Since we released v1 of fmSMS many years ago we’ve been approached by customers from all around the world to work on integrations between FileMaker and other APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). Customers love using FileMaker to send and receive SMS/TXT messages, but they have also asked us to help them send faxes, MMS/Picture messages and to make outgoing voice calls from their FileMaker solution.
We’ve done a number of voice call integrations with FileMaker over the years – having FileMaker initiate a series of outgoing voice calls can be useful in a number of situations, including:
- Alerts: you might not have mobile phone numbers for all your contacts/customers, but if you have a phone number you can call that number to provide an update to important events (e.g. school closures due to snow days)
- Election Campaigns: we’ve helped one customer initiate a series of campaign calls to voters about upcoming elections (you may well have been on the receiving end of one of these)
- Appointment Reminders: we helped one customer move away from having administration staff manually phone each customer about their upcoming appointments and having FileMaker generate these calls, saving them 1-2 hours of staff time each day
The process for generating a voice calling campaign works as follows:
- you’ll need to sign up for an account with one of the voice calling providers such as Twilio that handle the voice calling
- if you wish to have a dynamically generated message that references data from your FileMaker solution (e.g. to have the voice call say “Hello Andrew” instead of just “Hello”) you’ll need a process on your FileMaker Server than can generate the dynamic message for each contact to be called. We use the FileMaker API for PHP to generate these. If you don’t need a dynamic message you could simply hard code the message so it is the same for all recipients of the voice call
- a FileMaker script that is initiated either by a user or FileMaker Server that finds a group of records, then loops through each record and makes a request to the voice calling provider to generate a new outgoing call to that contact
- if you wish to be notified of the result of each call you can setup a webhook on your server to be notified by the voice calling provider each time a call is made with the result (engaged, answered etc) and the duration of the call
We’ve put together a simple demonstration video showing this in action – you can watch the video inline below or directly on YouTube:
If you would like to discuss integrating voice calling into your FileMaker solution please get in touch.