Using a cloud SMS provider? You need the Auron SMS Server!

Just simply sending a message through a cloud provider API is fairly easy for many software developers. But in doing so you’ll gloss over some important concerns.

This article details the added value of relying on the Auron SMS Server to integrate with your cloud SMS provider(s). Here are some of the most important benefits:

Using Auron SMS Server with a cloud provider

1. Continuity

Your service shouldn’t fail. This means that if your cloud provider is unable to send a message you need to:

  • Retry on a different channel; Try sending as SMS instead of WhatsApp for instance.
  • Retry with a different provider; Maybe your provider is down or there’s an interruption in your internet connection.
  • Retry at a different time; It may be a temporary outage.
  • Escalate by notifying your team. Automatically notify your tech team when messages aren’t coming through.

All of these things are easy to setup in the Auron SMS Server while some of these things are impossible to setup with any cloud messaging provider.

2. Uniformity

Each cloud messaging provider has their own unique programming API. Switching between providers requires a rewrite of expensive integration code. In addition, each provider has their own dashboard to wade through sent or received messages.

Instead you need to have:

  • A single, searchable message store; All your message in the same place. Easy to search and inspect. Each message has a clear status and trace log.
  • A single API for everything; Send and receive through any (cloud based) provider in the same way. Whether you’re sending SMS, WhatsApp or E-mail.
  • No-code messaging provider integrations; Add new messaging providers and new messaging routes without having to program anything.

The Auron SMS Server Manager is the front-end of your configuration. The open-source Web Messenger is the way your office interacts with the Auron SMS Server. Tons of integration options make it easy to connect into existing software as well.

3. Flexibility

Every thriving business is always changing. The software stack you’re investing in must be able to keep up:

  • Update your business rules without interruption of service; Add, remove and modify channels, routing rules and triggers at run-time.
  • Import and move your configuration between a test and production server; It’s easy to maintain a test server and only move to production when everything is ready and tested.
  • While enjoying maximum performance and minimal latency; All of this is built with performance and responsiveness in mind.

The Auron SMS Server is powered by its message bus architecture. This is a low-latency, high-volume industrial strength message bus that has earned it stripes and is ready for the future.

4. Confidence

The most important benefit is the confidence that your application is reliable and can run unattended.

And to show how we’re confident in this as well you can download a completely free fully functional 30-day trial!

And if you need any help with testing, don’t hesitate to contact us.

On October 1st in 2022 Microsoft disables basic authentication in Exchange Online and Office 365. With Auron Software you won’t have to miss a single e-mail.

This change affects anyone that currently integrates with Office 365 using SMTP, POP3 or IMAP. It’s no longer possible to just specify a username and password to send or receive e-mail. Instead you’re recommended to use Modern Authentication (OAuth2).

Microsoft office365 to disable basic authentication

Of course users of Auron Software won’t have to miss a single e-mail. You can already prepare for this.

In the following sections we’ll go over how to prepare, how to configure oauth2 in the Auron SMS Server and how to configure OAuth2 in the Auron E-mail Component.

How to prepare for OAuth2

In either case you’ll need a client ID. This client ID identifies your application with Microsoft. That way the Microsoft login page knows which application needs authentication.

Auron Software does not provide a generic client ID because client ID’s are vulnerable to spoofing attacks if they leak out. With a spoofing attack a hacker can pretend to be your application. That’s why it’s always much more secure to use your own client ID and to keep it a secret.

The next step is to make sure that SMTP, POP and IMAP is available on your Office365 account. Follow these instructions to make sure that they are.

For the Auron SMS Server

If you’re an Auron SMS Server customer the next step is to verify your software version. Auron Software supports OAuth2 from version 2022 onward if you have a professional or SMSC license.

You can verify this by starting the Auron SMS Server Manager and navigating to Help -> About.

Auron SMS Server - Version 2022
Auron SMS Server – Version 2022

If you’re not already on version 2022 you’ll have to upgrade. Before upgrading please read the release notes of version 2022 for an overview of the changes and the upgrade instructions.

