Get Started with the Ruby on Rails Framework

    Sign up for a Plivo account

    When you sign up with Plivo, we give you a free trial account and free credits to experiment with and learn about our services. You can add a number to your account to start testing the full range of our voice and SMS service features.

    Follow these steps to get a free trial account:

    1. Sign up with your work email address.
    2. Check your inbox for an activation email message from Plivo. Click on the link in the message to activate your account.
    3. Enter your mobile number to complete the phone verification step.

    Sign up with your work email address

    Sign up with email address

    If you have any issues creating a Plivo account, please contact our support team for assistance.

    To get started, try sending an SMS message either by using our API and XML documents, or via PHLO, our visual design tool, which allows you to create message flows using an intuitive canvas and deploy them with few clicks.

    Set up your Ruby on Rails dev environment

    You must install Plivo’s Ruby SDK and Rails and create a Rails project before you send your first message.

    Install Rails and create a Rails project

    Install Rails.

    $ gem install rails
    $ rails new plivotest
    

    This command creates a plivotest directory with the necessary folders and files for development.

    Install the Plivo Ruby SDK

    Edit your application’s Gemfile and add the line

    gem 'plivo', '~> 4.24.0'
    

    Then install the Plivo Ruby gem into the bundle.

    $ bundle install
    

    Send your first outbound SMS/MMS message

    You can create and deploy a PHLO to send your first outbound SMS message with a few clicks on the PHLO canvas, and trigger it with some simple code.

    Create the PHLO

    To create a PHLO, visit the PHLO page of the Plivo console. If this is your first PHLO, the PHLO page will be empty.

    • Click Create New PHLO.

    • In the Choose your use case pop-up, click Build my own. The PHLO canvas will appear with the Start node.

      Note: The Start node is the starting point of any PHLO. It lets you trigger a PHLO to start upon one of three actions: incoming SMS message, incoming, or API request.
    • From the list of components on the left-hand side, drag and drop the Send Message component onto the canvas. When a component is placed on the canvas it becomes a node.

    • Draw a line to connect the Start node’s API Request trigger state to the Send Message node.

    • In the Configuration pane at the right of the canvas, configure the Send Message node with a sender ID in the From field. Enter the destination number you wish to send a message to in the To field. Put your message in the Text field.

      Note: You can define a static payload by specifying values when you create the PHLO, or define a dynamic payload by passing values through Liquid templating parameters when you trigger the PHLO from your application.
    • If you’d like to send an MMS message, configure the Media URLs field with the media files you’d like to send.

    • Once you’ve configured the node, click Validate to save the configuration.

    • Note: If you’re using a Plivo Trial account, you can send messages only to phone numbers that have been verified with Plivo. You can verify (sandbox) a number by going to the console’s Phone Numbers > Sandbox Numbers page.

    Your PHLO is now ready to test.

    Trigger the PHLO

    You integrate a PHLO into your application workflow by making an API request to trigger the PHLO with the required payload — the set of parameters you pass to the PHLO. You can define a static payload by specifying values when you create the PHLO, or define a dynamic payload by passing values through parameters when you trigger the PHLO from your application.

    In either case, you need your Auth ID and Auth Token, which you can get from the overview page of the Plivo console.

    AUTHID

    You also need the PHLO ID, which you can copy from the PHLO list page.

    PHLO List

    Create a Rails controller

    Change to the project directory and run this command to create a Rails controller for outbound SMS messages.

    $ rails generate controller Plivo sms
    

    This generatse a controller named plivo_controller in the app/controllers/ directory and a respective view in app/views/plivo. We can delete the view as we don’t need it.

    $ rm app/views/plivo/sms.html.erb
    

    With a static payload

    When you configure values when creating the PHLO, they act as a static payload.

    With Static Payload

    Code

    Edit the app/controllers/plivo_controller.rb file and paste into it this code.

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    require 'rubygems'
    require 'plivo'
    
    include Plivo
    
    AUTH_ID = '<auth_id>'
    AUTH_TOKEN = '<auth_token>'
    
    client = Phlo.new(AUTH_ID, AUTH_TOKEN)
    
    # if credentials are stored in the PLIVO_AUTH_ID and the PLIVO_AUTH_TOKEN environment variables
    # then initialize client as:
    # client = Phlo.new
    
    begin
      phlo = client.phlo.get('<phlo_id>')
      response = phlo.run()
      puts response
    rescue PlivoRESTError => e
      puts 'Exception: ' + e.message
    end
    

    Replace the auth placeholders with your authentication credentials from the Plivo console. Replace the phlo_id placeholder with your PHLO ID from the Plivo console.

    With a dynamic payload

    To use dynamic values for the parameters, use Liquid templating parameters when you create the PHLO …

    With Dynamic Payload

    … and pass the values from your code when you trigger it.

