I’ve always been excited about being able write programs that do “cool” things. In my first encounter with programming (in GW-Basic, laugh if you must), I was delighted to find I could manipulate the PC Beep, and started reproducing tunes with it (hey, I was young). Later on I had fun sending emails from my code, playing with text-to-speech, etc. So I had loads of fun working on the Web21c SDK project at BT.

The idea of this project is to give developers inside and outside the company easy access to BT’s capabilities. And when I say easy I mean one line of code.

Every time I hear about “one-line-of-code” magic, I immediately think “so what hoops do I need to jump through before I can write and execute that one line of code?”. So here are the hoops. You need to download the SDK flavour of your choice (there’s .NET, Java, PHP and Python so far). You need to register on the Web21c SDK portal¬†and download your (free) private certificate. That’s it. Not that many hoops really.

What the Web21c SDK does for you, is give you easy access to the services through the library (hence one line of code to do things), and take care of all the security between you and the services (point it to your certificate and it will do all the digital signing for you). If on the other hand you feel like hitting the web services directly, you can do that too (although the digital signing bit won’t be easy).

So you can, for example, write (in Java-land):

com.bt.sdk.sms.Messaging sms = new com.bt.sdk.sms.Messaging();
sms.send(”Hello from the Web21c SDK.”,”mobile_number”);

And you get an sms.

As you’ll see on the website, you can send sms, set up a phone call or a conference call to any phone number in the world. You can also get the location of a mobile device (although that currently only works for BT issued mobiles in the UK), plus a few other services.

You can register and try it out for free (daily usage limits apply), and when the services are released in their live production environment (which should be any time soon), you can build your application on top of them, either as something for yourself or your business, either as a sellable application.

With all these services (and more to come) so easily available, there’s so many different services you could do, especially if you combine them. You could locate your friends, and send an sms to the ones close to you with the address of the nearest pub that offers a happy hour offer. You could send an sms to all responsible parties and set up a conference call between them the second a server or service in your company goes down. You could pick and choose as you want.

Now, I think that’s something cool to be able to do from your code!