Send SMS

To send a message you will need to make a HTTP POST request to the following url:
POST URL: http://api.africastalking.com/version1/messaging
The server expects:
Parameter Location Description Required
API key Header API key generated from your account settings Yes
Accept Header This is the format you would like your data formatted. It may be application/xml or application/json. The default is application/xml. The gateway classes provided uses appliaction/json. No
username Body This is your username Yes
to Body The recipients Yes
message Body This is the message to b sent Yes
from Body Shortcode or alphanumeric that is registered with your Africa's Talking account. If missing, the default value (20414) will be populated on the message No
bulkSMSMode Body This parameter will be used by the Mobile Service Provider to determine who gets billed for a message sent using a Mobile-Terminated ShortCode. The default value is 1 (which means that the sender(The AfricasTalking account being used ) gets charged). This parameter will be ignored for messages sent using alphanumerics or Mobile-Originated shortcodes. The value must be set to 1 for bulk messages No
enqueue Body This parameter is used for Bulk SMS clients that would like deliver as many messages to the API before waiting for an Ack from the Telcos. If enabled, the API will store the messages in its databases and send them out asynchronously after responding to the request No
keyword Body This parameter is used for premium services. It is essential for subscription premium services. No (Essential for subscription premium services)
linkId Body This parameter is used for premium services to send OnDemand messages. We forward the linkId to your application when the user send a message to your service. No (Essential for onDemand services.)
retryDurationInHours Body This parameter is used for premium messages. It specifies the number of hours your subscription message should be retried in case it's not delivered to the subscriber. No

Upon successful processing, the server shall respond in the following format:
XML
                        
<?xml version="1.0"?>
  <AfricastalkingResponse>
   <SMSMessageData>
     <Recipients>
       <Recipient>
         <number>+254711XXXYYY</number>
         <cost>KES YY</cost>
         <status>Success</status>
         <messageId>ATSid_1</messageId>
       </Recipient>
       .
       .
       .
       .
       <Recipient>
         <number>+254733YYYZZZ</number>
         <cost>KES XX</cost>
         <messageId>ATSid_2</messageId>
       </Recipient>
       
      </Recipients>
    </SMSMessageData>
  </AfricastalkingResponse>
 
JSON

{"SMSMessageData":
  {"Recipients":
    [
      {
       "number"    : "+254711XXXYYY",
       "cost"      : "KES YY",
       "status"    : "Success",
       "messageId" : "ATSid_1"
      },
      .
      .
      .
      .
      {
        "number"    : "+254733YYYZZZ",
        "cost"      : "KES XX",
        "status"    : "Success",
        "messageId" : "ATSid_n"
      }
    ]
  }
}
Example using CURL client
curl -v -H "Accept: application/xml" -d "username=myusername&message=hello test&to=+254711XXXYYY,+254733YYYZZZ" -H "Apikey:fb752d3417021812f0961y6c9464832dd1adb1
e555c73f1e7c32bcc006488674" -X POST http://api.africastalking.com/version1/messaging --insecure

You need your AfricasTalking username and APIKey for any request to our API. If you don't have an APIKey, please click here to get one

Send messages using Ruby on Rails

The Ruby and Rails code snippet below shows how to send SMS Messages using our API.

The code uses our Ruby and Rails gateway class: AfricasTalkingGateway.rb [ Download]

Sending a Message

# Include the helper gateway class
require './AfricasTalkingGateway'

# Specify your login credentials
username = "MyAfricasTalkingUsername";
apikey   = "MyAfricasTalkingAPIKey";

# Specify the numbers that you want to send to in a comma-separated list
# Please ensure you include the country code (+254 for Kenya in this case, +256 for Uganda)
to      = "+254711XXXYYY,+254733YYYZZZ";

# And of course we want our recipients to know what we really do
message = "I'm a lumberjack and it's ok, I sleep all night and I work all day"

