Sunday, April 24, 2011

Roll your own Text Messaging Apps with Twilio and MVC 3

I've been messing around with Twilio and their awesome set of TwiML API's this weekend and made a fun little C# Twilio library for creating simple text (and voice) based applications from MVC 3 sites.

How Twilio's TwiML API Works


An SMS comes in to one of your Twilio Phone Numbers.
Twilio Makes a POST or GET call to a URL you set up.
Your site provides a TwiML Response that Twilio parses and executes.

(See Twilio's own how it works page for a way better explanation.)

Using TwilioSharp to Send TwiML Responses From MVC

As part of my handy dandy TwilioSharp helper library I've created a base TwiML Controller for easily creating TwiML Responses with a Fluent TwiMLBuilder Class.  

The TwiML Controller exposes a TwiML method that is meant to emulate the ease of use of the Json method available in all MVC Controllers.  The TwiML method takes a Func<TwiMLBuilder, TwiMLBuilder> that acts as your Response Factory method; this makes building complex responses easier by allowing for in line fluent declarations.

Full Fledged Example

You can view a full fledged Magic 8-Ball Answerizer 3000 example on GitHub (which is also live on AppHarbor until I run out of money in my Twilio Account).  Including a more in depth example of using the Fluent TwiMLBuilder for answering phone calls.


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