In version 2022 you can navigate to the channel settings of your e-mail channels and change the authentication setting to ‘OAuth’. For either channel you’ll always find the OAuth Authorizer which helps you grant access to the e-mail channel using your client ID.

And that’s it. You should now be set and October 1st will pass without a hitch.

For the Auron E-mail Component

If you’re an Auron E-mail Component customer your component version should be 6.0 or higher with either a professional or distribution license. If you’re not on version 6.0 yet you’ll have to upgrade.

Before upgrading please read the release notes of version 6.0 for an overview of the changes and the upgrade instructions.

If you’re on version 6.0 you can make use of the new OAuth2 object. This object helps you authenticate with OAuth2 and helps you renew your bearer token.

Authenticate with OAuth2

Authenticating with OAuth2 is the process of navigating the user to the Microsoft login page and obtaining your bearer token and refresh token.

For this you’ll need to know which end-point URL’s and which scope values to configure. For Microsoft Office 365 we’ve documented those values here.

You’ll also need to know that Office 365 only allows desktop applications to use the ‘Device code flow’. The OAuth2 object only supports authentication for desktop applications.

Refreshing your bearer token

The OAuth2 object can help you with refreshing your bearer token. This works in the background and does not need any user interaction. You can use this in web-applications as well as desktop applications.

Examples

The E-mail component examples now include a lot of OAuth2 related working examples.

With these examples and the new OAuth2 object you’ll be able to upgrade your applications and have October 1st pass without a hitch!

The Auron SMS Server 2022 greatly improves on e-mail security with the addition of modern authentication (OAuth2). In addition the SMS Server is now finally accessible through your web browser.

In this article we’ll introduce some of the most notable new features in the Auron SMS Server 2022. You can find the full list of all of the new features in the release notes.

Auron SMS Server 2022

Modern Authentication (OAuth2)

Modern authentication is the term Microsoft uses for OAuth2. OAuth2 greatly improves e-mail security and both Microsoft and Google are working toward moving to OAuth2 exclusively.

With OAuth2 you’re no longer storing your e-mail password in the e-mail channel configuration. Instead the channel guides you to the login portal of your e-mail provider. This way your e-mail provider can also inject additional security measures such as multi-factor authentication or key-card authentication.

OAuth2 support is also available for use in trigger scripts in case you need to authorize with OAuth2 to use an external API.

Auron Web Messenger

The SMS Server 2022 finally has a web interface. Use the Auron Web messenger to send SMS, WhatsApp or E-mail messages from your browser through any of the channels you’ve configured in the SMS Server.

Auron Web Messenger

The web messenger was already available after the setup as one of the example projects. It’s now a first-class citizen and you can automatically configure it from the configuration wizard during setup.

The full source code for the web messenger is also available as it still has it’s place in the example project folder as well.

Specialized Channel Wizards

It’s now easier than ever to setup a connection to the most common providers. We’ve added specialized channel wizard for Spryng, Twilio and Infobip as well as our own test and demonstration gateway. This means that if you want to connect to any of them you just have enter you account details and the channel will automatically be created.

Try or upgrade

To try this version simply download the setup file here. After installation you can start a 30 day fully functional trial. The trial is in no way limited and will give you an excellent idea of the Auron SMS Server.

Upgrading is easy as well. Just download the same setup file, run it, and follow the instructions. The setup automatically upgrades your configuration.

Make sure that any existing C#, VB.Net or other compiled code that uses the Auron SMS Server API is recompiled after the upgrade. Also, always be sure to make a backup of your server and database before the upgrade.

With the release of the Auron E-mail Component 6.0 we’re introducing OAuth2 support also called ‘Modern Authentication’. OAuth2 is an increasingly popular way to use services on the internet. Both Microsoft and Google are already moving forward to make OAuth2 their primary way to authenticate for e-mail services.

This means that a lot of businesses will have to deal with OAuth2 in the near future. With the release of the Auron E-mail Component 6.0 it’s easy for you to stay up to date!

