Get Started with Node.js Using the Serverless 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

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

    To get started, try making a call 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 a few clicks.

    Install Node.js, Serverless, Express, and the Plivo Node.js SDK

    You must set up and install Node.js, Serverless, Express, and Plivo Node.js SDK before you make your first outbound call.

    You also need an AWS account. If you don’t have an account, you can create one for free.

    Install Node.js

    You can check whether you have Node.js installed under macOS or Linux by running the command node --version in a terminal window. Under Windows, open a Windows command prompt or PowerShell and type node -v. If you don’t have Node.js installed or want a more current version, download and install it.

    Install Serverless, Express, and the Plivo Node.js SDK

    Create a project directory and change into it, then use npm to create a new Node.js project.

    $ mkdir my-express-application && cd my-express-application
    $ npm init -f
    

    Install Serverless, Express, and the Plivo Node.js SDK using npm.

    $ npm install --save serverless-http express plivo
    

     

    You must have your AWS access key credentials loaded in the AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID and AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY environment variables. The Serverless framework accesses the values of these variables to publish the project to AWS. If you’ve never obtained these credentials from AWS before, the Serverless framework documentation includes step-by-step instructions on how to do so.

    Once you’ve set up your development environment, you can start sending and receiving messages using our APIs and XML documents. Here are three common use cases to get you started.

    Make your first outbound call

    You can create and deploy a PHLO to make an outbound call 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.

    Create a PHLO for outbound calls

    • 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 side, drag and drop the Initiate Call 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 Initiate Call node.

    • In the Configuration pane at the right of the canvas, configure the Initiate Call node with a caller ID in the From field. Enter the destination number you wish to call in the To 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.
    • Once you’ve configured the node, click Validate to save the configuration.

    • Similarly, create a node from the Play Audio component. Connect the Initiate Call node to the Play Audio node using the Answered trigger state.

    • Configure the Play Audio node to play a message to the user by entering text in the Speak Text box in the Prompt section of the Configuration pane — for example, “Hello, you just received your first call.”

    • Connect the Initiate Call node’s Answered trigger state to the Play Audio node.

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

    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

    With a static payload

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

    With Static Payload

    Code

    Create a file called index.js and paste into it this code.

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    const serverless = require('serverless-http');
    const express = require('express')
    const bodyParser = require('body-parser')
    const plivo = require('plivo')
    const app = express()
    
    app.get('/trigger_phlo/', function(request, response) {
        var PhloClient = plivo.PhloClient;
        var authId = '<auth_id>';
        var authToken = '<auth_token>';
        var phloId = '<phlo_id>';
        var phloClient = phlo = null;
    
        phloClient = new PhloClient(authId, authToken);
        phloClient.phlo(phloId).run().then(function(result) {
            console.log('Phlo run result', result);
        }).catch(function(err) {
            console.error('Phlo run failed', err);
        })
    })
    
    module.exports.handler = serverless(app);
    

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

    With Dynamic Payload

    Code

    Create a file called index.js and paste into it this code.

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    const serverless = require('serverless-http');
    const express = require('express')
    const bodyParser = require('body-parser')
    const plivo = require('plivo')
    const app = express()
    
    app.get('/trigger_phlo/', function(req, res) {
        var plivo = require('plivo');
        var PhloClient = plivo.PhloClient;
        var authId = '<auth_id>';
        var authToken = '<auth_token>';
        var phloId = '<phlo_id>';
        var phloClient = phlo = null;
        var payload = {
            From: '<sender_id>',
            To: '<destination_number>'
        }
        phloClient = new PhloClient(authId, authToken);
        phloClient.phlo(phloId).run(payload).then(function (result) {
            console.log('Phlo run result', result);
        }).catch(function (err) {
            console.error('Phlo run failed', err);
        });
    })
    
    module.exports.handler = serverless(app);
    

    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).

    Test

    Save the file and run this command to deploy the application.

    $ sls deploy
    

    Deploy


    AWS will report an endpoint on which you can find your application — for example, here it shows https://mps46xe2isjinod7x5yu5w3kza0hlrld.lambda-url.us-east-1.on.aws.

    You should see your basic server application in action in the below URL. https://mps46xe2isjinod7x5yu5w3kza0hlrld.lambda-url.us-east-1.on.aws/trigger_phlo/.

    Note: If you’re using a Plivo Trial account, you can make calls 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 call

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

    Prerequisite

    To receive incoming calls, you must have a voice-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.

    Create a PHLO to receive incoming call

    • 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 side, drag and drop the Play Audio 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 Call trigger state to the Play Audio node.
    • In the Configuration pane at the right of the canvas, configure the Play Audio node to play a message to the caller.
    • Once you’ve configured the node, click Validate to save 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 make a call to your Plivo phone number and see how the inbound call 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 inbound call

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

    Prerequisite

    To receive incoming calls, you must have a voice-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.

