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Skype's SMS service and its API open up all sorts of possibilities for your own applications.
The only problem is that using the raw API can be a little tough at first. However, there is a much easier to use ActiveX/COM-based API which can be used from scripting languages, embedded in web pages and so on. This is the basis of this project which is your very own email to SMS gateway.
If you do want to implement the same ideas using the full API then read Recording Skype.
The principle is that mail to a specific email address is converted into an SMS. In the example project it is sent to a single fixed phone number. This is because its original purpose was to forward mail from Outlook Express to the users mobile.
All you have to do is set up a rule which detects an important email and forwards it to the SMS gateway, which in turn forwards it to the mobile phone of owner of the original mailbox. It could easily be modified to forward any email received to mobile phone numbers specified within the emails themselves. One warning – you will have to find a way to deal with spam, more of which later.
In this project you will:
- find out how to pickup emails using the POP3 protocol
- use try-catch to deal with runtime errors,
- discover how to to interface with the Skype VOIP application
- how to automatically send SMS messages
The first part of the project is concerned with building a POP 3 class to deal with email. If you are interested more in the Skype part of the project skip forward to A Skype Class.
The project is written in C# but it is easy to convert it to any .NET language or any language, scripting or otherwise that supports ActiveX.
Before you begin - Skype
There are some “system requirements” which you need to deal with before moving on. It is assumed that you already have Skype installed and you have an account. If not you can register and download it from Skype.
If you are going to send SMS messages then you will also need some Skype credit which you can buy using a credit card or PayPal.
To make use of the ActiveX/COM API you also need to download and install Skype4COM from:
Installation details are given later.
Finally it is assumed that you have an email account set up and ready to be used exclusively as an SMS gateway.