What is OAuth2?

OAuth2 makes the authorization process modular and makes it possible to delegate authorization to 3rd party services. More importantly you can use OAuth2 to grant a client application access to your resources without the need to trust that application with your username and password.

OAuth2

As a programmer, using OAuth2 to grant access to a mailbox consists of the following steps:

  • Obtain a bearer, and optionally a refresh token
  • Use the bearer token together with the account name to login
  • Use the refresh token to receive a new bearer token when the bearer token expires

You can find a detailed description of OAuth2 in the API documentation for the Auron E-mail Component.

OAuth2 in the Auron E-mail Component

The OAuth2 object in the latest version of the Auron E-mail Component makes it easy to obtain the bearer and refresh tokens.

These are the most important features:

  • The easy to use API is focused on integrating OAuth2 into desktop applications
  • Seamless integration with Microsoft Exchange and Azure, as well as the Google Cloud Platform
  • Use it for other e-mail and other services
  • Includes a number of working examples in C#, VB.Net as well as VBScript and Powershell
  • Extensive logging and trouble shooting options

Other new features

There are also a number of other new features. You can find the full list of new features and changes for this release in the release notes.

Download and try

Try the Auron E-mail Component today by downloading and installing the fully functional 30-day trial version.

You can also add the Auron E-mail Component directly to your project by installing the nuget package from Visual Studio.

Today we’re releasing the Auron SMS Server Component 7.0. With this major update we are introducing a portable HTTP Server API in addition to a number of other improvements.

HTTPS API

A portable HTTP Server API

It’s becoming more common to use HTTP(S) based REST API’s to send and receive SMS messages. This often means that you’ll need to provide your own end-point to receive SMS messages or status reports.

Setting up your own HTTP(S) end-point can be quite challenging since you’re introducing a lot of new concerns to your project by accepting unsolicited incoming requests. Fortunately, by using the Auron SMS Component, you now have an easy and secure way to do it.

The main features of the Auron SMS Component HTTP Server API are:

  • Truly easy to use API
  • Supporting secure (TLS / SSL) connections
  • Support for both IPv4 and IPv6
  • Supports HTTP/1.0, HTTP/1.1, HTTP/2 and HTTP/3
  • Support for port-sharing; run multiple instances on the same TCP port

Have a look at the API documentation to see just how easy it is to use. The Auron SMS Component download includes working examples of the HTTP Server API for Powershell, VBScript, C#.Net as well as VB.Net.

Of course most other programming languages available on Microsoft Windows are supported as well. You can always have a look at the ‘How to’ section of the documentation or contact support if you are having trouble adapting the existing examples to your preferred programming language.

Support for WhatsApp and other rich message formats

Another big reason why many (SMS) messaging providers are shifting over to HTTP based API’s is the ability to support other rich message formats as well.

This is why the SMS Component 7.0 has improved support for sending and receiving media files. The existing HTTP clients API has been extended with the possibility to download media files directly. While the new HTTP Server API is able to host as well as receive any type of media file.

That way it no longer matters to the SMS Component if a message is an SMS or maybe a WhatsApp message. You’ll be able to support both with the same effort.

Other improvements and fixes

Amongst the other improvements and fixes the most notable are:

  • Support for receiving optional TLV packets from a bind in the SMPP Server API
  • The ability to serialize and de-serialize SMS message objects to JSON
  • Improved support for different types of content encoding with the HTTP protocol
  • And many more

You can find upgrade information as well as a complete list of all changes and improvements in the release notes for the SMS Component version 7.0.

Try this version by downloading the fully functional 30 day trial. You can also install the SMS Component through NuGet.

Because it is often very valuable to get in contact with an actual human we are now introducing the Auron Web Messenger.

The Auron SMS Server is in use by many businesses to integrate automated messaging in their systems. But now the Auron Web Messenger expands the already broad range of useful applications by offering a convenient way for humans to join the chat.

