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Old 10-19-2006, 02:06 PM
remasters remasters is offline
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Default How to send/retrieve text message via cell phone to a website.


Hello All,

I originally posted this in the Tech Discussion area. Some of the replies that I had suggested I post it for the Experts here instead. Here is a link to the post there so you can review some of the suggestions already given if you would like.

Here is what I am wanting to do.

Where I would begin to allow users to send a text message to my hypothetical website, that would allow me to automatically post it.

How would I go about capturing the text message?

What type of application or service would I need to allow people to send me text messages?

And what type of application or service would I need to post it automatically?

Could this be done with PHP, ASP.net or something else?

Thanks in advance for your interest and input.
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Old 10-20-2006, 07:18 AM
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Like I mentioned in the other thread, a Web Site is not a good way to receive messages. A web server is designed to handle requests for pages. That's about it.

A Text Message is much better suited as an email. Many phones allow text messageing TO and FROM email addresses. In order to send directly to a web site, the user would need to have a browser on the phone, go to your site, and type in the message on your web form. It's not the most practicle.

Another reason, I would lean away from having the website check for messages is because POP3 and IMAP connections are a lot slower than a database connection. It would be better to have another process harvesting the messages (VB, VB.NET, etc...) and saving them to your Web Site database from a single location. This can run on the web server, or somewhere else, and update the web site via a Web Service or something similar.

Sending an SMS is as simple as sending an email. There have been a few previous posts that list the email addresses for common providers. (Verizon Wireless is number@vtext.com for example) There are some services that can send an SMS without knowing the provider, but if I'm not mistaken, you need to have modems available to send the message. It's not something I've ever needed, so I really haven't looked to deeply into it.

So, the short answer...
Code:
1. User sends Text Message to Email Address
2. Desktop Application connects to Email Server and Reads Message
3. Desktop App then posts message to a Database either directly or with Web Service
4. User goes to Web Site, and reads Messages saved in the Database
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Old 10-20-2006, 07:49 AM
remasters remasters is offline
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Maybe I misstated what I meant. I don't want the message to go directly to a website. An example would be the reality or whatever you want to call them, shows. They allow you to text message to a certain number or website, then they pick a winner. Now I can't believe that millions of people have a web browser on their phone, that enter those contests. If indeed a message can be sent somewhere, then where would it be sent and how would I get it to post directly to a website? Hopefully that will help clear things up.
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Old 10-20-2006, 07:56 AM
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For something like that I'd contact your Wireless Provider. I believe they'd be the most likely to be able to provide that service. They'll probably assign (or let you pick) a shorter ID that you'd use for your SMS messages.

Then they'll tell you how to access them. It would work similar to having a full email address, but it would be easier for the user to type. Since I've never done it, I don't know how you would pick those messages up. I'd assume that they have some sort of API, or Web Service for you to read them off of their servers...

(I have seen things at football games where they give you a number and tell you to text a specific word to that number to enter a drawing. I assume you're wanting to set up something similar.)
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Old 10-20-2006, 09:07 AM
remasters remasters is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayneph
For something like that I'd contact your Wireless Provider. I believe they'd be the most likely to be able to provide that service. They'll probably assign (or let you pick) a shorter ID that you'd use for your SMS messages.

Then they'll tell you how to access them. It would work similar to having a full email address, but it would be easier for the user to type. Since I've never done it, I don't know how you would pick those messages up. I'd assume that they have some sort of API, or Web Service for you to read them off of their servers...

(I have seen things at football games where they give you a number and tell you to text a specific word to that number to enter a drawing. I assume you're wanting to set up something similar.)

Thanks for your help. Yes I am wanting to basically do what they do at football games. I have been thinking about putting a website together so people can register at the sight, put in there mobile number and then text information that will automatically be posted. If the text message is not from a registered number/email then it would not post. I don't want to give out to much information as I haven't seen a website yet trying to do what I want to do. No I don't plan on getting rich off it but it could be quite fun and entertanining.
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Old 10-21-2006, 02:06 PM
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Hi,

I've been playing with SMS as a result of this post: http://www.xtremevbtalk.com/showthread.php?t=272859

Your problem could be solved by just connecting a 'phone via a serial / Infra-red port and use the appropraite AT commands to retrieve SMS messages. These could then be uploaded to a Db on the Web site via ASP or similar. Of course it would mean 'dedicating' a 'phone to the application but would not require a sender to use e-mail on the mobile.

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Old 10-22-2006, 07:36 AM
remasters remasters is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougT
Hi,

I've been playing with SMS as a result of this post: http://www.xtremevbtalk.com/showthread.php?t=272859

Your problem could be solved by just connecting a 'phone via a serial / Infra-red port and use the appropraite AT commands to retrieve SMS messages. These could then be uploaded to a Db on the Web site via ASP or similar. Of course it would mean 'dedicating' a 'phone to the application but would not require a sender to use e-mail on the mobile.

Regards
Doug

Well thanks for your help I may just have to give that a try. Of course that would mean I would have to host my own website, right?
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Old 10-22-2006, 07:42 AM
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No. My idea was that you could have a 'phone connected to a local PC at home which in turn would be connected to the Internet. When an SMS message was received, your PC reads the message and up-loads it to the Web Server.

You could have a page on the server with a Form which has a TextBox and a Button, then using the WebBrowser control you could upload the text of the message to the textbox and press the button, which would then update a database or something in the server.(just as if you'd typed it in manually)
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