How to use Advanced flags with Fax to Email

If you are a user of Fax to Email you already know how easy it is to send faxes. Once you setup your FaxForward account you just just send an email with an attachment to FAXNUMBER@westfax.com where you replace FAXNUMBER with the ten digit number. i.e. 13035551212@westfax.com.

The Subject of the email becomes the Fax Header and the fax is sent as soon as it’s received.

There are a few more advanced “commands” you can use to alter the workings of the FaxForward.

These commands are placed in the Email subject field.

Here’s a list of the switches and a quick description of their function:

/d YYYY-MM-DD HH:mm — Date switch, which will change the schedule to the date and time given.

/hn — Header negate – this suppresses the header on the fax entirely.

/h [Header Value] — Use [Header Value] as the header on the fax.

/rs or /rf – Controls resolution. Resolution is Standard (/rs) or fine (/rf)

/at [1 – 10]– Controls transmission attempts (default is 3). Range is 1 – 10. If excluded, the product configuration will be used.

/rti [1 – 30] – Controls retry interval. Value is number of minutes between retries. Range is 1 – 30 minutes. If excluded the product configuration will be used. Default is 5 minutes.

/faxbody – Fax on the body of the email. The email must be HTML encoded.

/faxattachmentsonly – Ignore the content in the body of the email. Convert and fax only the attachments.

/faxbodyandattachments – Fax both the body and attachment. (This is the default for ATI)

For ATI, the default is this: [Job Name] /rf /faxbodyandattachments /at 3 /rti 5 — This is how the ATI products are configured. If ATI were to send an email with “Test Fax” as the subject, the flags indicated would be inherited, and the Job Name would be set to “Test Fax”.

Here’s an example subject line:

Therapy Fax /rs /faxattachmentsonly

This would yield a fax that has “Therapy Fax” as the job name. Only the attachments will be sent, and the attachments will be rendered in standard fax resolution.

How To: Getting started with the Print To Fax Driver

Let’s break it down and get you faxing!

What you need:

  • Windows PC
  • Fax To Email account. Need one? Get a fax number today. 10 day free trial!

Let’s get started:

  • First let’s get the driver downloaded. Click here to download it: Fax to Printer Driver.
  • Once it downloads double click it to extract the files. There are two installer files. Choose the x64 one. If you get an error use the x86 version.
  • Click Next to select the location of the install. You can leave this default unless you want to install elsewhere.
  • Click Install
  • When you see the next screen just click Finish and launch the Printer Tool.
  • Ok, here is the default screen. We’re going to connect to your Fax2Email account. Need an account? Stop here and go sign up. Then come back to this step.
  • Ok, Click the Settings button and you’ll get this dialog box. Click Login to set your login credentials.
  • Now, enter your login and password for your Fax To Email account. Can’t remember it? Click here.
  • Now, Let’s make sure everything is set. You should see your Fax number in the “Currently Selected Product (Fax number)” box. If you have more than one number choose the one you want to fax from.
  • Now that you have your account authenticated you are all set!
  • Now, let’s open any document to print. Got one loaded? Ok… Let’s print:
  • Go to File->Print. Now in the printer selection choose “WestFax Printer”. Then hit Print.
  • Now, You will see a “Processing” Bar on the bottom right as we queue up the document. Then you will see the WestFax Printer dialog come up.
  • Now you go to the WestFax Printer tool and you will see your document name, # of pages and the status. If the document is a few pages it will take a few seconds to change the status to ready. If it is a larger document with images or a large number of pages it will take a little longer. Once it says Ready we want to click “Start Fax”. Note: You can add additional documents on this screen here if you want. Just click “Add Doc” and select any document you want to include.
  • Now just click “Start Fax”. You will be able to confirm the fax number you are using (if you have more than one number) and you just need to add some recipients. Type in the number and add a name to it if you want.  Click Add. You can also add a Header and Job Name as well but it’s not required. You will see thumbnails of your document on the right. You can double click it to view it zoomed up.
  • Once you have at least one fax recipient you can click Send Fax. You’ll see a dialog popup that says “Fax Sent”
  • Done! Ok, so if you followed along your fax is on the way. You can fax yourself if you want to test it. Also, if you want to see the fax status you can log into your Fax to Email account and see the new outgoing fax there.

