Ready to add voice communications to your front-end web applications? When you complete this Quickstart, you’ll have a fully running application that can make and receive phone calls from the comfort of your own web browser.
There are a few steps we’re going to need to complete to get you up and running.
The Twilio Command Line Interface, CLI, allows you to interact with the Twilio API from your terminal. It allows you to manage and configure all of your Twilio tools, which is what we are going to be using it for in our case.
Once you have installed Homebrew, run the following command to install
brew tap twilio/brew && brew install twilio
The suggested way to install
twilio-cli is by using Scoop, a command-line installer for Windows. If you don’t already have it installed, visit the Scoop site for installation instructions and then return here.
Note PowerShell will need to be run as an administrator to avoid common permission issues when installing via Scoop.
- Add the
scoop bucket add twilio-scoop https://github.com/twilio/scoop-twilio-cli
- Install the app:
scoop install twilio
twilio-cli can be installed using the Advanced Package Tool (
apt) on most distributions such as Debian, Ubuntu, and Mint.
To do so, run the following commands in your terminal:
wget -qO- https://twilio-cli-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/twilio_pub.asc \
| sudo apt-key add -
sudo touch /etc/apt/sources.list.d/twilio.list
echo 'deb https://twilio-cli-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/apt/ /' \
| sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/twilio.list
sudo apt update
sudo apt install -y twilio
For other installation methods, see the Twilio CLI Quickstart.
The Twilio CLI supports plugins, which give you additional control. We’re going to install the serverless plugin which allows you to seamlessly deploy functions from your local machine to our Serverless framework.
twilio plugins:install @twilio-labs/plugin-serverless
The serverless plugin allows you to initialize an application from a template. The template we are going to use has everything we need, a front-end application, a Twilio Function to generate AccessTokens, a Twilio Function to handle incoming calls and route them to your browser, an admin section to wire up your account, and much more!
We’ll take a look in more detail after we get things up and running. But for now, let’s create our app!
This will create a new folder called example-client-app that will contain all of our code.
The serverless plugin allows you to deploy code from your local machine to the Twilio Serverless platform. Once deployed you’ll be able to access your hosted application.
This command will create a Service for you that will house your hosted development environment. The command will output all the Twilio Functions and Assets that have been deployed to your dev environment.
Note that the URLs are unique to your instance.
You should run this command when you want to make changes to your hosted live development environment.
When you deployed your application, you were presented with a list of URLs. Make note of the prefix, this is custom to your deployment.
- Open the admin page in your browser. It is the URL that ends with /admin/index.html
- The password is
default(You can change this, we'll do that later)
- Click the button on the admin page to initialize your environment
The initialization process will create and wire up all the necessary tools to make browser based calling work. You definitely could’ve done this yourself, but this is a Quickstart, and we want you to get started quickly 😉
This page will now host a checklist that will validate that your environment is working properly. It also provides handy links to get to the items that were automatically initialized for you.
You should note that there is a failing check, and that’s because we haven’t yet changed the default password. We’ll do that here shortly, but first let’s explore your new application.
Your example application is now up and running at /index.html. Open it up in your browser.
You’ll see that an Access Token is requested, and you should see a notification when it receives one. It will state your "Twilio.Device is ready!"
Go ahead and use the interface to give yourself a call. You should be asked to grant access to your microphone and speakers.
Note that the example application is using the user name of the_user_id. The Twilio Function we are using to generate the Access Token is not using any sort of authentication check. This is something that you will need to implement with your user management system.
We should definitely change that admin password. On your local machine edit the file named .env.
There is an entry for
ADMIN_PASSWORD, change that to something other than default.
Obviously, though, don’t use that password (that’s the same one as my luggage.)
Now make sure your file is saved and then deploy.
And after it is deployed revisit your /admin/index.html page, use your new password, and you will see that your checks are now all green. You did it!
Anytime you make a change to your example application, remember to save and re-deploy.
Now that you’ve seen things working, we’d like to invite you to explore how it’s working.
In the quickstart.js file, you’ll notice that the Device is initialized with a token. It’s pointing to a serverless Function that can be found at /functions/voice-token.js. This file mints an Access Token for you based on a REST API Key and Secret that was generated during initialization. You’ll see that it also contains a
VoiceGrant that enables incoming and outgoing calls through a specific TwiML Application.
If you head back over to your admin page, /admin/index.html, you’ll see a link to a TwiML Application that was created for you. A TwiML Application allows you to specify what happens when a call is placed and when one is received. TwiML is the Twilio Markup Language that instructs Twilio what to do with your call in that moment.
We provide this TwiML via a Function that can be found in your functions/client-voice-twiml-app.js. We wired up your TwiML application to run this function on Incoming and Outgoing Voice calls. This function can dial either a client in your same application or a number. When making the outbound call it will use your