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I wrote a sms survey application

My pastor was looking for a sms survey service, requirements: A number to give out, a way to gather the responses, easy to use, cheap as possible. Googling turned up a few results with no clear pricing and salesmen, one I found was about $50 a month. Since I work at a telephone company, I decided just to make one using our API.

I am calling the application “Survey Hail”, as its a survey service, and a play of words on the pastors name. As with all code I write, this will is open sourced. It works as follows.

If you are the admin running the service for yourself / others. Assuming you are running a Linux server (you really should be, its the only real server OS in the world). Install docker and golang. Download the open-source code https://github.com/Jmainguy/survey_hail. Run the make command. Sign up for an account at The Bandwidth API. Pricing is $0.35 a month for a number, inbound sms is free (people texting your app their responses), outbound MMS to deliver the report is $0.01 a message. So, easily under $1 a month to run. You get your api / credentials, add them to a config.yaml file the service uses, then run run.sh. The server is now running.

The server checks in every 30 seconds for new messages, it stores messages it finds in a sqlite3 database, if it receives a message with the text of “report” from a admin phone number, it will send a csv report of all other text messages to that number. Users text their survey responses to the number, the admin texts “report” when they want a report.

Ez pz, lemon squeezy.

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