RapidSMS builds SMS applications with Python and Django
RapidSMS is a free and open-source framework for building interactive SMS applications. It was created by the Innovation Team at UNICEF to support UNICEF's data collection and youth engagement activities. Now it is under development by the RapidSMS Team. This flexible and robust platform was written in Python and Django for reliable mobile services building and scaling. It comes with a rich reporting interface and web-based dashboards.
One of the biggest advantages of RapidSMS is that it is not constrained to any particular type of mobile device. There is no need for pricey smartphones or bulky software - literally any device that can send and receive text messages is enough to interact with RapidSMS. Moreover, this framework is vendor-neutral. There is opportunity to use or change any vendor of text messaging services depending on your particular location and choice. Messages can be sent and received applying pluggable backends like Kannel. RapidSMS allows using commonly available, existing infrastructure.
This framework can be used for the project of any scale, because it was built with high availability and scalability in mind. Due to the modular nature of its components, a single RapidSMS deployment can be easily expanded into a variety of domains. So a single RapidSMS system has power to handle both one village and one country. At the same time, it can effectively handle increasing workload to accommodate growing number of users.
RapidSMS is strongly oriented at collaboration and interoperability, so it can effectively cooperate with existing software and workflows. For instance, it can export data to excel for analysis, query existing databases, and communicate with other systems. Collected information can be posted on the internet as soon as it is received and be accessible to many people in many locations.
RapidSMS can be easily customized to suit any specific project needs and used for diverse use-cases. RapidSMS has been deployed for remote health diagnostics, public health campaigns registration for children, supply chain tracking, nutrition surveillance, and community discussion.
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This framework is aimed at leveraging basic SMS mobile phone technology for dynamic data collection, logistics coordination and communication. RapidSMS enables the development of personalized interdependent platforms for diverse needs and is scalable at an enterprise level. Its modular components support large-scale data collection, data analysis automation, and complex workflow management.
RapidSMS was specifically developed to efficiently process and manage vast amounts of incoming and outgoing messages. Thousands of users can interact with RapidSMS-based system simultaneously, despite distance and limited infrastructure. More information can be found at rapidsms.org. RapidSMS code is available under the BSD license on Github.