 

Any issues or questions? Please feel free to reach out to our team and talk to a real person. Click here to contact us or use the contact form below. We’ll do our best to get you all sorted out.

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HIPAA violations and Fax.
How to ensure you are compliant.

It doesn’t need to be said, but HIPAA compliance is serious business. Entire industries have been built around making sure medical facilities, doctors offices and insurers are complying with all the privacy and data protection laws and guidelines. Here are some straightforward tips for keeping your faxing on the right side of the law.

1. Don’t allow incoming faxes sit on publicly available fax machines or within visual range of unallowed 3rd parties.
If one is receiving faxed protected documents ensure that your machine is in a private non-public location. When sending a protected fax, call the receiver to ensure that their fax machine is in a private or protected location. If the fax machine is physically located on a desk ensure that patients and clients walking by cannot see the contents of faxes being received.

2. While you’re at it, dump your manual fax machine and use a HIPAA compliant cloud fax service.
Immediately this will save you money, make it easier to manage sending and receiving faxes, and offers the added security of encryption technology when sending and storing faxes. Make sure your cloud fax service encrypts all your documents and is setup for HIPAA fax. WestFax offers HIPAA compliant cloud fax.

3. Always use cover pages.
HIPAA requirements dictate that one uses a cover sheet with the approved HIPAA statement when transmitting PHI. Be sure to use a Confidentiality Statement on your fax cover sheets when sending patient information. This is an example of a Confidentiality Statement:

The documents accompanying this facsimile transmittal are intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed. It may contain information that is privileged, confidential and exempt from disclosure under law. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that law strictly prohibits any disclosure, copying, distribution or action taken in reliance on the contents of these documents. If you have received this fax in error, please notify the sender immediately to arrange for return of these documents.

In order to be HIPAA compliant, your fax cover sheet should also include the following items:

  • Date and time sent
  • Recipient’s name
  • Recipient’s fax number
  • Sender’s name and organization
  • Sender’s phone number
  • HIPAA fax disclaimer

4. Maintain an audit trail.
If you don’t have an accurate audit trail of every activity that occurred with each patient document, then you are susceptible to fines associated with non-compliance.

HIPAA is not optional and until all IT assets and architectures are re-engineered to be intrinsically HIPAA compliant everyone must be vigilant and attentive to PHI handing requirements and best practices.

How to add send a fax via API with callback function

In this article we will discuss how to send a fax using WestFax API as well as have the WestFax API send a callback when the fax has completed.

What are callbacks? They are asynchronous, out-of-band requests that your service will send to some other service in response to certain events. This helps you improve the workflow your API. A typical use is for events. You set the callback url which is a page on your website that can process data about an event. Your page is configured to receive parameters using POST or GET Method. WestFax supports both. When an event occurs (Successful fax delivery, etc…) it will call that url with the proper parameters so your application can handle the event and process your workflow without having to intermittently ping our service.

 

Here is what we are going to do:

  1. Send a test ping to the API to make sure we can connect.
  2. Send a fax using the API to ourselves or a test fax number.
  3. Get the callback response and call a web service that gives us the status of the fax

Here is what you need:

  1. We will assume you are using a relatively modern development framework. PHP, React, .Net, etc…
  2. We recommend you use a tool like Postman (Free and available on all platforms) to test your API’s and generate the code.
  3. Developer API account. Easy to sign up and get started immediately.

The WestFax API is comprised of a large set of methods that are exposed using a RESTful interface. Data can be interchanged in a number of formats including JSON and XML. Additionally, WestFax offers SOAP and RPC bindings that are described elsewhere. For the purposes of this demo the REST interface with JSON encoding is used.

