How to create the phone number-to-iMessage tool

Discussion of the version of HanDBase that runs on the iPhone and iPod touch devices. This includes the synchronization conduits as well.

How to create the phone number-to-iMessage tool

Postby ArGiEs » Sat Jul 04, 2015 5:30 pm

Brian or Dave,

Last April someone asked for a way to text from a phone number in a text field instead of dialing it. Brian responded with a .zip file containing an example set-up to create that in a DB. I d/l it, and today just got around to trying to build it in my customer DB. I didn't quite get there. All I got was a copy of the targeted phone number with the numeral 1 added onto the end of it.

I believe I have the general idea what it's doing: combines the intended phone number with what I guess is the iOS internal address for iMessage, sms://, which when launched opens iMessage and inserts the phone number nice & neatly into the recipient field. Like I said, I got the phone number with an extra digit tacked onto the end, and, when the weblink field is tapped Safari launches to tell me the page can't be displayed:-/

If you would, please, explain to this non-programmer how to set the fields up correctly. The name of the fields that contain the phone numbers are Phone 1 and Phone 2 (both are text fields). I don't know if it's significant, but each of the phone number text fields are tied in to a Dial Number field as well. Just for clarity, I also want to be able to do that to each phone number independently.

Thanks,
Bob

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Regards,
Bob
ArGiEs
 
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Re: How to create the phone number-to-iMessage tool

Postby curtterp » Sun Jul 05, 2015 8:43 am

ArGiEs wrote:Brian or Dave,

Last April someone asked for a way to text from a phone number in a text field instead of dialing it. Brian responded with a .zip file containing an example set-up to create that in a DB. I d/l it, and today just got around to trying to build it in my customer DB. I didn't quite get there. All I got was a copy of the targeted phone number with the numeral 1 added onto the end of it.

I believe I have the general idea what it's doing: combines the intended phone number with what I guess is the iOS internal address for iMessage, sms://, which when launched opens iMessage and inserts the phone number nice & neatly into the recipient field. Like I said, I got the phone number with an extra digit tacked onto the end, and, when the weblink field is tapped Safari launches to tell me the page can't be displayed:-/

If you would, please, explain to this non-programmer how to set the fields up correctly. The name of the fields that contain the phone numbers are Phone 1 and Phone 2 (both are text fields). I don't know if it's significant, but each of the phone number text fields are tied in to a Dial Number field as well. Just for clarity, I also want to be able to do that to each phone number independently.

Thanks,
Bob

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You are so close to what you want, you can taste it, but you are missing two fields from the sample that Brian provided. The fields that you are missing are the sms prefix, and the combine text fields which appends the sms prefix to the phone numbers.

Let me back up a second and ask a question. Your dialing field that you have to phone the customers, I am assuming that you are using a field that appends a 1 to the front of the phone number so you can dial long distance or maybe your phone provider makes you put a 1 in front of the number to dial out?

I downloaded the example from Brian (had to search for it), and loaded it up on my device. I then wanted to see how to recreate what you are seeing, and I was able to recreate it by using an external field to send the phone number to a web link which opened up Safari. I then added an external field to dial the phone number and I was successful in being able to do both SMS and Dial the Phone Number from the same database. So the thought of you already dialing the phone with the phone number is not preventing the SMS External Field from working.

The reason why you are seeing Safari open up, is because your external field does not have the "sms://" in front of the phone number.

To get to where you want to be, follow this. I tried to make it easy to read, but put some explanations in it, so if I confused you at any point, just let me know.
  • You need a field that is hidden (or you can make it visable, but that would clutter up the screen), and that it has the static value of "sms://". Call it SMS Prefix (that is what Brian called it). If you already have this field, then proceed to the next point.
  • Create a text field called SMS Phone Number, or something that has SMS in the name so you can differentiate it from your dial phone number field.
  • You need an external field to combine the SMS Prefix field to your phone number field, and use the SMS Phone Number field for the combined text.
  • Set your external external field that you are using for SMS property "Field Containing Web Address" to the SMS Phone Number Field.
  • You should be all set to rock and roll.

