fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition) Now Supports SMS Delivery

When DocuSign recently announced the availability of SMS Delivery we knew this would definitely be a feature we would be supporting in fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition), our Claris FileMaker Solution for integrating with the DocuSign eSignature Platform. Databuzz pioneered the sending of SMS messages directly from the FileMaker Platform 20 years ago and fmSMS, our FileMaker solution for sending/receiving SMS messages, has been used since then to send millions of SMS messages by organisations all around the world.

SMS is perfect for personalised notifications that you need the recipient to read and respond to quickly. Research shows that SMS open rates are as high as 98%, compared to just 20% of all emails. And, on average, it takes 90 seconds for someone to respond to a text and 90 minutes to respond to an email.

With DocuSign’s SMS delivery you can reach signers wherever they are, in the way they prefer, through real-time notifications sent directly to their mobile device – enabling them to quickly open and electronically sign documents. Some key benefits of SMS delivery:

  • Reduce completion time for agreements
  • Reach signers who don’t have or don’t want to use email
  • Increase successful transaction rates

fmESignature Link 1.41 includes support for sending requests with SMS Delivery. SMS Delivery allows you to notify signers via SMS in addition to the standard email notifications. Recipients will receive an SMS notification on their mobile phone like the following:


and can click the link and sign the document directly on their mobile device. Combined with DocuSign’s Responsive Signing functionality you can present documents for review and signing that are mobile friendly based on the signer’s device:

We have a new article on our support site that covers all the details for sending requests with SMS Delivery from fmESignature Link.

The full list of changes are listed in the version history notes here. Existing customers can download this version from the link on your original order email (contact us if you need the link to be reset etc).

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.

fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) Update April 2021

We’ve just released an update to fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition), our FileMaker solution for integrating with the Xero Cloud Accounting Platform. This update is all about adding new features that our existing customers have requested with a focus on Purchase Orders, Credit Notes and Manual Journals.

Purchase Orders Changes

We’ve updated the Get All PurchaseOrders script to support downloading Purchase Orders from Xero using the modifiedSince parameter (download purchase orders created or modified since the specified timestamp). This will create new records in the fmAccounting Link file if they don’t already exist and update any existing records that have changed since the specified timestamp.

We’ve also added examples for downloading Notes/History from Xero for a Purchase Order and creating a new Purchase Order Note in Xero.

Credit Notes Changes

We’ve added examples for downloading Notes/History from Xero for a Credit Note and creating a new Credit Note Note in Xero, as well as working with Attachments for a Credit Note (downloading attachments from Xero and uploading attachments from FileMaker).

Manual Journals Changes

We’ve added support for downloading Manual Journals from Xero (either all Manual Journals or by date range).

We’ve also added examples for downloading Notes/History from Xero for a Manual Journal and creating a new Manual Journal Note in Xero, as well as working with Attachments for a Manual Journal (downloading attachments from Xero and uploading attachments from FileMaker).

The full list of changes are listed in the version history notes here. Existing customers can download this version from the link on your original order email (contact us if you need the link to be reset etc). If there’s any examples that we don’t currently have that you would like to see please get in touch and let us know.

fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) and Custom Connections

If you’re a Xero Customer and you’re using our fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) v1 for integrating with the Xero Cloud Accounting platform you should be well aware by now that Xero are moving from OAuth 1.0a to the industry standard OAuth 2.0 for handling authentication with the Xero API. The original deadline to move to OAuth 2.0 for private apps (which is what fmAccounting Link v1 uses for OAuth 1.0a connections) was 31 March 2021 but Xero have recently extended this out until 30 September 2021.

Many of our customers have already made the move to OAuth 2.0, either by upgrading to fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) v2 which runs natively on the FileMaker 16 or higher platforms and doesn’t require a FileMaker plug-in, or updating an existing fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) v1 integration. We contacted all our customers back in April 2020 about the options for moving to OAuth 2.0 – you can read the announcement here if you missed this at the time.

As part of the extension of the deadline for private apps until 30 September 2021 Xero have announced that they are working on a new premium, client credentials grant option for machine-to-machine integrations called Custom Connections. This will only be available to Xero subscribers in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. The standard OAuth 2.0 flow that fmAccounting Link already uses for authenticating with the Xero API will still be available (and remain free).

Custom Connections offers a number of advantages over the standard OAuth 2.0 flow, including removing the need to authorise the connection between fmAccounting Link and Xero from within the fmAccounting Link and not having to manage refresh tokens. A Custom Connection can only be connected to a single organisation, so overall the experience will be similar to how the OAuth 1.0a private apps worked.

We plan to offer support for Custom Connections in fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) v2 once it becomes available in May – we’re currently working out the details about how to incorporate this with as little impact on the existing code as possible. As this is a premium subscription option on top of your existing Xero subscription and only available to Xero subscribers in Australia, New Zealand and the UK we will still support the standard OAuth 2.0 app flow that we currently offer.

