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  • By Phil Nash
    How to build a one-time passcode protected conference line with Twilio Verify and Ruby How to build a one-time passcode protected conference line with Twilio Verify and Ruby

    We've seen how to build a conference line and then protect it with a static passcode. However, passcodes can be guessed or leaked, especially if they are reused over time. An alternative is to make a list of numbers that are permitted to join the call. But, since spoofing phone numbers is relatively easy, this still may not protect you.

    A one-time passcode (OTP) sent to a caller's phone or email, can verify they are who they say they are and increase the security of your conference line once more.

    In this post we will take the Rails application we previously developed and add a conference line secured in two ways. We will:

    1. Ensure that the caller is a known participant by checking their caller ID against a list of permitted phone numbers
    2. Send them an OTP using Twilio Verify which they then have to enter correctly to ensure …
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  • By Phil Nash
    Build a Jira plugin that can send SMS messages using Twilio Build a Jira plugin that can send SMS messages with Twilio

    As a developer, when you think of Atlassian's Jira you probably think of bug tracking or project management for software development, but many organisations use Jira for all sorts of project management and communication. We found this out recently when The Salvation Army in Australia reached out for help sending SMS messages from their Jira powered contact centre.

    Opening up this communication channel led to great results for the Salvos. In this post we are going to see how to build your own Jira plugin that can send SMS messages within your Jira project.

    What we're going to build

    We're going to build a Jira plugin that adds a new view into your Jira project from which you can send SMS messages using the Twilio API. This will be similar to the first version of the plugin we built with the Salvos.

    We need to be able to handle …

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  • By Phil Nash
    Learn how Twilio and Atlassian helped the Salvation Army support Australians during the bushfire and coronavirus crises Learn how Twilio and Atlassian helped The Salvation Army support Australians during the bushfire and coronavirus crises

    The past few months have been a wild ride in Australia. The summer brought extreme bushfires up and down the country and the autumn followed that with a global pandemic. Suffice to say that charitable organisations in Australia have been busy.

    Late in 2019 The Salvation Army reached out to us asking for some help dealing with their increased contact centre volumes. The Twilio team sprung into action, trying to design a complete solution for them.

    "Can we have something now?"

    With the pressure piling on, we received another email from the head of operations at The Salvation Army. They needed something that could send and receive SMS messages now rather than provide a perfect solution weeks or months down the road.

    They wanted to be able to send SMS messages from within Atlassian's Jira Service Desk and respond to incoming messages with an automated message.

    Twilio's Rob Shaw rolled …

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  • By Phil Nash
    Build a passcode protected conference line with Twilio and Ruby Build a passcode protected conference line with Twilio and Ruby

    We've explored building a conference line with Ruby on Rails before, but the result there was a conference call that anyone could join. If you want to keep your calls a little more private you will want to protect your conference lines with a passcode.

    In this post we will take the Rails application we previously developed and add a stage where we ask for a passcode, only allowing callers into the call if they enter it correctly.

    What you'll need

    In order to build this conference application you will need:

    Once you've got all of that, we'll get started.

    Getting up and running …

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  • By Phil Nash
    6 things you didn't know you could do with the Twilio Serverless Toolkit 6 things youi didn't know you could do with the Twilio Serverless Toolkit

    The Twilio Serverless Toolkit is a suite of command line tooling to help you develop and deploy functions and assets to Twilio Runtime. It is under constant development as we add features that make it easier for you to develop your Twilio applications and you never know what you might be missing.

    So, here are 6 things you might not know you can do with the Twilio Serverless Toolkit.

    1. Use the toolkit from npm

    If you have the Twilio CLI installed you can install the Serverless Toolkit as a plugin with the command twilio plugins:install @twilio-labs/plugin-serverless. If you prefer, you can use the toolkit without installing anything more than Node.js. Running the following command will scaffold a new Twilio Functions project for you:

    npm init twilio-function project-name
    

    This command will

    • install twilio-run as a development dependency
    • set up an .env file for your environment variables
    • provide scripts …
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  • By Phil Nash
    How to add an overlay to your web video chat How to add an overlay to your web video chat

    When building a video chat, Twilio Video provides you with the SDKs and APIs to build video apps that connect your users. However, it is un-opinionated about your interface. With a bit of CSS, we can create effects to make your video chat stand out.

    In this post we'll see how to overlay items like a logo or a user's name over a video. Over the course of the post, we'll turn a plain video into something that looks like this:

    An animation of me on video in my webcam, above me my name appears and to the bottom right a watermark saying "Powered by Twilio" shows.

    Getting started

    To create these effects we won't build an entire video chat. Instead, we'll take the Twilio Video library and use it to get the camera and put it on the page as if it was a video chat – then style that video.

    Create three new files in the same directory to write this application in: index.html, script.js and style.css. Open index.html and fill in …

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  • By Phil Nash
    Build a community SMS group chat with Twilio Functions and Google Sheets Build a community SMS group chat with Twilio Functions and Google Sheets

    Under the strange circumstances of the coronavirus we have seen some wonderful stories of communities getting together virtually to support each other. One way to support a local community is to set up a message group so that neighbours can easily offer or ask for help. Doing this with a regular group message could get messy as it's a pain to add or remove people from a group message.

    In this post we'll see how to use Google Sheets, Twilio Functions, and Programmable SMS to administer a community SMS broadcast group. We will create a Google Sheet that lists the people in our group and a phone number that can be used to contact all of them by SMS. When you send an SMS to the number it will forward that message on to everyone else in the group.

    If you want to skip straight to the …

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  • By Phil Nash
    How to build a conference line with Twilio and Ruby How to build a conference line with Twilio and Ruby

    When you need to get a bunch of remote people to talk together, a conference call is the simplest way to do so. Everyone dials a number and in seconds they are talking to each other. In this post we'll build a conference line that anyone can join using Twilio and Ruby on Rails.

    What you'll need

    In order to build this conference line you will need:

    With those tools gathered, we can get started.

    Getting started with a Rails application

    For this post we will create a new Rails app. If you want to add this capability to an existing application, you …

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  • By Phil Nash
    An introduction to the Web Contact Picker API An introduction to the Web Contact Picker API

    If you're building a mobile application and you need access to the user's contacts you wouldn't give it a second thought, but on the web this feature was missing. The Chrome team saw this gap and got to work on an API that makes users' contacts available to developers with the security and privacy expected on the web. That API is now available in Chrome 80 on Android M or later.

    In this post we will investigate the new Contact Picker API and put it to use it in a Twilio Client application to add contact selection for making browser phone calls.

    The Contact Picker API

    The Contact Picker API consists of the ContactsManager object, available as the contacts property on the navigator object. As it is only supported on Chrome on Android for now, the first thing we should concern ourselves with is checking for support. We can do …

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  • By Phil Nash
    Build a location-aware WhatsApp weather bot with Ruby, Sinatra and Twilio Build a location-aware WhatsApp bot with Ruby, Sinatra and Twilio

    We've seen how to write a text chatbot using the Twilio API for WhatsApp using Ruby, but WhatsApp also supports sending and receiving location data via their API. In this post we are going to see how to build a WhatsApp bot that can receive and respond to location messages.

    We'll build a weather bot so that you can send your location to the bot to get your local weather forecast.

    What you'll need

    To code along with this post and build your own location-aware WhatsApp bot you will need:

    Configure …

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