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SMS and MMS Notifications with Ruby and Sinatra

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Today we'll use Ruby and the Sinatra framework to demonstrate how to send SMS alerts to a list of system administrators when something goes wrong with your server. We'll cover all the key details in depth so you can easily incorporate this important feature into your own application.

Clone our sample application from Github, then head to the application's README.md to see how to run the application locally.

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

Let's get started!

Click the button below to begin the tutorial.

Excellent! Let's Get Started!

Configuring the Twilio REST Client

To send messages we'll need to create a Twilio REST client which requires reading a TWILIO_ACCOUNT_SID and TWILIO_AUTH_TOKEN from environment variables.

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

Twilio Account Summary section of the console

Click the eyeball icon to expose your Auth Token in a form you can copy and paste.

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      lib/notifier.rb

      Our Twilio REST Client is now ready. Let's take a closer look at that administrator list, shall we?

      Making a List, Checking it Twice

      A List of Server Admins - And Anyone Else Who Should be Hailed

      Here we create a yaml 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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          config/administrators.yml

          YAML Administrator list

          config/administrators.yml

          Next, let's look at how we're going to piggyback on application exceptions.

          (I Can't Think of an Exceptional Joke)

          Handling Application Exceptions

          We use Sinatra Errors Handlers and send out the notifications when an exception occurs.

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              app.rb

              Next up: sending a message to each administrator.

              Next

              Trigger Notifications for Each Entry in the Administrator List

              In our Notifier module, we read the administrators from our YAML file and send alert messages to each one of them with the method send_sms.

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                  lib/notifier.rb

                  Next up, we will see how to send a text message.

                  Next

                  Sending a Text Message

                  There are three parameters needed to send an SMS using the Twilio REST API: from, to, and body.

                  US and Canadian phone numbers can also send an image with the message. Other countries will have an automatically shortened URL added to the message body.

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                      lib/notifier.rb

                      Send an MMS or SMS

                      lib/notifier.rb

                      It's as simple as that!

                      We've just implemented an automated server notification system that can push out alerts if anything goes wrong.

                      Next, let's look at what other features the Twilio Ruby SDK makes simple to integrate.

                      Fly Me to the Moon

                      Where to Next?

                      We've got a lot of other excellent Ruby code we'd love to share with you... but we'll keep our links to just two:

                      Two-Factor Authentication

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

                      SMS and MMS marketing notifications

                      SMS and MMS messages are a personal way to engage with users, offering a much higher open rate than e-mail and more impact than a tweet.

                      Did this Help?

                      Thanks for checking out this tutorial! Tweet @twilio with what you thought, what you're thinking, and most importantly... what you're going to build.

                      Jarod Reyes Jose Oliveros Jennifer Aprahamian Agustin Camino Hector Ortega Paul Kamp Andrew Baker Kat King

                      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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