The great thing about emailing directly from FileMaker is that it allows you to keep the email addresses of all of your contacts in two places: You store the addresses in your contacts databases and send email from an email (or communications) database. The advantage is that you could set things up so that when you click a contact you can instantly see all emails sent to them and possibly even their replies.
While you don’t have to do much more to the Send Mail script step to use it, you should know how to extend FileMaker Pro’s integration with email applications using some third-party tools.
Several great FileMaker plug-ins enable you to send and receive email from within a FileMaker database. Here are some of the best.
This plug-in from Comm-Unity Networking Systems allows you to send email from FileMaker Pro databases. SMTP is cross-platform and works with any SMTP-compliant email server. Its features include header and footer implementations that allow for personalized mail merges; the ability to send HTML-formatted emails (that can include graphics); support for various types of authentication; and the ability to set up mass emailing campaigns, which include ethical opt-out and “remove me” features.
POPit, also from Comm-Utility Networking Systems, is a cross-platform plug-in that allows you to receive email in a FileMaker protocol from any POP3 email account. POPit can dynamically check multiple email accounts (even on different email servers); download attachments to a specific directory; and parse key email fields like To, Subject, and Body into FileMaker fields for you to work with.
Both SMTPit and POPit are quickly becoming the industry standard for email integration with FileMaker Pro and are highly recommended.
dbMailer allows you to send and receive email from within a FileMaker database.
Mail Agent allows you to send and receive email from within a FileMaker database. One of Mail Agent’s cool features is that outgoing email is automatically encoded into the ISO Latin 1 character set, which eliminates problems when using international characters.
AlQuemy publishes two email-related FileMaker products. The first, Email Address Extractor and Bulk Mailer, is an email extraction utility. It extracts email addresses from blocks of text and, you guessed it, will send bulk email. The other, MonkEmail is a tool for extracting email from Outlook Express (in Windows only).
Other Email-Like Products
While not yet released at this writing, iMailer may prove to be quite a boon for those who want to email FileMaker layouts, including the layout’s coloring, fonts, and graphics. Instead of trying to email someone an invoice from your database (which means that you’ve got to figure out how to organize the invoice and its line items into a text-based email), iMailer would allow you to simply email the invoice “print” layout just as it appears within FileMaker.
The BoardRoom isn’t an emailing application, but it is about communication. Basically, it’s a FileMaker-based instant messaging tool like ICQ and Yahoo Instant Messenger. All you do is host it with FileMaker Server, fire it up, set up some users, and everyone can send and receive messages from within FileMaker.
NetmailR is another instant messaging–type solution from the Life $uccess Institute.
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