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  • By Carter Rabasa
    Introducing Twilio Functions — Public Beta Now Open tw2_functions_blog
    • Write and run Twilio code without dealing with servers.
    • 10k free invocations every month—$0.0001/invocation after.
    • Now available to everyone in public beta.

    Today, we’re excited to announce Twilio Functions, a serverless environment to build and run Twilio applications so you can get to production faster. Developers provide Twilio with Node.js code for handling their communication events, such as an incoming phone call, and Twilio executes this code on their behalf, ensuring a seamless communications experience.

    In order to understand why we built Functions, let’s first look at how developers build apps without them.

    How to send a Twilio SMS message without using Functions

    The first step is to stand up a web server that instructs Twilio on what to do for a communication workflow. There are two reasons that Twilio was designed this way:

    1. Twilio communicates events to your software using webhooks. These events span the gamut from incoming SMS messages to new reservations ...
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  • By Carter Rabasa
    Real-time Visibility Into Application Errors with the Debugger Webhook Debugger

    Today we’re happy to announce the Beta of a new Debugger Webhook.  The webhook enables customers to receive an HTTP request from Twilio every time an application errors occurs. Customers can use this data in several interesting ways, including publishing it to industry standard monitoring services like New Relic or Rollbar.

    This past May at Signal we launched a brand-new Console Debugger for Twilio developers that helped them more quickly diagnose and resolve issues with their Twilio applications. The Debugger was integrated throughout the Console and provided customers with a high-level overview of error rates, as well as the ability to drill down into an individual error or category of errors. The feedback from customers has been very positive and Twilio has seen aggregate error rates decline significantly as customers are better able to troubleshoot their apps.

    However, we have heard from developers that they also want a programmatic ...

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  • By Carter Rabasa
    Building More Powerful Voice Applications With Enhanced TwiML Bins Templates logo

    Today I’m excited to announce that TwiML Bins now supports Mustache templates and a new built-in function that make it even easier to build Twilio applications.

    Last October we added the ability for Twilio customers to use a simple templating syntax in their TwiML Bins to build more kinds of Voice and SMS experiences without the need to operate a web server. Customers used templates in ways that we expected:

    • Call forwarding
    • SMS forwarding

    And in ways that we did not, such as customized voicemail experiences.

    However, there were still some use cases that seemed simple on the surface, but weren’t possible with TwiML Bins, such as forwarding incoming SIP phone calls to PSTN destinations.

    How to Build a Simulring Outbound Dialer using TwiML Bins

    Let’s modify the outbound dial example from our previous blog post, but this time let’s pass an array of phone numbers ...

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  • By Carter Rabasa
    Easily Make API Calls to Any Twilio Product Using the New API Explorer logo

    When we launched the API Explorer in 2011, it was part of a new breed: a web-based tool that developers could use to make real requests to Twilio’s REST API. It helped developers learn about the nuances of Twilio’s API and even helped many non-developers get their first exposure to coding. However, the API Explorer was hand-coded and as Twilio accelerated the pace at which it shipped new products and new features, the API Explorer fell more and more out date.

    Today, we are excited to announce the first major revision to the API Explorer since it was launched. The new API Explorer Beta is built on top of the same automation tooling that Twilio uses to generate its Next Generation Helper Libraries. This enables us to keep the API Explorer up-to-date as new products and features are added.

    Let’s take a tour of the new API ...

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  • By Carter Rabasa
    Introducing Templates for TwiML Bins twimlbin

    This past May we launched Native TwiML Bins in the Twilio Console. TwiML Bins made it easy for developers to prototype their ideas and even ship simple production use cases without the need to stand up a web server. Since then thousands of developers have been using TwiML Bins to explore the capabilities of TwiML and build simple call forwarding, auto response, and voicemail applications.  However, one consistent piece of feedback that we got from developers was their desire to be able to do more. For instance, SMS forwarding isn’t possible with a static TwiML document. You need to be able to customize the <Body>  tag to include both the phone number of the person sending the SMS and the body of the SMS itself.  Developers wanted to be able customize their TwiML at runtime based on the HTTP parameters based into the Bin. We’re excited ...

