How to Send SMS in Java Using Plivo’s SMS API

Your company has settled on Plivo to handle its voice and messaging communications, and now it’s your job to start integrating Plivo into your company’s applications. Don’t worry — Plivo has an SDK to help you out. Let’s see how to send and receive messages through Plivo in a Java application.

Install the Plivo SDK

We’ll presume you already have Java installed. The easiest way to install the Plivo SDK is by using IntelliJ IDEA. Install it, create a new project, and choose a dependency manager and Java SE SDK for the new project. Then edit pom.xml, add these lines, and save the file.

If you don’t want to use IntelliJ IDEA, you can download the jar file from our GitHub repo.

Find your Auth ID and Auth Token

You have to have proper credentials before you can use the Plivo API. We provide an Auth ID and Auth Token in the Account section at the top of your Plivo Console.

Choose a phone number

You need an SMS-enabled Plivo phone number if you want to receive incoming calls. Check the Numbers screen of your Plivo console to see what numbers you have available and which of them support SMS capabilities. You can also buy numbers from the “Buy a Number” screen.

The SMS regulations followed by the carriers vary from country to country. For messages to countries other than the US and Canada, you might want to register an alphanumeric sender ID for your messages. You can learn more about the use of an alphanumeric sender ID and register one from your Plivo Console.

Send an SMS message

Now you’re ready to start. Create a Java class in the project called SendSMS and paste in this code:

Replace the placeholders and with actual values from your Plivo Console. Save the file and run it.

Note: If you’re using a Plivo trial account, you can send messages only to phone numbers that have been verified with Plivo. You can verify a phone number using the Sandbox Numbers page of the Console.

Receive an SMS message

Of course, sending messages is only half of the equation. Plivo supports receiving SMS text messages in many countries (see our SMS API coverage page, and click on the countries you’re interested in). When someone sends an SMS message to a Plivo phone number, you can receive it on your server by using a Spark web app. Install Spark by editing pom.xml again and adding dependencies for Spark and the Simple Logging Facade for Java ( SLF4J), which you’ll also want:

Then create a Java class in the project called ReceiveSMS and paste in this code:

When you run the project you should see your basic server app in action on http://localhost:4567/receive_sms. That’s fine for testing, but it’s not much good if you can’t connect to the internet to receive incoming messages and handle callbacks. For that, we recommend using ngrok, which exposes local servers behind NATs and firewalls to the public internet over secure tunnels. Install it and run ngrok on the command line, specifying the port that hosts the application on which you want to receive messages:

Ngrok will display a forwarding link that you can use as a webhook to access your local server using the public network.

Now you can create an application to receive SMS messages (follow our Quickstart guide for details). You can also create a Java class to reply to incoming SMS messages.


And that’s all there is to sending and receiving SMS messages using Plivo’s Java SDK. Don’t use Java? Don’t worry — we have SDKs for PHP, Python, Node.js, Ruby, .NET Core, .NET Framework, and Go. (Sorry, COBOL fans.)

Haven’t tried Plivo yet? Getting started is easy and only takes 5 minutes! Sign up today.

Originally published at on Jan 14, 2021.

Developer Evangelist