How can I integrate FrontlineSMS with Ushahidi?

Ushahidi develops free and open-source software for information collection, visualization and interactive mapping. FrontlineSMS and FrontlineCloud are often used as one connection to gather input and data via SMS into Ushahidi’s tool.

FrontlineCloud and FrontlineSMS 2.6 works with Ushahidi using a plug-in created by Ushahidi and using that plug-in with Frontline's 'Forward to URL Activity'.  Ushahidi have an article on their wiki explaining steps needed.

Steps needed at Frontline's end:

  1. Get in touch with our team first to get your project planned out.
  2. A paid subscription is needed for when your project goes live but you can set up and prototype the system through a free trial workspace.
  3. Create a connection.  This is how you get your SMS into FrontlineCloud.  Most users use a local Android phone running the free FrontlineSync app.  This syncs FrontlineCloud to the phone’s in and outbound SMS.  There are other web-based aggregator alternatives such as Nexmo, Twilio and others.
  4. Set up a ‘Forward to a URL’ Activity and point it at your Ushahidi or Crowdmap address. You then enter the stub URL of Crowdmap or Ushahidi into the Target URL field, e.g.
  5. Finally enter the Key/Value parameters that contain the SMS content and the authentication key. There are normally 3 variables expected in pushing SMS to Ushahidi, 1 hard-coded key and 2 dynamic variables that change every time depending on the SMS content:
    1. key=hard-coded to whatever your Ushahidi instance expects
    2. s=${trigger.sourceNumber}
    3. m=${trigger.text}
      Note that there is the Magic Wand helper to auto-input these dynamic ${xyz} values.
      These keys are case-sensitive so 'Key' will not work

For instructions on how to integrate FrontlineSMS 2.5 or below with Ushahidi, see these instructions on the Ushahidi wiki.

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