Regardless of which option you end up choosing remember that you must update any existing Xero private app integrations that use OAuth 1.0a to OAuth 2.0 by 30 September 2021, otherwise your app will stop working after that. You should have received several notifications from Xero over the past 12 months alerting you to the upcoming deadline so please plan accordingly so your current integration will continue to work after 30 September 2021.

If you have any questions about upgrading your copy of fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) v1 to use OAuth 2.0 please get in touch.

fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition) Updated to Use Authorization Code Grant OAuth Flow

When we were originally developing v1.0 of fmESignature Link back in 2018/2019 one of the first decisions we had to make was which of the three OAuth Types we should choose for handling the authentication with the DocuSign API: JWT Grant, Authorization Code Grant or Implicit Grant. Each flow has its pros and cons and we eventually settled on using the JWT Grant OAuth Flow. The main advantage of using the JWT Grant is that it doesn’t require a user to be present after initially gaining consent. The downside to using the JWT Grant is that FileMaker Pro cannot natively generate the JWT (JSON Web Token) required as part of the flow in requesting the access token that you ultimately need.

We found a workaround using a FileMaker Web Viewer and a JavaScript function that we could pass parameters to which would generate the JWT and return that as a parameter to a FileMaker script called via the FMP URL protocol. The downside to using a FileMaker Web Viewer is that this cannot be performed as a FileMaker Server script (either via Perform Script on Server or as part of a script scheduled using the Admin Console). We created some PHP files that used either the Data API or the older PHP API to handle scripts that needed to run under FileMaker Server.

We were never 100% comfortable with using the Web Viewer and as more customers have deployed and integrated fmESignature Link over the past few years we have become aware of some further limitations with using this approach. We’ve had reports that the FMP URL script wasn’t firing all the time, particularly on Windows and iOS. Troubleshooting these is particularly challenging and we often struggled to reproduce them in our own testing. Another downside to the Web Viewer approach concerned when the FMP URL script would run if you had a long running FileMaker script that you wished to incorporate the sending of a request to DocuSign. You couldn’t always control when the FMP URL script would run – at least until FileMaker Pro 19.1.3 was released. As we support all versions of FileMaker Pro from v16 onwards we couldn’t rely on this either. On Windows the script we wanted to run immediately after the Web Viewer loaded was added to the end of the FileMaker script stack and would run when the currently running FileMaker script finished, by which time the context had changed and it was too late for our script!

After implementing a similar version of the Authorization Code Grant OAuth Flow for our fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) solution in 2019 we became convinced that this would ultimately be a much better experience for our fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition) solution as well. It would require the user to perform an initial approval inside of the fmESignature Link file but after that we can programatically refresh the tokens without user intervention. This can also be setup a server schedule so that the token is refresh daily/weekly etc so that it will never expire.

We’ve just released v1.4 of fmESignature Link which now uses the Authorization Code Grant OAuth Flow instead of the JWT Grant OAuth Flow. If you’re currently using fmESignature Link v1.36 or earlier and everything is working well for you there’s no need to rush out and change anything here. You can continue to use the JWT Grant OAuth Flow if it’s working well for you.

If you have encountered some of the issues described above and would like to simplify the authentication and remove the dependency on the Web Viewer then you can update your existing integration using the latest version of the fmESignature Link file. We’ve put together a number of new and updated support articles to assist you with this process:

fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition) Getting Started Guide

Authorization Code Grant OAuth Flow Setup Video

Authorization Code Grant OAuth Flow Details

Converting from the JWT Grant to the Authorization Code Grant OAuth Flow

All of the changes can be copied across from the v1.4 file into integrations using earlier versions of fmESignature Link and the process should generally take around 30 minutes to complete. In addition to the new fields, scripts and layout that you can copy across you only need to update two existing FileMaker scripts and one existing FileMaker layout. We’ve tried to keep these changes to a minimum and none of the scripts that send requests to the DocuSign API will need to be updated.

Other Changes in v1.4

In addition to the Authorization Code Grant OAuth Flow changes outlined above we’ve also include some new features in this release, including:

  • added support for PDF Form Fields transformation and a new Template Example for this
  • added support for Radio Group Tabs
  • updated Webhooks to use JSON notifications for the the eventNotification webhook (change from XML)

The full list of changes are listed in the version history notes here. Existing customers can download this version from the link on your original order email (contact us if you need the link to be reset etc).

Now that we have the Authorization Code Grant OAuth Flow changes out of the way we are working on adding support for SMS Notifications to fmESignature Link and hope to have this released shortly.

fmSMS Chat View Update

In a recent update to fmSMS we updated the appearance of the Chat View Web Viewer to a more current iOS iMessage style as it was starting to look a bit dated. We first introduced the Chat View back in July 2015 to show you the sent and received messages for an individual Contact in a much more graphical interface compared to a traditional FileMaker view using portals.