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  • By Carter Rabasa
    Twilio on Rails Part 3 – Adding Contextual VOIP Using WebRTC to Your Rails 4 App twilio_on_rails2

    Welcome to the final part of our series on integrating Twilio with your Rails 4 app. In Part 1 we walked through signing-up for a free Twilio developer account, getting a phone number and processing an inbound phone call. In Part 2 we secured the webhooks, used Twilio’s REST API to send outbound SMS and MMS and processed delivery receipt notifications. In this post we are going create a contextual VOIP experience for your users by learning how to:

    • Create a TwiML app
    • Integrate the Twilio Client JS SDK
    • Generate a Capability Token
    • Connect the VOIP call

    Contextual VOIP

    In our previous blog posts we used Twilio to make phone calls and deliver text messages. These capabilities are quite powerful but they are often siloed away from the context of the application that the user is interacting with. With Twilio Client WebRTC you can embed a VOIP experience directly ...

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  • By Carter Rabasa
    Phonestagram – Fun with Photo Filters Using Node, Hapi and CamanJS false

    For reasons that I have never been able to put my finger on, I have resisted signing up for Instagram. This was true before they were acquired by Facebook and is still true today. This is somewhat odd, because I generally consider myself an early adopter and haven’t hesitated to sign-up for new services in the past. I decided that perhaps I had misjudged Instagram, so I checked-out their website to see what they’re about. Here’s what it says:

    Capture and Share the World’s Moments – Instagram is a fast, beautiful and fun way to share your life with friends and family.

    Wow, who doesn’t want a fast, beautiful and fun way to share your life with friends and family? Well, me apparently. That being said, I like the idea of making pictures a little more awesome using photo filters and I decided to build my ...

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  • By Carter Rabasa
    Convert Videos on Your Phone Into Animated GIFs Using Node, Libav & Imagemagick highfive

    One of the great ironies of the last few years has been the explosion in popularity of the animated GIF. Just as browsers were finally starting to embrace cutting-edge technologies like WebRTC, WebSockets and WebGL, a technology first supported by Netscape 2.0 in 1995 completely took over cultural landscape on internet. You can’t read a sports blog, a tweet or even go to a technology conference without running into the humble animated GIF.

    Despite the popularity of animated GIFs, the tools for making them aren’t great. Personally, I wanted something simple that I could use to convert cute videos of my kids on my phone into animated GIFs. Now, there are several tools for converting videos to animated GIFs on your computer. Recently some developers from Yahoo released Gifshot, a tool that converts videos into animated GIFs inside of your browser using open web technologies. But I ...

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  • By Carter Rabasa
    Twilio on Rails Part 2 – Securing Your Rails 4 App and Sending SMS/MMS twilio-on-rails2-640&#215;265

    Welcome to Part 2 of our series on integrating Twilio with your Rails 4 app. In Part 1 we walked through signing-up for a free Twilio developer account, getting a phone number and processing an inbound phone call. In this blog post, I’ll walk you through:

    • Securing your webhooks so that only Twilio may access them
    • Using Twilio’s REST API to send outbound SMS and MMS
    • Receiving delivery receipt notifications from Twilio

    Securing Your Webhooks

    In Part 1 of this series I talked about webhooks and how they are the fundamental mechanism by which Twilio tells your app about inbound messages or phone calls. Since these webhooks must be on the public internet in order for Twilio to send requests to them, it is important that these URLs be secured so that requests from a non-Twilio client are rejected. As luck would have it my colleague Phil Nash ...

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  • By Carter Rabasa
    Twilio on Rails – Integrating Twilio With Your Rails 4 App twilio-on-rails2

    In this blog post I’m going to walk you through the basics of integrating Twilio with your Rails 4 application. We’ll cover signing-up for Twilio, purchasing a phone number and connecting that phone number to your Rails app. But first I’d like to tell you a story.

    Long before I joined Twilio and became a Developer Evangelist I was a small business owner who needed to build a reasonably complex web application and was running out of time. It was 2005 and I had recently left my job as a J2EE developer to start a recreational sports league. Why I would do such a thing is for another post, but I needed to build some software quickly that was going to allow people to sign-up for my new league, join a team and make a payment online. And those were just the initial requirements. I knew I ...

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