory at all...now what was I saying?"

  21. #21
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    Default Re: SMS Messaging

    Fortunately, in Alpha, you can search for a character string throughout the system, so even if you do have to change it someday, it should be easy to track down all instances.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: SMS Messaging

    I know this thread is old. I tried both Larry's and Charles's code and did not get a good send. Here is Larry's code modified for my testing. Does anything stand out as a problem?
    Code:
    FUNCTION SendTw AS C (phonenumber AS C )
    'FUNCTION SendTw AS C (vContact_ID AS C )
    
    debug(1)
    '==CONNECTION AND VARS
    'dim cn as SQL::Connection
    dim vHasError as c
    dim cf_1 as extension::CurlFile
    dim flag_1 as l
    dim ce as extension::Curl
    
    if phonenumber = ""
    	vReply = ui_get_text("Send to phone", "Number","")
    	if vReply = ""
    		SendTw = "Cancel"
    		exit function
    	else
    		phonenumber = remspecial(phonenumber)
    	end if
    end if
    
    vHasError = "N"
    
    'cn.open("::name::conn")
    'vselect = "select sid, token, messagefromid, apiurl from twillio"
    'cn.execute(vSelect)
    
    vTwilioURLPre= "https://api.twilio.com/2010-04-01/Accounts/"	'cn.resultset.data("apiurl")
    vSID = [my sid]	'cn.resultset.data("sid")
    vTwilioURL=vTwilioURLPre+vSID+"/Messages"
    vToken = [my token]	'cn.resultset.data("token")
    vPassword=vSID+":"+vToken
    vFromNumber="+19723629267"	'cn.resultset.data("messagefromid")
    vFrom="&From="+vFromNumber
    
    'vSelect = "SELECT Subject, Message FROM Contact_Info where Contact_ID = "+ vContact_id
    'cn.execute(vSelect)
    
    vSubject = ""	'cn.resultset.data("Subject")
    vMessage = "Test message from Twilio."	'cn.resultset.data("Message")
    
    '' I grab all of the recipients phone numbers from the recipients table - so this will send to multiple people.
    'vSelect = "SELECT cell_phone_No_Check FROM Contact_recipients as cr inner join view_people_info as p on p.people_id = cr.people_id where Contact_ID = "+ vContact_id
    'cn.execute(vSelect)
    
    if vSubject <> " " then
    vMessage=vSubject + " : " + vMessage
    end if
    
    ce = extension::Curl.Init()
    ce.setOpt("URL",vTwilioURL)
    ce.setOpt("NOPROGRESS",1)
    ce.setOpt("USERPWD",vPassword)
    ' ce.setOpt("POSTFIELDSIZE_LARGE",85)
    ce.setOpt("USERAGENT","curl/7.34.0")
    ce.setOpt("MAXREDIRS",50)
    ce.setOpt("CAINFO","C:\\Program Files (x86)\\a5V12\\CARoot\\ca-cert.pem")
    ce.setOpt("CAPATH","C:\\Program Files (x86)\\a5V12\\CARoot")
    ce.setOpt("CUSTOMREQUEST","POST")
    ce.setOpt("TCP_KEEPALIVE",1)
    vBody = "Body="+urlencode(vMessage)
    
    'while eval_valid("cn.resultset.data(\"cell_phone_No_Check\")")
    
    vToNumber= phonenumber	'cn.resultset.data("cell_phone_No_Check")
    vTo="&To=+1"+vToNumber
    
    vPostFields=vBody+vTo+vFrom
    
    ce.setOpt("POSTFIELDS",vPostFields)
    ce.SetOpt("FILE",cf_1)
    flag_1 = ce.Exec()
    
    'flag_1 = cn.ResultSet.NextRow()
    
    'end while
    
    ce.close()
    
    sentout:
    
    '' if we made it this far, the email was sent.
    'vUpdate = "update Contact_Info set Sent = 1 where Contact_ID = "+ vcontact_id
    'cn.execute(vUpdate)
    
    errorout:
    
    'cn.close()
    
    'if vHasError = "Y" then
    'save_to_file(vcode, "c:\a5webroot\wtsql\cc\emailstatus.txt")
    'end if
    
    SendTW = ""
    
    END FUNCTION
    Using Alpha's function twilio_send_sms() does work successfully with the same parameters. (although there appears to be a bug if send is not successful - still get a result of .t.).

    Bill.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: SMS Messaging

    My vFromNumber is the ID of the twillio number, not the actual phone number. It's a really long string of characters and numbers, similar to the SID.

  24. #24
    "Certified" Alphaholic kkfin's Avatar
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    Default Re: SMS Messaging

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Parker View Post

    Using Alpha's function twilio_send_sms() does work successfully with the same parameters. (although there appears to be a bug if send is not successful - still get a result of .t.).

    Bill.
    Alphas function gives you the result as json. You can check the status code. So basically .t. means that you did get the result. You just have to check the result what it means.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: SMS Messaging

    Larry,

    Where did you get that id? From the Twilio dashboard, the phone # is listed, but I don't see where to get the id of the phone #.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: SMS Messaging

    Kenneth,

    I got a similar reply from Selwyn. He said "since twilio is reporting status = 400 you can choose to interpret this as a failure." That seems to imply there are other interpretations? :-(

    Interestingly, a successful send includes a result field of error_code and error_message. An unsuccessful send does not include those fields, but has a "message" field with the error.

    Bill.

  27. #27
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Default Re: SMS Messaging

    You want the messaging service, not the phone number. (Each messaging service can have multiple numbers.)

    Go to the phone numbers list and to the right of each number you will see a link to the messaging service.

    Click on that to get it's ID.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: SMS Messaging

    I'm guessing the problem may be that I am using a trial account currently, unless I am in the wrong place. This is what I see from the dashboard.
    twilio dashboard.PNG

  29. #29
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Default Re: SMS Messaging

    Click on the … to the left, then select phone numbers.

    The trial account will have one. Then click on the messaging service.

  30. #30
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    Real Name
    Bill Parker
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    1,712

    Default Re: SMS Messaging

    Thanks. Got the phone number sid into vFromNumber, but ce.exec() still returns .f. I don't see any return message like with alpha's twilio_send_sms(). Not sure where to look next.

    BTW, Selwyn did agree to modify their function to only return .t. if status field is "queued" or "200". That will better match the Help file doc. I can use Alpha's function, but it bugs me that I can't get this going.

    Bill.

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