SMS and MMS Notifications with Ruby and Rails
Ruby, Rails, and an automatic ping for all of your server administrators when something goes wrong? We hope you're as excited to build that application as we were when we wrote this tutorial.
We'll use Ruby on Rails and demonstrate how to send SMS (or MMS) alerts to a list of system administrators if something goes wrong on your server. Follow along as we demonstrate the key pieces of code to make it all work.
Clone our repo from Github and use the Readme to get it running in your local dev environment, then you're ready to hop in.
See how EMC uses Twilio SMS to send IT alerts to 68,000 employees.
Let's get started! Click the button below to move to the next step of the tutorial.
A List of Your Server Admins... And Whomever Else as Well
In yaml, create a list of administrators who should be notified if a server error occurs.
The only essential piece of data we need is a
phone_number for each administrator.
On deck: configuring the Twilio REST Client!
Configuring the Twilio REST Client
To send a message, we'll need to initialize the Twilio REST client which requires reading our
TWILIO_AUTH_TOKEN from environment variables. That link shows you how to set environment variables inside *NIX, Mac OSX and Windows - but it may vary based on your choice of shell. If you are on another platform, you'll need to consult the platform documentation.
You can grab those two from inside the Twilio Console:
Next, let's take a look at how the application is set up to handle exceptions.
Handling Application Exceptions
We take advantage of the
rescue_from method to rescue any exception raised in controller actions. With those exceptions under control, we can send out a notification when something goes wrong - and get our administrators on the case, quickly.
Next up, let's get creative and see how to create a custom exception alert message.
Creating 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 funny gif? Kid pictures?
Let's continue, and look at loading the administrators from the yaml file.
Reading the Administrators from the YAML File
Next, we read the admins from our YAML file and send alert messages to each of them with the private
Now you've seen the wiring behind the messages, let's deep dive into how we'll send them.
Sending a Text Message
There are the three parameters needed to send an SMS using the Twilio REST API:
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 as an MMS (uncomment
media_url). The rest of the world will have image links with automatically shortened links.
And it's as simple as that! You've now got a Ruby on Rails server application which uses the server to notify your server administrators when something goes wrong with the... server.
What else can you do with Twilio? Let's look into it on the next pane...
Where to Next?
If you're a Ruby developer working with Twilio, you might want to check out these other tutorials.
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Did this help?
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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.