P.S. - The SMS sample that Brian provided also works on iOS 9 on my iPad. The dial feature doesn't work because the iPad does not have phone capabilities :D
Have a good day

Curt
I am not a DDHSoftware employee, just a long time HanDBase user.... from Palm to Windows Mobile to Android, to iOS. Thanks to DDH, the database files transferred to each platform without a problem.
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Re: How to create the phone number-to-iMessage tool

Postby ArGiEs » Sun Jul 05, 2015 9:32 pm

curtterp,

Thanks for your reply. I've spent a fair amount of the afternoon going through your directions.

I found that the "1" digit added on to the end of the the number in my previous attempt was from a Check-box field that somehow was in a Select field option (that translated into the numeral 1).

Still, I am getting only the phone number with no prefix sms:// in the SMS Phone Number field, so it doesn't work. I've tried to tweak the field settings with no results. I think the problem is in the Combine Text field. Here's how I have it set up:
Field for Combined Text = SMS Phone number (text field)
Select First Field = SMS Prefix (text field with sms:// set as Static Default Value)
Select Second Field = Phone (1) (The text field that contains the phone number to be combined with sms://).

Any clues as to where I'm going wrong?


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Regards,
Bob
ArGiEs
 
Posts: 216
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:22 am
Location: North-Central Florida

Re: How to create the phone number-to-iMessage tool

Postby curtterp » Mon Jul 06, 2015 4:35 am

I looked through the combine field carefully, and wonder what you have for "Update Value On" preference.

On Brian's sample, the checkmark is for "On Every Record Edit"

Also the separator preferences (both) has "None" selected.
Have a good day

Curt
I am not a DDHSoftware employee, just a long time HanDBase user.... from Palm to Windows Mobile to Android, to iOS. Thanks to DDH, the database files transferred to each platform without a problem.
curtterp
 
Posts: 681
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Re: How to create the phone number-to-iMessage tool

Postby ArGiEs » Mon Jul 06, 2015 7:50 am

Mine is set at "On Every Record Edit". Separator prefs are both set to "None" (I thought about mentioning that. Should have).


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Regards,
Bob
ArGiEs
 
Posts: 216
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:22 am
Location: North-Central Florida

Re: How to create the phone number-to-iMessage tool

Postby Brian_Houghton » Mon Jul 06, 2015 10:13 am

Hi Bob,

Based on what you've provided, sounds like you have everything configured properly.

When you create a new record or open an existing record is the text field you are using for prefixes properly showing the static value of: sms:// ?

I ask because if for some reason it isn't updating, that would explain why the text isn't getting pulled into the combine.
Kind Regards,
Brian Houghton, DDH Software
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How to create the phone number-to-iMessage tool

Postby ArGiEs » Mon Jul 06, 2015 10:36 pm

Brian,

When I bring the record into view and/or into edit mode, only the number from "Phone (1)" shows up; no sms://. When I create a new record & save it, the expected string "sms://xxx-xxx-xxxx" appears. The field that I have designated for the combined texts is labeled "SMS Phone Number".


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Regards,
Bob
ArGiEs
 
Posts: 216
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:22 am
Location: North-Central Florida

Re: How to create the phone number-to-iMessage tool

Postby Brian_Houghton » Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:30 pm

Hi Bob,

Thanks for following up.

Any chance you could clone your database and send it to me, without records, of course? To do this, open HanDBase to the database selection screen, tap the + button followed by the option to create a template, and choose the original database. Rename the new database in the General section of Database Properties and post it here (it shouldn't have records but double check).
Kind Regards,
Brian Houghton, DDH Software
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Re: How to create the phone number-to-iMessage tool

Postby ArGiEs » Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:29 pm

Got it cloned - now, how do I post it to the forum?


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Regards,
Bob
ArGiEs
 
Posts: 216
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:22 am
Location: North-Central Florida

Re: How to create the phone number-to-iMessage tool

Postby curtterp » Thu Jul 09, 2015 5:18 am

ArGiEs wrote:Got it cloned - now, how do I post it to the forum?


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zip it up and then you can post it by using the upload attachment which is below the window in which we type for a post. :D
Have a good day

Curt
I am not a DDHSoftware employee, just a long time HanDBase user.... from Palm to Windows Mobile to Android, to iOS. Thanks to DDH, the database files transferred to each platform without a problem.
curtterp
 
Posts: 681
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 6:41 pm
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