NowSMS 2-way applications are usually built on web technologies, using PHP or ASP.Net scripting. But we do get a fair number of support questions from customers who want to use VBScript.
The advantage of VBScript is that there are numerous examples available for interfacing with Microsoft Office, especially Excel, and no extra programming tools or environments are required.
As a starting point for VBScript, we often refer to this example shared by one of our customers 13 years ago: http://support.nowsms.com/discus/messages/1/333.html
That example VBScript accepts received messages and writes them to a text file log.
If you want to return an SMS reply when processing a received SMS, from within your VBScript, use WScript.Echo to output your SMS reply. When processing a 2-way command, anything that the script writes to the display console is instead sent as an SMS reply.
For example, here is a simple script that echoes back the same text back to the message sender:
Set Args = WScript.Arguments For I = 0 to Args.Count - 1 if (I > 0) Then LogTxt = LogTxt & " " End if LogTxt = LogTxt & Args(I) Next Set Args = nothing Wscript.Echo "Echo " & LogTxt
The above script loops through all of its command line parameters and stores them as a combined string of text, then uses Wscript.Echo to deliver the reply. Assuming the script is named echo.vs and saved in the folder c:\temp, the following 2-way command can be defined in NowSMS:
c:\windows\system32\cscript.exe //Nologo c:\temp\echo.vbs @@FULLSMS@@
Use * as the Keyword to route all received messages to this 2-way command.
We recommend testing the script from a command prompt window before attempting to deploy as a 2-way command.
From a command prompt window, type that same command, substituting a simulated text message for @@FULLSMS@@. For example:
c:\windows\system32\cscript.exe //Nologo c:\temp\echo.vbs Test Message
The above should display:
Echo Test Message
Interfacing with Microsoft Office applications such as Excel is slightly more difficult.
Below is an example 2-way script that writes received SMS to an existing Excel spreadsheet:
filename = "c:\temp\test.xlsx" 'Parse command line arguments CmdLine = "" Set Args = WScript.Arguments For I = 0 to Args.Count - 1 if (I > 0) Then CmdLine = CmdLine & " " End if CmdLine = CmdLine & Args(I) Next Set Args = nothing Set xlApp = CreateObject("Excel.Application") set xlBook = xlApp.WorkBooks.Open(filename) set xlSht = xlApp.activesheet xlApp.DisplayAlerts = False 'write data into the spreadsheet xlSht.Cells(xlSht.UsedRange.Rows.Count+1, 1) = CmdLine xlBook.Save xlBook.Close SaveChanges=True xlApp.Quit
This script parses the command line, expecting received SMS messages, and appends them to an Excel spreadsheet.
The spreadsheet must already exist before the script is run the first time.
To test it, add the following 2-way command to NowSMS:
c:\windows\system32\cscript.exe c:\temp\2way-excel.vbs //Nologo @@SENDER@@ @@FULLSMS@@
Unfortunately, you may encounter errors trying to interface with Microsoft Office applications from VBScript using a NowSMS 2-way command. This is because SMS sending and receiving in NowSMS runs in the context of a Windows service, not as a desktop application.
In my case, testing with the above VBScript, I consistently encountered the following error, but only when the VBScript was run by NowSMS as a 2-way command:
c:\temp\2way.vbs(20, 2) Microsoft Excel: Microsoft Excel cannot access the file 'c:\temp\test.xlsx'. There are several possible reasons: - The file name or path does not exist. - The file is being used by another program. - The workbook you are trying to save has the same name as a currently open workbook.
There is a work-around for this described here: https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/b81a3c4e-62db-488b-af06-44421818e f91/excel-2007-automation-on-top-of-a-windows-server-2008-x64?forum=innovateonoffice
The short solution is …
For Windows x64 versions, create this folder:
For Windows x86 versions, create this folder:
Once the missing folder is created, the script should be able to access the Office application.
As a further example, it is also possible to extract a range from the spreadsheet to return as an SMS reply. As an example, the following would return the content of cell A1 as a reply. Be sure to perform this command before closing the workbook.
Additional detail and discussion can be found at our support forum: http://support.nowsms.com/discus/messages/1/73332.html
For comments and further discussion, please click here to visit the NowSMS Technical Forums (Discussion Board)...