For the past few weeks I have been thinking about our last Philly FileMaker user group meeting back in May. It was all about connecting your database to other services and extending your information to contacts and calendars outside of your database. Imagine being able to dial a phone number right from your database! How positively retro.
I remember designing databases in the 1990′s that would let you do exactly that. It was only for very forward thinking companies back then. Shortly after that phones became way more complicated for this to be really practical.
There are two script steps you can accomplish this: Dial Phone or Open URL. Both script steps work the same as far as I can tell, but in either method the trick is that a phone number needs to be referenced as just digits. You must first remove anything that isn’t a number. For example, a phone number field that has the contents 215-555-1234 will not dial correctly. In FileMaker you can strip non-numeric characters out of the phone number using the Filter function.
Here is an example script using the Dial Phone and one using Open URL:
Attach a script like one of these examples to a button next to a phone number and you are on your way. If anyone knows any functional difference between Dial Phone or Open URL and when one is more appropriate than the other please leave a comment or drop me a line.