Tim Dietrich

Custom Software Developer

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FMAuthenticator: Using Mandrill As Your SMTP Server

While testing FMAuthenticator, I started using Mandrill, a scalable and affordable email infrastructure service. Mandrill is a service provided by MailChip, an email marketing platform that you may be familiar with. I was first introduced to Mandrill through a blog post by Daniel Wood (who I recently interviewed for FileMakerAddict). Daniel's blog post explains how to send email from FileMaker using Mandrill. If you haven't read it, I encourage you to check it out.

So, why use Mandrill? If you have an SMTP server available to you (and chances are that you do, whether you know it or not), then you certainly don't need a service like Mandrill. However, I've found that using Mandrill with FMAuthenticator results in extremely reliable, and typically very fast, delivery of the authentication code emails and text messages. Also, Mandrill lets you send up to 12,000 emails (not a typo!) per month at no charge - and up to 150 emails per hour. Sending email is what these guys do for a living, and they're really, really good at it.

Included below are the steps that you need to take in order to configure FMAuthenticator for use with Mandrill.

Step 1: Signup for a Mandrill account.
You can signup at http://mandrill.com.

Step 2: Indicate how you plan to send messages through Mandrill.
During the account signup, you will be asked, "How would you like to send through Mandrill?" Choose SMTP.

Step 3: Step 3: Get A Mandrill API Key
When the "SMTP & API Credentials" page appear, click "+ Add API Key." The screen will refresh and show the new API key in the "API Keys" area. Make a note of that key.

Step 4: Update the FMAuthenticator settings.
Open up your database, and open the FMAuthenticator script for editing. Then make these changes to FMAuthenticator's settings by changing the values for the "Set Variable" script steps:

• $smtp_email_address: Set this to the email address that you used when you signing up for Mandrill.
• $smtp_user_name: Set this to the email address that you used when you signing up for Mandrill.
• $smtp_password: Set this to the Mandrill API Key that you generated.
• $smtp_server: smtp.mandrillapp.com
• $smtp_port: 465

Then save the changes to the script.

That's all there is to it. Test FMAuthenticator by closing the database and logging back in to it.

If you have any questions, please let me know.