spend countless hours working on their applications to offer customers the best
experience possible. The feature set, interface and overall user experience has
been thought out and implemented with the aim of beating the competition and
creating a differentiated application capable of winning over your market.
this application leverages the efficiency and ubiquity of SMS for reminders,
notifications, interaction or marketing, developers now have to decide how to
enable that channel for customers. Up until now, there have been two primary
ways to provision the service:
SMS: In this approach, the developer builds an SMS service into their
application, and connects a server to an SMS account and pays the messaging
costs directly on behalf of customers, passing along that cost to them. This
is a simple approach, but leaves the developer with the work of parsing the
messages, creating billing records and billing customers. It also puts the
developer in the position of having to collect from customer’s monthly and bearing
a potential liability for unpaid bills.
the Customer Set it Up: Here, the developer suggests a messaging service
provider to customers, but let’s them provision the account on their own. This
is a clean model in that the developer is focused on software development and
not in the business of providing ongoing SMS services. The downside is that
the user experience is now disjointed and relies on the customer to know how to
navigate through the messaging service provider’s purchase and provisioning
process and subsequently configuring an account with the service provider’s
A New Way
There is room in the marketplace for both
of these models. But for the developer that doesn’t want to get into the
business of reselling SMS services, neither of them is completely satisfactory.
A more ideal solution for this developer would be to have customers: 1) Remain
within your application UI; 2) Be able to establish an SMS account directly,
offloading the burden of having to be the front-end support and billing entity
for the customer.
Clickatell has long been an
advocate and source of enablement for the developer community, having opened its
messaging APIs to developers more than 10 years ago. In keeping with that
tradition, we have brought forward a new capability that works with our
messaging products to allow the application developer to deliver an SMS-enabled
user experience that is exclusively theirs without having to take on the burden
of billing or supporting the messaging functionality.
The Clickatell Connect API suite is a set
of XML APIs that allows a customer to register, validate and activate a
Clickatell account for their use with a particular web service or application. They
can provision two-way long numbers to the account, as well as add messaging
credits to the account.
Let’s see how this can be applied in the
case of a developer that has created an appointment reminder application for
use in doctor’s offices. During the initial set up, the application asks the
customer to register for the SMS service. The information the customer enters
will be used to register them for the application itself as well as for a
Clickatell account. The application is web based and each customer has to
register for the service before they can use it.
the registration process, the information captured such as name, username,
email address, etc. will be passed to the developer’s subscriber database as
well as to Clickatell. The Connect API
calls look like this:
As an option, it is possible for the XML to
specify an account type of “small business.” In this account type, a developer is
able to setup a US long number for use in two-way messaging.
the customer is successful in registering, the API returns a success flag to be
displayed in the application:
course, not all registration requests are successful and so the API also has a
built-in list of error codes that can be passed back with detailed reasons for
a customer has successfully registered for a Clickatell account, an email is
sent to the address that they have used for the registration process. The customer
needs to use the link in the email to complete the activation of the newly
registered account. If for some reason the customer has not received the email
or was unable to access it, they can request the activation email be resent. To
do so, the following call is made:
that if the customer had mistakenly entered the incorrect email address in the
registration process, the activation can be sent to an address specified here
in the request for a new activation email. If the activation email request was
successful, the customer will receive a positive notification as below or an
error code offering a detailed reason for the request failure.
an account has been registered and activated, it is possible to assign a
two-way number to that account. The call below is an example of what can be
used to call the Clickatell URL used for applying for a two-way number:
the call is successful, the customer will get a result that looks like this:
will allow the application to display the Clickatell page specific to obtaining
a two-way number.
API & Small Business API
Connect API suite is a powerful interface that facilitates comprehensive
account setup and management as well as the purchase of messaging credits for
the customer. The Connect API suite can be used in conjunction with the Small Business API, creating a powerful two-way messaging
facility within your application.
Small Business API is a messaging API that assigns a US long number to each
account. After successful registration and payment, the customer will
immediately be able to reach all US and Canadian mobile carriers as well as
carriers in the majority of the Latin American countries and outlying
territories. The customer will further benefit from the dedicated nature of the
two-way number. All mobile-originated messages to that number may be routed
directly to the customer’s account without the necessity of a keyword.
Messaging costs are very reasonable with no-cost mobile originated (MO)
messages and mobile terminated (MT) messages allocated to the number on a
monthly basis as a part of the Small Business API subscription. The purchase,
configuration and management of that number can all be accomplished through the
Connect API set.
information can be found here.