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Appointment Reminder

Appointment Reminder is a microservice that allows you to send appointment reminders to users. For example, you might manage appointments at a medical clinic. This service can be used to send reminders at a time that you set to patients of upcoming appointments. The patient is then prompted to confirm yes or no to the reminder message.

The service uses a SQL backend and exposes an API endpoint that uses the following methods:

  • POST to create an appointment reminder.

  • GET to retrieve an appointment reminder or a list of reminders.

  • DELETE to delete an appointment reminder.

Before you begin

You will need the following before running the Appointment Reminder service:

NOTE: This document does not cover installing Docker or Docker Compose.

Run git clone to import the library and set your API credentials

  1. Open a terminal window.

  2. If needed, create a directory where you want to deploy Appointment Reminder service.

  3. Change to the directory, and run the following:

    git clone

    The git clone command clones the Appointment Reminder repository as a sub directory within the parent folder.

  4. Go to the sms_reminder directory.

  5. Run the following:

    pip install -r requirements.txt
  6. Go to the appointment_reminder sub directory, and using a code text editor, open

    In this file set your API credentials by replacing the FLOWROUTE_SECRET_KEY and FLOWROUTE_ACCESS_KEY with your own API credentials, replace FLOWROUTE_NUMBER with your own number, and your ORG_NAME with the name of your organization or business.

     ORG_NAME = os.environ.get('ORG_NAME', 'Your Org Name')
  7. Do one of the following:

Change messages and DateTime language

Within you can change appointment reminder messages as well as change the language used for the DateTime in reminder messages.

Change message text contains default appointment reminder, confirmation, cancel, and unparsable response message templates. You can accept these default messages or optionally change any or all of the messages.


Change the appointment reminder message sent to recipients.

MSG_TEMPLATE = ("[{}] You have an appointment on {}{}. "  # company, datetime, additional details 
       "Please reply 'Yes' to confirm, or 'No'" 
       "to cancel.")

Important: Do not remove or change the brackets ({})within the message template.


Change the response message sent to the recipient upon a successful appointment confirmation received from the recipient.

CONFIRMATION_RESPONSE = (u"[{}]\nThank you! Your appointment has been marked "

Change the cancellation response message sent to the recipient upon a successful appointment cancellation response received from the recipient.

CANCEL_RESPONSE = (u"[{}]\nThank you! Your appointment has been"
               u" marked canceled.").format(ORG_NAME)

An unparsable response is a response received from a recipient that cannot be understood. For example, if the MSG_TEMPLATE asks the recipient to reply with Yes or No, but the recipient sends something other than either of those two options, the Appointment Reminder service will be unable to determine the response. The unparsable response message is a return message to the recipient prompting them again to respond with either Yes or No.

UNPARSABLE_RESPONSE = (u"[{}]\nSorry, we did not understand your response. "
                   u"Please reply 'Yes' to confirm, or 'No' "
                   u"to cancel.").format(ORG_NAME)

Note: Yes or No are case-insensitive, so a yes or no response are parsed as Yes or No.

Change the default DateTime language

In you can set the DateTime of the reminder message to use any language supported by arrow.locales. Changing the default DateTime language translates only the DateTime values sent in the message to use those languages, not the content of the message itself.

To change the default language use the names identifying the language in arrow.locales. For example, to change the default language to French, edit LANGUAGE_DEFAULT as follows:


Some languages in arrow.locales also include abbreviated forms for months and days. If the language has abbreviated forms, that abbreviated form will be used in the message. For example, in French, the abbreviated form of mercredi (Wednesday) is mer, and juillet (July) is juil. An appointment reminder using a French DateTime will send the abbreviated forms.

Important: If you change the DEFAULT_LANGUAGE you should consider also translating your appointment reminder messages. Changing the default language only translates the reminder DateTime into that language, not the message itself.

For example, if your language is English your reminder message might say: "You have an appointment on Wednesday, July 21 at 2:00 PM. Please reply Yes to confirm, or No to cancel." If French is set as the default language, the same message appears as follows: "You have an appointment on mer 21 juil à 14:00. Please reply Yes to confirm, or No to cancel."

