Day 6

Connecting to Twilio

I connected Prompt with Twilio today. Twilio is a service for sending text (SMS) messages, among other things. They have a really great API and if you have a need for sending texts in your application, I highly recommend them.

For a Rails application, it’s pretty easy to set up. You just include the twilio-ruby gem. In the place of your choice, you set up your Twilio client with your account variables, and start sending messages, with very little trouble. These instructions are great. I set my Twilio integration up in a class called PhoneTexter, in app/texters/phone_texter.rb, to treat it similar to the pattern of Rails mailers.

class PhoneTexter
class << self
# so I can use new_confirmation_url
# get rid of this if you don't need to use any URL helpers
include Rails.application.routes.url_helpers
  def self.send_confirmation(phone)
token = phone.token
    # fancy multi-line message!
line1 = "Please confirm your account by clicking this link:"
line2 = new_confirmation_url(token: token)
    message = "#{line1}\n\n#{line2}"
    send phone.number, message
  private_class_method def self.send(number, message)
# set these up with your account information
# preferably stored in environment variables
account_sid = "xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"
auth_token = "xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"
from = "+xxxxxxxxxxx" # your sending phone number
    twilio = account_sid, auth_token
from: from,
to: number,
body: message
rescue Twilio::REST::RequestError => e
logger.error e.message

From my Phone class, I’m calling PhoneTexter.send_confirmation in an after_create action and passing in my phone object, which has the number and token ready to go. Here are the important bits:

class Phone < ApplicationRecord
after_create :send_confirmation
  def send_confirmation
PhoneTexter.send_confirmation self

This could possibly be improved by offloading sending the confirmation to a job queue instead of doing it immediately, but I don’t want there to be any delay and I want to keep things simple for now.

What do you think? I’d love to hear feed back or suggestions for other ways to improve this.