Many clients transmit a mix of email messages and faxes to clients. To send faxes from Aptify's bulk messaging system, an organization can use a third-party fax server program, such as RightFax from Captaris, Inc., that integrates with the organization's email server (typically, an SMTP server). The following is an example of one implementation that can send the same message as an email or fax depending on a person's communication preferences:
- An administrator installs a third-party fax server program on the organization's email server that acts as a fax "gateway." This fax gateway automatically pulls out the messages to fax recipients and directs them to the outgoing fax process instead of sending the messages as email.
- An administrator adds a new calculated virtual field to the Persons entity with a name like "PreferredEmailFax." The SQL statement that defines the field should contain a CASE statement that switches between an email address or a fax number depending on a Person's PrefCommMethodID (either email or fax). Also, the field may need to reformat the fax number to match the required format of the fax server program. For example, a fax server program may require that a fax number of 202-223-2800 be in the following format to successfully send the fax: "Fax@12022232800". See Creating a Field of a Specific Type for information on how to create a calculated field.
- An administrator creates a Message Source for the Persons service that uses the virtual field as the Messaging Field. Then, a user can launch the bulk messaging icon from a view and the system will automatically insert a Person's email or fax number as the message's To address based on the Person's preference. See Defining a Message Source for information.
A second implementation would be to create a Message Source for fax transmissions only. In this case, an administrator would create a calculated virtual field to format the fax number in the appropriate format (such as "Fax@12022232800") and then use this virtual field as the Messaging Field in the Message Sources record.