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SMS and MMS Notifications with PHP and Laravel

Today we're going to get your server to automatically sound the (textual) alarm when something goes wrong. Using PHP and Laravel, we'll send SMS text message server notifications to the phones of all of your server administrators when there's an exception on your site.

Clone the application and head to the application's README to see how to run the app locally.

See how EMC uses Twilio SMS to send IT alerts to 68,000 employees.

Let's get started!

Click the button below to start the journey.


List Your Server Administrators - And Other Lucky Folks

Here we create a list of people who should be notified if a server error occurs.

The only essential piece of data we need is a phone_number for each administrator.

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        List of administrators which will receive notifications when a server error occurs.

        JSON Administrator List

        List of administrators which will receive notifications when a server error occurs.

        Next up, we'll see how to set up the Twilio client.


        Configure the Twilio Client

        To send a message, we'll need to create a Twilio REST client, which requires reading our TWILIO_ACCOUNT_SID and TWILIO_AUTH_TOKEN from environmental variables.

        The values for your account SID and Auth Token come from the Twilio console:

        Account Credentials

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              Exception and utility handlers


              Next let's see how to handle application exceptions.

              Expertly Accept Exceptions

              Handle Application Exceptions

              Each time an exception is raised anywhere in a Laravel application an ExceptionHandler will handle it. (Appropriate name!)

              This is where we hook our SMS sending code. It's important to call parent so the framework can do its regular error handling as well.

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                    Notify upon exception


                    Next up let's see how to create a custom message.

                    Create Your Message Text

                    Create a Custom Alert Message

                    Here we create an alert message to send out via text message.

                    You might also decide to include a picture with your alert message... perhaps a screenshot of the application when the crash happened? A meme image to calm everyone down?

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                          Sending a custom alert message


                          Let's now take a look at how to load the list of administrators.


                          Read the Administrators from the JSON File

                          We read the lucky people from our JSON file and send alert messages to each of them with the private send_message method.

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                                Read the alert message recipients


                                Now let's look at how to send a text message.

                                Send SMSes Out

                                Send a Text Message

                                There are the three parameters needed to send an SMS using the Twilio REST API: From, To, and Body.

                                After the message is sent, we print out the phone number we're texting. US and Canadian phone numbers can also send an image with the message. (Other countries will have a shortened url appended pointing to the image.)

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                                      Send out an SMS or MMS


                                      That's all, folks!

                                      We've just implemented an automated server notification system that can push out server alerts if (ahem, when) anything goes wrong. Now let's look at some other great features you might like to add.

                                      What Else Can I Build?

                                      Where to Next?

                                      PHP and Twilio - such a great combination. Here are just two other excellent tutorials for you to try out:

                                      Two-Factor Authentication

                                      Increase the security of your login system by verifying a user's mobile phone in addition to their password.

                                      Appointment Reminders

                                      Send your customers a text message when they have an upcoming appointment - this tutorial shows you how to do it from a background job.

                                      Did this help?

                                      Thanks for checking out this tutorial! Tweet @twilio to let us know what you think.

                                      Jarod Reyes Kat King Samuel Mendes Andrew Baker Jose Oliveros Paul Kamp Stephanie Marchante
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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 by visiting Twilio's Stack Overflow Collective or browsing the Twilio tag on Stack Overflow.

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