Sending SMS messages with the Messages API

In this tutorial you will see how to send an SMS using the Messages API.

The same steps taken here can be easily modified to send a message across Viber Service Messages, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp.

Prerequisites

  1. Create a Nexmo Account
  2. Install Node JS - required for using the Nexmo Command Line Interface (CLI).
  3. Install the Beta version of the Nexmo CLI
  4. Install or update the Beta version of the Nexmo Node client library - only required if using Node.
  5. Configure webhooks.
  6. Know how to write a webhook server
  7. Know how to test your webhook server locally

The steps

After the prerequisites have been met, the steps are as follows:

  1. Create a Nexmo Application
  2. Send an SMS message

Create a Nexmo Application

There are two alternative methods for creating a Messages and Dispatch application:

  1. Using the Nexmo CLI
  2. Using the Dashboard

Each of these methods is described in the following sections.

How to create a Messages and Dispatch application using the Nexmo CLI

To create your application using the Nexmo CLI, enter the following command into the shell:

nexmo app:create "My Messages App" https://example.com/webhooks/inbound-message https://example.com/webhooks/message-status --keyfile=private.key --type=messages

How to create a Messages and Dispatch application using the Dashboard

You can now create Messages and Dispatch applications in the Dashboard. This allows you to set webhooks for each application created - this is important for receiving inbound messages and message status updates.

To create your application using the Dashboard:

  1. Under Messages and Dispatch in the Dashboard, click Create an application.

  2. Enter the Application name, which can be anything you like.

  3. Enter the URL for your message status webhook, for example, https://example.com/webhooks/message-status.

  4. Enter the URL for your inbound message webhook, for example, https://example.com/webhooks/inbound-message.

  5. Click the link Generate public/private key pair just below the public key text area. This will create a public/private key pair and the private key will be downloaded by your browser.

  6. Click the Create Application button. You will be taken to phase 2 of the Create Application procedure where you can link external accounts such as Facebook to this application. If you do not have any external accounts listed here, or do not want to link one of those accounts to this application you can click Done.

  7. If there is an external account you want to link this application to, click the corresponding Link button and then click Done.

You have now created your application.

NOTE: Before testing your application ensure that your webhooks are configured and your webhook server is running.

Send an SMS message

Sending an SMS message with the Messages API can be done with one API call, authenticated using the JWT you just created.

In the example code below you will need to replace the following variables with actual values:

Key Description
FROM_NUMBER The phone number you are sending the message from.
TO_NUMBER The phone number you are sending the message to.

NOTE: Don't use a leading + or 00 when entering a phone number, start with the country code, for example 447700900000.

Example

Write the code

Add the following to send-sms.sh:

Copy to Clipboard
curl -X POST https://api.nexmo.com/v0.1/messages \
  -H 'Authorization: Bearer '$JWT\
  -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
  -H 'Accept: application/json' \
  -d $'{
    "from": { "type": "sms", "number": '$FROM_NUMBER' },
    "to": { "type": "sms", "number": '$TO_NUMBER' },
    "message": {
      "content": {
        "type": "text",
        "text": "This is an SMS sent from the Messages API"
      }
    }
  }'

View full source

Run your code

Save this file to your machine and run it:

$ bash send-sms.sh

Write the code

Add the following to app.js:

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const Nexmo = require('nexmo')

const nexmo = new Nexmo({
  apiKey: NEXMO_API_KEY,
  apiSecret: NEXMO_API_SECRET,
  applicationId: NEXMO_APPLICATION_ID,
  privateKey: NEXMO_APPLICATION_PRIVATE_KEY_PATH
})

nexmo.channel.send(
  { "type": "sms", "number": "TO_NUMBER" },
  { "type": "sms", "number": "FROM_NUMBER" },
  {
    "content": {
      "type": "text",
      "text": "This is an SMS sent from the Messages API"
    }
  },
  (err, data) => { console.log(data.message_uuid); }
);

View full source

Run your code

Save this file to your machine and run it:

$ node app.js

This will send an SMS message to the destination number you specified.

TIP: If testing using Curl you will need a JWT. You can see how to create one in the documentation on creating a JWT.

Further reading