In order to make your business strive towards success, there are a range of solutions available to help you take the first step.
Most APIs have a variety of protocols to use alongside them.
We favour using HTTP API over SMPP API for a multitude of reasons. Before we explore why HTTP API is superior, let us clarify the jargon.
HTTP API vs SMPP API - What Does the Jargon Mean?
API = Application Programming Interface
Each time you use an app, send an SMS or check the weather on your phone, you are using an API.
HTTP = Hypertext Transfer Protocol
It works in conjunction with API. HTTP uses hypertext to communicate between two systems.
It's the foundation of data communication across the world wide web and allows the user to easily access resources via hyperlinks by clicking the screen on their web browser.
For example, you use an HTTP API every time you set a Zoom meeting in your Google calendar. The API allows Zoom to communicate directly with Google’s servers to embed a Zoom meeting into the event rather than having to copy and paste the meeting invitation into a field.
SMPP = Short Message Peer-to-Peer Protocol
An SMPP API protocol can be used to send bulk SMS in high volume and allows for flexible data communication.
It can be used to market your business by sending promotional texts or sending booking confirmation texts to clients. It is mainly limited to SMS uses.
Why is HTTP API the Preferred Option?
Setting up an SMPP API connection requires you to have special knowledge about the protocol and it can require specialism to use. You will have to learn the SMPP coding language and error codes in order to use it properly. This can cause a barrier to entry due to the skills needed and requires time and money to get started.
The amount of free software is also very limited and your company will have to budget for it, usually in the form of a monthly subscription or one-off payment.
HTTP protocol tools, on the other hand, are freely available for almost all programming languages and they are extremely simple to use.
Developing your own SMPP client may take several months and require a team of people – using some free software may speed things up, but will also have some limitations.
Developing your own script for sending SMS messages over an HTTP SMS API takes just one day starting from scratch. The access to learning resources to train up on how to use is far more common and It's much easier to troubleshoot issues as HTTP is more widely used.
Messente also offers multiple HTTP API libraries in a variety of flavours, starting with the PHP library and ending with a Microsoft.NET version. Take your pick.
SMPP has an edge over HTTP mainly when sending thousands of messages per day – but no more. Especially with the HTTP 1.1 persistent connections, protocol overheads have decreased significantly.
Here is a quote from a study by W3 Consortium regarding the HTTP/1.1 pipelining (persistent connection):
HTTP/1.1 implemented with pipelining outperformed HTTP/1.0, even when the HTTP/1.0 implementation uses multiple connections in parallel, under all circumstances tested. In terms of packets transmitted, the savings are typically at least a factor of two, and often much more, for our tests. Elapsed time improvement is less dramatic but significant.
HTTP/1.1 allows developers to use (multiple) persistent connections to achieve the same speeds that only SMPP could deliver a few years ago. Keep in mind that using HTTP APIs is significantly easier for developers.
The SMPP protocol is very strictly documented and there is not much you can do to add new features so you will be limited to what they offer.
HTTP API functions are very flexible and new features can be added with ease. This is good news for all businesses as it means you can tailor an experience around your target audience.
Let’s say you wanted to schedule a text message reminder to inform your customer about an update, for example. You could not do that with SMPP but it is already built into Messente’s HTTP API. Just add one more parameter to your request and you are done. We have all your SMS messaging needs covered.
When it comes to security, SMPP can cause problems. It uses a clear text binary protocol which can be compromised if sending sensitive information via SMS like one time passwords.
The SMPP protocol is useful when sending thousands of texts to your customer base but has little to no use for anything else, without needing the help of a dedicated specialist. Besides, HTTP can also be used as a gateway to send SMS messages.
SMPP API will be around for many years to come and is useful for an SMS API but we advise new users to start implementing HTTP APIs due to the sheer simplicity it provides - it’s by far the most user-friendly solution for novices.
If you want your business to get started using a protocol for sending SMS text messages to your customers, we recommend avoiding the SMPP protocol as it will consume a lot of your time that could be invested in fine-tuning other aspects of your company's marketing.
Check out the range of APIs we offer at Messente.