This is the Frequently Asked Questions for fmSMS v3 (FileMaker Pro v12 or later). If you are using fmSMS v2 (FileMaker Pro v10/11) please refer to the fmSMS v2 FAQ.
For help with getting started with fmSMS v3 please see our Getting Started page.
We have also published a series of short training videos that cover the various aspects of using fmSMS.
What are the system requirements for fmSMS v3?
fmSMS v3 requires FileMaker Pro v12 or later or FileMaker Pro Advanced FileMaker Pro v12 or later on either Mac or Windows. All SMS messages are sent via an HTTP POST over the Internet using a plug-in directly to an SMS Gateway. You will need an account with one of the supported SMS Gateways (trial accounts are available to test fmSMS with these Gateways). All messages are sent via port 80 or 443 (SSL).
fmSMS v3 also works with FileMaker Go 13 or later for iPad and FileMaker Go 13 or later for iPhone when fmSMS is hosted by FileMaker Server. We use a FileMaker plug-in to send the SMS messages using an HTTP POST, which is not possible on FileMaker Go as plug-ins are not supported. The messages are sent from FileMaker Server using a server side script that you schedule. See our fmSMS and FileMaker Go page for more information.
Can I use fmSMS with FileMaker WebDirect?
Yes – v3.5 of fmSMS now supports FileMaker WebDirect (fmSMS will need to be hosted with FileMaker Server v13 or later to use WebDirect, a new feature in FileMaker Server v13). See our fmSMS and FileMaker WebDirect page for more information.
Do I need to know the mobile carrier for each recipient?
No – the cell/mobile number is all that is required.
Can I Integrate fmSMS with my existing FileMaker solution?
Yes – fmSMS is sold as a completely unlocked solution. How you choose to integrate fmSMS is completely up to you – there are 2 popular approaches to integration which are covered in our fmSMS Integration Guide. You can also hire us to perform the integration for you – just Contact Us with your requirements and we’ll get back to you with a quote.
What is the difference between the trial version of SMS and the full version that you purchase?
The trial version of fmSMS differs from the unlocked purchased version as follows:
- the trial version is a 14 day locked version
- you cannot edit any scripts, valuelists or layouts in the trial version
- you do not have access to Manage>Database to do any integration with your own Contacts database
- any Contacts, Messages, Templates etc you create in the trial version cannot be migrated to the purchased version
I’m using Clickatell as my SMS Gateway. What should I enter for my account details in fmSMS?
You’ll need to enter three pieces of information for a Clickatell account: your Clickatell Username, Clickatell Password and Clickatell HTTP API ID. We’ve created a page with all the details on how to obtain your Clickatell HTTP API ID and how to enter these into fmSMS. If you have one of the Clickatell US Small Business accounts the HTTP API ID is created for you automatically – see the next question.
Can I use fmSMS with the Clickatell Americas Small Business API (Two-way) service?
Yes – fmSMS is compatible with Clickatell’s Americas Small Business (Two-way) service. We’ve created a page that has some important details on how to setup fmSMS for the Clickatell Americas Small Business (Two-way) service. If you are in the US, Canada or Latin America the Clickatell Small Business API has a number of plans starting at $9.95 per month.
Can I use fmSMS without FileMaker Pro?
Yes we also make available a self contained “runtime” version of fmSMS that can operate on its own without FileMaker Pro. Note that the “runtime” version of fmSMS cannot be customised or shared – it is a locked version that can only be used by one user. It’s perfect for individuals that need to send SMS messages from their Mac or Windows desktop computer but don’t require the FileMaker integration or multi-user capabilities.
Can I use FileMaker Server Side scripts with fmSMS?
Yes – see fmSMS and FileMaker Server Side Scripts page for further details.
What is the Sender ID?
The Sender ID is the number/name that appears on a handset when a message is delivered – i.e. who it is from.
When you send an SMS from fmSMS there are several options for setting the Sender ID (this also depends on which options your SMS Gateway supports):
- Use a real mobile phone number as the Sender ID. Any replies are sent direct to that mobile phone that was used as the Sender ID
- Use an Alphanumeric Sender ID (these are usually between 3 and 11 characters, e.g. “Databuzz”). Recipients cannot reply to messages sent using an Alphanumeric Sender ID. They are used for one way announcements/alerts that you don’t expect users to reply to
- Use a shared virtual mobile number as the Sender ID (virtual mobile numbers are not tied to an actual mobile phone). Some SMS Gateways allow you to use one of their shared virtual mobile numbers as the Sender ID. You won’t be able to select which shared number to use but you can use a shared number for 2 way messaging as any replies to that number will be received by the SMS Gateway and matched to the original message you sent.
- Use a dedicated virtual mobile number that you purchase/rent as the Sender ID. A dedicated virtual mobile number is the ultimate solution for 2 way message as it allows your customers/staff/students etc to send a message at any time to the dedicated virtual number, as well as when replying to messages you send using the virtual mobile number as the Sender ID.
How does 2 way messaging/replies work?
The options for 2 way messaging (sending and receiving messages using fmSMS) will depend on the SMS Gateway that you use and how you host fmSMS:
- Some SMS Gateways allow you to “poll” their server for any replies to messages sent from a shared virtual mobile number or a dedicated virtual mobile number. This requires manual intervention – someone needs to click the “Incoming Messages” button in the Account details screen to initiate this process. This method is supported when fmSMS is hosted/opened in FileMaker Pro or hosted by FileMaker Server.
- Most SMS Gateways that offer 2 way messaging will have an option to “push” incoming messages to you automatically. This is also our preferred method, but it does require that fmSMS be hosted by FileMaker Server and that you configure the Customer Web Publishing service. A static IP address is also recommended as you have to provide the SMS Gateway with a URL to a php page on your server. We provide the necessary PHP pages that convert the incoming message into a record in the Replies table in fmSMS. Some Gateways charge additional fees to use this feature and you require a dedicated virtual number you will need to rent/purchase one through your SMS Gateway.
Can I get Delivery Receipts/Confirmation for sent messages from fmSMS?
There are a number of options for checking on the status of messages sent from fmSMS (like replies these features are also SMS Gateway specific):
- most Gateways let you generate reports within their website for messages sent from your Account via their Gateway
- some Gateways allow you to check on demand for the status of an individual message sent from fmSMS (click the Message Status button on the Message Status tab to perform this from within fmSMS)
- most Gatways allow you to specify a webserver that you control to be the recipient for automatic delivery reports for all messages sent via fmSMS. This requires FileMaker Server and the PHP API and a static IP address. The Gateway will automatically send status updates for sent messages directly to your server which can be automatically matched to the original message. We provide the necessary PHP pages to install on your web server that converts these into records in the Delivery Receipts table.
Is FileMaker Cloud supported?
There are no issues when using a FileMaker Cloud hosted version of fmSMS when using the FileMaker Pro client application 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.
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 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.
Our network uses a proxy server. Are we still able to use fmSMS?
Yes – fmSMS allows you to enter a proxy address, port number, username and password for each Account that you setup. You can download a trial version of fmSMS and test this out before purchasing. If you have any questions about using fmSMS with proxy servers please contact us.