FrontlineSMS, an open-source SMS software used in over 80 countries, has released version 2.2 of its open source software with a custom integration with Ushahidi and Crowdmap. The update follows the firm’s release of a browser-based version June last year tuned to user feedback.
According to FrontlineSMS CEO, Laura Walker-Hudson, the new software is refined, bugs are fixed and several new features have been added.
Walker-Hudson said, “FrontlineSMS is in continuous development, so we’re always adding new features and improving the software. The new version includes a number of new features, some of which are revamped versions of functionality people will be used to from FrontlineSMS, and some of which are new. We’ve added basic authentication, for example, to help people to run FrontlineSMS over a network more securely.”
New activities added include Subscriptions. Sila Kisoso, Community Support Manager, FrontlineSMS says subscriptions allow users to add and remove themselves from groups by texting in certain keywords such as ‘join’ or ‘leave’ to join or leave a group. Users decide which information they receive on their phones or sign up for programs that interest them.
Another activity, Web Connections, allows a user to set up a connection to a web-based server or service, such as Ushahidi or Twitter or to a specified URL. FrontlineSMS has also included a custom integration with Ushahidi and Crowdmap; this help users link their FrontlineSMS to the mapping platform.
The keywords have also been improved making it simpler for users to text back and spelling mistakes have been dealt with in the now multiple language version.
For auto-replies, polls, web connections and subscriptions, one can list more than one keyword to trigger a specific activity, hence supporting more than one language. Those who use the SMS software for polls can now set only one keyword for poll responses than messaging a poll keyword, then using a different one for a response.
Walker-Hudson says they are not done yet but “FrontlineSMS is working on another update to be released this Spring.” Users can upgrade to Version 2.2 without any damages to their databases or activities.
Version 2.2 is available here as a free download.