API

An Application Programming Interface (API) is provided by a service or program so that others may use the features and functions of the system. APIs are like a contract that describes how a consumer will make requests of the system, and what they will receive in return.

More on APIs

An API defines the means by which the consumer of the API invokes functions and receives data in return from the provider of the API. There are many different kinds of APIs, from the Swift APIs provided by iOS to build mobile apps, to RESTful APIs provided by Twilio that allow developers to send SMS and do tons of other things. 

Incoming SMS Diagram

 

Twilio, as an API company, provides many different kinds of APIs to our customers to help them build applications that communicate.  Check out the API reference for a full listing of the types of APIs Twilio provides for developers to use. Primarily, Twilio provides REST APIs and software APIs for developers to interact with in order to do fun things like answer phone callsmake video calls, or instantly synchronize data between two clients.

REST APIs

A REST API allows systems to communicate with one another and invoke functions over the Internet.

Software APIs

In a typical software program, you will use a combination of a programming language's built-in features and syntax along with APIs provided either by the language's standard library or libraries created and published by third parties. Twilio provides libraries for many popular programming languages that allow developers on those platforms to more easily consume our services.

Here's an example of using Twilio's helper libraries to send an SMS message using different languages.

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// Twilio Credentials
const accountSid = 'ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX';
const authToken = 'your_auth_token';

// require the Twilio module and create a REST client
const client = require('twilio')(accountSid, authToken);

client.messages.create(
  {
    to: '+15558675310',
    from: '+15017122661',
    body: 'This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?',
  },
  (err, message) => {
    console.log(message.sid);
  }
);
// Download the helper library from https://www.twilio.com/docs/node/install
// Your Account Sid and Auth Token from twilio.com/console
const accountSid = 'ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX';
const authToken = 'your_auth_token';
const client = require('twilio')(accountSid, authToken);

client.messages
  .create({
     body: 'This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?',
     from: '+15017122661',
     to: '+15558675310'
   })
  .then(message => console.log(message.sid))
  .done();
// Download the twilio-csharp library from twilio.com/docs/csharp/install
using System;
using Twilio;
class Example
{
 static void Main(string[] args)
 {
    // Find your Account Sid and Auth Token at twilio.com/user/account
    string AccountSid = "ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX";
    string AuthToken = "your_auth_token";
    var twilio = new TwilioRestClient(AccountSid, AuthToken);

    var message = twilio.SendMessage(
        "+15017122661", "+15558675310",
        "This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?"
    );
    Console.WriteLine(message.Sid);
 }
}
<?php

// this line loads the library 
require('/path/to/twilio-php/Services/Twilio.php'); 
 
$account_sid = 'ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX'; 
$auth_token = 'your_auth_token'; 
$client = new Services_Twilio($account_sid, $auth_token); 
 
$client->account->messages->create(array( 
    'To' => "+15558675310", 
    'From' => "+15017122661", 
    'Body' => "This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?", 
));
require 'rubygems' # not necessary with ruby 1.9 but included for completeness
require 'twilio-ruby'

# put your own credentials here
account_sid = 'ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX'
auth_token = 'your_auth_token'

# set up a client to talk to the Twilio REST API
client = Twilio::REST::Client.new account_sid, auth_token

body = 'This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?'
client.account.messages.create(from: '+15017122661',
                               to: '+15558675310',
                               body: body)
// Install the C# / .NET helper library from twilio.com/docs/csharp/install

using System;
using Twilio;
using Twilio.Rest.Api.V2010.Account;


class Program 
{
    static void Main(string[] args)
    {
        // Find your Account Sid and Token at twilio.com/console
        const string accountSid = "ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX";
        const string authToken = "your_auth_token";

        TwilioClient.Init(accountSid, authToken);

        var message = MessageResource.Create(
            body: "This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?",
            from: new Twilio.Types.PhoneNumber("+15017122661"),
            to: new Twilio.Types.PhoneNumber("+15558675310")
        );

        Console.WriteLine(message.Sid);
    }
}
<?php

// Update the path below to your autoload.php,
// see https://getcomposer.org/doc/01-basic-usage.md
require_once '/path/to/vendor/autoload.php';

use Twilio\Rest\Client;

// Find your Account Sid and Auth Token at twilio.com/console
$sid    = "ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX";
$token  = "your_auth_token";
$twilio = new Client($sid, $token);

$message = $twilio->messages
                  ->create("+15558675310", // to
                           array(
                               "body" => "This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?",
                               "from" => "+15017122661"
                           )
                  );

print($message->sid);
from twilio.rest import TwilioRestClient

# put your own credentials here
ACCOUNT_SID = "ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX"
AUTH_TOKEN = "your_auth_token"

client = TwilioRestClient(ACCOUNT_SID, AUTH_TOKEN)

client.messages.create(
    to="+15558675310",
    from_="+15017122661",
    body="This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?",
)
# Download the helper library from https://www.twilio.com/docs/ruby/install
require 'rubygems'
require 'twilio-ruby'

