Azure Integration with voice and SMS via Twilio


It’s a fancy word, but ‘telephony’ just got a little smarter now that Microsoft is partnering with cloud-based telephony provider, Twilio.

A recent news item in Redmond Developer, reports the Microsoft Azure Integration will help developers in two key ways: building voice and short-text-messaging (SMS)-enabled apps, all running on the Windows Azure cloud service.

“Twilio’s APIs will work with applications built in Java, .NET and PHP running on Windows Azure. ‘Sending text…from Windows Azure has never been easier,’ said Brian Goldfarb, director of product marketing for Microsoft’s Windows Azure group.”

The ability to initiate and receive phone calls from mobile and Web applications is at the core of this merging of technology; developers will be able to integrate the systems to allow mobile and Web apps to initiate and receive phones.

In addition, the APIs bring together voice messaging, interactive voice response and text capabilities.

According to Jon Plax, Twilio’s director of product management, “We present simply RESTful APIs, that…require a very basic developer skill set to utilize. You don’t have to be a telecom wonk in order to build applications that do interactive voice communications or interactive SMS.”

Twilio uses a web-service API with a straightforward outcome:

  1. A user makes or sends a SMS to a Twilio number
  2. Once received, it sends back a request to the application
  3. Your app receives…sends XML back to Twilio
  4. Twilio translates, executes and interacts with user.

The new venture will be of particular interest to developers working with mobile and Web-based customer relationship management (CRM) apps.

Overall, the API will greatly simplify access to telecom networks, opening the door for business owners to increase the viability of their marketing via smartphones.