10 Replies Latest reply on Apr 4, 2012 9:31 AM by crusecontrol

    Txting from FileMaker


      A client has asked if it is possible to txt from FileMaker?


      It seems fairly simple to have FM send an email to the cell phone #, which becomes a txt message AS LONG AS the cell number includes the cell phone carrier.


      Example: 3205550000@txt.att.net


      The key seems to be knowing the cell carrier or the "@txt.att.net"


      If the cell carrier is unknown, is there a way to send a txt from FM?


      Anyone with experience in this?





        • 1. Re: Txting from FileMaker

          Michele may need a sherpa,


          Not that I know of. Since FMP isn't connecting as a phone thru a carrier, there is no SMS connection. When sending to an SMS destination from FMP you are actually sending an email to the carrier and they are forwarding it to the phone as text.

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          • 2. Re: Txting from FileMaker

            Hi Michelle,


            If you (or rather, your client) subscribe to an SMS gateway service - there are quite a few to choose from - you should then be able to push SMS data to cell numbers through the gateway's API independent of the cell carrier/s.


            For simplicity, you may prefer a gateway service that will accept data in a standard URL format - but some of them also offer email or other API options, so it may pay you to shop around.





            R J Cologon, Ph.D.

            FileMaker Certified Developer

            Author, FileMaker Pro 10 Bible

            NightWing Enterprises, Melbourne, Australia



            1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Txting from FileMaker


              I think you need a field to serve as your "text_extension". ("@txt.att.net")

              You might have a script which tests for success (error capture) trying the next from your list of known carriers.


              When it does succeed set that field with the proper extension for the record ...


              Let us know how you do. I just got a similar request.

              • 4. Re: Txting from FileMaker

                I had thought of that, just trying all the known carriers, but I wondered: all all cell phone #'s unique?


                They should be, but I'd hate to set something up for the client and then find that they were blasting txts to unknown folks.


                Would that be possible?

                • 5. Re: Txting from FileMaker

                  Thanks for the replies Jimmy & Ray. The information is helpful.

                  • 6. Re: Txting from FileMaker

                    We use a local (Australian) gateway service to provide text messaging from within FMP. Put simply, we generate a calculated URL which includes the phone number, the message and a reply e-mail address (among other things). A script then sets that URL into a hidden webviewer, pauses for a few seconds then parses the XML result to determine whether the message was sent successfully. It then clears out the webviewer. We learnt the hard way that if you don't clear out the URL, the message keeps getting sent.


                    This has worked successfully for many clients for many years. We've had clients who've wanted to use one of the many free e-mail to SMS services, but soon realise that these usually carry advertising and expose the recipient to unwanted spam.



                    Marc Dolley

                    • 7. Re: Txting from FileMaker

                      Thank you Marc. I appreciate the added information.



                      • 8. Re: Txting from FileMaker

                        Hi Michele,


                        As others have noted you're best of using an SMS Gateway service if possible which offers a number of advantages, including not having to know which carrier the recipient's cell phone is with.


                        In most countires you can setup an account with a local or international SMS Gateway service and get up and running quite easily, but it's not as straightforward in +1 country code region unfortunately. I've been doing SMS/TXT integration for over 10 years now and the USA has always been the most difficult due to restrictions on the Sender ID by carriers and the fact some customers have to pay to receive SMS/TXT messages . Recently I've been working with the Clickatell SMS Gateway who now have a small business plan for USA customers which makes everything much easier and supports 2 way SMS (sending/receiving).


                        We sell a solution called fmSMS (http://www.fmsms.com) that integrates a FileMaker solution with an SMS Gateway and have found the Clickatell USA solution to be a nice fit for many customers:




                        We have a page on our website that has some further details about using the Clickatell Gateway with fmSMS which you might find helpful:



                        There's no free trial account for the Clickatell USA small business solutions but you can sign up for one month for $9.95 which includes 500 messages to test with. I also did a session at DevCon in 2010 on intregrating SMS/TXT with FileMaker so if you attended that you can grab my session files which you might also find useful.


                        Let me know if you have any questions about this or SMS integration in general as I can probably save you a lot of time having been down this path many times before.





                        FileMaker 8/9/10/11 Certified Developer


                        - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

                        Phone: +61 2 9484 6565

                        Mobile: +61 418 468 103

                        Email: andrew@databuzz.com.au


                        • 9. Re: Txting from FileMaker



                          Thanks for the reply and the added information about SMS gateways.


                          We will see where this goes for the customer. My take is they likely would send 1-4 txts per day.



                          • 10. Re: Txting from FileMaker

                            I also use an SMS provider (Boom-SMS) and send a calc made to look like the required XML - either as an e-mail to their server or can now do this via a URL of theirs. You have to buy the text bundles, but my guess is that we are lucky that we dont have to buy email bundles, although that would probably take care of all the spam.