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Welcome, Guest. Please login or register. Sun Feb 28, 2021 02:52
SMSTools3 Community » Help and support Bottom

[answered] Newbie Wanting To Add SMS to Linux / Apache / MySQL / PHP

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Author Post
Member
Registered:
Jun 2011
Location: Paris, KY, United States of America
Hello,

I just registered here. This is my first post.

I am a LAMP developer with 11 years experience - well-versed in PHP/MySQL but no experience whatsoever with SMS-related development.

I have a potential client who'd like for his customers to send keywords to a phone number from the mobile devices so that they can opt-in to receive special offers from his company. He wants to collect their phone numbers in a database for future purposes and ultimately wants them to volunteer their email addresses too. I have no idea how to even begin setting this up for him.

Have I come to the right place for help?

If so, how can I develop and test a working prototype for him without being charged for each test SMS?

Administrator
Registered:
May 2009
Location: Jyväskylä, Finland
Every time when SMS is received by Smstools, eventhandler is called. This script / program can be written using any language, like PHP or Bash script. You can create SMS file, like:



Test the eventhandler manually:

/path/to/your/eventhandler RECEIVED /path/to/your/SMS-file

For outgoing messages you can use the modem setting sending_disabled = yes. Smsd will then simulate sending, and does not cause costs. For testing you do not even need a modem, if you use the setting modem_disabled = yes. And actually you do not even need to install Smstools, if just running the eventhandler manually.

Member
Registered:
Jun 2011
Location: Paris, KY, United States of America
Topic owner
Thank you for your reply. At this point, however, it seems a bit advanced for me. I am not yet at a point where I'm ready to begin testing anything. I don't yet know the first thing about how to make any of this possible for my potential customer. I am lacking a general overview of the process(es) involved. Something like a flowchart might be useful. Will this involve some level of communication and configuration with his phone service provider? Or is this something I can entirely setup and manage on my own within his standard web-hosting account where his HTTP doc root and MySQL database are located? I don't know.

For example... A customer of his is eating dinner at his restaurant and sees something on the table telling him to text the word "SALAD" to a phone number to join the Salad Club. What parts need to be in place (and where and with whom) to automate that process? The goal is to get the sender's phone number into MySQL on my customer's web server without manual processing so that future offers can be sent to the customer's mobile device.

Obviously, immediate confirmation of the sender's authenticity is needed to prevent abuse of the system. Is SMSTools everything I need to handle these actions?

As for the modem you've mentioned. I don't have one. Would my customer need one? Where does it need to be located? Or is the modem only used for my testing during development - as far as the content of your reply is concerned?

Administrator
Registered:
May 2009
Location: Jyväskylä, Finland
First watch this slideshow. It's little bit outdated, but should show the basics. A real flowchart is not available.

From phone service provider you need a SIM card, similar than which is used in your handset. Any configuration with provider is not required. The SIM will have a standard phone number, "short" numbers are not available, and the number cannot be alphanumeric. This is because of GSM technology.

When a customer texts the word SALAD to your SMS server, Smstools will receive the message and stores it to file. This file is given to eventhandler, which does the job. It's up to you how the job is done, and what language is used for the application.

See this topic: Sample eventhandler to store messages into SQL database. It's written in Bash, but as said, you can use PHP if you want to.

Your application can check the sender's authenticity, and accept or deny the request. When an answer is required to send, application should just create a message file which contains the number of recipient, and a message body.

In the production environment a modem is required. What I meant with testing, was that you can develop and test the eventhandler without modem, and without Smstools software installed. Your application does the job, not Smstools which basically only sends and receives messages.

The modem is usually connected to the web server, but in some cases it cannot be done, for example if there is no GSM coverage in the server room. In this kind of a case, another server, located elsewhere, can handle the modem and run Smstools, and connection to database can be done over TCP/IP.

Member
Registered:
Jun 2011
Location: Paris, KY, United States of America
Topic owner
Thanks for the slideshow link! I will check it out.

So from what you're saying... In production I will need a GSM modem connected physically to the web server hardware with a SIM provided by a phone service provider. My personal phone service provider? I understand that SMS charges are split between the phone service provider and the owner of the SIM. Correct? So if the SIM belongs to me, I can make extra cash by having a customer making use of this kind of setup?

Problem is, though, I don't have physical access to the web server. It's located in another state. I am a mere reseller of my hosting provider's services. They have told me SMS is not a technology branch in which they deal - but they have forwarded my inquiry to their "mother company's sales department" to see if they have any suggestions.

Overall, though, it's a GSM modem connected to the physical web server that sends and receives the calls. My software app (written in this case in PHP) then processes the data received by the modem and handles the MySQL connectivity, etc., and sends responses to the modem back to the sending party.

Yes?

Member
Registered:
Jun 2011
Location: Paris, KY, United States of America
Topic owner
The slideshow was very informative. Thank you.

I get the feeling, however, that SMSTools is intended for use by, for instance, hosting providers who own and have physical access to web server hardware to which all these modems can be connected.

I don't have that - and my present web hosting provider says they don't do SMS. So at this point I am guessing I should begin looking for an additional web-hosting provider which *does* offer SMS services.

Yes?

Administrator
Registered:
May 2009
Location: Jyväskylä, Finland
You can have your own server running at your office and serving SMS with Smstools. That server could connect to databases of customers over TCP/IP. Physical access to the server and modem is required, which means that this could be your choice.

SMS charges are not splitted between phone service provider and owner. It is free (meaning normal price, no extra costs) to send SMS to that kind of a number. It is not a "service number". If the SIM is yours, it's up to you how much you do charge from customers. For example, with single SIM you could have more than one customers, which all do have different keyword, like SALAD, BEER, anything.

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