APIs and documentation

Shared Short codes API

Introduction

The Premium SMS platform provided by aql.com is a flexible way of receiving messages via short codes, identifying the source network provider and sending the appropriate billing messages to gain revenue.

 

Connection details

The Premium SMS platform provided by aql.com is a flexible way of receiving messages via short codes, identifying the source network provider and sending the appropriate billing messages to gain revenue.

https://gw.aql.com/sms/gw-premium.php

Although we do offer the standard HTTP gateway, we do prefer that your application uses the HTTPS gateway as it prevents sensitive details being sniffed across the internet.

Overview of Transactions

The basic process for making a billing request for a user is:

  1. End user sends a text message to your keyword on the short code.
  2. Our system records the message details and sends the appropriate response depending on how your keyword is set up. To bill a user this should be set to httppost.
  3. Your application decides whether to bill the end user, if so, posting back to our gateway with a message to send back, as well as the unique identifier.
  4. Once the message has been accepted, when we receive a delivery notification we can optionally post back to your application notifying you that the message was accepted / rejected from the phone.

During step 3, when your application posts to our gateway it can flag whether to close use of the key again. This prevents further billing to this end user without an addition MO being received through the short code.

NB: Even if the message is accepted at the end users phone, it is still possible that payment will not be taken. This can be due to a variety of reasons, such as the end user rejecting the payment / the phone not having sufficient credit at the time the message is received.

Gateway details

When we receive a MO (Mobile Originated) message to a keyword assigned to your account, we will send the details on to you by the method specified on aql.com. In order to bill your customers this would need to be set to HTTP post, this Post will contain the following details:

Response
Variable name Description
request_type This is the type of request, in this case it will be set to new
shortcode The short code number
sender The sender phone number
message The message that was sent
timestamp The timestamp of when the message was received
msgkey A unique key associated with the MO message. This is needed for billing

Once your application has received these details, it can either ignore the request and not send back response thus not charging the end user, or send back a HTTP post back to our server requesting that the end user is charged (at the tariff associated with the shortcode). The details that your application would need to post back to our gateway are:

Response
Variable name Description
username Your aql.com username
password Your aql.com password
shortcode The shortcode associated with the request
destination The destination number (Must be exactly the same as the number sent by using previous request)
type Must be set to either text or flash or wap_si
msgkey msgkey sent with the original request
status Final status of request, either open or close
report Request delivery report, either yes or no
user_ref This is an identifier for the request; it can be set to any alphanumeric string,up to 20 characters

Depending on the type defined, the following fields may be required:

For the types text or flash
Variable name Description
data Message data (max 160 characters)
For the types wap_si
Variable name Description
wapname The Name data used in the wap push
wapurl The URL of the wap document
msg_limit This is the number of messages the request can span (1, 2 or 3)

Note that if the status of the request is set to open, it allows further billing requests to be made using the same msgkey and destination number in the future. In this case, the user reference can be changed for each following charge request – this allows your application to identify each request (and associated delivery report). However, if the status is set to close, this will prevent further billing attempts to be made using the msgkey and destination number combination. To allow further billing in this case, a new MO message must be received on the shortcode, giving a new msgkey.

When using the wap_si type, the msg_limit field is used to limit the number of billing messages sent, as if the combined length of the URL and name exceed 96 characters, the push will have to span 2 messages. If the message has to span 2 messages, 2 billing messages will be sent hence charging the end user twice. The default limit is set at 1 message, and if the limit is reached, the error GW-MSGLIMIT_REACHED will be given.

If report was set to yes, when we receive a delivery report back from the destination mobile, another request will be made to your application sending the following HTTP Post details:

Response
Variable name Description
request_type This is the type of request, this case it will be set to report
user_ref This is the user_ref submitted in the original billing request sent by you
msgkey A unique key associated with the MO message. This will allow you to match the report with the original request
status The status of the message

HTTP Gateway Error Codes

Below is a table of response codes from the http interface:

