FrontlineSMS let users send, receive and manage SMS over a mobile network.


We are also currently learning how to use frontline in a quick count of the first automated election in the Philippines, and 1st in asia. We will use it to transmit election results and for fraud reporting.

May I ask you guys for suggestion of how to go about with this? What we are building is SMS based reporting of over 2000 people who will be sending us election results. What we have planned so far is to format the sms by putting a keyword and sorting it using commas. We must get the result of over 600 candidates from national to local, so there will be a lot of commas. I know through reading here that it can be saved as a csv file that can be manually exported later. But, we envision an SMS system that is connected to a database which updates itself automatically everytime an SMS comes in.

We have not consulted any IT expert yet because we are very busy with the preparations. I hope you can discuss it here, maybe just what I would need to make this happen so I can easily discuss it with anyone who has an IT background.

We ask your help for such a big event in our history.

Thank you very much

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Hi! Thanks for your message.

You can use the "External Commands" features in FrontlineSMS to either write the incoming SMS to an external database, or pass it on to another program for processing. This is all done in real time, whereas exporting the data as a CSV file is a manual operation.

Check out the "External Commands" section here:

If you have technical resources available to you, then it should be quite a simple task to make this work the way you need it to.

Best of luck, and keep us posted on how you get on!


P.S. Since you're using this for a time critical event, I assume you're going to do some solid testing before the election day/night? Certainly advisable. =)
Thank you for the prompt reply.

Yes, I've read the solution thru PHP, we're asking around if there's an expert who can help.

Actually, were just covering our own region and not the entire country and yet we must prepare enough people to parallel 3,000-5,000 PCOSes. We sure do hope we can test it before April as we need to find and train people twice the number of the machine.

Sad to say, the real situation is we can only test the system on May 7, 2010, also the pilot testing of the machine which is 3 DAYS BEFORE THE ELECTION.


Thank you!
Okay! Hopefully someone on the Forum will pick this up and offer to help. =) Once we have increased capacity we'll be able to offer more support to individual projects like yours, but we're not quite there yet.

Best of luck preparing for this, and please keep us posted on your progress, or any questions you may have!


Just saw this and thought I'd reply. I know the core devs of FLSMS are super busy and might not be able to offer individual project help in a timely manner. I've worked with the system for a while and would be happy to jump in and lend a hand in whatever you need: FLSMS setup and deployment, PHP scripting, general IT topics, whatever. Feel free to reach out if you want.

My direct email is

Hi Kabataan,
Last year I have done a Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT or Quick Count) for the Electoral Observatory in Mozambique. We had Legislative and Presidential elections in October 2009 and a Mozambican Forum of Organizations monitored the process with almost 1.000 people all over the country to observe 1.000 polling stations. Basically they had to send the polling station results via SMS to a central site, where the application I wrote took the SMS, controlled its format and, if correct, inserted the results in a data base. A response message was sent back to inform if there was an error on the format, number of parameters in the SMS, wrong key, etc... or if the insertion operation terminated correctly.
I started using FrontlineSMS as a possible tool and found it very useful, especially for its external command option. Unfortunately here in Mozambique we still have serious problems with network coverage in many districts. Even in provincial cities sometime it is very difficult to send and receive SMS on time. So I tested sending few SMS to the application and I saw that it was practically impossible to use normal communication lines with FrontlineSMS to receive hundreds of SMS in an interval, say, of few hours.
Eventually we found an SMS gateway service run by a local company that gave us a special number (Ex. 99114) valid for both communication providers that we have in Mozambique. Unfortunately this service had to use a proprietary software (almost like FrontlineSMS) to work with the SMS gateway, so I had to give up to FrontlineSMS. FrontlineSMS does work with Gateways services like Clickatell and Intellisms, but for "obvious" issues we couldn't send polling stations results to another country.
It didn't change anything for the software application I wrote, because the front end application of the gateway used the same mechanism of FrontlineSMS to call an external application that can respond to the SMS sender.
I wrote the application in .NET environment with Visual Basic .NET as a web application using Visual Web Developer Express and SQLServer 2008 Express. All of these development tools are available free on the Microsoft site.
I could send you the manual of the application where you could pick up the way we organized it and how the application works, but unfortunately for you it is written in Portuguese an I am extremely busy this period to try to be useful for you.

Thank you for the reply!

Please do send your manual to, we need all the help we can get.

Maraming Salamat Po! (thank you very much)

I received your email just tonight, however, there must be something i have done wrong because i can no longer see it. I received it in my spam folder and have started to read it but when i logged in again, it's not there anymore.

Please do send it again.

Thank YOU!
Hi Antonio,
How is your project goin?
Can I you also share your manual of the application ,yes of how it was organized,if is has some layout or pictures or any basic layout? even in portuguese..:)
Coz Im also working on a project but not gathering of poles voting but also a survey and responds but I think its a same in principle.
Project is about health and safety and Im still working on.and will realy help if you can share some background of your manuals.
Email is
Thanks Thanks thanks in advance...mabuhay philippines mabuhay FLSMS.
Hi Kram,
I tried to send the manual to Kabataan, but because it is a word file of more than 20 MB, the mail server rejected it, so I could only send the initial part of the manual without pictures of the application. This time I copied a larger part of it up to 9 MB and I will try to send it to you.

I recieved the half,I'll try to managed even though its all portuguese..thnks..":)
Regards ...

On this day I find a solution how to handle the selection of regents and the regional head in my area, I worked at a government instasi which handles about information technology, by looking at the data collection and delivery systems that still use manual system, I searched on google and find solutions frontlinesms can solve the problem, I immediately downloaded and tried the application and it is consistent with what I want. kendalah I faced was how I was able to collect data quickly and data can be collected and displayed in a web form? I akirnya looking again at my favorite engine Google, and I found on the forum frontlinesms. after I read that the father wrote on the forum, my heart became because of what my spirit and I want cari2 Apparently again discussed at the forum.
on this occasion I can please send me the source code, and willing to guide me so that I immediately make application testing.
before I thank you very much ....

Introduce me
Name: Ebby Sigasare
Address: Jl Basuki Rahmat No.24 Ende - Flores - Nusa Tenggara - Indonesia
Phone: +6281237990909
hello kababayan,,,,

glad to see u here and interested also to FLSMS,,, may i know what specific area or region here in the Philippines where you located.. i'm from region #2, ilagan, isabela... are you a developer?... i'm also willing give help... because i already develop inquiry system for my personal use using the features of FLSMS.. keyword/external command...

you can send messages at:

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