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Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS)

Account Setup#

You'll need to create an account with Amazon Web Service (AWS) first to use this. If you don't have one, you'll need your credit card (even though the first 12 months are free). Alternatively, if you already have one (or are using it through your company), you're good to go to the next step.

The next thing you'll need to do is generate an Access Key ID and Secret Access Key.:

  1. From the AWS Management Console search for IAM under the AWS services section or simply click here.
  2. Expand the section reading Access keys (access key ID and secret access key)
  3. Click on Create New Access Key
  4. It will present the information to you on screen and let you download a file containing the same information. I suggest you do so since there is no way to retrieve this key again later on (unless you delete it and create a new one).

So at this point, it is presumed you're set up, and you got your Access Key ID and Secret Access Key on hand.

You now have all the tools you need to send SMS messages.

If you want to take advantage of sending your notifications to topics: from the AWS Management Console search for Simple Notification Service under the AWS services section and configure as many topics as you want. You'll be able to reference them as well using this notification service.


Valid receipes are as follows:

  • sns://{AccessKeyID}/{AccessKeySecret}/{Region}/+{PhoneNo}
  • sns://{AccessKeyID}/{AccessKeySecret}/{Region}/+{PhoneNo1}/+{PhoneNo2}/+{PhoneNoN}
  • sns://{AccessKeyID}/{AccessKeySecret}/{Region}/#{Topic}
  • sns://{AccessKeyID}/{AccessKeySecret}/{Region}/#{Topic1}/#{Topic2}/#{TopicN}

You can mix and match these entries as well:

  • sns://{AccessKeyID}/{AccessKeySecret}/{Region}/+{PhoneNo1}/#{Topic1}

Enforcing a hashtag (#) for topics and a plus sign (+) in-front of phone numbers helps eliminate cases where ambiguity could be an issue such as a topic that is comprised of all numbers. These characters are purely optional.

Parameter Breakdown#

AccessKeyIDYesThe generated Access Key ID from the AWS Management Console
AccessKeySecretYesThe generated Access Key Secret from the AWS Management Console
RegionYesThe region code might look like us-east-1, us-west-2, cn-north-1, etc
PhoneNoNoThe phone number MUST include the country codes dialling prefix as well when placed. You can optionally prefix the entire number with a plus symbol (+) to enforce that the value be interpreted as a phone number (in the event it can't be auto-detected otherwise). This field is also very friendly and supports brackets, spaces and hyphens in the event you want to format the number in an easy to read fashion.
TopicNoThe topic you want to publish your message to.

Note: This notification service does not use the title field; only the body is passed along.