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Add-ons Quickstart

Add-ons are pre-integrated partner technologies that let developers do more with the Twilio API. They make it possible to quickly build rich communications experiences by combining Twilio and 3rd-party capabilities by giving you the ability to choose the right technology for your needs without having to learn, test, and manage different platforms.

In this Quickstart we'll highlight a few of the key features of Add-ons and get you set up to start using them today. Let's dive in.

Installing an Add-on

Add-ons are enabled through your console, and once installed, they enhance specific Twilio APIs, such as returning the spam score of a phone number or providing sentiment analysis for a message. Let's enable an Add-on for SMS called Whitepages Pro.

Marketplace Add-ons Catalog

Inside the new Add-on catalog you can see all of the available API Add-ons.

Add-on Details

If you click on one you can see the details about this Add-on. The two things we care about on this screen are:

  1. What API's this will be enabled on-- listed under Supported Products
  2. Whether or not the Add-on is Installed or not

Let's go ahead and click Install Now.

Add-ons Installed

Now by clicking on Add-ons > Installed we can see which Add-ons we've enabled. Be sure to check the box next to "Incoming SMS Message".

Great, now we're ready to use our newly enhanced SMS API. Let's look at some code.

Using the Whitepages Add-on

The Whitepages Pro Add-on is now enabled for all incoming SMS Messages, which means in order to see it in action we're going to have to receive an SMS.

Let's update one of your phone numbers to respond with a custom message that includes some of the Whitepages data. To do that go to your Phone Numbers console:

Update Incoming SMS webhook

Now let's update the Messaging webhook to point to: https://shielded-earth-16326.herokuapp.com/

This url generates some TwiML that responds with a Message which includes White Pages Pro information about the From phone number sent with the Twilio Request. This information is identified by the Add-on Unique Name which is visible from the Add-on detail page in your console.

Save these settings and let's try it out! Pull out your phone and send an SMS to the phone number you updated. If successful you should get a response with extra information about your phone number.

Now whenever you receive an incoming SMS, Twilio will append some more information to the HTTP Request in the AddOns parameter. Here is an example of the Request:

{
  "status": "successful",
  "message": null,
  "code": null,
  "results": {
    "whitepages_pro_caller_id": {
      "code": null,
      "message": null,
      "request_sid": "XRb57cab3a3c0cfe0bb50f093d9bd3b0a3",
      "result": {
        "alternate_phones": [
          "8003361327"
        ],
        "associated_people": [],
        "belongs_to": [
          {
            "age_range": null,
            "firstname": null,
            "gender": null,
            "id": "Business.7e29cf66-8bf2-4812-829d-356654b5b3d3.Durable",
            "lastname": null,
            "link_to_phone_start_date": null,
            "middlename": null,
            "name": "Twilio Inc",
            "type": "Business"
          }
        ],
        "carrier": "Twilio",
        "country_calling_code": "1",
        "current_addresses": [
          {
            "city": "San Francisco",
            "country_code": "US",
            "delivery_point": "MultiUnit",
            "id": "Location.88e44955-805c-455a-99da-d7444ca5c484.Durable",
            "is_active": true,
            "lat_long": {
                "latitude": 37.783382,
                "longitude": -122.395714,
                "accuracy": "RoofTop"
            },
            "link_to_person_start_date": null,
            "location_type": "Address",
            "postal_code": "94107",
            "state_code": "CA",
            "street_line_1": "Address",
            "street_line_2": null,
            "zip4": "3624"
          }
        ],
        "error": null,
        "historical_addresses": [],
        "id": "Phone.4d796fef-a2df-4b08-cfe3-bc7128b6f6bb.Durable",
        "is_commercial": true,
        "is_prepaid": false,
        "is_valid": true,
        "line_type": "NonFixedVOIP",
        "phone_number": "5558675309",
        "warnings": []
      },
      "status": "successful"
    }
  }
}

Whitepages Pro also works with incoming Voice numbers. Now you know how to enable an Add-on for a Voice or SMS number and consuming the information is as easy as reading the new AddOn property in the Twilio Request.

Now let's take a look at consuming Add-on information that is attached to specific API calls.

Using the Payfone Lookups Add-on

Another nifty Add-on comes to us from Payfone, who protects your business from hefty fines for texting the wrong number under TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) regulations. The Payfone Add-on can quickly tell you if the number you are about to send an SMS to is active and still owned by your customer, with 100% reliability.

To use this Add-on we'll need to install it just like we did with Whitepages Pro. This time in your Add-on catalog we want to install: Lookups > Payfone TCPA Compliance.

Now that we've installed the Payfone Add-on we can make a request using the Twilio Lookups API and ask for the TCPA Compliance information with the rest of the phone number details.

Here is the code:

        
        
        
        

        Fantastic. In about 5 minutes we enabled a couple Add-ons, inspected some new data about your customers and learned how to interact with the new Add-ons Marketplace.

        To learn more about using Add-ons check-out the Add-ons Reference.

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        Need some help?

        We all do sometimes; code is hard. Get help now from our support team, or lean on the wisdom of the crowd browsing the Twilio tag on Stack Overflow.

              
              
              

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