What is an SMS API?
Get a quick overview of what an SMS API is and what it’s used for. APIs are generally most useful for developers when integrating multiple systems with each other.
Fortunately, if you don’t have experience working with APIs, you still have many other options for connecting your system to GatewayAPI, including via Zapier or Make, that don’t require coding experience.
First off: What is an API?
API stands for “Application Programming Interface” which in short enables different applications to talk to each other and exchange information. They thus act as a binding agent that can be used to connect a multitude of different applications to each other.
For example, if you want to keep your website updated with your latest Facebook posts, this is done through APIs. Or if you want an SMS to be sent automatically when a customer has signed up for a service, that’s also done via APIs. The advantage of APIs is that once they are set up, they run in the background 24/7, ready to perform the tasks for which they are programmed.
How does an SMS API work?
An SMS API allows you to connect to an SMS gateway, which enables implementing SMS services in your existing software solutions. You will then be able to send and receive SMS messages easily and quickly through, for example, a website or an application.
We recommend using our REST API, but you can also use our SMPP API, our Kannel API or our Simple HTTP API.
What are API keys?
Once you have created a GatewayAPI account, you will be able to create API keys that are unique to your account. The API keys contain information that provides access to our API (if the API key is active) and enables SMS messages to be sent via your GatewayAPI account from the application in which the keys are inserted.
For this reason, API keys must be treated like passwords and kept strictly confidential. As an extra layer of security, we offer various security measures to safeguard your account against misuse even if your API keys have been leaked. Read more about them here.
How does an SMS API flow look like?
When you send SMS messages via GatewayAPI, there are a number of actions that are performed:
- First, the API receives the message and runs it through various authentication procedures.
- Once the message has been approved, it is sent on to step two, “processing”, where it is checked for spam and phishing, and then routed to the relevant telecom operators.
- The message is then sent to a specific connection so that it can ultimately be delivered to the end recipient.
- Once the message has been accepted by the operator or gateway to which the message is routed, a status report is received, forwarded and finally appears as a status message on the GatewayAPI dashboard.
See a complete description of the SMS flow here.
What is the significance of the uptime of an SMS API?
A high uptime of an SMS API is key to ensuring that the API is always available when different applications need to use it day and night.
GatewayAPI has an uptime of over 99.99% on average, which means downtime is often less than one hour per year. In other words, our API is practically always online and available.
What does it cost to use an SMS API?
It varies depending on which provider you use. The use of GatewayAPI is transaction based, i.e. you only pay for the amount of SMS traffic you send. By default, you therefore pay neither for setup nor for monthly subscriptions. In addition, you do not pay anything to connect to our SMS APIs.
Please note that in some countries you are required to use a virtual number to send SMS traffic, which is associated with a monthly fee.
You can see our prices for over 200 countries here.
What types of organizations use SMS APIs?
More or less all types of organizations can benefit from implementing an SMS API and communicating via SMS. These organizations can be webshops, physical stores, banks, restaurants, nightclubs, insurance companies, transport companies, freight companies, humanitarian organizations, organizations within the health sector, IT platforms, public institutions and many more.
If I don’t know how to program, can I still use your SMS API?
Yes, we offer many integration options that are very easy to set up, allowing you to implement GatewayAPI’s SMS services in exactly the tools you like to use.
If you have a webshop, you can choose between our Shopify, WooCommerce, Prestashop og Magento integration. If your website is powered by WordPress, you also have the option to use our free WordPress plugin, which allows you to build audiences, create messages, manage SMS broadcasts and receive messages.
You also have the option to use our sister platform RelationCity, which offers a range of SMS tools that enable you to easily manage and segment audiences, build content, schedule broadcasts, view statistics and more. As a GatewayAPI user, you have direct access to RelationCity thanks to the shared OCiD login.
See other integration options that don’t require coding experience to set up here.