In Part 1 of our series on generating notifications to users for incoming SMS messages we discussed how we’ve been tackling this issue over the past 20 years and demonstrated an option we’ve been exploring that uses AppleScript to generate macOS notifications like this:
Like all the other methods we’ve used over the years there are a number of disadvantages to this approach, not least of which is that it uses AppleScript so it’s limited to macOS users. Another option we’ve deployed for some customers recently who are also using Slack (the popular collaboration tool which organises conversations into channels) involves pushing notifications to a nominated Slack channel when new incoming SMS messages are received. Depending on the expected volume of incoming messages this could be a dedicated channel or an existing channel that is monitored by the staff in the organisation that need to react to incoming messages.
One of the advantages of posting notifications to a Slack channel is that it doesn’t interupt the user’s FileMaker session – if they are in the middle of modifying a record they won’t notice any scripts running on hidden windows etc. In fact the user doesn’t even need to have FileMaker Pro open – using the Slack API messages are pushed by a FileMaker Server script that is performed when the incoming messages is received and processed via a webhook. Unlike the AppleScript option you can also customise the content of the message and include a part of the message body that was received (or the whole message if appropriate) and you can also include an fmp url link so users can click a link and be taken directly to the FileMaker record to view the full details of the incoming SMS.
If you’re using Slack in your organisation we think this is a great solution to generate notifications to users when incoming messages are received. As well as the Slack channel notification you can also get a notification from your operating system (e.g. macOS or iOS) when the message is posted to the Slack channel.
Here’s a screenshot showing an example of a Slack notification generated by FileMaker Server and pushed via a Slack App/bot to a Slack channel:
Here’s a short video we recorded showing this in action as a new incoming message is received (you can also watch this on YouTube here):
If you would like to discuss adding Slack notifications for your incoming SMS messages please get in touch for a free initial consultation to discuss your requirements.