Introduction to Tropo

In this Learning Lab you will learn the basics of how to use Tropo. You'll create a simple Tropo application and get a phone number that's controlled by your code.


Completion Time: 35 minutes

  • Understand how Tropo works
  • Create a simple application that speaks to you and asks you a question
  • Make your own phone ring with Tropo
  • Send an SMS from Tropo
  • See a list of other capabilities of Tropo


Introduction: what is Tropo?

Tropo is a cloud API that allows you to automate communucations over the phone network and SIP VoIP networks. Both voice and SMS are supported, and no telephony knowledge is needed. Tropo extends common web programming languages like Ruby, Javascript, or PHP and adds telephony building blocks that any web developer can understand. Tropo is a fully hosted service (we'll even host your code), so there's no equipment or software to install. Pay-as-you-go pricing means there's no contracts or commitments, allowing you to pay only for what you use.

Step 1. Log into your Tropo account

Go to and log into your Tropo account. If taking this Learning Lab at home, use the account created in the BYOD instructions. If taking this Learning Lab at a DevNet event, use the account credentials displayed on your screen.

Step 2. Create a New application

Click the Create New App button

Create a new Application

For your new application, name it anything you would like. Choose Scripting API for the API type and then click "New Script."

Now you'll see a code editor. Give it a filename of learning.js and then type in the editor area:

say("Hello World!");

Click Save. The code editor will close.

Scroll down a bit and choose a phone number. Only US and Canadian numbers can send SMS, so pick one of those so you can try SMS later on in this tutorial. If you're outside the US, or have a non-US number pick a Canadian number. Those work better with international messaging.

Once you've picked a new number, click "Create App" to save your changes and get your new number.

Step 3. Try out your new application

Scroll down the application page a bit. You'll see the newly-assigned phone number, SIP address, and API key for your application. Grab your phone or SIP client and give your application a call. It can take up to 30 seconds for your new phone number and application to get fully provisioned, so if it doesn't work right away, give it a minute and try again.

When you call, Tropo answers the call, then takes the text you've entered and converts it to speech and plays it back, then hangs up.

Next, you'll adjust what gets said, try it over a text message, and make Tropo call you.