for example, I can send an email to my phone and it shows at a text message. This is specific to Verizon; but I assume that other providers have a similar option. For me, the email address looks like email@example.com.
Look into SMS gateways. These convert e-mails (structured appropriately) into SMS messages. They are usually pay-per-message.
In addition to the other suggestions if you're looking for an off-the-shelf solution check out our fmSMS product:
It works with SMS Gateways around the world and supports sending single and bulk messages as well as receiving replies into FileMaker.
SMS is texting. This is what my question is about.
I found several sms plugins.
This plugin only supports AIM at present. It sends regular emails and SMS. It will work for 2 hours in demo mode and then you have to reopen FileMaker. The single user price is affordable.
First I had to set up an AOL account, yuck, and then login to AIM.com.
Next the email plugin will send an SMS Text message to a phone. It shows up in my AIM account. No reply yet so I can't verify that it works.
Sending a text to me doesn't ring on my phone although it did when I used AOL to setup the AIM account.
It was easier to setup what I used on my iPad Mini which gave me my own special phone number and that worked every time.
The Second plugin is: http://www.fmsms.com/
This plugin supports 50+ sms networks.
Since it costs more than I am willing to spend but would not be a burden for a corporation, I am not going to test it.
Some of the solutions above work great but are expensive. If you're real cheap, most texts can be sent free via email if you know the cell phone provider's text email. But a good compromise I have found is the Twilio gateway because costs is about a penny a text and you only have to have a $20 deposit. It works with Insert From URL or a good API plugin like Base Elements or MBS.
+1 for Twilio a well. We switched to it primarily because the free methods require you to know the customer's carrier. Twilio allows the customer to respond and have that routed back into your solution, etc.