Twilio is a powerful HTTP API that allows you to build powerful voice and SMS apps. The goal of this blog post is to help make building the SMS applications as simple as possible in django.
There is a already Twilio Python help library available. The open source twilio-python library lets us to write python code to make HTTP requests to the Twilio API.
The easiest way to install twilio-python library is using pip. Pip is a package manager for python.
Simply run following command in terminal.
$ pip install twilio
Twilio API CredentailsTo Integrate twilio API in django application, we need TWILIO_ACCOUNT_SID and TWILIO_AUTH_TOKEN variables. These variables can be found by logging into your Twilio account dashboard. These variables are used to communicate with the Twilio API.
You’ll need to add them to your settings.py file:
TWILIO_ACCOUNT_SID = 'ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX' TWILIO_AUTH_TOKEN = 'YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY'
Create a New App
We are going to interact with people using SMS, so I prefer to create an app named communication. I am assuming, you've already installed Django.
Run following command in terminal.
$ django-admin.py startapp communcation
We will need to register the new app in our django project.
Add it to your INSTALLED_APPS tuple in your settings.py file:
INSTALLED_APPS = ( 'django.contrib.auth', 'django.contrib.contenttypes', 'django.contrib.sessions', 'django.contrib.sites', 'django.contrib.messages', 'django.contrib.staticfiles', ‘communication’, ... )
Create the Model
Now we’ll open up communication/models.py to start creating models for our app.
class SendSMS(models.Model): to_number = models.CharField(max_length=30) from_number = models.CharField(max_length=30) sms_sid = models.CharField(max_length=34, default="", blank=True) account_sid = models.CharField(max_length=34, default="", blank=True) created_at = models.DateTimeField(auto_now_add=True) sent_at = models.DateTimeField(null=True, blank=True) delivered_at = models.DateTimeField(null=True, blank=True) status = models.CharField(max_length=20, default="", blank=True)
and run the syncdb command after defining the model:
$ python manage.py syncdb
It will create the necessary database tables for our app.
Create utils.py file
Create a new file named utils.py and save in communication/utils.py.
Put the following code in communication/utils.py:
from django.conf import settings import twilio import twilio.rest def send_twilio_message(to_number, body): client = twilio.rest.TwilioRestClient( settings.TWILIO_ACCOUNT_SID, settings.TWILIO_AUTH_TOKEN) return client.messages.create( body=body, to=to_number, from_=settings.TWILIO_PHONE_NUMBER )
Open the shell and run following commands.
>>> from communication.utils import send_twilio_message >>> sms = send_twilio_message('+15005550006', 'Hello Endpointer,') >>> print sms.sid SM97f8ac9321114af1b7fd4463ff8bd038
Having the sid means that everything in the backend is working fine. And we can proceed to work on the front end.
Create FormLets create a form to gather the data. Now open/create up communication/forms.py to start creating forms for our app. And paste the following code into it:
class SendSMSForm(forms.ModelForm): class Meta: model = SendSMS fields = ('to_number', 'body')
The View CreateView
class SendSmsCreateView(CreateView): model = SendSMS form_class = SendSMSForm template_name = 'communication/sendsms_form.html' success_url = reverse_lazy('send_sms') def form_valid(self, form): number = self.cleaned_data['to_number'] body = self.cleaned_data['body'] # call twilio sent = send_twilio_message(number, body) # save form send_sms = form.save(commit=False) send_sms.from_number = settings.TWILIO_PHONE_NUMBER send_sms.sms_sid = sent.sid send_sms.account_sid = sent.account_sid send_sms.status = sent.status send_sms.sent_at = now() if sent.price: send_sms.price = Decimal(force_text(sent.price)) send_sms.price_unit = sent.price_unit send_sms.save() return super(SendSmsCreateView, self).form_valid(form)
Defining URLSThe URL configuration tells Django how to match a request’s path to your Python code. Django looks for the URL configuration, defined as urlpatterns, in the urls.py file in your project:
from django.conf.urls import patterns, url from .views import SendSmsCreateView urlpatterns = patterns('', url( regex=r'^communication/send/sms/$', view=SendSmsCreateView.as_view(), name='send_sms' ), )
Creating the TemplateNow that we’ve defined a URL for our list view, we can try it out. Django includes a server suitable for development purposes that you can use to easily test your project:
If you visit the http://127.0.0.1:8000/communication/send/sms/ in your browser, though, you’ll see an error: TemplateDoesNotExist.
This is because we have not defined the template file yet. So now create sendsms_form.html file in templates/communication/ and put the following code in it:
Now reload the http://127.0.0.1:8000/communication/send/sms/ in your browser. Assuming everything is okay, you should then see the following form:
Fill out the form, and hit the submit button to send your SMS.