Get Started with Conference Calling with a PIN Using Node.js

    Overview

    This guide shows how to create and configure conference calls with a PIN to let multiple people securely connect to a single call. Only participants who have a specified passcode can enter the conference call.

    You can make conference calls either by using our PHLO visual workflow builder or our APIs and XML documents. Follow the instructions in one of the tabs below.

    To implement Conference with pin use-case, you can create and deploy a PHLO with a few clicks on the PHLO canvas. PHLO also lets you visually construct your entire use-case. With PHLO, you only pay for calls you make/receive, and building with PHLO is free.

    Note: When you create a PHLO application to handle the incoming calls to your Plivo number(s), you don't have to write a single line of code because you will define the instructions to manage the call flow of the incoming calls on the PHLO itself.

    Outline

    Implementation

    In this section, we will guide you to create a PHLO to implement Conference with pin use-case.

    Prerequisites

    1. Create a Plivo Account(if you don’t have one already): You can sign up with your work email address and complete the phone verification step using your mobile number.
    2. Buy a Plivo number: You must have a voice-enabled Plivo phone number to receive incoming calls. You can purchase numbers from the Numbers section of your Plivo Console. It is also possible to purchase numbers using the Numbers API.
    3. PHLO Application: When you receive a call on a Plivo voice-enabled number, you can control the call flow by associating a PHLO application to that Plivo phone number. Plivo will fetch the PHLO associated with the number and expect valid instructions via PHLO to handle the call.

    Create the PHLO

    1. On the top navigation bar, click PHLO. The PHLO page will appear and display your existing PHLOs, if any exist. If this is your first PHLO, then the PHLO page will be empty.
    2. Click CREATE NEW PHLO to build a new PHLO.
    3. In the Choose your use-case window, click Build my own. The PHLO canvas will appear with the Start node. Note: The Start node is the starting point of any PHLO. You can choose between the four available trigger states of the Start node; Incoming SMS, Incoming Call, and API Request. For this PHLO, we will use the Incoming Call trigger state.
    4. From the list of components, on the left hand side, drag and drop the Conference component onto the canvas. This will add a Conference node onto the canvas.
    5. Connect the Start node with the Conference node, using the Incoming Call trigger state.
    6. Configure the Conference Type as Protected.
    7. Enter a Participant PIN and Moderator PIN for the Conference. Note:
      • All participants will need to enter the Participant PIN to connect to the Conference. The Moderator of the Conference will use the Moderator PIN to start the Conference.
      • You can also add an Announcement Message to greet the callers, and configure the Hold Music.
      • Make sure to validate the configuration.
    8. After you complete the configuration, click Save.

    Your complete PHLO will look like this:

    Conference with Pin

    Assign the PHLO to a Plivo Number for Incoming Calls

    Once you have created and configured your PHLO, assign your PHLO to a Plivo number.

    To assign a PHLO to a number:

    1. Login to your Plivo Console
    2. On the Product Navigation bar, click Phone Numbers.
    3. On the Numbers page, under Your Numbers, click the phone number you wish to use for the PHLO.
    4. In the Number Configuration window, select PHLO from the Application Type list.
    5. From the PHLO Name list, select the PHLO you wish to use with the phone number, and then click Update Number.

    Assign PHLO to a Plivo Number

    If you have not purchased a phone number yet, you can buy Phone number(s) by referring to the instructions available here.

    Test and Validate

    You can now make a call to your Plivo phone number to receive an incoming call and see how the callers are added to a conference call after validation of pin using PHLO.

    For more information about creating a PHLO app, see the PHLO User Guide.
    For information on components and their variables, see the PHLO Components Library.

    Here’s how to receive a call on a Plivo number and add the caller to a conference call named “demo” after the caller enters a valid PIN.

    How it works

    Conference with PIN Call Flow

    Prerequisites

    To get started, you need a Plivo account — sign up with your work email address if you don’t have one already. 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. If this is your first time using Plivo APIs, follow our instructions to set up a Node.js development environment and a web server and safely expose that server to the internet.

    Create an Express server to implement a conference call with PIN

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

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    var plivo = require('plivo');
    var express = require('express');
    var bodyParser = require('body-parser');
    var app = express();
    
    app.use(bodyParser.urlencoded({extended: true}));
    app.set('port', (process.env.PORT || 5000));
    
    // Message that Plivo reads when the caller dials in
    var WelcomeMessage = "Welcome to the demo. Press 1234 to join the conference";
    // Message that Plivo reads when the caller does nothing
    var NoinputMessage = "Sorry, I didn't catch that. Please hang up and try again";
    // Message that Plivo reads when the caller enters an invalid number.
    var WronginputMessage = "Sorry, that's an invalid PIN";
    
    app.post('/conference/', function(request, response) {
      var r = plivo.Response();
      var getinput_action_url, params, get_input;
      getinput_action_url = request.protocol + '://' + request.headers.host + '/conference/firstbranch/';
      params = {
            'action': getinput_action_url,
            'method': 'POST',
            'inputType': 'dtmf',
            'digitEndTimeout': '5',
            'numDigits': '5',
            'redirect': 'true',
      };
      get_input = r.addGetInput(params);
      get_input.addSpeak(WelcomeMessage);
      r.addSpeak(NoinputMessage);
    
      console.log(r.toXML());
      response.set({'Content-Type': 'text/xml'});
      response.send(r.toXML());
    });
    
    app.post('/conference/firstbranch/', function(request, response) {
      var r = plivo.Response();
      var getinput_action_url, params, get_input;
      var digit = request.query.Digits;
      console.log(digit);
      if (digit === '1234') {
        var params = {
            'startConferenceOnEnter': "true",
            'endConferenceOnExit': "true"
        };
        var conference_name = "demo";
        r.addConference(conference_name, params);
      } else {
        r.addSpeak(WronginputMessage);
      }
    
      console.log(r.toXML());
      response.set({'Content-Type': 'text/xml'});
      response.send(r.toXML());
    });
    
    app.listen(app.get('port'), function() {
        console.log('Node app is running on port', app.get('port'));
    });
    

    Save the file and run it.

    $ node conference_call.js
    

    You should see your basic server application in action at http://localhost:3000/conference/.

    Create a Plivo application for the conference call

    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 Conference Call. Enter the server URL you want to use (for example https://<yourdomain>.com/conference/) in the Answer URL field and set the method to POST. Click Create Application to save your application.

    Create Conference 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 Conference Call (the name we gave the application).

    Click Update Number to save.

    Assign Conference Application

    Test

    Make a call to your Plivo number. You should be prompted for a PIN, then placed into a conference after PIN validation.