I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season, and I want to take this opportunity to send you my best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.
I also wanted to let you know I have been working with FileMaker Pro 13 and exploring the new version. I was initially skeptical about this version, but I have decided there are a number of new, worthwhile features and functions for both users and developers. But that’s not why I’m writing today. What I really wanted to tell you about is two discoveries I’ve made while working with FMP 13.
In response to a few client inquiries I have been experimenting with generating and handling documents in FileMaker Pro. It is now possible for me to deploy a technique to automatically create a document (letter, invoice, statement, newsletter, etc.), save it as a PDF file, insert a reference to the saved file into a database record AND attach the document to an outgoing email message. What previously had to be done in separate manual steps can be scripted to happen with the single click of a button. I should mention that this technique does not require FMP version 13; I can apply it in older versions as well.
I’m using this technique for my invoicing system.
The other email functionality I’ve been experimenting with is sending HTML formatted email directly out of FileMaker Pro, bypassing local email client software such as Outlook, Entourage, and Apple Mail, or web based email such as Gmail, AOL, Comcast or Yahoo. FileMaker Pro has been able to do this in plain text for quite a while, but it was impossible to send stylized text (special fonts, bold, italics, color and highlights) or insert graphics into messages. To make this work, I deployed a 3rd party plug-in from 360Works called “Email2″ which prepares HTML formatted email from within FileMaker Pro and sends it via an external SMTP connection. The plug-in costs $95 for a 1-user license, or $195 for a 10-user license, and is available for any version of FileMaker Pro. You can read about the plug-in at www.360works.com/email-plugin.
This post was originally prepared as a generic email newsletter and was sent to my entire list of clients, directly from my invoicing system running in FileMaker Pro version 12, using 360Work’s Email2.
If you would like to discuss how it is possible to automate your document creation process, and/or to discuss FileMaker Pro email for individual, group or mail merge messaging, please let me know. I would be delighted to set up a desktop sharing session and demonstrate these new techniques for you.