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  • By Devin Rader
    Use Azure Functions and Twilio SMS to know: Will it Rain Today? 8yf3DI9q3T04ILu-x88AeMjsNpbgbaETyS_SgFbM6wimXN9RXOdA5P2_1UHPoe62gZni1rOhbmib9eWzWbYRAkaIQ4wSOuMMnhX_owhwG6kkfpwFJI1fNdP5iTIuq_6BB_CimEEF

    Will you need an umbrella today? Don't know? That's easy to fix by looking out the window or by using Azure Functions and its Twilio SMS output binding. In this post, I'll show you how with just a few lines of code you can have a text message arrive each morning which lets you know if it might rain that day.

    You can build along with me by signing up for free Azure and free Twilio accounts.

    Create an Azure Function

    We'll start by creating a new Azure Function App in the Azure Portal.

    Once created continue configuring the Function App by adding environment variables to hold our Twilio credentials.  Open the Applications Settings for the Function App.

    Add two new keys named TwilioAccountSid and TwilioAuthToken, setting their values to your Twilio AccountSid and AuthToken respectively. You can find your Twilio credentials in the Twilio Console.

    Save the Application Settings ...

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  • By Devin Rader
    Blast off! with SpaceX launch alerts using Azure Logic Apps and Twilio spacex-rocket-launch-how-to-watch.jpg

    SpaceX is on pace to launch nearly 30 rockets to space in 2018.  As a space nerd, I really love watching launches and thankfully SpaceX broadcasts launch streams online.  As frequent as launches are I forget when the next launch is so I can tune in.  Thankfully SpaceX has a great API which includes an endpoint that tells you when the next launch is.  In this post I'll show you how you can build a system using that API, Azure Logic Apps and Twilio SMS to send yourself a daily text message telling you if it's a launch day.

    You can build this using a free Azure account and a trial Twilio Account.

    Log into your Azure account and create a new Logic App Service.

    Once you have the Logic App Service created we can begin to define the workflow we want to run.  Logic App workflows are made up ...

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  • By Devin Rader
    Faxing ASCII Images using Node and Twilio Programmable Fax 2017-03-31_21-10-57

    Fax is back baby!  With the launch of Programmable Fax, I thought why not bring back something else from my past, ASCII art. In this post I’ll show you how to make a simple web app that converts uploaded images to ASCII art then sends that art as a fax.

    Gearing Up

    For this simple app I chose to use a JavaScript web stack: Node.js and Express. To build the hack yourself, make sure you have node and npm installed and use npm to initiate a new project:

    npm init

    Next add the express dependency:

    npm install -s express

    Now create and open the applications main file.  I called mine app.js. In it require express, create a new express app and then tell that app to start listening on port 3000.

    var express = require('express')
    
    var app = express()
    
    app.listen(3000, function () {
      console.log('Example app listening ...
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  • By Devin Rader
    Route Support Tickets by Language Using TaskRouter & IBM Watson usecase-contact-center

    Serving your customers well gets harder as our world gets smaller and the ways customers want to reach you increases.  The IBM Watson Message Insights Add-On from the Twilio Add-Ons Marketplace detects the language of a text message, so that you can step up your support game and serve your customers in their native language.

    Let’s see how you can combine Watson, Programmable SMS, and TaskRouter with a dash of ASP.NET and C# to seamlessly route incoming SMS messages to the most appropriate agent on your team.

    If you want to play along and don’t yet have a Twilio account, it’s quick to get one.  If you want to jump ahead check out the completed code on Github otherwise let’s get started!

    Installing Message Add-Ons

    The Twilio Add-Ons marketplace lets you add third-party functionality to your voice and messaging apps simply by flipping a switch ...

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  • By Devin Rader
    Hitchhiker’s Guide to Twilio Programmable Voice bgg5Np1gLMli0F_OpsbvavVP1JEJUX8wuMMMv7uQ4NI36m64wFU6e2eyRixDVrKdQhZFoFwlHVaXq-q05UkFiz5oZqio_IUelJIXn6OPgpdkAy8ep0-N1HdEevJuKPRlI0QysnGX

    The Programmable Voice Guide is jam packed with volumes of amazing information about Twilio Programmable Voice.  In this post I’m going to introduce you to three topics that are personal favorites:

    Let’s go!

    Gather Input

    Phone calls don’t have to be a one-way conversation and the Guide can show you how. By using the <Gather> TwiML verb you can have Twilio listen for a caller to press the buttons on their phone’s dial pad and report which buttons they pressed via a webhook request.