    With Dynamic Payload

    Code

    Edit the app/controllers/plivo_controller.rb file and paste into it this code.

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    require 'rubygems'
    require 'plivo'
    
    include Plivo
    
    AUTH_ID = '<auth_id>'
    AUTH_TOKEN = '<auth_token>'
    
    client = Phlo.new(AUTH_ID, AUTH_TOKEN)
    
    # if credentials are stored in the PLIVO_AUTH_ID and the PLIVO_AUTH_TOKEN environment variables
    # then initialize client as:
    # client = Phlo.new
    
    begin
      phlo = client.phlo.get('<phlo_id>')
      #parameters set in PHLO - params
      params = {
         From: '<sender_id>',
         To: '<destination_number>'
      }
      response = phlo.run(params)
      puts response
    rescue PlivoRESTError => e
      puts 'Exception: ' + e.message
    end
    

    Replace the auth placeholders with your authentication credentials from the Plivo console. Replace the phlo_id placeholder with your PHLO ID from the Plivo console. Replace the phone number placeholders with actual phone numbers in E.164 format (for example, +12025551234).

    Add a route

    Add a route for the outbound function in the PlivoController class. Edit config/routes.rb and change the line

    get 'plivo/sms' 
    

    to

    get 'plivo/outbound'
    

    Test

    Run your code.

    $ rails server
    
    Note: If you’re using a Plivo Trial account, you can send messages only to phone numbers that have been verified with Plivo. You can verify (sandbox) a number by going to the console’s Phone Numbers > Sandbox Numbers page.

    Receive your first inbound SMS/MMS message

    You can create and deploy a PHLO to receive an inbound text message with a few clicks on the PHLO canvas, without writing a single line of code.

    Prerequisite

    To receive incoming text messages, you must have an SMS-enabled Plivo phone number. You can rent numbers from the Numbers page of the Plivo console, or by using the Numbers API.

    Create the PHLO

    To create a PHLO, visit the PHLO page of the Plivo console. If this is your first PHLO, the PHLO page will be empty.

    • Click Create New PHLO.

    • In the Choose your use case pop-up, click Build my own. The PHLO canvas will appear with the Start node.
      Note: The Start node is the starting point of any PHLO. It lets you trigger a PHLO to start upon one of three actions: incoming SMS message, incoming call, or API request.
    • From the list of components on the left-hand side, drag and drop the HTTP Request component onto the canvas. When a component is placed on the canvas it becomes a node.

    • Draw a line to connect the Start node’s Incoming Message trigger state to the HTTP Request node.

    • In the Configuration pane at the right of the canvas, configure the HTTP Request node. Specify the address of your web server and specify that from, to, and text fields should be passed along with the request.

    • Once you’ve configured the node, click Validate to save the configuration.

    • After you complete the configuration, give the PHLO a name by clicking in the upper left, then click Save.

    Assign the PHLO to a Plivo number

    Once you’ve created and configured your PHLO, assign it to a Plivo number.

    • On the Numbers page of the console, under Your Numbers, click the phone number you want to use for the PHLO.

    • In the Number Configuration box, select PHLO from the Application Type drop-down.

    • From the PHLO Name drop-down, select the PHLO you want to use with the number, then click Update Number.

    Assign PHLO to a Plivo Number

    Test

    You can now send a text message to your Plivo phone number and see how the inbound text is handled.

    For more information about creating a PHLO application, see the PHLO Getting Started guide. For information on components and their variables, see the PHLO Components Library.

    Forward an incoming SMS/MMS message

    You can create and deploy a workflow to implement text message forwarding with a few clicks on the PHLO canvas.

    Prerequisite

    To receive incoming text messages, you must have an SMS-enabled Plivo phone number. You can rent numbers from the Numbers page of the Plivo console, or by using the Numbers API.

    Create the PHLO

    To create a PHLO, visit the PHLO page of the Plivo console. If this is your first PHLO, the PHLO page will be empty.

    • Click Create New PHLO.

    • In the Choose your use case pop-up, click Build my own. The PHLO canvas will appear with the Start node.
      Note: The Start node is the starting point of any PHLO. It lets you trigger a PHLO to start upon one of three actions: incoming SMS message, incoming call, or API request.
    • From the list of components on the left-hand side, drag and drop the Send Message component onto the canvas. When a component is placed on the canvas it becomes a node.

    • Draw a line to connect the Start node’s Incoming Message trigger state to the Send Message node.

    • In the Configuration pane at the right of the canvas, configure the Send Message node with the phone number to which you want to forward the message.

    • Once you’ve configured the node, click Validate to save the configuration.

    • After you complete the configuration, give the PHLO a name by clicking in the upper left, then click Save.

    Assign the PHLO to a Plivo number

    Once you’ve created and configured your PHLO, assign it to a Plivo number.