    Create a PHLO to receive incoming call

    • 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 side, drag and drop the Call Forward 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 Call trigger state to the Call Forward node.

    • In the Configuration tab at the right of the canvas, configure the Call Forward node to select the From number using a variable. Enter two curly brackets to view all available variables, and choose the appropriate one. Enter all the numbers you want to call in the To field, separated with commas.

    • Once you’ve configured the node, click Validate to save 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 your PHLO 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 call your Plivo phone number and see how the inbound call 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 20 use cases with code for both PHLO and API/XML on our documentation pages.

    Install Node.js, Serverless, Express, and the Plivo Node.js SDK

    You must set up and install Node.js, Serverless, Express, and Plivo Node SDK before you make your first outbound call.

    You also need an AWS account. If you don’t have an account, you can create one for free.

    Install Node.js

    You can check whether you have Node.js installed under macOS or Linux by running the command node –version in a terminal window. Under Windows, open a Windows command prompt or PowerShell and type node -v. If you don’t have Node.js installed or want a more current version, download and install it.

    Install Serverless, Express, and the Plivo Node.js SDK

    Create a project directory and change into it, then use npm to create a new Node.js project.

    $ mkdir my-express-application && cd my-express-application
    $ npm init -f
    

    Install Serverless, Express, and the Plivo Node.js SDK using npm.

    $ npm install --save serverless-http express plivo
    

    You must have your AWS access key credentials loaded in the AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID and AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY environment variables. The Serverless framework accesses the values of these variables to publish the project to AWS. If you’ve never obtained these credentials from AWS before, the Serverless framework documentation includes step-by-step instructions on how to do so.

    Once you’ve set up your development environment, you can start sending and receiving messages using our APIs and XML documents. Here are three common use cases to get you started.

    Make your first outbound call

      first outbound call

    Plivo requests an answer URL when the call is answered (step 4) and expects the file at that address to hold a valid XML response from the application with instructions on how to handle the call. To see how this works, you can use https://s3.amazonaws.com/static.plivo.com/answer.xml as an answer URL to test your first outgoing call. The file contains this XML code:

    <Response>
      <Speak>Congratulations! You've made your first outbound call</Speak>
    </Response>
    

    This code instructs Plivo to say, “Congratulations! You’ve made your first outbound call!” to the call recipient. You can find the entire list of valid Plivo XML verbs in our XML Reference documentation.

    Create a Serverless server

    Create a file called index.js and paste into it this code.

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    const serverless = require('serverless-http');
    const express = require('express')
    const plivo = require('plivo')
    const app = express()
    
    app.get('/outbound_call/', function(request, response) {
       let client = new plivo.Client('<auth_id>', '<auth_token>');
       client.calls.create(
            "<caller_id>",
            "<destination_number>",
            "https://s3.amazonaws.com/static.plivo.com/answer.xml",
            {
                answerMethod: "GET",
            },
    
       ).then(function(response) {
           console.log(response)
       });
    });
    
    module.exports.handler = serverless(app);
    

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

    Note: We recommend that you store your Plivo credentials in the auth_id and auth_token environment variables to avoid the possibility of accidentally committing them to source control. If you do this, you can initialize the client with no arguments and Plivo will automatically fetch the values from the environment variables. You can use process.env to store environment variables and fetch them when initializing the client.

    Create a Serverless configuration file

    In the project directory, create a configuration file called serverless.yml, which Serverless uses to handle deployments, and paste into it this code.

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    # serverless.yml
    service: my-express-application
    
    provider:
     name: aws
     runtime: nodejs16.x
     stage: dev
     region: us-east-1
    
    functions:
     app:
       handler: index.handler
       url: true
    

    Run this command to deploy the application.

    $ sls deploy
    

    Deploy serverless

    Test

    AWS will report an endpoint on which you can find your application — for example, here it shows https://mps46xe2isjinod7x5yu5w3kza0hlrld.lambda-url.us-east-1.on.aws.
    You should see your basic server application in action at the below URL:

    https://mps46xe2isjinod7x5yu5w3kza0hlrld.lambda-url.us-east-1.on.aws./outbound_call/

    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 call

    Inbound Call Flow

    Plivo requests an answer URL when it answers the call (step 2) and expects the file at that address to hold a valid XML response from the application with instructions on how to handle the call. In this example, when an incoming call is received, Plivo’s text-to-speech engine plays a message using the Speak XML element.

    You must have a voice-enabled Plivo phone number to receive incoming calls; you can rent numbers from the Numbers page of the Plivo console, or by using the Numbers API.

