Using SMS gateway to receive Text messages for a RoR app


#1

I am supposed to develop an application for a client that retrieves
text messages from three different GSM Network providers. I am a
newbie and looking for any knowledge concerning this area. Information
concerning server technology, suggestions of any sort would be
helpful. Materials or sample applications are also welcomed. Counting
on your help.

Ricko.


#2

There are two sources that I am familiar with:

  1. Peepcode PDF doc:
    http://peepcode.com/products/mms2r-pdf
  2. A book published by Packt Publishing:
    Ruby on Rails Web Mashup Projects [eBook] (9781847193940)
    They are both decent references.
    Hope this helps.
    Bharat

#3

Yung-Rick,

One option is to register your own shortcode, but this is super pricey
(prob around $1500 to $2000 per month plus setup costs). Another
option (this is what I use) is to receive messages on a shared
shortcode through an SMS gateway. The way this works is the SMS
gateway owns shortcode 12345, for example. Any messages that arrive
at that short code and start with my keyword are routed via an HTTP
POST request to a URL I specify. For example, if my keyword is
‘GAVIN’, the text message ‘GAVIN THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE’ will be
routed to my server. The URL I specified for routing is simply an
action for a controller I created to receive the message, and the
parameters passed by the SMS gateway are saved by this method. Here’s
an excerpt of the code I use. All the params are passed from the SMS
gateway to the URL http://www.myurl.com/messenger/sms_in, so the HTTP
request from the gateway looks something like
http://www.myurl.com/messenger/sms_in?smsfrom=123456789&subject=Test+Message+Subject&gateway_id=29298348
etc.)

class MessengerController < ApplicationController
def sms_in
@incoming_message = IncomingMessage.new(:sender =>
params[:smsfrom],
:subject => params[:smsmsg],
:gateway_id => params[:smsid],
:date => params[:smsdate],
:carrier => params[:network],
:delivery_point => params[:smsto])
end
end

As you can see, it’s pretty simple. The gateway I use is Interlinked
(www.interlinkedmedia.com). If you’re interested in contacting them,
you can email Cal Morton at cal [at] interlinked.mobi and tell him I
referred you (don’t worry, I don’t get a referral bonus so that’s not
why I’m referring you to Interlinked, but Cal knows me). With SMS
gateways there is a setup fee, a monthly service fee, and a per-
message fee, but hopefully that’s something your client is prepared to
pay for.

It would be easier and cheaper if you only needed to send
messages…you could use a bulk gateway like Clickatell…but it
sounds like you need to actually receive them.

-Gavin