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  • By Charles Oduk
    Create a WhatsApp Chatbot that Books Appointments in Google Calendar Using Autopilot and PHP Create a WhatsApp Chatbot that Books Appointments in Google Calendar Using Autopilot and PHP.png

    Introduction

    It’s amazing how in recent years, Natural Language Processing (NLP) has transformed how we build conversational interfaces. Notably, more businesses are building chatbots that interact with their customers in real time. In my previous tutorial, I wrote about building a chatbot using Dialogflow. In this tutorial, we’re going to build a chatbot using Twilio Autopilot and Whatsapp. Our chatbot will allow users to book an appointment and have a Google calendar event created.

    This tutorial requires basic knowledge of Autopilot. If you need to read up, please do so from this guide.

    Tutorial Requirements

    Create a Google Project

    To start off, we need to create a Google Project and enable the Google Calendar API. From your project dashboard, click on the Credentials tab. Click the create credentials dropdown button ...

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  • By Charles Oduk
    Send an SMS When Your Build Fails on Travis CI send-sms-when-travis-ci-build-fails-cover-photo.png

    Introduction

    Every year just before Christmas, this tweet warning about holiday deployments resurfaces within Engineering circles. It is testament to the complications that could arise when we deploy changes to code. For this reason many companies have made the shift to Test Driven Development (TDD).

    Developed by @KentBeck ‏, TDD requires that you write tests before writing code. This guarantees that you get instant confirmation that your code behaves as it should. TDD together with Continuous Integration (CI) - the process of testing code and automating the build every time a team member commits changes to a shared repository - helps ensure that production code works as is expected.

    In this tutorial, we will, using TDD, build a small Laravel/Lumen project and use Travis CI for Continuous Integration. We will also build a webhook that listens for failed build triggers. When the build fails, we will send a Twilio SMS to notify ...

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  • By Charles Oduk
    How to Create Twitter SMS Notifications Based on Tweets, Retweets, and Mentions twitter-mention-cover-photo.png

    Twitter released it’s 2018 Q3 report in October 2018 and it was way better than financial experts had estimated. Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, in a statement following the report said:

    We’re achieving meaningful progress in our efforts to make Twitter a healthier and valuable everyday service.”

    Twitter realized a 29% year-over-year increase in advertising revenue, meaning more businesses are taking to the service to market their products and services. If you have a business on Twitter, you could receive tweets frequently, some within seconds of each other. It is very important that you respond to them promptly in order to satisfy your customers. While it is great that Twitter sends out a notification whenever there’s an event on your account, it would be even better to receive a real-time SMS.

    In this tutorial, we are going to learn how to send an SMS when an event ...

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  • By Charles Oduk
    How to Forward SMS to Your Telegram Account in PHP sms-forwarding-to-telegram.png

    When working, I prefer to have my messages delivered on the computer to minimize distractions. With the switch of a tab, I am able to read my messages and quickly resume my work. On WhatsApp and Telegram, this is possible via WhatsApp Web and Telegram Web respectively. If you have business or personal messages coming in throughout the day via Twilio SMS, and you’d prefer to read them on your computer, I have good news for you. In this tutorial, we are going to learn how to receive Twilio SMS messages on Telegram.

    Tutorial Requirements

    For this tutorial, you will need a:

    Setup our Development Environment

    We need to start off by creating a project directory for our application. I have named mine Twilio-Telegram. Inside the directory let’s create two files:

    • webhook ...
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  • By Charles Oduk
    How to use Google Sheets as a Database for your PHP App google-sheets-twilio-database.png

    Introduction

    Twelve years ago, Google had, in my opinion, the ambitious idea of releasing a product that would be in direct competition with Excel. Google Sheets has since gained popularity over the years and become much more than just a spreadsheet. Being an online application, it’s a lot easier to integrate it with different online tools that you use. In this tutorial, we are going to test the flexibility of Sheets by fetching data from Order Desk’s API, updating a Google Sheet and sending a Twilio confirmation via SMS. We will use Order Desk to simulate an online store fulfillment system that backs up it's data into a Google Sheet. 

    Tutorial Requirements

    For this tutorial, you will need:

    Setup our Development Environment

    To start off, let’s create a ...

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  • By Charles Oduk
    How To Build A WhatsApp Chatbot Using Twilio, Dialogflow and PHP whatsapp chatbot with dialogflow.png

    Introduction to Natural Language Processing

    Natural Language Processing (NLP), is a branch of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that helps computers understand, interpret and manipulate human language. With the help of Natural Language Understanding (NLU), which is a branch of NLP, computers are able to handle the nuances of language. For example, there are different ways of asking about the color of a shirt:

    • Does it come in another color?
    • Are there other colors?
    • Can I get it in black?

    It is very hard to anticipate all user inputs in our code but thanks to NLU, we’re able to handle different inputs.

     

    Hello Dialogflow

    DialogFlow, powered by Google, provides a Natural Language Understanding engine that allows us to build conversational interfaces. In this tutorial, we’re going to use Dialogflow with a PHP fulfillment webhook to build a conversational experience for a WhatsApp weather chatbot.

    This tutorial requires a basic knowledge ...

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  • By Charles Oduk
    How to Send SMS Reminders with Laravel Lumen Lumen Reminders.png

    Introduction

    In the previous tutorial, we worked on creating an iCal feed using Laravel Lumen. An iCal feed allows users to export a calendar event and view it on an external calendar. In this tutorial, we will take an extra step. Using the Twilio API, we will send SMS reminders to users who subscribed to an event.

    We are going to extend the application used to create an iCal feed, therefore you need to have followed the previous tutorial. Otherwise, you can clone the code from Github.

    Requirements

    Setup

    Install Dependencies

    We need to install the Twilio SDK for PHP, which makes it easy to interact with the Twilio API from our Lumen application. In your terminal, within the project directory, run the command:

    $ composer require twilio/sdk
    

    Update the .env

    In the root directory, we have ...

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  • By Charles Oduk
    How to Create an iCal Calendar Feed with PHP using Laravel Lumen ical calendar feed

    iCal, short for iCalendar, is an internet standard file format used to store calendar information. Being a standard format, it is compatible with most online calendars, giving you access to important dates regardless of your preferred client (Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar, Apple Calendar, etc.). Even popular online services use the iCal format to help their users remember important dates. Airbnb, for example, uses the iCal format to store room availability giving users the ability to export their Airbnb calendar and view it on an external calendar.

    In this tutorial, you’ll learn about the iCal format and how to create an iCal calendar feed using Lumen, a PHP micro-framework by Laravel that allows you to quickly build elegant APIs.

    Tutorial Requirements

    For this tutorial, you will need:

    The iCal Object

    Below is ...

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  • By Charles Oduk
    Sending Live Streaming SMS Notifications with PHP and YouTube API youtube live sms notifications.png

    YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki revealed earlier in 2018, that over 1.8 billion people use the service every month. The number could be higher considering the statistics are only for users who are logged in.

    If you’re anything like me, you are probably subscribed to many channels and your attention is divided. For a channel owner, this means a good number of subscribers may be on other channels when you go live. Wouldn’t it be great if you could get their attention?

    In this tutorial, we are going to learn how to use Twilio to send an SMS to a list of subscribers when your YouTube channel goes live.

     

    Tutorial Requirements

    For this tutorial, you will need:

    • A Twilio Account
    • A Google Project with YouTube Data API enabled
    • A PHP development environment
    • A global installation of Composer
    • PostgreSQL Database
    • Your YouTube Channel ID (or any Channel ID)

     

    Setting ...

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