Start the Appointment Reminder service

  1. Start the Redis server:

  2. Start the Celery server:

    celery worker -A appointment_reminder.tasks.celery --loglevel=INFO
  3. Start the reminder service:

    python -m appointment_reminder.service

Create, retrieve, and delete appointment reminders

The Appointment Reminder service allows you to perform the following operations for creating and managing appointment reminders:

Create a new appointment reminder

Use the POST method to send an appointment reminder.


curl -v -X POST -d '{"contact_number":<contact number>, "appointment_time": "<appointment_time>",  "notify_window":"<notify_window>", "location":"<location>"}' -H "Content-Type: application/json" http://<Docker Daemon>:<port>/reminder 
Example usage
curl -v -X POST -d '{"contact_number":12223334444, "appointment_time": "2016-07-06T15:23-0800",  "notify_window":"1", "location":"West Side Mechanics"}' -H "Content-Type: application/json"
Parameter Required Type Description
contact_number True string The contact's phone number. Must use an 11-digit, 1XXXXXXXXXX format.
appointment_time True string The scheduled appointment time, using an ISO 8601 "YYYY-MM-DDTHH:mmZ" format.
notify_window True integer The length of time, in hours, before the scheduled appointment to send a reminder. For example, 1 indicates that a reminder is sent one hour before the appointment_time.
location False string The appointment location. Limited to 128 characters. The following SQL characters are disallowed: `
participant False string Provides more information about the appointment. For example, this might be a particular person or department at the location. Limited to 256 characters.
Example response

A successful POST returns a reminder_id, as shown in the following:

{"reminder_id": "2a00aadba83b40aa8a3a6e99a1bd88b9", "message": "successfully created a reminder with id 2a00aadba83b40aa8a3a6e99a1bd88b9"}

NOTE: Note down the reminder_id if you want to later look up information about the appointment reminder.

Error response

The following error responses can be returned:

  • 400 for an invalid argument
  • 500 if Redis is unavailable

Retrieve a single reminder

Retrieving information about a sent reminder uses the GET method and passes the reminder_id from a previously sent appointment reminder.


curl -X GET http://<Docker Daemon>:<port>/reminder/reminder_id
Example usage
curl -X GET
Example response

A successful GET returns the following:

{"confirm_sent": true, "contact_number": "12069928996", "participant": "Joe", "location": "West Side Mechanics", "reminder_id": "2a00aadba83b40aa8a3a6e99a1bd88b9", "appt_user_dt": "2016-07-15 11:40:00", "will_attend": true, "notify_sys_dt": "2016-07-15 17:40:00", "reminder_sent": true, "appt_sys_dt": "2016-07-15 18:40:00"}

Retrieve a reminder list

Use the GET method to retrieve a list of reminders.


curl -X GET "http://<Docker Daemon>:<port>/reminder"
Example usage
curl -X GET "http:/"
Example response

A successful GET returns the following:

     "location":"West Side Mechanics",
     "appt_user_dt":"2016-08-05 13:21:00",
     "notify_sys_dt":"2016-08-05 19:21:00",
     "appt_sys_dt":"2016-08-05 20:21:00"
     "location":"West Side Mechanics",
     "appt_user_dt":"2016-08-10 13:21:00",
     "notify_sys_dt":"2016-08-10 19:21:00",
     "appt_sys_dt":"2016-08-10 20:21:00"

Response field descriptions

The following information is returned in the response for both a single reminder and for a list of reminders:

Parameter Nullable Description
confirm_sent False Confirmation that the reminder was received. This will be true for received or false that the confirmation was not received.
contact_number False The number to which the appointment reminder was sent.
participant False Any additional context for the appointment; this might be the name of a particular person or department at the location.
location True The location for the appointment. This might be the name of a business.
reminder_id False The appointment's reminder_id.
appt_user_dt False The user's appointment time, based on the time zone passed in the original reminder.
notify_sys_dt False The user's appointment time, in UTC, minus the time set for the notify_window.
appt_sys_dt False The user's appointment time, in UTC, based on the time zone passed in the original reminder.
reminder_sent False A 200 response was received from the Flowroute SMS API. This field will be either true or false.
will_attend True Displays null if the user hasn't responded; otherwise, this will display a yes or no boolean if the user has responded.

Error response

The following error response can be returned for both retrieving an appointment reminder and for retrieving a list of appointment reminders.

  • A 500 status code can be returned if there is any internal error.

Delete a reminder

Use the DELETE method and pass an existing reminder_id to delete an appointment reminder.


curl -v -X DELETE http://<Docker Daemon>:<port>reminder/reminder_id
Example usage
curl -v -X DELETE
Example Response

A successful DELETE returns the following:

{"reminder_id": "00795872bc554893bde41f3f9cb807d0", "message": "Successfully deleted reminder with id 00795872bc554893bde41f3f9cb807d0"}```

Error response

  • A 500 status code can be returned if there is any internal error.


An SMS backed reminder scheduler







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