    • On the Numbers page of the console, under Your Numbers, click the phone number you want to use for the PHLO.

    • In the Number Configuration box, select PHLO from the Application Type drop-down.

    • From the PHLO Name drop-down, select the PHLO you want to use with the phone number, then click Update Number.

    Assign PHLO to a Plivo Number

    Test

    You can now send a text message to your Plivo phone number and see how the inbound text is forwarded.

    For more information about creating a PHLO application, see the PHLO Getting Started guide. For information on components and their variables, see the PHLO Components Library.

    More use cases

    We illustrate more than a dozen use cases with code for both PHLO and API/XML on our documentation pages.

    Install Rails and the Plivo Ruby SDK

    You must install rails, create a rails project and add Plivo’s Ruby SDK to send your first SMS. Here’s how.

    Install Rails

    Use the below command to install Rails

    $ gem install rails
    

    Create a Rails Project

    As we have Rails and its dependencies installed, we can use them to create a new Rails project. As the initial step, using rails we can auto-generate code in the ruby on rails folder structure. Use the below command to start your Rails project.

    $ rails new plivotest
    

    This will create a plivotest directory with the necessary folders & files for development.

    Install Plivo

    As we have the rails application created, now, let’s add Plivo-Ruby by modifying the Gemfile. Open the Gemfile in any IDE/text-editor and add the following line:

    gem 'plivo', '~> 4.16.0'
    

    You can use the below command to install the Plivo-Ruby gem into the bundle:

    $ bundle install
    

    Send your first Outbound SMS/MMS

    This section will guide you through how to use Plivo APIs to Send SMS from your application. First, let’s make sure you meet these prerequisites before we dive into the code.

    • Plivo Auth Id and Auth Token: You will find your Plivo Auth Id and Auth Token on the home screen of your Plivo Console. Click here to sign-up for a Plivo account if you haven’t already!

    Find Your Auth Credentials on Plivo Console

    • Plivo Phone Number: You must have a SMS-enabled Plivo phone number to send messages to the US and Canada. Purchase numbers from the Numbers section of your Plivo Console. It is also possible to purchase numbers using the Numbers API.

    Buy a New Plivo Number

    Create a Rails Controller

    Change the directory to our newly created project directory, i.e, plivotest directory and run the below command to create a rails controller for outbound sms.

    $ rails generate controller Plivo sms
    

    This will generate a controller named plivo_controller in the app/controllers/ directory and a respective view will be generated in app/views/plivo directory. We can delete the View as we will not need it.

    $ rm app/views/plivo/sms.html.erb
    

    Now, You have to open the app/controllers/plivo_controller.rb file and add the following code:

    Code

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    include Plivo
    include Plivo::Exceptions
    
    class PlivoController < ApplicationController
    	def outbound
    		api = RestClient.new("<auth_id>","<auth_token>")
    		response = api.messages.create(
    			src:'<sender_id>',
    			dst:'<destination_number>',
    			text:'Hello, from Rails!'
    		)
    		puts response
    		render json: response.to_s
    	end
    end
    
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    include Plivo
    include Plivo::Exceptions
    
    class PlivoController < ApplicationController
    	def outbound
    		api = RestClient.new("<auth_id>","<auth_token>")
    		response = api.messages.create(
    			src:'<sender_id>',
    			dst:'<destination_number>',
    			text:'Hello, MMS from Rails!',
    			media_urls:['https://media.giphy.com/media/26gscSULUcfKU7dHq/source.gif'],
    			type: "mms",
    			media_ids:['801c2056-33ab-499c-80ef-58b574a462a2']
    		)
    		puts response
    		render json: response.to_s
    	end
    end
    
    Note:
    • Replace the placeholders auth_id & auth_token with your credentials from Plivo Console.
    • We recommend that you store your credentials in the auth_id & auth_token environment variables, so as to avoid the possibility of accidentally committing them to source control. If you do this, you can initialize the client with no arguments and it will automatically fetch them from the environment variables
    • Replace the placeholder +14151234567 with the Phone number which you have purchased and +14157654321 with the phone number you will be sending sms to.
    • Both +14151234567 and +14157654321 should be in E.164 format

    Add a Route

    Now, to add a route for the outbound function in the PlivoController class, open the config/routes.rb file and change the line:

    get 'plivo/sms' 
    

    to

    get 'plivo/outbound'
    

    Test & Validate

    Now the plivo_controller is ready for your first sms call, you can use the below command to initiate your first outbound using Rails and Plivo Ruby SDK.

    $ rails server
    

    Your local development server will be started and you can test the rails app for outbound calls via the URL http://127.0.0.1:3000/plivo/outbound/.

    Note: If you are using a Plivo Trial account for this example, you can only make calls to phone numbers that have been verified with Plivo. Phone numbers can be verified at the Sandbox Numbers page.

