This is the Frequently Asked Questions for fmSMS v4 (FileMaker Pro v16 or later).
For help with getting started with fmSMS v4 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 v4?
fmSMS v4 requires FileMaker Pro/Pro Advanced v16 or later on either Mac or Windows. All SMS messages are sent via an HTTP POST over the Internet 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 v4 also works with FileMaker Go 16 or later.
Can I use fmSMS with FileMaker WebDirect?
Yes – fmSMS will need to be hosted with FileMaker Server v16/FileMaker Cloud for AWS v16 or later to use WebDirect. 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
- the PHP files used for receiving incoming replies via the PHP API or the FileMaker Data API are not included
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 for AWS supported?
I’m having trouble uploading the file to my FileMaker Server/FileMaker Cloud.
To make it easier to get started we set the fmSMS file to open automatically with the Full Access account (the login credentials can be found in the Full Access Login.rtf file that is included with the download). This can cause an issue if you try upload the file to your FileMaker Server/FileMaker Cloud if the
Require Password-Protected Databases option is enabled on your FileMaker Server. The file will be seen as insecure when uploading and you’ll get an error (this is also logged in the FileMaker Server Event.log file). You just need to untick the “Log in using” checkbox in the File Options dialog first before uploading your file:
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.
Is there a list of changes in each version of fmSMS?
Yes – to see what’s new with each update check out the fmSMS version history log