Sending Text Messages from an iOS App


Introduction

This article explains how to add the capability of sending text (SMS) messages from a desktop application.

Background

The article focuses on an implementation using MFC / C++. While looking for a reliable and cheap solution for sending SMS messages programmatically, I came across a company named CardBoardFish which covers 150 countries and provides an easy to use, yet powerful SDK for interfacing from any web site, mobile phone, or desktop application, covering most platforms and development environments. Unfortunately, among the code samples in their web site, there aren’t any C++ samples, so I decided to develop my own C++ implementation.

Sending SMS Messages Programmatically

Most applications and web sites used to send SMS messages as part of their scope or among other functionalities (i.e., sending alerts, etc.) use one of the following methods:

HTTP Web Service –  requires using HTTP “GET” method to send a given Web Service a command, using an API, which contains the credentials, parameters, and the text for this message.

Email to SMS  – uses the SMTP protocol to allow sending an email in a unique format, which encodes all required parameters (credentials, sender, receiver, etc.) as part of an email.

This article focuses on the first method, using a Web Service.

The API

The following table lists all parameters that can (or should) be sent to the Web Service:

image1

Using the code

The code in this article was developed in MFC / C++ using Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate. I also used Cheng Shi‘s HTTPClient (thanks Cheng!).

In order to use the code for your own application, it is advised to read the specifications for the SDK named HTTPSMS. Secondly, you need to open an account and obtain your user name and password, which can be hardcoded in the source code, or entered during runtime.

The SendSMS application

image2

The main functionality of our application is obviously sending an SMS, which is done in the following function:

// SendSms – by Michael Haephrati

BOOL SendSms(CString From, CString CountryCode, CString To,CString Message,CString *Status)

// From – the ID or number you are sending from. This is what will appear at the recipient’s cellphone.

// CountyCode – the code of the country you are sending the SMS to (for example: 44 is for the UK

as, etc.
// Message – is the message you are sending, which can be any multi lingual text
// The statu

// To – is the number you are texting to, which should not contain any leading zeros, spaces, com

ms returned would be either a confirmation number along with the text “OK”, which means that the message

    // was delivered, or an error code. 
{
    BOOL result=FALSE;

equest+=user; // user name
request+=L”&P=”;
request+=pass; // password
r

    wstring user=L"PLACE_YOUR_USERNAME_HERE",pass=L"PLACE_YOUR_PASSWORD_HERE",request=L"";
    // 
    request=L"http://sms1.cardboardfish.com:9001/HTTPSMS?S=H&UN=";
    
request+=L"&DA="; 
    request+=(wstring)(CountryCode+To); // country code
    request+=L"&SA="; 
    request+=(wstring)From; // From (sender ID)
    request+=L"&M=";
    CString EncodedMessage; // Message
    
    CString ccc;

ssage is encoded as opposed to plain text

    EncodedMessage=ConvertHex(Message)+ConvertHex( L" here you can place your marketing piech, website, etc.");
    
    request+=(wstring)EncodedMessage; // Message to send

    request+=L"&DC=4";
    // Indicating that this m

e

Now we handle the HTTP “GET” request:

WinHttpClient client(request);

nt.SendHttpRequest(L”GET”,true);
// G

cli

eet the response

sponseHeader = client.GetResponseHeader();
wstring httpR

    wstring httpR
eesponseContent = client.GetResponseContent();

turn result;
}

    *Status=httpResponseContent.c_str();

Other Services

I have tested the services of CardBoardFish, which I used for the attached source code. They provide their own code samples here, but these don’t include c++, which I why I wrote the test application attached to this article.

I recently tested another service they provide which is verifying mobile numbers before sending the text messages. I didn’t include this functionality because I found it to be too slow, and also it doesn’t cover some countries, among them… USA.

I found another alternative service provider : http://www.clickatell.com so there are several options to choose from.

Further Reading

Please refer to another article of mine, this time explaining how to do the same using iOS (iPhone / iPad).

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