fmMMS Now Supports Guni MMS Gateway

fmMMS, our FileMaker solution that lets you send and receive MMS messages from the Claris FileMaker Platform, has just been updated to include support for the Guni MMS Gateway based in Australia. With fmMMS and Guni you can send and receive MMS messages to Australian mobile numbers.

You can download a trial version of fmMMS to test with the Guni MMS Gateway from here. More information on using the Guni Gateway with fmMMS is available on our support site.

fmSMS, our FileMaker solution for sending and receiving SMS messages from the Claris FileMaker Platform, has also been updated to support the Guni SMS Gateway.

fmMMS Now Supports Tall Bob MMS Gateway

fmMMS, our FileMaker solution that lets you send and receive MMS messages from the Claris FileMaker Platform, has just been updated to include support for the Tall Bob MMS Gateway based in Australia. With fmMMS and Tall Bob you can send and receive MMS messages to Australian mobile numbers. Tall Bob provide a complete mobile messaging platform, delivered with clever functionality, rich interactivity and unprecedented insights.

You can download a trial version of fmMMS to test with the Tall Bob MMS Gateway from here. More information on using the Tall Bob Gateway with fmMMS is available on our support site.

fmSMS, our FileMaker solution for sending and receiving SMS messages from the Claris FileMaker Platform, has also been updated to support the Tall Bob SMS Gateway.

fmMMS Now Supports BulkSMS.com SMS Gateway

fmMMS, our FileMaker solution that lets you send and receive MMS messages from the FileMaker Platform, has just been updated to include support for the BulkSMS.com SMS Gateway based in South Africa. The BulkSMS.com SMS Gateway works differently to other MMS Gateways that fmMMS supports. It doesn’t send MMS messages but rather allows you to upload files to be added as links to a standard SMS Message.

You can download a trial version of fmMMS to test with the BulkSMS.com SMS Gateway from here. You can also sign up for a trial account with BulkSMS.com. More information on using the BulkSMS.com Gateway with fmMMS is available on our support site.

fmMMS Now Supports 46elks MMS Gateway

fmMMS, our FileMaker solution that lets you send and receive MMS messages from the FileMaker Platform, has just been updated to include support for the 46elks MMS Gateway based in Sweden. With fmMMS and 46elks you can send and receive MMS messages to Swedish numbers.

You can download a trial version of fmMMS to test with the 46elks MMS Gateway from here. You can also sign up for a trial account with 46elks. More information on using the 46elks Gateway with fmMMS is available on our support site.

Twilio Now Supports Message Scheduling for SMS and MMS

When we first released fmSMS one of our favourite features was the ability to submit an SMS to a Gateway and have them deliver the message at a future date and time. This was great if you wanted a message to be delivered to the recipient at a specified date and time, not at the time you sent the message to the Gateway.

For example you might want send appointment reminders the evening before the appointment to remind the customer about the appointment tomorrow. For appointment reminders for a Monday appointment you would have to send the messages on a Sunday or have some server schedule setup to create and send these messages. Message Scheduling allows you to introduce more sophistication to your messages based on business requirements, such as scheduling them to be sent before, during or after business hours depending on the nature of your messages to promote customer engagement. It also eliminates the need for complex server schedules to be running each day.

Twilio, one of our recommended Gateways that we have partnered with for many years, has never supported message scheduling for SMS and MMS as well as WhatsApp messages. Based on developer feedback over the years they introduced Message Scheduling as a Public Beta earlier this year and as of August 24, 2022 Message Scheduling is now globally available.

We’ve just released updates to both fmSMS and fmMMS to support messaging scheduling when using the Twilio Gateway for both regular SMS/MMS messages as well as WhatsApp messages. fmSMS v4.2.11 and fmMMS v 1.18 now support scheduling messages. If you’re not already using Messaging Services with your Twilio account you will first need to create a new Messaging Service as you need to include a Messaging Service SID when sending a request which includes the message scheduling parameters.

You can get all the details on the fmSMS Twilio Gateway page and the fmMMS Twilio Gateway page. Scheduling a new message is a simple as selecting the required date and time you wish to send a message:

Send and Receive MMS messages to WhatsApp users using fmMMS

With over 2 billion people in more than 180 countries using WhatsApp to communicate with friends, family and businesses WhatsApp is a communications platform that you can’t ignore. What started as an alternative to SMS now supports sending and receiving a variety of media including text, photos, videos, and documents.

The WhatsApp Business Platform allows companies to message their customers directly within the WhatsApp messaging platform. For example companies can send appointment reminders, shipping alerts, order notifications, product demonstration videos, verification codes, boarding passes, and more. Millions of businesses around the world are now using the WhatsApp Business platform to communicate with their customers. Using the WhatsApp Business API you can respond to customer initiated messages or initiate messages to customers once you have secured their opt-in using customisable message templates which can be text or media-based.

When we released v4 of fmSMS (our solution for sending and receiving SMS messages using the Claris FileMaker Platform) back in 2019 we included support for sending SMS messages to WhatsApp users using the WhatsApp Business API with Twilio. Twilio was one of the first SMS Gateways that fmSMS supported so it made sense to extend support to WhatsApp users using the Twilio API – you can see a short video demonstrating this here.

When we were developing fmMMS – our solution for sending and receiving MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) Messages using the Claris FileMaker Platform – we also wanted to include support for sending MMS messages to WhatsApp users using Twilio. Here’s a screenshot from fmMMS showing an outgoing message with a single media file attachment:

Here’s how that message appears in the WhatsApp app on an iPhone (also showing a message sent in reply):

We’ve put together a short video demonstrating sending and receiving MMS messages between FileMaker and WhatsApp in action (you can also watch this directly on YouTube here):

If you would like to discuss sending SMS or MMS messages to WhatsApp users from your FileMaker solution please get in touch for a free initial consultation to discuss your requirements.

