Setting up SharePoint to work with an SMS Provider

One cool thing to demo with SharePoint 2010 is the new SMS Alerting feature. For instance, this sort of thing is good at the exec level if they need to be alerted when a new ASX Bulletin is released… or when the sales figures for last month are published. The service works the same way as a normal email alert does, but if SMS Services are enabled at the web app level or the Farm level, you can elect to be notified by SMS instead.

Pop someone’s SMS in, change a document, continue your sales patter and 30 seconds or so later they hear the all-too-familiar “beep-beep… beep-beep” on their phone. Then, if you are demoing a publically accessible site they can even click on the link provided and open up the relevant document. Ever so sweet!

Problems…
Sometimes, new functionality comes with new issues.

  1. If you set up the SMS Service properties in Central Admin at the Farm level, then decide they’d be better at the Web App level, then remove them from the web app and try to configure them at the farm level again it does not work. For some reason there’s a piece of UI logic in the Subscription alert page that baulks at this scenario. The workaround is to configure it at the Web app level again.
  2. Setting it up requires the use of Powershell – it’s far from a “switch it on and go” type of feature… but it doesn’t tell you what’s missing, it just says that it “had a problem Connecting”.

    image004

  3. You are subject to the same constraints as normal email alerting, so make sure you set the timer job to run every minute (you can do this thru the Central Admin UI now) otherwise in demoland it will take an eternity.

The Powershell steps required are:

Save the ROOT certificate from your service provider’s website (in my provider’s case https://www.redoxygen.net/, that’s the one called “Go Daddy Class 2 Certification Authority”).

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Open the SharePoint PowerShell Console

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and run the following Powershell script:
$cert = Get-PfxCertificate <PathToYourSavedCertificateFile>
New-SPTrustedRootAuthority -Name <AnyNameYouWant> -Certificate $cert

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Then it works. The guidelines I followed are on this Technet Article: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee428323.aspx

Of course, if the provider is not handling the web service call correctly you will be able to configure the SMS alerting but will prevent you from successfully send an SMS. The best way to fix this is to have a look at the actual messages the Timer Service is generating – check this article out to find out how to do it.

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About Brad Saide

I'm a SharePoint consultant. I'm also slowly going bald, seem to have a permanent spare tyre around my waist and enjoy socialising with friends over a beer or 10. The last 2 may possibly be related. Started working with SharePoint when the first version was in limited beta release (participated in the Technology Adoption Program while at Woolworths) and have been committed to the adoption of the technology as a business enabler ever since.
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7 Responses to Setting up SharePoint to work with an SMS Provider

  1. that’s a whole lot of work just to get SMS notifications – but cool feature nonetheless, and thanks for taking the time to post.

    • Brad Saide says:

      I agree – it’s an unusually large amount of effort… but it’s hot when you can subscribe someone to a document update in the middle of a meeting and they can see the interaction on a personal level…

  2. Mahmoud says:

    hi there..and thanks for posting

    but i want to ask if i can set up my own sms server (like ozeki sms server) and use it with SharePoint 2010 please tell me if got any ideas

    thank you

    • Brad Saide says:

      Hi Mahmoud.

      Short answer – you can, as long as you implement the SOAP interface (I think) so SharePoint can talk to it or you use a DIY app that is already set up to talk to SharePoint.

      • Mahmoud says:

        HI Brad

        thank you for your reply
        can i get the long version of your answer :)) , I’m a little greedy but if you can recommend a step by step guide or an article i can review it will be more than appreciated

        thank you

  3. jasmin974 says:

    Got Any detailed reply mr Mahmoud? Mr. Brad?

    • Brad Saide says:

      Hi Jasmin. Unfortunately not – it’s been a while since I spun up a 2010 server. It would require someone with .NET dev skills and an understanding of the API to get the SOAP interface set up. If you do work it out, please post back for others to benefit!

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