What is an Activity?
FrontlineSMS has always been there for two reasons; sending/receiving SMS and managing those SMS. Automation of these two processes is a crucial thing and this is where activities come in. Activities are the automation toolset of Frontline. Think of them as a team of butlers that take instructions on what to do when certain events happen.You can tell Frontline’s activities to do certain things when an SMS arrives, or when a Missed Call is registered.
The Activities Overview
This is where you begin to create new Activities, edit already existing and manage them. All created Activities are listed here with each having a summary of itself. You can also switch OFF Activities that are not currently in use or switch ON when you need to use them again instead of deleting them.
The Activities Edit Screen
You can access this by clicking the 'Edit ' button on the right side of the screen. The edit screens details will vary according to the type of Activity you are editing. Here's an example screen for a poll edit screen.
The Activity View Screen
You can view more details of your Activity by clicking on the Activity. You would be able to see the exact events that triggered it.
You can expand the events links or click on them to view them from the Inbox. There is also a link to the edit screen on this page.
How Activities Work, An Introduction to Automation
Frontline’s automated Activities work with two essential elements; something that triggers them, and some action that it executes. Along with the basic naming extras, these are the two key things that an Activity needs to be run. Everything else is optional.
More complicated Activities, in addition to their triggers and actions, have conditions/restrictions and other options. These conditions and options are sometimes very specific to the Activity, for example ‘Which Group to add the user to when they Subscribe’, or very general, for example ‘Send all SMS actions that this Activity executes through this Connection’.
Whenever an incoming event occurs in your Frontline workspace, it could trigger an Activity. The basic set can be triggered by receiving an incoming Missed Call, or an incoming SMS. Each Activity will assess this object and execute its actions based on its criteria.
For example, assume there exists an 'Autoreply to SMS’ Activity that has had the keyword restriction option 'SMS Messages that contain the specified keyword(s)’ selected, and a keyword entered of ‘Autumn’. This means that the contents of the activity’s auto reply text will be sent in reply to any incoming SMS that contains ‘autumn’ or ‘Autumn’ or ‘AUTUMN’ anywhere in the SMS's text.
An Activity can be disabled at any time so that different activities can be kept and managed so that certain activities can be manually switched off and on depending on when they are needed.
Once the activity is enabled, configured and left the workspace can then be left to automatically execute actions whenever matching triggers are received.