Getting Started with Plivo

You can start integrating voice and SMS capabilities into your apps in a snap. We believe that examples are the best way to learn about how Plivo works. Here, you’ll find step-by-step instructions on how to build apps on Plivo. Jump right in by clicking on the app you’d like to build, or read our Quick Start guides to get a deeper understanding of how Plivo works.

How to use this guide

We’ve spread helpful color-coded hints throughout our tutorials and guides to make using Plivo easier, give you more in depth information, and help you avoid potential issues.

Notes give you extra pieces of information that can help you understand Plivo better.
Advanced hacks are tips and tricks that will help you get more out of Plivo.
Warnings help you avoid potential issues while using Plivo.

So what is Plivo, exactly?

Plivo is a Cloud API Platform and a Global Carrier Services Provider for Voice Calls and SMS. Our mission is to simplify global telecom and enable access to quality cloud communications at a low cost. This means that you can add voice calling and SMS text messaging capabilities to any web or mobile app with just a few lines of code. Thousands of apps already use Plivo’s APIs, including: car share apps, two-factor verification, delivery services, political polling and surveys, conferencing, help desks, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and many more.

Tutorial Index

Below is a list of what you'll learn throughout these Getting Started guides.

SMS Tutorials

  • Send a Single SMS: Send an outbound SMS text message to any phone number. Use cases: two-factor authentication, notifications, communication apps, etc.
  • Send a Long SMS: Send outbound SMS that are longer than the character limit. Use cases: surveys and polling, and group messaging, etc.
  • Send Multiple (Bulk) SMS: Send multiple SMS using a single API request. Use cases: SMS marketing, emergency alerts, deals and coupons, etc.
  • Alphanumeric Sender ID: Customize and brand your sender ID using alpha (a-z, A-Z) and numeric (0-9) characters.
  • Receive an SMS: Receive SMS text messages in 19 countries around the world. Use cases: car share, delivery coordination, surveys and polling, two-factor authentication, etc.
  • Reply to an Incoming SMS: Interact with end users using SMS text messages. Use cases: product reviews, dating apps, purchase verification, etc.
  • Forward an Incoming SMS: Redirect incoming messages to another phone number. Use cases: help desks, sales teams, CRMs, etc.
  • Get Details of all Messages: Find out the details of all of your SMS messages. Use cases: analytics, calculating ROI, etc.
  • Get Details of a Single Message: Find out the details of a single SMS text message.
  • Handling SMS Delivery Reports: Setup a webserver to handle all of your delivery reports. Use cases: customer dashboards, analytics, calculating ROI, etc.
  • SMS to Email: Forward SMS text messages on your phone number to your email inbox.

Voice Tutorials

  • Make an Outbound Call: Make simple outbound calls to landlines, mobiles, and SIP endpoints anywhere in the world. Use cases: marketing teams, call centers, emergency response systems, civic engagement polling and campaigns, etc.
  • Play a Text-to-speech Message: Greet an incoming call with a custom text-based message. Use cases: emergency alerts, system notifications, two-factor authentication, etc.
  • Greet Caller by Name: Have Plivo's text-to-speech engine greet a recognized phone number by name. Use cases: call centers, support hotlines, system notifications, etc.
  • Play MP3/WAV Audio to Caller: Play an audio file to an incoming caller. Use cases: call queuing, custom call greetings, branded calling experiences, etc.
  • Hangup Calls Using API: Hangup an incoming call without answering it. Use cases: conference calls, collaboration software, help desks, etc.
  • Receive an Incoming Call: Receive an incoming call on your Plivo number. Use cases: marketing campaigns, polling, surveys, auto-schedulers, etc.
  • Forward an Incoming Call: Receive a call on your Plivo phone number and forward it to another phone number. Use cases: help desks, CRM software, sales teams, business phone systems, etc.
  • Record a Call Using API: Record live calls at any time during the call and have Plivo return the URL of the file containing the audio recording. Use cases: support desks, CRM software, political polling, customer surveys, etc.
  • Reject an Incoming Call: Create a list of phone numbers and have Plivo detect and reject calls automatically according to their phone number. Use cases: business phone systems, conference solutions, call centers,etc.
  • IVR Phone Menu: Build a simple phone menu that reads a random joke from Reddit or plays a song when the appropriate keys are pressed. Use cases: call centers, help desks, automated business lines, etc.
  • Conference Call: Bridge 3 or more people in a conference call. Use cases: collaboration apps, conference solutions, etc.
  • Call Forward: Forward incoming call to your Plivo number to a mobile number or a SIP endpoint.
  • SIP Endpoint (Direct-Dial): Learn how to configure your SIP endpoint to start receiving and making calls from a SIP phone or our SDKs.
  • Inbound Trunk: Learn how to configure Plivo as your inbound trunk. Forward incoming calls on Plivo DIDs to a SIP URI or a hostname.
  • Outbound Trunk: Learn how to configure Plivo as your outbound trunk to send calls out to landline or mobile numbers from your soft switch.

Mobile SDK Tutorials

Web SDK Tutorials

  • Getting Started with Web SDK: First learn the fundamentals of how our web SDK works and what you'll need to build your app. Check out VoiceChatAPI; our free open source conference project for an idea of what our Web SDK is capable of.
  • Make Outgoing Calls: Make calls directly from any web browser to phone numbers and SIP endpoints.
  • Modify the Login Interface: Prompt your users to login with their SIP endpoint credentials before making calls.
  • Receive Incoming Calls: Receive incoming calls from mobile phones, landlines, or SIP-enabled devices (e.g., softphones) directly in your browser-based app.
  • Create Dynamic SIP Endpoints: Create new endpoints for each new call connection to prevent uninvited calls from calling in on an existing line.