# Your Account Sid and Auth Token from twilio.com/console
account_sid = 'ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX'
auth_token = 'your_auth_token'
@client = Twilio::REST::Client.new(account_sid, auth_token)

message = @client.messages
  .create(
     body: 'This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?',
     from: '+15017122661',
     to: '+15558675310'
   )

puts message.sid
// You may want to be more specific in your imports
import java.util.*;
import com.twilio.sdk.*;
import com.twilio.sdk.resource.factory.*;
import com.twilio.sdk.resource.instance.*;
import com.twilio.sdk.resource.list.*;
import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.List;
import org.apache.http.NameValuePair;
import org.apache.http.message.BasicNameValuePair;

public class TwilioTest {
 // Find your Account Sid and Token at twilio.com/user/account
 public static final String ACCOUNT_SID = "ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX";
 public static final String AUTH_TOKEN = "your_auth_token";

 public static void main(String[]args) throws TwilioRestException {
  TwilioRestClient client = new TwilioRestClient(ACCOUNT_SID, AUTH_TOKEN);

   // Build the parameters
   List<NameValuePair> params = new ArrayList<NameValuePair>();
   params.add(new BasicNameValuePair("To", "+15558675310"));
   params.add(new BasicNameValuePair("From", "+15017122661"));
   params.add(new BasicNameValuePair("Body", "This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?"));

   MessageFactory messageFactory = client.getAccount().getMessageFactory();
   Message message = messageFactory.create(params);
   System.out.println(message.getSid());
 }
}
# Download the helper library from https://www.twilio.com/docs/python/install
from twilio.rest import Client


# Your Account Sid and Auth Token from twilio.com/console
account_sid = 'ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX'
auth_token = 'your_auth_token'
client = Client(account_sid, auth_token)

message = client.messages \
    .create(
         body='This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?',
         from_='+15017122661',
         to='+15558675310'
     )

print(message.sid)
// Install the Java helper library from twilio.com/docs/java/install

import com.twilio.Twilio;
import com.twilio.rest.api.v2010.account.Message;
import com.twilio.type.PhoneNumber;

public class Example {
    // Find your Account Sid and Token at twilio.com/console
    public static final String ACCOUNT_SID = "ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX";
    public static final String AUTH_TOKEN = "your_auth_token";

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        Twilio.init(ACCOUNT_SID, AUTH_TOKEN);
        Message message = Message.creator(
                new com.twilio.type.PhoneNumber("+15558675310"),
                new com.twilio.type.PhoneNumber("+15017122661"),
                "This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?")
            .create();

        System.out.println(message.getSid());
    }
}
curl -X POST https://api.twilio.com/2010-04-01/Accounts/ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX/Messages.json \
--data-urlencode "Body=This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?" \
--data-urlencode "From=+15017122661" \
--data-urlencode "To=+15558675310" \
-u ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX:your_auth_token
{
  "account_sid": "ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX",
  "api_version": "2010-04-01",
  "body": "This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?",
  "date_created": "Thu, 30 Jul 2015 20:12:31 +0000",
  "date_sent": "Thu, 30 Jul 2015 20:12:33 +0000",
  "date_updated": "Thu, 30 Jul 2015 20:12:33 +0000",
  "direction": "outbound-api",
  "error_code": null,
  "error_message": null,
  "from": "+15017122661",
  "messaging_service_sid": "MGXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX",
  "num_media": "0",
  "num_segments": "1",
  "price": -0.00750,
  "price_unit": "USD",
  "sid": "MMXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX",
  "status": "sent",
  "subresource_uris": {
    "media": "/2010-04-01/Accounts/ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX/Messages/SMXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX/Media.json"
  },
  "to": "+15558675310",
  "uri": "/2010-04-01/Accounts/ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX/Messages/SMXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.json"
}
<?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>
<TwilioResponse>
<Message>
  <Sid>MMc781610ec0b3400c9e0cab8e757da937</Sid>
  <DateCreated>Mon, 19 Oct 2015 07:09:09 +0000</DateCreated>
  <DateUpdated>Mon, 19 Oct 2015 07:09:09 +0000</DateUpdated>
  <DateSent/>
  <AccountSid>ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX</AccountSid>
  <To>+15558675310</To>
  <From>+15017122661</From>
  <Body>This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?</Body>
  <Status>queued</Status>
  <NumSegments>1</NumSegments>
  <NumMedia>0</NumMedia>
  <Direction>outbound-api</Direction>
  <ApiVersion>2010-04-01</ApiVersion>
  <Price/>
  <PriceUnit>USD</PriceUnit>
  <ErrorCode/>
  <ErrorMessage/>
  <Uri>/2010-04-01/Accounts/ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX/Messages/MMf1150fe5baf04104a39c3f311a053e4e.xml</Uri>
  <SubresourceUris/>
</Message>
</TwilioResponse>
Sending an SMS in different languages

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