Exactly why NOT to build your own SMS API: App developer edition

Build your own SMS gateway

An SMS API is how app developers would connect to a bulk SMS gateway where they can send and receive SMS messages as well as conduct various SMS functions within a secure database environment. Lately, ambitious app developers have been building their own APIs to fuel private SMS messaging gateways that they control.

Why would an app developer choose to build their own SMS API bulk messaging gateway? Are there any dangers involved in choosing this route to SMS integration for your app?

Check out the Clickatell bulk SMS API gateway here.

Why do app developers want to build these gateways?

As you may already know, the SMS industry is not an easy tech to break into when you are a solitary app developer. For these lone developers, sometimes using a limited free SMS API, or using a paid SMS API service is not enough. When this happens they turn their attentions to building their very own SMS gateway to suit their needs. The problem, of course, is that aside from the obvious cost savings - there are many shortfalls that the ambitious app developer does not realize. Building an SMS API is no small feat, and it requires a lot of software coding, so if you aren't dedicated to code forget it!

  • App developers should not waste their time building their own SMS API when they are not prepared to deal with the software problems that come with it.

5 reasons why SMS API development is a bad idea

An SMS gateway and API like the ones we run here at Clickatell have a number of features that a small SMS API could not hope to have. This limits the amount of functionality that the app developer has anyway. Assuming that you want your app bulk SMS service to reach the maximum amount of your users, which is always a problem with small networks.

#1: Unsecured SMS APIs can be hijacked by a spammer, in which case your SMS lists will receive untold amounts of spam on your network.

#2: Depending on how you may build your SMS API, the SMS send limit will be much smaller than going with a reputable API from a reliable company.

#3: Functionality will be limited as your GSM-modem based SMS API is only able to perform certain functions - sending, receiving, the real basics of HTTP API development.

#4: Using an open source bulk SMS gateway in conjunction with your API is also very limited. They often crash, are hacked or experience network issues, which means that your SMS messages can be lost, stolen or worse if the gateway malfunctions.

#5: Apps that use SMS functionality need wide network coverage so that your text messages will reach your app customers no matter where they are in the world.

The SMS API creation debacle

The very same reasons many app developers want to create their own SMS APIs (more profit, reduced costs) are also the reasons why they fail. For the sake of saving money, their SMS service becomes unreliable, which causes endless problems.

That is why app developers should seriously consider partnering with a company who's dedicated business is developing complex bulk SMS gateways. Even if you decide not to use Clickatell, there are smaller providers out there that can help you. Building your own SMS API and gateway, however, is only feasible if you have a tiny network of people to text, who will not mind the errors or security risks that this development causes.

Plan B? Check out Clickatell Platform here. Platform allows you to communicate with your customers, your way, leading your business into the future of communication. Sign up for a free account today and you'll get to enjoy unlimited bulk SMS testing in our Sandbox environment.


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