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SMS and MMS Notifications with Ruby and Sinatra

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 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:

Account Credentials

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

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        Read Twilio credentials from environment variables


        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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              YAML Administrator list


              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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                    Expose the GET route to trigger an exception and notifications


                    Next up: sending a message to each administrator.


                    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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                          Read the YAML Administrator list


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


                          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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                                Send an MMS or SMS


                                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 Hector Ortega Kat King Andrew Baker Ricky Holtz 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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