NyarumaSMS aims to provide a quick start for a basic python based SMS app using the tools Nyaruka uses to build its systems. This includes setting up rapidsms, rapidsms-httprouter, smartmin and our parsing and localization libraries.

Getting Started

To get started, follow these steps:

% virtualenv env
% source env/bin/activate
% pip install nsms
% start-nsms [project-name]
% pip install -r pip-requires.txt
% cd [project-name]
% python manage.py syncdb
% python manage.py migrate
% python manage.py runserver

Sample Application

NSMS comes with a simple SMS application to track the mileage on vehicles. The SMS format for the application is as follows.

Registering Cars

Each user of the system much register the car they are using, they do so by sending:

car [license plate]

This register a car to the phone. From now on all mileage reports will be associated with the car with the passed in license plate. The license plate must be 8 characters.

Adding Mileage Reports

Once a user has registered their car, they can report mileage by sending the message:

miles [mileage (integer)]

This records a new mileage report for the car associated with this connection. If the connetion has not registered a car then this will be an error.

Best Practices

This application aims to demonstrate the following best practices:

  • Comprehensive unit coverage. We aim for 100% unit test coverage of our apps, and so should you. This app shows you how easily that can be done
  • DRY. We use Smartmin to allow us to add a lot of functionality without adding much code
  • Language Templates. We let our customers edit the translations for all our messages through a web UI, including using standard Django templates for formatting.
  • Tolerant Parsing. Though still a work in progress, our rapidsms_parser module provides an easy way to programmatically parse SMS messages and give good error messaging in the process.
  • User Management. We provide our customers with basic user management, using groups and SmartMin permissions to easily manage these.

Current Release:


released March 21, 2012

Package Type:

RapidSMS Library


Nicolas Pottier ([email protected])