The Benefits of MMS Messaging

I’ve been talking to a lot of customers recently about whether to go with SMS or MMS messaging when it comes to integrating with their Claris FileMaker business apps. I received the following notification a few days ago from a business that I was hiring a tuxedo from which served as a timely reminder about the benefits of using MMS messaging:

This type of message is much more engaging than the usual “Hi your garment is ready to be collected …” type text message that you’ve most likely received many times over.

We’ve been helping customers integrate their FileMaker solutions with SMS messaging for over 20 years now using our fmSMS solution. There are a number of benefits to using SMS messaging, including:

  • they are perfect for appointment reminders, phone messages, segmented marketing, school absence alerts
  • they can be used to reduce cancellations and no-shows for appointment based businesses
  • reduces the amount of time spent playing “telephone tag”
  • higher open rates (98% vs 20% email)
  • higher click rate (29% vs 2.5% email)
  • you can integrate 2 way messaging into your FileMaker app: send and receive SMS messages all from FileMaker

MMS messaging gives you all the benefits of SMS messaging and more, including:

  • you can include multimedia messages (pictures, video, audio, gifs, QR codes etc)
  • you’re not limited to 160 characters per message segment – you can have up to 5000 characters
  • you can also include message subjects which act as a headline to your message
  • higher click through rate than SMS which leads to even higher engagement
  • a picture tells a thousand words (the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text)

I’m always keen to find out from our customers how they intend to use our fmMMS solution and was talking with a customer recently and they explained that they work with a chain of stores in outback Queensland, Australia and farmers and graziers are wanting to take a photo of a piece of clothing (hat, trousers etc) and send that to the store with a message (e.g. needing to get a replacement for some trousers). Using fmMMS they can receive these directly from their customers and have them linked to their account and also send backup mockups of embroidery for approval.

MessageMedia have a useful best practice MMS messaging guide which includes 10 common templates you can use for inspiration to creating your own MMS templates. They recommend using MMS for:

  • Brand-led messaging that draws customers in with visuals of products, locations or events (think Instagram)
  • Sending QR codes, tickets, check-ins or maps to customers
  • You just want more variety and dynamic options

If you would like to discuss integrating SMS or MMS messaging with your FileMaker business app please get in touch for a free initial consultation to discuss your requirements. Free trial versions of fmSMS and fmMMS are also available from our website.

fmMMS Chat View Now Available

fmMMS, our FileMaker solution for sending and receiving MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) Messages using the Claris FileMaker Platform, now supports the Chat View feature originally introduced with fmSMS back in 2015.

The Chat View interface in fmMMS allows you to view all outgoing and incoming messages for an individual contact, including Message Subject, Body and Media, using a FileMaker Web Viewer. This is a much more graphical interface and easier to understand view than using traditional FileMaker portals.

We recently updated the design of the Chat View in fmSMS and have also used this more modern style, similar to the current iOS Messages app, in fmMMS. You can also send a new message to the contact you are viewing with a single media attachment without having to leave the Chat View screen using the fields at the bottom to enter your message/media attachment.

There were a number of challenges with developing the Chat View that would work with various versions of FileMaker Pro from v16 to v19 on both Mac and Windows, as well as work for local files and hosted files. We experiemented with using “data:text/html” urls, using Base64 to encode/decode the media attachments as well as exporting content to display in the Web Viewer.

In FileMaker Pro 19.3.1 Claris changed Web Viewers to use the Microsoft Edge (Chromium) engine instead of the Internet Explorer engine, which also presented a number of challenges. There is a security restriction in Edge that prevents web pages from accessing the file system to show local files when using “data:text/html” urls. The solution that we have used for the first release of the Chat View feature involves exporting a .html file to the FileMaker temp folder, along with any media attachments in container fields, and displaying this in the Web Viewer.

For this first release of the Chat View we are supporting Mac, Windows and iOS users. We’re currently working on an update for FileMaker Pro v19 users that will use the Execute FileMaker Data API script step to generate the html content and hopefully bypass the need to export the media attachments from the container fields. We are also working on support for FileMaker WebDirect users. We are also looking into ways that we can have the Chat View update dynamically without having to use OnTimer Scripts that are constantly running in the background attached to a FileMaker window. We’re also looking into WebSockets to see if we can have that push updates to the web viewer.

Presentation to Atlanta FileMaker FileMaker Developers Group Recording Now Available

I recently did a presentation to the Atlanta FileMaker FileMaker Developers Group for their October 2021 meeting. The topic of my presentation was integrating the FileMaker Platform with the DocuSign eSignature platform using our fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition) solution.

The recording is now available and you can watch it below or directly on YouTube.

fmESignature Link allows you to automate the management of electronic document signing: you can generate and send agreements to be signed electronically using your familiar FileMaker interface and download the completed agreements back into FileMaker.

I also did a brief demonstration of how you can send and receive MMS messages using the FileMaker Platform and our fmMMS solution.

fmMMS Now Supports RingCentral MMS Gateway

fmMMS, our FileMaker solution that lets you send and receive MMS messages from the FileMaker Platform, has just been updated to include support for the RingCentral MMS Gateway based in the USA. You can send and receive MMS messages internationally with fmMMS and RingCentral.

You can download a trial version of fmMMS to test with the RingCentral MMS Gateway from here. You can also sign up for a trial account with RingCentral. More information on using the RingCentral Gateway with fmMMS is available on our support site.