I may be misunderstanding what you are asking, but here's how I would do something similar:
1) Create an email (or contact history) table with fields for addresses, text, and attachments.
2) Have a button on the contact screen to compose an email.
3) Allow the user to write the email in a composition window. Sometimes the script that opens the composition window also includes steps pre-filling the text field that may be edited later.
4) When the user clicks the "preview" button, simply open a second (modal?) window showing the email as written, with the addresses at the top.
5) If the user likes the result, the send button actually sends the email (using FileMaker's Send Mail script step)
6) If the user does not like the result, the preview window simply closes, and the user may edit until satisfied
7) The email is saved in the email table for posterity.
I hope this gets you moving in the right direction.
You can send via a gmail account with smtp just fine... but are these going to be plain text emails, or do you want them to have graphics and formatted text?
I wouldn't cound on sending a PDF and expecting that to show up in the body of a message. A lot of email clients won't display it and it would show as an attachment that you then have to view after downloading and opening with a compatible application.
HTML email is pretty standard nowadays and email client support for it is very good. Your content can also be dynamic, responsive, and interactive. There are some differences between writing html for email and html for web, but it is very do-able.
On it's own, filemaker will only send plain text email, but there are ways to send html formatted email, such as several available plugings. There are several good ones that work well and are well supported.
You can build the html and allow your client to preview in a web viewer before sending. You can then log the response from the smtp server whether it was sent or not and keep a database of who was sent what.
Hope this helps.
We recently complete a FileMaker to Gmail integration for a client with 40
users sending about 200 different custom emails.
Users click a button in FileMaker and it creates an email in Gmail with (as
Multiple TO email addresses
Multiple CC email addresses
Multiple BCC email addresses
HTML or plain text
0, 1 or N attachments
Open (preview in browser), queue in drafts, or auto-send
Batch (multiple emails) or 1-off sending
Some of the emails pass through a FileMaker ³Correspondence² table so there
is a record in FileMaker of what was sent.
All sent emails are also stored in Gmail.
This might be overkill for your needs...that said, if you are interested,
feel free to call.
All the best,
Tony White Designs, Inc.
Tel: 646-714-2797 (Google Voice)
@John - great idea!, thanks.
@Mike - Yes, we need to have a couple of links in the e-mail, so HTML is required. I'll look for a plug in - unless you can recommend one.
@Tony - I think I've got now, thanks.