text messaging feature - international

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jxshort
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Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2020 11:51 pm

text messaging feature - international

Post by jxshort »

Will the text messaging feature from the app work for international numbers eg Australia +61 nnn nnn nnn?
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Re: text messaging feature - international

Post by admin »

The short answer not currently, but I would be willing to make an update so it would.

The long answer: The SMS text feature actually uses email and an outgoing mail gateway. In the US the various mobile carriers have formats that include the mobile phone number (10 digits) followed by the unique cell carrier's email address.

Example: A person has a mobile number with 401 area code and the 7 digit phone number 555-1212 resulting in the SMS Text email address of 4015551212@vtext.com for Verizon, 4015551212@tmomail.net for T-Mobile, etc.

I would be happy to include the format for international mobile phone carriers used in Australia if you would let me know the following.
1. The number of digits in the phone number
2. The names of the mobile carrier companies used

This would require a software update so that the users could properly store their mobile number and select the appropriate carrier. Once this was done, all automatic notifications should work with the phone.
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jxshort
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Re: text messaging feature - international

Post by jxshort »

Perfect. The mobile number format in Australia is +61(0)nnn nnn nnn the first "n" is either a 4 or a 5. The only three mobile carriers in Australia are Telstra (https://www.telstra.com.au), Optus (https://www.optus.com.au/), and Vodafone/TPG (https://www.vodafone.com.au/). There are numerous resellers but these are the only 3 carriers.

Not sure how you handle date formats, but the only other query would be - do the dates on the site observe the user hardware dates settings or are they hard coded to US formats?

A few previous team sites have closed or are closing as a result of the pandemic (until now we have been using Teamstuff.com - until next month when it shuts down), your site shows great promise and has many "wished for" features the other sites do not "get" when it comes to sailing teams. A feature I really appreciated on Teamstuff was the ability to set a a maximum roster limit for each race or series and when the race was fully subscribed the rest of the potential crew would be rostered off so you did not end up with too many signed on for the race (although the admin could override any roster limits as well). Whilst it did not have this next step, it would be great if the rostered off crew were auto notified if a confirmed crew subsequently had to bail out and those rostered off could sign on to the race back up until the roster limit was reached. We race with 8 but have a potential crew pool of around 16.

Cheers
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Re: text messaging feature - international

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Currently dates are hard coded to US formats. That is another modification I could do, although it will take time to identify all the places where dates are displayed. What I see happening is your assistance to help locate where AU formats should be shown, and what the AU format should be. Some are easily found such as on the calendar. Other places are more obscure such as in emails and messages. Below is a plan I would use to modify Crew Manager for use in Australia. I would need your help to identify where changes need to be made, and testing any updates incorporated.

1. Pass me via admin@crew-mgr.com your email address, mobile carrier and mobile phone number. I will start a private conversation with you so the email to SMS text method may be completed first. If it turns out that the AU cell carriers do not have SMS gateways or block them (some do), an alternate solution might be to subscribe to a third party text forwarder that could be interfaced with Crew Manager. They would charge you per text message and I would need to build the interface and setup with the forwarder.
Note: The email function in Crew Manager will work "as is" with anyone's email address. It is only the SMS feature for the phone that requires additional work for Australia.
2. What I found via web search are the following potential Email to SMS formats for the 3 AU mobile phone carriers with all mobile phones using 10 digits. This can easily be tested using your email client to a someone who has a mobile number registered with the associated carrier: 3. I will code the option to enter US or AU phone numbers and properly format them to display on the User's profile and Crew Roster. Both of these require being logged in to see. If an email to SMS gateway is required, I could work with you so you may subscribe to a third party SMS Gateway service and I could write the software that would interface your Crew Manager account to the API offered by the SMS gateway service. The SMS gateway would only be needed to send messages automatically from Crew Manager.
Note: There is an existing SMS interface built into Crew Manager that allows manually initiating SMS messages to crew, either individually or in pre-defined groups. It is described in the Crew Manual on the Crew Roster page and in the Calendar section on the View Season page.

The number of people on the boat for an event is determined by the skipper and currently done manually. The process is for crew to set their availability for events, then you the skipper assign crew positions. There is a position designated as "Stay Ashore" for times when you are oversubscribed with crew. There is also a position called "Standby" that has a person who is available on call. Depending how you run your program, you may just use a generic position of "Crew" or assign positions such as Foredeck, Spinnaker Trimmer, etc. There are a number of positions already available. You may modify these position names, add your own or delete the positions not used.

Once you get a chance to try Crew Manager, feel free to put in suggestions in the Request a Feature section on the support forum. If you browse that you'll see most features requested by subscribers have been incorporated or addressed.
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Re: text messaging feature - international

Post by admin »

Replying to this thread for all to see. It turns out the unlike the US, some country mobile phone carriers lack no-cost email to SMS Text gateways. Australia is an example of that.

Working with jxshort, updates were made to Crew Manager that provide the following:
  • An International settings page was added so the Skipper may choose the date formats (e.g. d/m/y, or m/d/y) with the selection reformatting the displayed dates on various pages and email messages
  • The setting page allows the Skipper to enable a country selector dropdown that appears in a users profile by the mobile number. This dropdown prefixes the proper country code to the mobile number, and also allows the number to be properly formatting for manually initiated text messages from Crew manager. The displayed number on the Roster page is formatted using the selected country standards.
  • The settings page allows the Skipper to hide the check boxes associated with the Email to SMS Text in a users profile and on the Roster page
Should any Skipper desire to have full integrated SMS Text similar to the US, they would need to subscribe to a 3rd party Email to SMS text gateway. The credentials for connecting with the gateway would need to be provided to Crew Manager and the integrated Email to SMS to Text capability would work. Recognize that as designed, users receive the automatic emails and notifications. The SMS Text was added later as a parallel path for these, so no information is missed.
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