Domenic RosatiEngineering @ Manifold

PyTill: A Python Package for Till Mobile

PyTill: A Python Package for Till Mobile

Building SMS and Voice applications is hard, Till Mobile is on a mission to make that easy by providing a simple interface for building SMS and Voice applications. In order to make this even easier, we built an open source Python client PyTill (available on pypi for pip install).

To get started with PyTill lets take a look at how to implement two-factor authentication in just 8 lines of code:

Let’s get started with Manifold and Till

Till is simple — you can send messages, you can receive messages or ask questions, you can get results from those questions/received messages, and you can monitor the stats of your Till/SMS usage.

We recommend you use the Manifold CLI (get started here) as the best way to provision services like Till to securely and efficiently manage credentials.

Create your Till account

You can provision a free Till resource using the CLI as follows:

1manifold create --project till-project --product till --plan free

Then you can inject your credentials as environment variables:

1manifold run --project till-project -— python

Without Manifold you would manually specify your API key and username:

1export USERNAME=<your_till_username>
2export API_KEY=<your_till_key>

Install and import PyTill

We can add PyTill to our Python project by using pip to install the package:

1pip install pytill

Then import pytill to your application:

1from pytill import pytill

Sending Messages

To send a text message it’s as simple as providing a number and the message you would like to send:

1pytill.send_message(['19024880000'], 'I am sending a till message isnt that cool!')

Receiving Messages; Asking Questions

We ask a question to enable two-way communication with Till, and receive responses through the defined web hook.

1question = pytill.make_question('How cool is Till mobile?', 'my-question', 'my.webhook/listens/here')
3pytill.send_question(['19024441111', '16139094888'], [question], 'my-project')

Getting Results

We use get_results to retrieve results for a specific question:


Sample output:

1{'meta': {'limit': 20, 'next': None, 'offset': 0, 'previous': None, 'total_count': 1}, 'objects': [{'created': '2018–08–27T19:07:35.423855', 'guid': '252cd98f-5969–44c9-a955–7bb54e6f0d19', 'origin_phone_number': '+16508668969', 'participant_guid': '883c8f57–74b9–43cb-bb72-c7634b97651a', 'participant_phone_number': '+19024000158', 'project_launch_guid': '80262aea-a77e-4a0c-911f-23b959aea6da', 'project_launch_participant_guid': '8a23ee27–4841–4f2b-83d5–2a59a05825b8', 'project_tag': 'my-project', 'question_display_order': '0', 'question_guid': '8c8c168f-87d5–454d-8bae-09781312c097', 'question_tag': 'my-question', 'question_text': 'How cool is Till mobile?', 'result_answer': 'really cool!', 'result_guid': '252cd98f-5969–44c9-a955–7bb54e6f0d19', 'result_response': 'really cool!', 'result_timestamp': '2018–08–27T19:07:35.423855', 'updated': '2018–08–27T19:07:35.423884'}]}

Reading Stats

Using get_stats we can obtain stats about our usage:


Building 2FA with PyTill

In 8 lines of code we can build a random code generation module and send it to sms as a component to 2FA.

2import random
3import string
5from pytill import pytill
7if __name__ == "__main__":
8 code = ''.join(random.choices(string.ascii_letters + string.digits, k=6))
9 pytill.send_message(['19025555555'], 'Verification code is {}'.format(code))

We execute the code generation and send sms with manifold run

1manifold run -p till-project -- python

Our two-factor authentication codeOur two-factor authentication code

To make it even more accessible lets send the verification as a voice message:

2import random
3import string
5from pytill import pytill
7if __name__ == "__main__":
8 code = ' '.join(random.choices(string.ascii_letters + string.digits, k=6))
9 pytill.send_message(['19025555555'], 'Verification code is {}'.format(code), voice=True)

Notice that I added a space in the code string to ensure the letters and numbers are read individually.

Lets run it and send a text-to-voice call over to send the verification code:

1manifold run -p till-project —- python

So there we have it, an easy way to use Python and Till to implement two-factor authentication in any application.

Check out PyTill on GitHub

Feel free to check out the source code as well as open any issues on the PyTill GitHub repository: manifoldco/pytill Python package for Till Mobile. Contribute to manifoldco/pytill development by creating an account on

TillYour two-way SMS & Voice Microservice
Try Freearrow_right
Stratus Background

Sign up for the Stratus Update newsletter

With our monthly newsletter, we’ll keep you up to date with a curated selection of the latest cloud services, projects and best practices.
Click here to read the latest issue.