Getting Started

Introduction to the SMS API

The ThingSpace SMS API lets applications send time-sensitive information to users’ phones about devices or sensor readings. The recipients’ phones can be on the Verizon Wireless network or on other carriers’ networks.

Messages are sent to and from codes

Applications don’t have phone numbers that can be used for text messaging, like a cell phone does. Application-based SMS messages are sent to and from a unique code that is associated with a specific application or service. These codes are sometimes called “long codes.” (The ThingSpace SMS API does not use short codes.) A code uniquely identifies your application or service just like a phone number uniquely identifies a phone. When your application sends a message to a phone,the code will appear as the sender of the message. Codes used with the ThingSpace SMS API are either 10 or 12 digits long.

Users must “opt in” to agree to receive text messages on their device from your code, which represents your application. Users can opt in by texting the word “start” to your code (and they can opt out by texting the word “stop”). Please read the ThingSpace terms and conditions carefully to understand your responsibilities.

ThingSpace sends additional information in callbacks

Your application will send requests to ThingSpace to send SMS messages and to manage your SMS configuration, but ThingSpace also needs to send information to your application. ThingSpace will send POST requests to a URL endpoint that you specify, where you need to have an HTTP server ready to receive and process the requests. These callback messages include:

  • Notifications of when messages are delivered to users
  • “Mobile-originated” messages sent from phones to your code
  • Notifications of when users opt-in and opt-out of receiving messages from your code

See Receive SMS API Callbacks for more information.

To get started

You can follow these general steps to get started with the SMS API:

  1. Read the documentation to understand what capabilities are available in the API.
  2. Register on the ThingSpace Develop site to get access to the API.
  3. Request a trial account to try out the API.
  4. Create a simple callback listener to be ready to receive messages from ThingSpace.
  5. Once you have a long code, try the API requests in the API Console, and then start coding your own application.