Response
Error code Description
GW-NO_AUTH_DETAILS No authentication details were provided
GW-AUTH_ERROR There was an error in authenticating based on the details provided
GW-KEY_INVALID The key provided was invalid (must only contain characters a-z, A-Z, 0-9)
GW-SHORTCODE_NOTFOUND The short code was not found associated with your account
GW-SHORTCODE_INACTIVE The Short code is inactive – contact support for details
GW-SHORTCODE_CLOSEDGW The key for this transaction has been closed for use
GW-SHORTCODE_CLOSEDCLIENT The key for this transaction has been closed by the client
GW-SHORTCODE_FAIL Details for the short code could not be retrieved
GW-OK Message Accepted
GW-FAIL There was an error in queuing the message. Please contact support
GW-STATUS_INVALID The status provided was invalid / missing
GW-USER_REF_INVALID The User reference you provided was invalid / missing
GW-MSGLIMIT_INVALID The value provided was not a valid number (1, 2 or 3)
GW-TYPE_INVALID The message type was invalid (either text, flash or wap_si)
GW-DATA_INVALID The data field was missing
GW-WAPNAME_INVALID The wapname field was missing
GW-WAPURL_INVALID The wapurl field was missing
GW-ENCODE_FAIL The gateway failed to encode the binary message
GW-MSGLIMIT_REACHED The binary message needed to span more messages than the limit set
GW-REPORT_INVALID The report field was invalid (should be yes or no)

Status descriptions

Possible Values of the status variable are:

Response
Status Description
phonesent The destination phone has accepted the message
phonefail The destination phone has rejected the message
smscsent The destination network has accepted the message on behalf of the destination number
smscfail The destination network has rejected the message on behalf of the destination number
fail The message has failed

An example flow of requests during a billing transaction

This is the Message from the Mobile to the shortcode (this is a dump of the variables posted):

array(7) {
["request_type"]=>
string(3) "new"
["shortcode"]=>
string(4) "1000"
["sender"]=>
string(12) "447789123456"
["message"]=>
string(14) "This is a test"
["timestamp"]=>
string(19) "2004-01-26 16:07:43"
["msgkey"]=>
string(32) "966cf073923aa0793d1ecabbd10ba1bf"
}
Your application would then post back details similar to the following (NB: All fields are required), which would initiate the MT billing request.
array(11) {
["username"]=>
string(7) "testaccount"
["password"]=>
string(5) "testpwd"
["shortcode"]=>
string(4) "1000"
["destination"]=>
string(12) "447789123456"
["type"]=>
string(4) "text"
["data"]=>
string(30) "This is the MT Billing message"
["msgkey"]=>
string(32) "966cf073923aa0793d1ecabbd10ba1bf"
["status"]=>
string(4) "open"
["report"]=>
string(3) "yes"
["user_ref"]=>
string(6) "123abc"
}

As in the MT billing request a status report was requested, when we receive any form of delivery confirmation, another HTTP Post would made similar to the following:

array(4) {
["request_type"]=>
string(6) "report"
["user_ref"]=>
string(4) "123abc"
["msgkey"]=>
string(32) "966cf073923aa0793d1ecabbd10ba1bf"
["status"]=>
string(9) "phonesent"
}

At a later date, you may wish to bill the client again (e.g. a subscription service), you would need to send another MT Billing request, ie:

array(11) {
["username"]=>
string(7) "testaccount"
["password"]=>
string(5) "testpwd"
["shortcode"]=>
string(4) "1000"
["destination"]=>
string(12) "447789123456"
["type"]=>
string(4) "text"
["data"]=>
string(39) "This is the MT Billing message number 2"
["msgkey"]=>
string(32) "966cf073923aa0793d1ecabbd10ba1bf"
["status"]=>
string(5) "close"
["report"]=>
string(3) "yes"
["user_ref"]=>
string(6) "456abc"
}

In this case again, a status report was requested, therefore you would receive a similar delivery confirmation as before:

array(4) { 
["request_type"]=>
string(6) "report"
["user_ref"]=>
string(4) "456abc"
["msgkey"]=>
string(32) "966cf073923aa0793d1ecabbd10ba1bf"
["status"]=>
string(9) "phonesent"
}

After this, as the status was set to close, no further billing requests would be possible to this number using the msgkey. A new MO message would have to be received.

Technical Support

For technical support and further queries about the Premium SMS platform, please launch a support ticket, by going to the address: http://support.aql.com using your aql.com username and password to login.


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