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Ruby posts

  • 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
    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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  • By Phil Nash
    Build a WhatsApp chatbot with Ruby, Sinatra and Twilio Build a WhatsApp chatbot with Ruby, Sinatra and Twilio

    Chatbots are programs that communicate some way with humans. They can be very basic, responding to keywords or phrases, or use something like Twilio Autopilot to take advantage of natural language understanding (NLU) to provide a richer experience and build out more complicated conversations.

    In this tutorial we are going to see how easy it is to get started building chatbots for WhatsApp using the Twilio API for WhatsApp and the Ruby web framework Sinatra. Here's an example of the conversation we're going to build:

    Using the bot inside the WhatsApp application. First we ask for cats and get a cat picture and fact. Then we ask for dogs and get a dog picture and fact. Finally we ask the bot if it can do anything else and it says it only knows about dogs and cats.

    What you'll need

    To build your own WhatsApp bot along with this tutorial, you will need the following:

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  • By Phil Nash
    Send and track faxes with the Twilio Fax API using Sinatra and Ruby Send and track faxes with the Twilio Fax API using Sinatra and Ruby

    It happened! I've been waiting for the moment I needed to send a fax since Twilio launched the Programmable Fax API back in 2017 and this week it finally happened! I won't go into detail about what I needed to send, but it's safe to say the medical profession could consider their communication choices for the future.

    I could have sent the fax by uploading a PDF to Twilio Assets and using the API explorer, but that wouldn't have been as fun as over-engineering an entire application to send and track the fax to make sure it arrived and be prepared for any future fax situations.

    In this post I'll share how to build an application for sending and tracking faxes, but if you have faxes to send and want to jump straight into using it, you can find all the source code on GitHub.

    Weapons of choice …

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  • By Phil Nash
    Track email statuses in Ruby on Rails with SendGrid Track email statuses in Ruby on Rails with SendGrid

    When your application sends emails it is useful to know what happens to those emails, like whether it has been delivered or opened. Or, sometimes more importantly, whether it bounced. The Twilio SendGrid email API doesn't just send emails, it can also send you events via webhook that tell you what happened to your emails.

    In this post we'll build a small application using Ruby on Rails to send emails and update their status based on the Twilio SendGrid event webhooks.

    What you'll need

    In order to build this application along with this post, you will need:

    If you have all of that, then you're ready to get building.

    Preparing the example application

    I …

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  • By Phil Nash
    Serverless Ruby on AWS Lambda with the Jets framework oMX1dI2w2BskhPm3NagdjbXVb0t9ONMEUOR_7ms5C51r_dW_1mNwj0Y7CYGhu6rlqef7HZr_rh659ECtBuVzqJyqEP5UuHfp6y9JGjCs53qLxeSq0hcbwxyZQZxV4L1dHiaMuBY

    When AWS launched Lambda in 2014 there was no love for Ruby. Platforms like Python, Node.js, and Java started the serverless revolution for hosting and running functions in the cloud. At the end of 2018, support for Ruby was finally launched.

    You can build with Ruby on Lambda using raw functions and Serverless Application Model (SAM) templates as described in the getting started guide for Ruby on Lambda, but Ruby is all about developer happiness and when the config file is longer than your program the process could be described as painful. Enter the Jets framework a framework that "leverages the power of Ruby to make serverless joyful for everyone."

    From Rails to Jets

    Jets combines the experience of building a Rails application with the ability to deploy to AWS Lambda and related services, including API Gateway, S3, and DynamoDB. In this post we're going to …

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  • By Phil Nash
    Send Images and Files via WhatsApp Using Ruby 8kEzE4pzPwWTXwfR8Cf702Bf_WzY45UvAPBbdqohDl1qudH815kSjIhWqqV4hirBR8iPDRw6EzhsyIH7z4QaJuNvWLyjYmFxrkhBzC8vlaZNsN89BoJx7AToabvAl-M_br4nZBo

    With the Twilio API for WhatsApp we can send messages to WhatsApp numbers. Those messages can be plain text or include files like images, audio and even PDFs up to 5MB. Let's see how to do so using Ruby.

    Things you'll need

    If you want to code along with this post, you'll need a few things:

    Got all that? Let's get coding then!

    Create a new directory for your project and use Bundler to initialise a new Gemfile:

    mkdir whatsapp-messages
    cd whatsapp-messages
    bundle init

    Open up the new Gemfile and add the tw …

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  • By Phil Nash
    Go celebrity spotting with the Twilio API for WhatsApp, AWS Rekognition and Ruby Go celebrity spotty with the Twilio API for WhatsApp, AWS Rekognition and Ruby

    Did you know you can send and receive media using the Twilio API for WhatsApp? When I found out I wanted to make something fun with it, so why not combine it with AWS Rekognition to work out if I look like any celebrities?

    By the end of this post, you'll know how to build an app that lets you send an image to a WhatsApp number, download the image, analyse the image with the AWS Rekognition API and respond to say whether there are any celebrities in the picture.

    What you'll need

    To build this application you'll need a few things:

    Got all that? Let's get started then.

    Application basics

    When Twilio receives a WhatsApp message it will send an HTTP request, a webhook …

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  • By Phil Nash
    How to download image files in Ruby MSjyG8qNtcrbONBpWKztYRJqSpr4R2M6K83KXW4dj05n5p1Q2Ez4kQyLxiX69xnjo2gBNd-KleVK_tnzFhPbqCK70HVdlI-BR9H8Dk8KRL8RcwlpsYT5uysgm5ado7pxcASFHP4

    Have you ever needed to download and save an image in your Ruby application? Read on to find out how.

    Plain old Ruby

    The most popular way to download a file without any dependencies is to use the standard library open-uri.

    Kernel#open is a method that you can use to open files, streams, or processes to read to or write from. For example, you can open a file and read its contents with the following code:

    open("./test.txt") do |file|
      puts file.read

    open-uri extends Kernel#open so that it can open URIs as if they were files. We can use this to download an image and then save it as a file.

    To do so, we first require open-uri then use the open method to access an image URL. We can then open up a file and write the contents of the image …

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  • By Kevin Thompson
    How to Build Chat into Ruby on Rails Applications M3gM5qVbtMu9XneBCDDDlPXgDITbX1aUvzgLAdF7D4ks04jbNslXJrzNA-jDBKfk2X181Y3G5ip95xws5ETyHSk5i-n1apG_ITJ_U9BFrEv74S-8fXlFodBDUnSdl5sMlkvUdtNk

    We build web applications for all kinds of projects. If you want to give support agents a way to communicate with customers, or provide your users with a place to share ideas, you might find yourself wanting to add messaging to your application. Let's use Twilio Programmable Chat and Ruby on Rails to build a full-featured chat application from scratch.

    Creating a New Rails App

    First we'll make sure we've got a recent version of Ruby installed, then we'll install Rails and create a new application.

    gem install rails
    rails new twilio-chat

    The last command will generate our Rails application in the twilio-chat directory. If we move into our newly created directory an …

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