You can do that but you have to use an SMS Api.
That's a paying service where you buy a certain a mount of sms credits that you can then use to send sms messages through a URL.
Filemaker can be used to generate the URL and open it and thus sending the message.
The URL contains the number of the sender, the receiver, the text message and possible extra options.
Just google sms api and you will find a bunch of services.
Thanks guy, I will start getting familiar with this technique and see if I can figure it out.
It's normally also possible to send an email to a phone number and have it received by the user as text. The domain name used varies with the cell phone carrier so you have to research this for each carrier before you can figure out what email address will end up as a text on the recipient's phone.
So this would not be the best method if I have clients signing in their phone numbers and I don't know their carrier?
Correct. But if you can set up a "sign up form" completed by the user where they identify their carrier, you may be able to set up a look up table that use the specified carrier to look up the correct Domain name.
I am still studying the SMS Api process. I suppose my next step is to contact someone like Twilio, TxtWire or Callfire. Any recommendations?
I used the email to text process quite successfully. As Phil says, as long as you know their carrier, you can have your solution construct an email message and send it to the phone number. I had buttons for pre-determined messages, and it worked slickly via FileMaker go - and it was free.
One additional point though - it seemed to me that it was not as immediate as direct text messaging - it took about 30 -45 seconds to get through via email. SMS was snappier.
So maybe the email is going to be simpler way to do this. I was concerned about getting the carrier name since there may be several people filling in the registration information over the phone.
How do I find the Domain for the various carriers & how is this used?
Thanks for the help.
I think the fact that you need to know the carrier and that every carrier has a different email system makes the email idea more complicated.
With the sms API you simply need to tell Filemaker to go to a URL. The Url is a simple calculation that contains the senders cell phone number, the receivers cell phone number and the text message.
No matter what carrier.
So it always works.
Yes, this does cost credits, but it also costs money to send text messages.
You can even send a text message to multiple people at once.
Okay Guy, I am going to try this. Do I just contract with a service provider and then Filemaker can interface with them?
Any recommendation on which service I should use?
I'm located in Belgium. So I use a service here in Belgium. I have no experience with services in the USA or wherever you are.
The way it works with us is very simple.
You join a service, get a login, buy a certain amount of text credits. For instance 100 credits. And then you look in their faq how to set it up.
Setting it up is pretty simple. There is an example of a url that you need to go to, you just need to create a calc field that creates that URL and fills in the correct data. This is the example from my provider:
The text in bold just needs to become data from your various fields and then you do a script with a Go To URL step to go to that url. That's all. Going to that url sends the sms.