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Paul Simon
New member
Username: Asangat

Post Number: 2
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Monday, September 03, 2007 - 05:13 pm:   

We have an application that host mutiple user accounts. Each user has a phone #. We want to allow users to send/receive emails via nowsms. Terminology is not very clear if we can do this. I think you can convert the incoming emails to an SMS message which will map to that users phone # - is this correct? Does this mean each users phone number has to be provisioned in the now sms server? If so whats the limitation of number of users and can we provision this via a web interface or some API? What we want to do is let a user send email message to some recipient like yahoo account and when they reply back to that email, to track that response and deliver the response to another email client (sender) or to the senders SMS. Would appreciate if you can she some light on this.
Bryce Norwood - NowSMS Support
Board Administrator
Username: Bryce

Post Number: 7436
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Monday, September 10, 2007 - 07:25 pm:   

Hi Paul,

To say that it is confusing is a bit of an understatement.

We try to make things as flexible as possible, so that users can accomplish a wide variety of different tasks. We also try to make things as simple as possible ... but usually flexibility requirements come at the expense of simplicity.

As a result, there's rarely a one-size-fits-all answer.

Could you explain in a little more detail the scenario that you're trying to accomplish?

I'm trying to follow the scenario that you describe, but I get a little confused, so let me try to explain where I need clarification ...


quote:

We have an application that host mutiple user accounts. Each user has a phone #. We want to allow users to send/receive emails via nowsms.




So your users are mobile phones? Or maybe I should say, each of your users has a mobile phone.

You want to allow them to send an e-mail from their mobile phone.

To generate a new SMS from their phone, they need to send an SMS message in to a phone number associated with your NowSMS system, and start the SMS message with the e-mail address they want to send to.

On the NowSMS side, you need to define a "2-way" command with a "command to execute" of "mailto:@@SMSPREFIX@@" (This is described on page 260 of the 2007 manual.)


quote:

I think you can convert the incoming emails to an SMS message which will map to that users phone # - is this correct? Does this mean each users phone number has to be provisioned in the now sms server?




Yes. We've switched gears here to talk instead about routing e-mail to SMS ... whereas the first part was talking about SMS to e-mail.

Users don't necessarily have to be provisioned, but in your scenario I think they should be.

Provisioning the accounts is necessary because you wouldn't want to open up a general purpose e-mail to SMS gateway, as that would be expensive for you when people find out about it.

So it is best to provision accounts only for those phone numbers for which you will route e-mail to SMS. Pages 228 to 230 of the manual talk about this.

Enable the SMTP server, define a domain name for SMS E-Mail ... and define aliases and phone numbers in the "MMSC Users" list for any phone numbers where e-mail to SMS will be accepted.


quote:

If so whats the limitation of number of users and can we provision this via a web interface or some API?




There is not a limit. There is an HTTP API described here: http://www.nowsms.com/support/bulletins/tb-nowsms-013.htm

(It is confusing because you are provisioning "MMSC Users" for this e-mail to SMS support ... the "SMS Users" accounts are for a different purpose.)


quote:

What we want to do is let a user send email message to some recipient like yahoo account and when they reply back to that email, to track that response and deliver the response to another email client (sender) or to the senders SMS.




When the SMS user sends out an e-mail, the e-mail recipient will see the message as coming from phonenumber@sms.domain. As long as "phonenumber" is provisioned in the "MMSC Users" list, then the e-mail recipient can reply back.

Hmm ... maybe it wasn't as difficult to explain as I first thought it was going to be.

The difficult bit of all of this is that if the SMS user receives an e-mail that has been converted to SMS, it is difficult for the SMS user to reply.

That is because they must put in the e-mail address to which the SMS reply should be directed to. (There are ways to avoid this, but they are complicated, and involve having a pool of at least 20 phone numbers allocated to your system. We have a separate piece of e-mail to SMS specific software that each time a new e-mail to SMS is received, the system pulls the next phone number out of the pool and assigns that phone number as the SMS sender for the converted message. If the SMS user replies back to that sender, we know which e-mail address to route the reply back to. You run into a problem when the pool wraps around, but for most purposes it works quite well.)

-bn
Paul Simon
New member
Username: Asangat

Post Number: 4
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Friday, September 21, 2007 - 10:11 pm:   

Thanks. On this same note how do we track send/receive of pure SMS? A user originates a SMS message from nowsms gateway to another phone. The message will have NOWSMS gateway phone #. When the recipient reply back to that SMS message, does the nowsms gateway has some sort of a hidden ref tag to match that message to the original sender assuming we have the senders phone # provisioned in nowsms gateway? Recipient of the message should not see the senders phone number and instead wil see nowsms gateway phone #. We want phone users to send/receive SMS anonymously.

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