Build Your Own SMS Chatroom

While he was organizing a party, [Mike Seese] hit upon the idea of chatroom that would operate over SMS. Not being content with the ‘reply all’ function, [Mike] built a Group Messaging Service that runs on his home server.

The chat room is initiated by sending a text to a server. Your friends then reply, and the chatroom is then opened. The project was written in C++, and [Mike] put everything on github for your perusal. The software does use libraries from /n software’s IP*Works, but if you have any trouble obtaining those libraries feel free to drop [Mike] a line.

The great thing about this project is the fact that it’s platform independent – as long as a phone can do SMS, it’ll work. Seems like a great thing for those of us still using the old Nokia ‘bar’ phones. An SMS chatroom has been done before but this is the first time we’ve seen a build that will run off your server, and not internet-based services.

While it may not be the best idea for people without unlimited texts on their phone plan, it’s a really great idea and we’re wondering why something like this isn’t available via Google Voice.

10 thoughts on “Build Your Own SMS Chatroom

  1. Groupme (linked in the article) works really well, so I haven’t made this type of hack a priority since I started using that service. I would, however, like to set something like this up for emergency notifications.

  2. If you want to use Mike’s code, *definitely* need to drop him a line, since the libraries he’s using cost $300. But even as is, what’s on github is a good proof-of-concept for someone who doesn’t mind pounding out the POP and SMTP comm code themselves, in whatever language.

  3. Besides the cost of the libraries, it sounds rather lovely. And on that note, is the code also multi platform, or windows only.

    I did something similar, where I used SMS messages to a server to keep track of my friend’s man points and other such silly statistics, which they (and anyone else on the system) can query though SMS. Well, except mine used PHP.

    1. Code seems fairly portable (assuming the library it depends on is portable too). However it looks like a template project generated by visual studio and the author didn’t bother to replace the horrific windows-only main() signature that visual studio generates (see “int _tmain(int argc, _TCHAR* argv[])” in group_texting.cpp) with a plain simple “int main(int argc, char *argv[])”. That change (plus the removal of an “#include ” in stdafx.h) would likely make the code compile on Linux too.

      On a side note, I hope the author replaced the password in the source files with a dummy one before uploading the code to github.

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