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Thread: Can a function be made to text a group of people?

  1. #1
    Member
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    Chris DiBianco
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    Default Can a function be made to text a group of people?

    I have a desktop application that we have been using for many years in our service department. I would like to add a function that lets me search for a group of customers and then sends them a text reminder for an upcoming service appointment. Is this possible and has anyone done it?

    Thanks,

    Chris

  2. #2
    "Certified" Alphaholic DaveM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can a function be made to text a group of people?

    Yes- I suspect you will need a text message service to make it go through. Different carriers have different methods to pass them on. the services can handle that part for you normally. One of my clients uses Joomla with acyba where he sends the number and message to acyba on the Joomla site and acyba sends it to the phone number. I did not set this up. The client' inhouse person did it after I built the app and got me to do a basic install of acymailer on the Joomla site.
    I am sure there are other ways to do it.
    This may help
    http://mashable.com/2008/04/19/send-.../#gDFc7Cdpeuqm
    Last edited by DaveM; 01-12-2018 at 10:32 PM.
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    Default Re: Can a function be made to text a group of people?

    Yes, sending texts can be done entirely from within Alpha, we send texts to customers all day long. There's a big HOWEVER and that's because when we enter the customer information, we collect the customer cell number and provider. With that information you can create an email that is sent as a text. Without knowing the individual cell provider for each customer you would probably need to use a third party service. I know very little about their setup.

    To send the texts as an email you need to know the format each carrier uses to accept SMS and /or MMS messages. Sometimes it's the same, sometimes not. We now default to sending MMS messages. There are various lists of carriers and formats available online to get you started. Then it's a matter of concatenating a few fields in Alpha to create the right format and using one of Alpha's email functions to actually send the emails.

    It also may depend on how much you want to put into each text, there are limits, so we keep ours short and sweet. Plus, batch sending emails like this (we are sending ours one at a time) is likely to end up with timing issues unless you put in a multi second delay between sends.
    Finian

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    Moderator Steve Wood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can a function be made to text a group of people?

    In addition to what Dave has mentioned, your options for sending text messages are a) use a utility like Twillo to send a true txt message, called SMS or b) send the message as an 'email' using the members mobile number plus the domain provided by the carrier. For instance, if the member's mobile number was 12345 and their carrier was Verizon, the email is sent to 12345@vtext.com.

    It's a bunch of work.

    Here are the most common carrier domains: www.emailtextmessages.com


    Edit: Cross-posted with Finian
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    "Certified" Alphaholic CharlesParker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can a function be made to text a group of people?

    I use twilio for individual sends by using the alpha builder and the credentials from twilio. I have not done it but I am pretty sure you could edit the function to add an array to send multiple texts one after the other.
    If anyone has done that, it would be helpful to many to see how it was done.
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  6. #6
    "Certified" Alphaholic DaveM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can a function be made to text a group of people?

    Having sent many emails from alpha DT, I created a query on a table, then stepped through the records one by one sending those emails to the one marked for send. It was a script I made to do that. It could be done the same way for sms. I once sent 40,000+ emails that way. It took a while to make and to send those. Due to then restrictions, I could send only 1 every 30 seconds. You can do the math to figure how long it took. My current hosting allows 500 per hour with no daily(or other) limit, so it would be faster. They are very strict on complaints, so one would need a system of permissions from the recipients before doing this.
    I have since moved it all to online. Much better for me.
    Now I just make a list of recipients and upload them to Joomla with acymailer and send from there. MUch easier and faster. Acymailer has everything built in and sms as an option here: https://www.acyba.com/acysms.html
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Can a function be made to text a group of people?

    Can this be done in a phonegap app without using a 3rd party sms service?

  8. #8
    "Certified" Alphaholic Stan Mathews's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can a function be made to text a group of people?

    You might be better served asking that in the web/mobile area where they have experience with phonegap.
    There can be only one.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Can a function be made to text a group of people?

    Oops, I just entered a search for this question in the forum and didn't check to see where the answers were coming from.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Can a function be made to text a group of people?

    I took a look at acyba and another named twilio. I am not a programmer by trade. Is there anyone out there that has done this and has code set up? If not anyone out there I could hire to create this for me? I'm sure it's simple enough for someone who knows how.
    Last edited by cdibi; 02-06-2018 at 10:38 AM.

  11. #11
    "Certified" Alphaholic Stan Mathews's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can a function be made to text a group of people?

    You might be better served asking that in the web/mobile area.
    There can be only one.

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