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <! page located at http://example.com/complex_gather.xml —>
    <Response>
        <Gather action="/process_gather.php" method="GET">
            <Say>
                Please enter your account number,
                followed by the pound sign
            </Say>
        </Gather>
        <Say>We didn ...
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  • By Devin Rader
    Check Stock Prices with Python and Twilio SMS gordon

    In the movie Wall Street, one dimension of the main character Gordon Gecko that the film disappointingly fails to explore is his love of the outdoors.  That’s right, he loves to go camping.  Unexpected, right?

    Gordon’s never going to get a data connection out there, but with a bit of Python and Twilio SMS he can still check his stock prices with only a few of those precious reception bars.  Let’s find out how.

    Setup and Build

    For this simple app all you need is a Twilio account and a Python development environment.  If you are new to Python it’s easy to set up sign up for a free trial.

    Start by opening a terminal or command line and create a new virtual environment named ‘twilio-ticker’:

    virtualenv twilio-ticker
    

    Activate the virtualenv:

    source twilio-ticker/bin/activate
    

    The dependencies we need are requests, an HTTP client ...

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  • By Devin Rader
    Build Video Chat using AngularJS 1.x angularjs-logo

    Warning: The code in this blog post is outdated as our Video SDK was in BETA at the time of writing.  

    Check out our getting started section instead if you want help using Twilio video. If you choose to follow this tutorial you’ll need to make significant edits to the code to run.


    AngularJS is a popular JavaScript framework for building client side applications. Using it steers you towards creating well-factored apps with clear Separation of Concerns (SoC).  To demonstrate how Angular does this let’s convert the existing JavaScript Quickstart for Video into an Angular application.

    If you want to skip ahead and grab the source for this post, it’s all on Github.  Otherwise let’s get started.

    Setting It All Up

    Before we jump into the code we’ll need to do some setup.  First, if you don’t already have a Twilio account hop on ...

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  • By Devin Rader
    Add Video Chat to WordPress with a Plugin t41nGG2MA2XWl2AtjOthIx7TJTJlObnpWZca_Aqox8N-EJVxe1TlkXctwV3OWEOvntCjS-4oSsCDOkmRdx1ZXBMAPCekRzFtJ_Dg9iL0bGcsWPz1Qk7-FBN_S0is33j1mruZDy4U3

    “Chat with us now!”

    We’ve all seen those popups on popular websites, letting you know that if you have a question or need some help there is someone (or something) that you can turn to. Sometimes though chat is just not the right medium for getting your question answered or the support you need. For a higher fidelity experience, stepping it up to video is the best option.

    In this post I’ll show you how using Twilio Video and a little bit of JavaScript and PHP, you can build a Video Chat plugin for WordPress, the world’s most popular CMS system.  Never built a WordPress plugin? Don’t worry, it’s a straight-forward and simple process. Want to head straight for the finished product? No problem. Grab the complete code for the plugin from this Github repository. Otherwise, let’s get building!

    Getting Setup

    Before we get ...

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  • By Devin Rader
    Find Volunteer Opportunities using Twilio, VolunteerMatch and ASP.NET Twilio_VM_API_project

    It’s the holiday season. For many of us it’s a time we reflect on how fortunate we are in our own lives and also how we can use our skills to give back to others in our communities. There are many organizations who are dedicated to the service of others and getting involved with one can be an immensely rewarding experience.  But how do you know what organizations and opportunities are available in your local area?

    VolunteerMatch is a website that makes it easy to match your skills to volunteer opportunities in your local area.  They also have an API which is something we at Twilio are super fond of. In the spirit of the holiday season we partnered with VolunteerMatch to build an app that makes it even easier to find local volunteer opportunities.

    Give it a try right now by texting your zip code to (314 ...

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  • By Devin Rader
    Hola Programmable Chat! Real time translated chat with ASP.NET, Microsoft Translator and Programmable Chat c3p0

    ¿Hablas español? Qu’en est-il en Français? 中文?Ao idnu Tsis tuti tu’iyia rirzyia iw inams.

    Whatever your own language be it English, French, Mandarin or Sith, not being able to communicate with others because of a difference in language is a pain.  While we don’t yet have protocol droids able to instantly translate 6 million languages (we don’t even have 6 million languages) translation technology, especially translation of text, has come a long way.  As a developer I now have a multitude of accurate, free or low cost translation API’s that I can easily  integrate into an app.

    Wouldn’t it be cool if you’re favorite chat application could make it easier to converse with people who do not use your language by automatically translating your messages into their language?  Or better yet, what if you could just build that chat app yourself?

    In ...

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