fmSMS Updated for Telstra Messaging API v2

Back in 2015 Telstra launched a beta of their SMS Messaging API and fmSMS was one of the first commercial solutions to support the Telstra API. Telstra have recently released v2 of their Messaging API which includes a number of new features including:

  • dedicated number: you can provision an Australian mobile number for your account via the API
  • send SMS and MMS messages
  • receive messages to your dedicated number
  • delivery status: query the delivery status of your messages
  • callbacks: automatic notifications of message delivery status to a callback URL
  • alphanumeric sender ID support
  • concatenation: send messages up to 1900 characters long and Telstra will automatically segment and reassemble them
  • scheduled delivery: delay the delivery of submitted messages

Now that the Messaging API is out of beta there are a number of plans to choose from. You can start with a free trial which includes 1000 free messages and a dedicated mobile number. They also have a PAYG plan with no fixed term contract and messages are 6c per message, as well as an Enterprise plan.

You can download a trial version of fmSMS to test the Telstra SMS API using their Free Trial. When you purchase fmSMS you get the PHP files to use for automatic delivery status updates and automatic replies into fmSMS. Please contact us if you have any questions about fmSMS and the Telstra Messaging API.

fmSMS and FileMaker Cloud

 

 

FileMaker Cloud, FileMaker Inc’s cloud-based platform for managing and running custom apps, was officially launched one year ago this month. FileMaker Cloud gives you the simplicity and performance of the FileMaker Platform without spending time and resources deploying and maintaining a server

FileMaker Cloud runs on the Amazon Web Services Cloud (AWS) and was originally only available for customers in the United States and Canada (AWS Regions of Oregon and N. Virginia). This was extended to Europe, the Middle East and Africa in March 2017 (AWS regions of Ireland and Frankfurt) and Japan, Canada and Australia in July 2017 (AWS regions of Sydney, Canada and Tokyo).

There are a number of important differences between FileMaker Cloud and the traditional version of FileMaker Server for Mac/Windows – it’s worth remembering that FileMaker Cloud is not FileMaker Server as not all FileMaker Server features are available in FileMaker Cloud. FileMaker have a comparison between FileMaker Server and FileMaker Cloud that outlines the differences in various categories – some of the features of FileMaker Server not currently available in FileMaker Cloud that have implications for fmSMS include:

  • Custom Web Publishing with PHP and XML
  • Scheduled Scripts in the FileMaker Server Admin Console

There are no issues using a FileMaker Cloud hosted version of fmSMS and the FileMaker Pro client application to send messages as all communication with the SMS Gateway when sending messages is handled by FileMaker Pro. We’re currently working on support for using Perform Script on Server – this requires a new Linux version of the plug-in to run under FileMaker Cloud which runs on CentOS Linux.

We’re currently testing this and hope to have an update shortly. Please note that server side schedule scripts are not currently supported on FileMaker Cloud – you will have to use Perform Script on Server for any server side script operations. Perform Script on Server is used by FileMaker Go and FileMaker WebDirect clients when accessing a hosted version of FileMaker Server to send messages. Now that FileMaker Pro v16 includes native support for JSON and cURL we will be able to use native functions to communicate with the SMS Gateways without requiring a FileMaker plug-in, so FileMaker Go and FileMaker WebDirect clients will be able to send messages directly without having to perform server side scripts that required a plug-in to be installed on FileMaker Server.

For receiving incoming messages/replies most of the SMS Gateways push incoming messages to a PHP file running on your FileMaker Server/Web Server. This uses the Custom Web Publishing with PHP feature of FileMaker Server – FileMaker Cloud does not support Custom Web Publishing so you will not be able to use the FileMaker Cloud to receive incoming messages using the supplied PHP pages. Some SMS Gateways do allow you to ‘poll’ periodically for new messages and download these from the SMS Gateway – see our Getting Started guide for further details.

We’re also investigating using the new FileMaker Data API to receive incoming messages – this is currently offered as a trial version with FileMaker Server v16 and is not currently available with FileMaker Cloud, so we will most likely wait until FileMaker Inc. release the shipping version and have finalised the licensing model and included this with FileMaker Cloud.