The Auron Web Messenger is a part of the Auron SMS Server and it’s directly accessible from the browser. This means that it will work on Android, Apple (iPhone) as well as Windows devices. You will be able to send SMS, WhatsApp and Email messages through your SMS Server channels from anywhere.

Introducing the Auron Web Messenger

When to use the Web Messenger

The Auron Web Messenger is especially useful when:

  • Multiple employees have to use or share the same channel to communicate with your customers.
  • If you need an internal communication channel that is completely traceable and has automated features.
  • You want to offer customer support through WhatsApp.

But also in these specific use cases:

  • Interactions with patients and staff members in a hospital setting.
  • Coordinate docking queues with truck drivers in a yard-management solution.
  • Exchanging traceable messages between workers on a shop floor.

Setup and customization

The Auron SMS Server installation comes with the full Auron Web Messenger source code. This means that you can deploy the application as is, or to fully customize it according to your business needs. Of course we’re always here to help you get started or to make modifications to suite your specific situation. After installation you’ll find the Auron Web Messenger in the .Net Core examples directory.

Auron SMS Server Manager - Examples
.Net Core examples in the Auron SMS Server Manager

To setup the Auron Web messenger you need Windows Server 2012R2 as well as Microsoft IIS and the Microsoft .Net Core hosting bundle. The Auron Web Messenger client is a .Net Core 3.1 application with the client side build using the React and Bootstrap frameworks.

Need help with customization or setup?

At Auron Software we have a lot of experience in helping you configure and customize your Auron SMS Server. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any help or if you want to customize the Auron Web messenger. We’re here to get you started and improve your business!

Auron SMS Server 2021R2 Released. The Auron SMS Server now includes support for WhatsApp, Viber as well as RCS. And, if that’s not enough, you can now sent these message directly from your website using the new HTTP REST API.

With this Release of the Auron SMS Server 2021R2 we are making another huge jump in functionality. But not just functionality; we’ve also updated the look and feel, and we have added a ton of new UI conveniences as well. For example, you can now see the status of a channel in the activity view. And you can now edit a message before reprocessing it, and many more. You can find the full list of all of the new features in the release notes.

WhatsApp, Viber and RCS

Auron SMS Server 2021R2 supports rich messages

The most important new feature is support for sending, receiving and automatically processing rich message types. It’s finally possible to send and receive WhatsApp messages and media file attachments. This is a big change that a lot of users have requested.

Another big improvement is the addition of provider profiles. When creating a new HTTP channel you can now select which provider you mean to integrate with and the channel will automatically load up all of the default setting for this provider. You will only need to enter your account specific settings and you will be up and running.

HTTP REST API

The other top requested feature is the HTTP REST API. This is a fully featured REST API to help integrate the Auron SMS Server into your business. You can enable the new API by configuring the HTTP REST API channel.

The Auron SMS Server HTTP API is fully capable and supports:

  • Sending, loading and updating messages
  • Running campaigns for bulk sending from any data source
  • Supports JSON as well XML for requests and responses
  • HTTP as well as HTTPS (TLS)
  • Authenticate through API keys or IP whitelisting

You can find the full documentation for this API in the knowledge base.

Try this version or upgrade

To try this version simply download the setup file here. This will install a fully functional 30 day trial version. The trial is in no way limited and will give you an excellent idea of the Auron SMS Server.

Upgrading is easy as well. Just download the same setup file, run it, and follow the instructions. The setup automatically upgrades your configuration.

Make sure that any existing C#, VB.Net or other compiled code that uses the Auron SMS Server API is recompiled after the upgrade. Also, always be sure to make a backup of your server and database before the upgrade.

With the Auron WISe already powering the MES systems of multiple production plants around the world, it is high time for an introduction.

The name WISe stands for: Workflow & Integration Server. As the name suggests, the main function of the WISe is two fold:

  • Workflow automation
  • Integration with external systems
Auron WISe - Workflow & Integration Server

10x your engineering team

The Auron WISe is unique because it empowers automation engineers through amplifying the strength of their existing knowledge.

