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Clint Lee

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Related Topics: Cloud Computing, Salesforce.com Journal

Cloud Computing: Blog Post

Salesforce + Twilio + Receiving Incoming Texts

A quick how-to

Recently, I've been toying with mashing up Salesforce and Twilio's SMS capabilities.  For those of you who don't know what Twilio is, you should check it out.  Twilio is a web service that gives you the ability to integrate voice and SMS into your apps and they have a simple API and documentation.  This is a pretty handy service and there are a lot of use case scenarios where this functionality makes sense.  For example:

  • Text-based marketing to leads/contacts.
  • Notification of certain events to sales reps or field personnel.
  • A text-based web service that runs on Force.com.

Kyle Roche and Aslam Bari put together a great library to help developers use Twilio with the Force.com platform.  You can find it here on the Force.com Code Share.

The best way to get started is to create a free Twilio trial account so you can get your API credentials and sandbox info.  The API for sending texts is here, and with Kyle and Aslam's library it is really simple to start sending texts from your Salesforce account.

It basically works like this.

If you're already using Twilio to send SMS, have you set up a way to process an incoming message?  Perhaps you're sending info to prospects and you want them to reply "Yes" if they're interested.  Then, you want to trigger some workflow from that incoming text.  Well, Twilio will accept incoming texts and you can configure where you want the SMS info to be sent.  Basically, Twilio receives incoming SMS messages and then sends an HTTP request to you with a number of parameters.  Three of the most important parameters are From (the number of the message sender), To (your Twilio number), and Body (the contents of the message).  Here is the documentation for how Twilio handles incoming texts.

More Stories By Clint Lee

Clint is a Principal and Founder of The Flywheel Group, a premier provider of innovative solutions to the franchise industry. The FranchiseFlywheel™ application was developed out of the industry's need for a cutting-edge and affordable franchise management tool for franchisors. Spending several years in the franchise industry directing daily activities related to franchise and business development processes, marketing, lead-generation, and contract administration, and an understanding of the needs of peers and colleagues, led to the development of the application. The Flywheel Group is focused on improving best practices and driving change in the franchise industry by introducing industry-leading solutions and working with its clients to re-engineer business processes that will ultimately enhance revenue and improve bottom line efficiency. Clint actively writes and shares his thoughts on the Flywheel Blog.