# Create a new instance of our awesome gateway class
gateway = AfricasTalkingGateway.new(username, apikey)

# Any gateway error will be captured by our custom Exception class below,
# so wrap the call in a try-catch block
begin
  # Thats it, hit send and we'll take care of the rest.
  reports = gateway.sendMessage(to, message)
  
  reports.each {|x|
    # status is either "Success" or "error message"
    puts 'number=' + x.number + ';status=' + x.status + ';messageId=' + x.messageId + ';cost=' + x.cost
  }
rescue AfricasTalkingGatewayException => ex
  puts 'Encountered an error: ' + ex.message
end

# DONE!

Sending messages: Use short code/Sender id

# Sending Messages using sender id/short code

require './AfricasTalkingGateway'

username = "MyAfricasTalkingUsername";
apikey   = "MyAfricasTalkingAPIKey";

to      = "+254711XXXYYY,+254733YYYZZZ";

message = "I'm a lumberjack and it's ok, I sleep all night and I work all day"

# Specify your AfricasTalking shortCode or sender id
sender = "shortCode or senderId"

gateway = AfricasTalkingGateway.new(username, apikey)

begin
  # Thats it, hit send and we'll take care of the rest.
  reports = gateway.sendMessage(to, message, sender)
  
  reports.each {|x|
    puts 'number=' + x.number + ';status=' + x.status + ';messageId=' + x.messageId + ';cost=' + x.cost
  }
rescue AfricasTalkingGatewayException => ex
  puts 'Encountered an error: ' + ex.message
end

# DONE!

Sending messages: Queue messages to be sent later

# Sending Messages using sender id/short code

require './AfricasTalkingGateway'

username = "MyAfricasTalkingUsername";
apikey   = "MyAfricasTalkingAPIKey";

to      = "+254711XXXYYY,+254733YYYZZZ";

message = "I'm a lumberjack and it's ok, I sleep all night and I work all day"

sender = nil # sender = "shortCode or sender id"

bulkSMSMode = 1    # This should always be 1 for bulk messages

# enqueue flag is used to queue messages incase you are sending a high volume.
# The default value is 0.
enqueue = 1

gateway = AfricasTalkingGateway.new(username, apikey)

begin

  reports = gateway.sendMessage(to, message, sender, bulkSMSMode, enqueue)
  
  reports.each {|x|
    puts 'number=' + x.number + ';status=' + x.status + ';messageId=' + x.messageId + ';cost=' + x.cost
  }
rescue AfricasTalkingGatewayException => ex
  puts 'Encountered an error: ' + ex.message
end

# DONE!

Sending premium rated messages

# Sending premium rated messages

require './AfricasTalkingGateway'

# Specify your login credentials
username = "MyAfricasTalkingUsername"
apikey   = "MyAfricasTalkingAPIKey"

to      = "+254711XXXYYY"

# Specify your premium shortCode and keyword
# Set keyword as None where not used (Mostly for onDemand services)

shortCode = "XXXXX"
keyword   = "premiumKeyword" # keyword = nil

# Set the bulkSMSMode flag to 0 so that the subscriber gets charged
bulkSMSMode = 0

# Set the enqueue flag to 0 so that your message will not be queued or to 1 for many messages
enqueue    = 0

# Incase of an onDemand service, specify the link id. else set it to nil
# linkId is received from the message sent by subscriber to your onDemand service

linkId     = "messageLinkId" # linkId = nil

# Specify retryDurationInHours: The numbers of hours our API should retry to send the message
# incase it doesn't go through. It is optional
retryDurationInHours = "No of hours to retry"

# And of course we want our recipients to get our daily quote
message = "Get your daily message and thats how we roll."

gateway = AfricasTalkingGateway.new(username, apikey)

# Any gateway error will be captured by our custom Exception class below,
# so wrap the call in a try-catch block
begin

  reports = gateway.sendMessage(to, message, shortCode, bulkSMSMode, enqueue, keyword, linkId, retryDurationInHours)
  reports.each {|x|
    puts 'number=' + x.number + ';status=' + x.status + ';messageId=' + x.messageId
  }
rescue AfricasTalkingGatewayException => ex
  puts 'Encountered an error: ' + ex.message
end