    Set up a Rails Server for Incoming Messages & Callbacks

    In this section, we’ll walk you through how to set up a Rails server in under five minutes and start handling incoming SMS & callbacks.

    Now, open the app/controllers/plivo_controller.rb file and add include the following code in the PlivoController class after the outbound function:

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    def inbound
        from_number = params[:From]
          to_number = params[:To]
          text = params[:Text]
          puts "Message received - From: #{from_number}, To: #{to_number}, Text: #{text}"
    end
    
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    def inbound
        from_number = params[:From]
          to_number = params[:To]
          text = params[:Text]
          media_url = params[:Media0]
          puts "Message received - From: #{from_number}, To: #{to_number}, Text: #{text}, Media: #{media_url}"
    end
    

    Add a Route

    Now, you need to add a route for the inbound function in PlivoController class, open the config/routes.rb file and add the below line after the outbound route:

    get 'plivo/inbound'
    

    Test & Validate

    Now the plivo_controller is ready for your first inbound call, you can use the below command to receive your first inbound using Rails and Plivo Ruby SDK.

    $ rails server
    

    Your local development server will be started and you can test the rails app for inbound sms via the URL http://127.0.0.1:3000/plivo/inbound/.

    Exposing your local server to the internet

    To receive Incoming SMS and to handle callbacks, your local server should be able to connect with Plivo API service, Ngrok is a tunneling software used to expose a web server running on your local machine to the internet. Using Ngrok you can set webhooks which can talk to Plivo server.

    ngrok block diagram

    You can download and install ngrok from here. Follow the detailed configuration instructions to get started.

    Note: Before starting Ngrok service, you need to add ngrok in the config.hosts list in the config/environments/development.rb file and include the below line. You will start facing Blocked host error if you fail to add this.
    # Whitelist Ngrok domain
    config.hosts << /[a-z0-9]+\.ngrok\.io/
    

    Run ngrok on the port which currently hosts your application. For example, if your port number is 3000, run the following command:

    ./ngrok http 3000
    

    This will give you a UI with links that look like ngrok.io/* which you can use to access your local server using the public network.

    ngrok CLI

    Create an Application

    1. Create an Application by visiting the Application Page and click on New Application. You can also use Plivo’s Application API.
    2. Give your application a name. Let’s call it Receive SMS. Enter your server URL (e.g. http://example.com/receive_sms/) in the Message URL field and set the method as POST. See our Application API docs to learn how to modify your application through our APIs.
    3. Click on Create Application to save your application.

    Create Application

    Assign a Plivo number to your app

    1. Navigate to the Numbers page and select the phone number you want to use for this app.
    2. Select Receive SMS (name of the app) from the Plivo App dropdown list.
    3. Click on Update Number to save.

    Assign Phone Number to Receive SMS App

    Test and validate

    Send an SMS to your Plivo number using a regular mobile phone. Plivo will send a request to your Message URL with the parameters listed in the Messages Documentation.

    Reply to an incoming SMS/MMS

    When an SMS is sent to an Plivo phone number, you can receive the text on your server by setting a Message URL in your Plivo app. Plivo will send the message along with other parameters to your Message URL. You can reply back using the Plivo Message XML.

    Note: In order to reply to a US or Canadian phone number, the src (source) phone number must be a Plivo US or Canadian phone number that is SMS-enabled. You can purchase a Plivo number from the Buy Numbers tab on your Plivo Console and filter the Phone Numbers by selecting SMS in the features option to buy SMS enabled numbers.

    Now, open the app/controllers/plivo_controller.rb file and add include the following code in the PlivoController class after the inbound function:

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    def forward
    	from_number = params[:From]
    	to_number = params[:To]
    	text = params[:Text]
    	# send the details to generate an XML
    	response = Response.new
    	params = {
    		src: to_number,
    		dst: from_number,
    	}
    	message_body = "Thank you, we have received your request"
    	response.addMessage(message_body, params)
    	xml = PlivoXML.new(response)
    	puts xml.to_xml
    	render xml: xml.to_xml
    end
    

    Add a Route

    Now, you need to add a route for the inbound function in PlivoController class, open the config/routes.rb file and add the below line after the inbound route:

    get 'plivo/forward'
    
    Note: Create an application in the Plivo console with your Server URL in the message_URL field and assign the app to a Plivo number.

    Test & Validate

    Now the plivo_controller is ready to forward the incoming calls to your Plivo numberl, you can use the below command to start the Rails server to forward incoming calls and to handle callbacks.

    $ rails server
    

    Your local development server will be started and you can test the rails app for outbound sms via the URL http://127.0.0.1:3000/plivo/forward/.

    Send an SMS to your Plivo number using a regular mobile phone and an automatic response will be sent from your Plivo number to your mobile phone. Also, Plivo will send a request to your Message URL with the parameters listed in the Messages Documentation.