 

fmSMS and FileMaker Pro v16

We’re pleased to report that fmSMS v3 is compatible with FileMaker Pro/Pro Advanced v16 that was released today. We haven’t encountered any issues so far in our testing and have been able to:

  • send single SMS messages successfully
  • send bulk messages successfully
  • check Account balances successfully
  • check the Status of sent Messages successfully

If you encounter any issues with fmSMS v3 and FileMaker Pro v16 please let us know.

fmSMS Now Supports Bandwidth SMS Gateway

fmSMS has been updated to support the Bandwidth SMS Gateway – you can send and receive SMS messages using the Bandwidth SMS Gateway and fmSMS. Bandwidth offer a free trial version so you can use the trial version of fmSMS to test the Bandwidth SMS Gateway.

Bandwidth are based in the USA and can also deliver to international numbers. They offer very competitive pricing  – at the time of writing (April 10, 2017) their prices are in US dollars:

  • $0.35 for the virtual number you use to send messages from
  • $0.005 for every outgoing message
  • all incoming messages are free

You can download a trial version of fmSMS from here – please get in touch if you have any questions about using fmSMS and the Bandwidth SMS Gateway.

fmSMS Chat View

One of our favourite features in fmSMS is the Chat View which we introduced back in July 2015. This shows you the sent and received messages for an individual Contact in a much more graphical interface compared to a traditional FileMaker view using portals. The Chat View is similar to how iChat/Messages works on the Mac and iOS platforms – the messages are displayed in a threaded view so you can see them as a conversation and quickly type a message using the defaults without having to leave the Chat View screen.

Here’s a screenshot showing the classic view of the SMS History for a Contact with 2 portals for the sent and received messages:

When you have multiple sent and received messages it can be quite hard to track the replies to a sent message and follow the conversation. Here’s the Chat View of the same Contact record:

We are colour coding the sent messages in blue and the replies in green to easily distinguish between the outgoing and incoming messages, and all messages are sorted by timestamps so they appear in reverse chronological order. When you have multiple sent/received messages you can easily scroll though the complete history and see all the messages that this Contact has received and all their replies in the one screen.

Here’s a quick video showing the fmSMS Chat View in action to send an appointment reminder and receive the reply back into fmSMS:

fmSMS End of Year Xmas Sale – Everything 20% Off

fmsms-xmas-sale-2016

It’s time for the fmSMS End of Year Xmas Sale – All fmSMS Licenses are now 20% Off. The sale runs until the end of the day on the 31st December, 2016 (Australian Eastern Daylight Time).

All our prices are in Australian dollars – if you’re purchasing from outside of Australia you’ll also get to take advantage of the low Australia dollar (1 Australian Dollar equals approximately 0.74 US Dollars).

Discounts are applied automatically – no coupons required! Click here to start shopping.

SMS Text Messaging in the US 2016 Election

There’s an interesting article on the Plivo website about the role SMS/Text Messaging has played in the 2016 USA Elections. It’s an interesting read covering what worked for different candidates and what hasn’t worked:

https://www.plivo.com/blog/how-sms-text-messaging-won-the-2016-us-elections/

fmSMS SMS Gateways updated – Zipwhip

We’ve just updated fmSMS to support the Zipwhip SMS Gateway. Zipwhip is a bit different to most SMS Gateways – they allow you to enable text messaging for your existing business phone number (Landline or Toll-Free Phone Number). This allows you to have one number for customers to call you and text you – normally you would need to get a dedicated virtual mobile number to handle the incoming text/SMS messages.

This brings the number of SMS Gateways supported to 75 – if you would like us to support you preferred SMS Gateway please contact us with the details.

fmSMS Updates – SMS Broadcast Gateway (Australia)

We’ve updated fmSMS for some changes to the SMS Broadcast Gateway (Australia) including:

  • added support for delayed message delivery
  • added 2nd SMS Broadcast Gateway record for use with 2 Way Shared Numbers
  • included PHP files for Message Status Updates and Message Replies