Built on the foundation of the Auron SMS Server, the Auron WISe leverages more than a decade of experience in highly flexible, and high performance message processing software.

The Auron WISe employs an architecture centered around customizable message types, channel types and triggers. Everything for automatically processing messages according to your business needs.

The Auron WISe is perfect for implementing many applications and strategies such as:

  • Data collection
  • Audit trailing
  • Event driven development
  • Workflow automation
  • Integration with 3rd party systems

Any engineer with a proficiency in Microsoft .NET can use the Auron WISe to setup and customize the backbone to a MES system in no time.

Track and Trace

A common application of the Auron WISe is to implement tracking and tracing of material movements throughout a production plant. This way the Auron WISe builds a continuous audit-trail of materials production and consumption throughout the plant.

With this information Auron Software is able to help you realize the following benefits:

  • A running genealogy for every finished product
  • Adjust plan projections based on actual real-time production rates
  • Keep automatic track and count of stock in buffer locations
  • Make sure only the right raw materials are fed into production
  • And many more

This is how the Auron WISe is a solid backbone to the MES or MOM system.

With the Auron SMS Server and the Auron SMS Component, you can use national language shift tables. This way you can save 50% on SMS in these languages:

  • Turkish
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • Bengali
  • Gurjarati
  • Hindi
  • Kannada
  • Malayalam
  • Oriya
  • Punjabi
  • Tamil
  • Telugu
  • Urdu

In Western European countries as well as in North America, we’re used to thinking that an SMS contains up to 160 characters. If the SMS exceeds this limit, it will be automatically split into multiple parts. Each part increasing the cost of your SMS.

For other countries an SMS is only 70 characters. This is because languages that do not rely on the Latin character set, need to use the Unicode character set. In the Unicode character set each character takes more than two times as much space in the SMS message.

 
Save 50% on SMS in these languages
 

In 2008 the GSM character set was extended with a number of other character sets. Those are the character sets for the languages listed above. This means that for the languages listed here, an SMS message may contain about 153 characters instead of just 70. A little bit less than 160, but a lot more than 70! When you need to send large numbers of SMS messages, this can save you more than 50% on total SMS costs.

How to use this in Auron Software

Your software needs to be aware which extended character set (or language shift table) you want to use. With the Auron SMS Server and the Auron SMS Component this is very easy to do.

 
Create SMS in Auron SMS Server Manager
Create SMS in Auron SMS Server Manager
 

In the Auron SMS Server you can just select the target language from the ‘Language’ drop down when creating an SMS.

In the Auron SMS Component you can specify which locking and which shift table you want to use. This works for GSM as well as for SMPP.

And that’s how you save 50% on SMS in these languages.

To start off the year we’ve release the Auron SMS Agent for Android. This is an Android app that allows you to send and receive SMS messages from your PC through your smartphone. Basically turning your smartphone into a GSM modem.

The release of the Auron SMS Agent for Android coincides with the release of the Auron SMS Server 2021 as well as the Auron SMS Component 6.6. Both products now have full support for the Auron SMS Agent app.

 
Auron Software on Android
Auron Software on Android
 

The ability to send and receive SMS messages from your PC through your smartphone gives the following advantages:

  • It’s often a lot easier to find cheap and/or unused Android phones
  • There’s no need to rely on old 2G infrastructure or the GSM protocol
  • It’s extremely easy to setup
  • No internet connection needed to send / receive SMS messages
  • It’s faster than a traditional GSM modem

These advantages are multiplied by the capabilities of the SMS Server and the SMS Component products. Such as completely scriptable SMS applications and the ability to easily create and schedule SMS campaigns.

With Auron SMS Server integrating an Android smartphone is just a matter of setting up an Android SMS channel. After this the channel can be used to run trigger scripts or to route SMS messages to.

With the Auron SMS Component library you can integrate the Auron SMS Agent into your own application with just a couple of lines of code. The Android SMS API works the same on every programming language supported by the Auron SMS Component.