    Modify the Serverless server

    Add the code to receive a call to the index.js file we already built.

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    const serverless = require('serverless-http');
    const express = require('express')
    const bodyParser = require('body-parser')
    const plivo = require('plivo')
    const app = express()
    
    app.use(bodyParser.urlencoded({
       extended: true
    }));
    app.use(function(req, response, next) {
       response.contentType('application/xml');
       next();
    });
    
    // make an outbound Call
    app.get('/outbound_call/', function(request, response) {
    ......// Make a call code
    });
    
    // receive call
    app.get('/receive_call/', function(request, response) {
       var resp = plivo.Response();
        var speak_body = "Hello, you just received your first call";
        resp.addSpeak(speak_body);
        response.writeHead(200, {'Content-Type': 'text/xml'});
        response.end(resp.toXML());
    });
    

    Run this command to deploy the application.

    $ sls deploy
    

    Deploy serverless

    AWS will report an endpoint on which you can find your application — for example, here it shows https://mps46xe2isjinod7x5yu5w3kza0hlrld.lambda-url.us-east-1.on.aws.

    You should see your basic server application in action at the below URL:

    https://mps46xe2isjinod7x5yu5w3kza0hlrld.lambda-url.us-east-1.on.aws/receive_call/

    Create a Plivo application to receive calls

    Associate the controller you created with Plivo by creating a Plivo application. Visit Voice > Applications and click Add New Application. You can also use Plivo’s Application API.

    Give your application a name — we called ours Receive_call. Enter the server URL you want to use (for example https://<yourdomain>.com/receive_call/) in the Primary Answer URL field and set the method to POST. Click Create Application to save your application.

    Create Application

    Assign a Plivo number to your application

    Navigate to the Numbers page and select the phone number you want to use for this application.

    From the Application Type drop-down, select XML Application.

    From the Plivo Application drop-down, select Receive Call (the name we gave the application).

    Click Update Number to save.

    Assign Phone Number to Receive Call App

    Test

    Make a call to your Plivo number using any phone.

    Forward an incoming call

    Call Forward Call Flow

    Plivo requests an answer URL when the call is answered (step 4) and expects the file at that address to hold a valid XML response from the application with instructions on how to handle the call. In this example, when an incoming call is received, Plivo forwards the call using the Dial XML element.

    You must have a voice-enabled Plivo phone number to receive incoming calls; you can rent numbers from the Numbers page of the Plivo console, or by using the Numbers API.

    Modify the Serverless server

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    const serverless = require('serverless-http');
    const express = require('express')
    const bodyParser = require('body-parser')
    const plivo = require('plivo')
    const app = express()
    
    app.use(bodyParser.urlencoded({
       extended: true
    }));
    app.use(function(req, response, next) {
       response.contentType('application/xml');
       next();
    });
    
    // make an outbound call
    app.get('/outbound_call/', function(request, response) {
       ...//Make a call
    });
    
    // receive call
    app.get('/receive_call/', function(request, response) {
       ...// Receive a call code
    });
    
    // Forward incoming call
    app.get('/forward_call/', function(request, response) {
    var resp = plivo.Response();
    var dial = resp.addDial();
    
    dial.addNumber("<destination_number>");
    response.writeHead(200, {
       'Content-Type': 'text/xml'
    });
    response.end(resp.toXML());
    });
    

    Replace the destination number placeholder with an actual phone number (for example, 12025551234).

    Run this command to deploy the application.

    $ sls deploy
    

    Deploy serverless

    AWS will report an endpoint on which you can find your application — for example, here it shows https://mps46xe2isjinod7x5yu5w3kza0hlrld.lambda-url.us-east-1.on.aws.

    You should see your basic server application in action at the below URL:

    https://mps46xe2isjinod7x5yu5w3kza0hlrld.lambda-url.us-east-1.on.aws/forward_call/

    Create a Plivo application to forward calls

    Associate the Express application you created with Plivo by creating a Plivo application. Visit Voice > Applications in the Plivo console and click on Add New Application, or use Plivo’s Application API.

    Give your application a name — we called ours Forward Call. Enter the server URL you want to use (for example https://<yourdomain>.com/forward_call/) in the Answer URL field and set the method to POST. Click Create Application to save your application.

    Assign a Plivo number to your application

    Navigate to the Numbers page and select the phone number you want to use for this application.

    From the Application Type drop-down, select XML Application.

    From the Plivo Application drop-down, select Forward Call (the name we gave the application).

    Click Update Number to save.

    Assign call forward application

    Test

    Make a call to your Plivo number using any phone. Plivo will send a request to the answer URL you provided requesting an XML response and then forward the call according to the instructions in the XML document the server provides.

    More use cases

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