Technical Guide: Migrating from Twilio to Plivo

    Introduction

    Migrating from Twilio to Plivo is a seamless and painless process. The two companies’ API structures, implementation mechanisms, XML structure, SMS message processing, and voice call processing are similar. We wrote this technical comparison between Twilio and Plivo APIs so that you can scope the code changes for a seamless migration.

    Understanding the differences between Twilio and Plivo development

    Most of the APIs and features that are available on Twilio are also available on Plivo and the implementation mechanism is easier as the steps involved are almost identical. This table gives a side-side comparison of the two companies’ features and APIs. An added advantage with Plivo is that not only can you code using the old familiar API/XML method, you can also implement your use cases using PHLO (Plivo High Level Objects), a visual workflow builder that lets you create workflows by dragging and dropping components onto a canvas — no coding required.

    Features and APIsTwilioPlivoSimilaritiesImplementation Interface
    SMS API: Send SMS/MMS messagesRequest and response variables’ structureAPI
    PHLO
    Managed number pool for US/CA MessagingCopilotPowerpackFeature parityAPI
    Console
    Geo PermissionsFeature parityConsole
    SMS Sender ID registrationFeature parityConsole
    Number Lookup APIAPI ParityAPI
    Phone number managementFeature parityAPI
    Console
    Validating RequestsFeature parityAPI
    XML
    SubaccountsFeature parityAPI
    HTTP callbacksFeature parityAPI
    XML
    PHLO

    Plivo account creation

    Start by signing up for a free trial account that you can use to experiment with and learn about our services. The free trial account comes with free credits, and you can add more as you go along. You can also add a phone number to your account to start testing the full range of our voice and SMS features. A page in our support portal walks you through the signup process.

    You can also port your numbers from Twilio to Plivo, as we explain in this guide.

    Migrating your SMS application

    You can migrate your existing application from Twilio to Plivo by refactoring the code, or you can try our intuitive visual workflow builder PHLO. To continue working with the APIs, use one of the quickstart guides to set up a development environment for your preferred language. Plivo offers server SDKs in seven languages: PHP, Node.js, .NET, Java, Python, Ruby, and Go. For another alternative that lets you evaluate Plivo’s SMS APIs and their request and response structure, use our Postman collections.

    How to send an SMS message

    Let’s take a look at the process of refactoring the code to migrate your app from Twilio to Plivo to set up a simple Python application to send an SMS message by changing just a few lines of code.

    TwilioPlivo
    import os
    from twilio.rest import Client
    
    account_sid = os.environ["TWILIO_ACCOUNT_SID"]
    auth_token = os.environ["TWILIO_AUTH_TOKEN"]
    client = Client(account_sid, auth_token)
    
    message = client.messages.create(
        body="Hi there", from_=" 15017122661", to=" 15558675310"
    )
    
    print(message)
       
    import os, plivo
    
    
    auth_id = os.environ["PLIVO_AUTH_ID"]
    auth_token = os.environ["PLIVO_AUTH_TOKEN"]
    client = plivo.RestClient(auth_id, auth_token)
    
    message = client.messages.create(
        src="+14151234567",
        dst="+14157654321",
        text="Hi there",
    )
    print(message)

    Alternatively, you can implement the same functionality using one of our PHLO templates. For example, if you want to send an SMS message, your PHLO would be this:

    Create PHLO for outbound SMS

    How to receive and reply to SMS

    You can migrate an application for receiving and replying to an incoming SMS from Twilio to Plivo just as seamlessly, as in this example:

    TwilioPlivo
    from flask import Flask, request, redirect
    from twilio.twiml.messaging_response import MessagingResponse
    
    app = Flask(__name__)
    
    
    @app.route("/reply_sms", methods=["GET", "POST"])
    def sms_reply():
        """Respond to incoming calls with a simple text message."""
        # Start our TwiML response
        resp = MessagingResponse()
    
        # Add a message
        resp.message("Thank you, we have received your request.")
    
        return str(resp)
    
    
    if __name__ == "__main__":
        app.run(debug=True)
       
    from flask import Flask, request, make_response, Response
    from plivo import plivoxml
    
    app = Flask(__name__)
    
    
    @app.route("/reply_sms", methods=["GET", "POST"])
    def sms_reply():
    
        from_number = request.values.get("From")
        to_number = request.values.get("To")
        text = request.values.get("Text")
    
        # Plivo Message XML to handle Reply
        response = plivoxml.ResponseElement()
        response.add(
            plivoxml.MessageElement(
                "Thank you, we have received your request.", src=to_number, dst=from_number
            )
        )
    
        return Response(response.to_string(), mimetype="application/xml")
    
    
    if __name__ == "__main__":
        app.run(debug=True)

    Here again, you can implement the same functionality using one of our PHLO templates. Your PHLO would look like:

    With Dynamic Payload

    For more information about migrating your SMS applications to Plivo, check out our detailed use case guides, available for all seven programming languages and PHLO.

    How to send an MMS message

    Let’s take a look at the process of refactoring the code to migrate your app from Twilio to Plivo to set up a simple Python application to send an MMS message by changing just a few lines of code.

    TwilioPlivo
    import os
    from twilio.rest import Client
    
    
    # Find your Account SID and Auth Token at twilio.com/console
    # and set the environment variables. See http://twil.io/secure
    account_sid = os.environ['TWILIO_ACCOUNT_SID']
    auth_token = os.environ['TWILIO_AUTH_TOKEN']
    client = Client(account_sid, auth_token)
    
    message = client.messages \
        .create(
             body='This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?',
             from_='+15017122661',
             media_url=['https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2899/14341091933_1e92e62d12_b.jpg'],
             to='+15558675310'
         )
    
    print(message)
       
    import os, plivo
    
    
    auth_id = os.environ["PLIVO_AUTH_ID"]
    auth_token = os.environ["PLIVO_AUTH_TOKEN"]
    client = plivo.RestClient(auth_id, auth_token)
    
    message = client.messages.create(
        src='+14151234567',
        dst='+14157654321',
        media_urls=['https://media.giphy.com/media/26gscSULUcfKU7dHq/source.gif'],
        type_='mms')
    print(message)

    Alternatively, you can implement the same functionality using one of our PHLO templates. For example, if you want to send an MMS message, your PHLO would be this:

    Create PHLO for outbound SMS

    More use-cases

    You can migrate your applications serving various other use-cases like the following ones too:

    Porting your existing numbers from Twilio to Plivo

    If you wish to continue using your phone numbers from Twilio, you can port the numbers to Plivo painlessly without having any downtime on your services for your customers. Phone number porting must be requested by a phone number’s owner. Here’s an overview of the process for porting a phone number to Plivo:

    1. Submission of a porting request with documentation
    2. Verification of the porting request
    3. Porting request submission to the gaining carrier
    4. Porting request submission to the losing carrier
    5. Response from the losing carrier
    6. Firm Order Commitment or porting date set

    You can check our number porting guide to initiate the process.

    Buy new phone numbers for your migrated app

    You can buy new phone numbers on the Plivo platform for your migrated applications as well. Plivo provides a self-serve console to buy new numbers and to manage them. You can also use the Phone numbers API for number management. You can check this guide to learn more.