We’ve updated from the original look here:

to the following which represents a more modern style similar to the current iOS Messages app:

We find this a big improvement when viewing a conversation with a single Contact – you can see all the outgoing and incoming messages in a thread as they are sorted by timestamp and quickly send a new message to the Contact from this window. By comparison the traditional view of the SMS History for a Contact with 2 portals for the sent and received messages looks like this:

The fmSMS Chat View works in a similar way to the recently released JavaScript add-ons and with new features in the FileMaker 19 Platform such as the JavaScript integration with web viewers and the Execute FileMaker Data API script step we’re 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.

We are also bringing the Chat View to fmMMS, our FileMaker solution for sending and receiving MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) Messages using the Claris FileMaker Platform. The fmMMS Chat View has a few more challenges as we need to incorporate the display of any images that were sent or received using fmMMS, as well as any text (body and subject). We plan to include this in the next update to fmMMS which will be a free update for all existing customers.

fmSMS Now Supports RingCentral SMS Gateway

fmSMS, our FileMaker solution for sending and receiving SMS messages from the Claris FileMaker Platform, has been updated to support the RingCentral SMS Gateway based in California, USA.

RingCentral is a leading provider of global enterprise cloud communications, collaboration, and contact centre solutions. With the RingCentral SMS API you text any SMS-capable phone number in the world.

You can download a trial version of fmSMS to test with the RingCentral SMS Gateway from the fmSMS website.

fmEcommerce Link (Shopify Edition) Now Supports Creating Webhook Subscriptions

fmEcommerce Link (Shopify Edition), our FileMaker solution for integrating with the Shopify platform, has been updated to support creating webhook subscriptions using the Shopify Webhooks API. You can now use the fmEcommerce Link to:

  • create a new Webhook Subscription
  • update an existing Webhook Subscription (e.g. to change the URL address for the webhook)
  • delete an existing Webhook Subscription
  • download a list of all Webhook Subscriptions

The main advantage of using fmEcommerce Link to create new webhook subscriptions concerns the warning email notifications sent by Shopify when you webhook has continually failed to respond successfully. These notification emails are only sent when the webhook is created via the Shopify API and not when manually setup in the Shopify Admin screen.

Our support site has all the details for creating webhook subscriptions using the fmEcommerce Link (Shopify Edition) solution.

fmMMS Now Supports MessageBird 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 MessageBird MMS Gateway based in the USA. You can send and receive MMS messages in the United States and Canada with fmMMS and MessageBird.

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

Accepting Online Payments Without an Online Store

Ever found yourself with a customer who would like to pay your invoice online but you don’t have an online store setup? Wouldn’t it be great if you could send your customer a link directly from your FileMaker invoice screen that takes them to a secure, online payment page where they can quickly and easily pay for invoice by credit card, PayPal, Apple Pay etc.

Research has shown that small businesses get paid up to twice as fast with online invoice payments. With online payments you can get paid up to 15 days faster and, in some cases, you get paid instantly.

Customers love online payment too, because it’s quick and easy. Plus they have the option to pay by credit card, which gives them extra financial flexibility.

There are a number of options for accepting online credit card payments without requiring you to setup your own online eCommerce store. To start accepting online payments you will need an account with a payment service like Stripe or PayPal.

Here are some examples of ways that you can accept online payments for your FileMaker generated invoices. I’m using our fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) solution to demonstrate these.

Xero Pay Now

If you’re using Xero for your accounting software you can setup an online payment service like Stripe and connect this to your Xero account in just a few clicks. Once setup a ‘Pay now’ button displays on your online invoices, allowing customers to pay with credit card, debit card, or Apple Pay on their mobile device.

Here’s a screenshot of a typical invoice generated in our fmEcommerce Link solution:

Once the Invoice has been uploaded to Xero we can retrieve the Online Invoice URL and send this to the customer with our FileMaker generated invoice, or email the customer via Xero using the Email Invoice button. The online invoice looks like this with the Pay now button in the top left corner:

Customers click the Pay now button and enter their preferred payment details. Another advantage of accepting online payments is that invoices that are paid using a payment service are automatically marked as paid in Xero and ready to be matched with a transaction on your bank statement.

Stripe Integration

We’ve worked on many projects over the years helping customers connect their FileMaker business apps to Stripe for credit card processing integration. We’ve also setup Stripe webhooks so we can receive automatic notifications in FileMaker when a payment has been processed by Stripe.

You can also use Stripe to create an invoice with an online URL and send that to customers.

Here’s a screenshot of the same invoice ready to be uploaded to Stripe:

We can then upload the invoice to Stripe and have Stipe email the customer with the online payment link. We can also store the online invoice URL in FileMaker which we can send to the customer directly.

Here’s how the online invoice looks in Stripe:

Customers click the Pay button and enter their preferred payment details.

Another advantage accepting credit card payments online is that you are not physically handling any credit card numbers and don’t have to worry about PCI DSS compliance.

Here’s a short video demonstrating creating online payments from FileMaker via Xero and Stripe (you can also watch this on YouTube here):