How to Setup Ad-Hoc Messaging in the Command Line ASCII Interface Transcript for Video:
Welcome to the video tutorial on how to configure ad-hoc messaging with PageGate’s GetASCII interface. In this tutorial, we’ll be going over what ad-hoc messaging is and how to use it with the GetASCII interface.
Before we begin, you must have at least a 5000 recipient license to gain access to PageGate’s Ad-Hoc features. For licensing information, please contact our sales and registration department at email@example.com or by phone at 781-829-0500 x 1.
To start, let’s go over what ad-hoc messaging is. In most environments, you’ll have a static recipients and groups list that determines who a recipient is, what device or address they’re tied to and how to deliver messages to them. For example, you might have a recipient named Grant Wyatt who’s tied to an SMS delivery carrier with his specific cell phone number in the ID field. That way, any time someone wants to message Grant, they send to his recipient.
However, you can also have an ad-hoc configuration where you pass the contact information in a freeform manner to the program. So, instead of having static recipients that tie a name to a number, you could have a single ad-hoc recipient that you pass a phone number to. This allows you the ability to send to any number you want without needing a static recipient in the list to represent that phone number.
There are a few ways that ad-hoc messaging can be implemented with the GetASCII interface and they all require an ad-hoc recipient, so let’s start there.
First, open the PageGate Admin.
Next, right click on Recipients and select Add.
Give the recipient a name, something straightforward like ah or adhoc.
Set the ‘Type’ to Ad-Hoc.
Set the Carrier that should be the method of delivery for these messages. For pages and email, this is usually straightforward but this is where things can get a little complex for SMS delivery. If you use cellular hardware to deliver SMS, you could configure an ad-hoc recipient tied to your SMS carrier and pass the 10 digit cell phone number as the ID. However, this is possible because cellular hardware delivers SMS in the same manner as cell phones; you don’t need to know which carrier the cell phone numbers you’re sending to are associated with.
Internet methods of SMS delivery, however, require that you do know the carrier each number is tied to as the various carrier gateways don’t share messages. AT&T will only accept messages for AT&T phones, Verizon for Verizon phones, and so on. In that setup, you could configure an ad-hoc recipient tied to each carrier but you would need to know the carrier of the phone numbers you’re sending to.
The ‘Max Chars’ field in the recipient settings is half of a message splitting equation in PageGate. The carrier ‘Max Chars’ determines the maximum number of characters that can be contained in a single block and the recipient ‘Max Chars’ determines the maximum number of characters that you want to be able to send to these devices and addresses.
When finished, click Apply.
Now that we have the ad-hoc recipient in the program, like we mentioned earlier, there are a few ways of configuring ad-hoc input with GetASCII.
In the first instance, you can pass ad-hoc values to GetASCII via its command line interface.
To go over the basics of the command line interface, there are two command line executables hosted in the GetASCII polling directory that other applications can pass messaging commands to. The format of those commands will need to be as follows:
<GetASCII Polling Directory>\sendpage32.exe <recipient> <sender> <message>
For example, if we have c:\PageGateData\ASCII\ as our polling directory and we want to send a message to the it_alerts group from the sender ALARM and the message should say “Server 3 is down”, you would use this command:
C:\PageGateData\ASCII\sendpage32.exe it_alerts ALARM Server 3 is down
Note how the recipient value specified in the example is a static name that corresponds to a specific group of people in PageGate. If we wanted to pass and ad-hoc message to the command line, we would need to structure the command like this:
<GetASCII Polling Directory>\sendpage32.exe adhocrecipientname;<recipient>;<recipient>;<recipient>;<etc> <sender> <message>
For example, if we have c:\PageGateData\ASCII\ as our polling directory and we want to send a message to the phone numbers 7818290500, 7818290501 and 7818290502 from the sender ALARM and the message should say “Network Node PG01 is down” and the ad-hoc recipient’s name is adhoc, you would use this command:
C:\PageGateData\ASCII\sendpage32.exe adhoc; 7818290500;7818290501;7818290502 ALARM Network Node PG01 is down
Effectively, to pass ad-hoc information to the command line, you’ll need to use the ad-hoc recipient’s name, and then pass a series of IDs separated by semicolons.
In the next example, you can pass ad-hoc messages using GetASCII’s file reading capabilities. To do so, when writing your file, you’ll need to use the ad-hoc recipient’s name and then pass a series of IDs separated by semicolons. For example, let’s say you’re using GetASCII’s standard file format:
You could use this to send a message to the phone numbers specified from the sender ‘PRTG’ and the message should say ‘This is a test’:
This is a test
If you’re using a custom file format, make sure that the recipient value you write is the ad-hoc recipient’s name followed by a series of IDs separated by semicolons.
This concludes the video tutorial on how to use ad-hoc messaging with the GetASCII interface.