  1. Get the sample code for Postman. Link here.
  2. Click Download or Fork it to your local repo.
  3. Once you have the local files you should see two Json Files: WestFaxApi_Postman_collection.json and WestFaxApiEnvironment.postman_environment.json
  4. Open Postman and create a new Request. You can call it whatever you want to call it but we will use WestFax.
  5. Now go click the File -> Import command.
  6. Drag or select  the two Json Files from the code you downloaded earlier and click import.
  7. You will see it quickly import and you will have 23 requests in your new WestFax Collection.
  8. Now look at the top right corner of postman. You should see a drop down and an “eye” icon and a gear icon.
    Select the Dropdown to select “WestFaxApiEnvironment” and then click the Eye icon.
  9. You will now see a bunch of pre-defined variables. You will want to change these by clicking Edit.
  10. Change the default values to the ones you received when you signed up for API access.
  11. Now let’s go test to make sure we are connecting ok and getting a response from the server. On the left menu under “23 requests” select the “Security_Ping”. Go ahead and click the blue “SEND” button.
  12. You should see something like this come back from the API. If not please feel free to contact us for support.
  13. Now let’s try to send a fax. If you have an incoming number attached to your account you can use that or any other fax number. You can also use the well known HP Faxback test number at 1-888-473-2963. They will fax you back that they received your fax usually within 5 minutes.
  14. So click the Fax_SendFax method on the left and you will see this for your Body setup.
  15. The {{Orange}} values are filled in from the config you already set so you can ignore those. The values you need to set are the Numbers1, Files0 fields. The rest are optional and you can unclick them if you want. Although adding a FeedbackEmail value is useful to get confirmation of the fax sending. Once you set all these variables go ahead and click send.
  16. (Optional: Callback). Set your callback url with templated values for replacement. In this case we are using: [get]http://yourweburl.com/{@jobid}?prod={@prodid}&dir={@dir}. WestFax will replace the @jobid, @prodid and @dir with real values so one can process accordingly. GET is implied so you can exclude [get] from the beginning or use [post] to use that method.
  17. You should see a result code of True and a hash string with the confirmation code. This Result code is the @jobid you will use in the next phase of handling the callback so copy this value somewhere.
  18. Ok, so here is a neat trick that Postman give us. You can get all your code done for you. Just click the button “Code”. It’s kind of buried near the Send button next to cookies.
  19. Now when you click code you will get formatted code for almost any programming language you may need:

 

Phase 2: Let’s check the Status of the Fax now that the pingback call has come back.

So the fax process worked and we are waiting for a callback response. Basically WestFax will ping a url that you provide. So let’s assume it is https://yourwebsite.com/

We will pass in some parameters with it using GET or POST. GET is implied so you must specify POST in the callback request if you want it to post to a form. We pass in three pieces of information:

  1. @jobid = This is the jobid that you got back in the Result from the Fax_SendFax call. It will match the Result code so you can match it to specific fax calls.
  2. @prodid = This is your product id from the Fax_SendFax call. If you have multiple accounts you can use this to filter out other accounts.
  3. @dir = this will be inbound or outbound. Basically telling you which direction the fax sent.

So when the callback fires your webpage should handle those input values.

Once you have the values you can call the next webservice and get the data back. Let’s get started.

  1. Let’s go back to Postman and find the webservice called Fax_GetFaxDescriptionsUsingIds. Go ahead and click it. You’ll see something like this:
  2. Ok, so let’s look at the Body of this request so we know what we need to fill out to get the fax status.

    We see that it has the username, password, cookies (we can ignore that), productID and two new fields FaxIds1 and FaxIds2. You’ll notice that these fields have template string placeholders of {{FaxIds1}} and {{FaxIds2}}. This is because these values are serialized and we’ll look at this next. The FaxIds fields are the Faxes we want to get the status of. We have the result code from the previous call so let’s go explore that.
  3. We are going to click on the Pre-request Script header and we’ll see the format of the template placeholder we talked about previously.
    So we already put this code in there for you. All you need to do is replace the Id field. The Direction, Date and Tag are optional as the ID is the key field here. So we’ll put our Id in here and you can see on Line 8 that we bind the JSON string to the Variable. You could also copy all the JSON from the variable id1 into the FaxIds1 field directly but this template allows you to append more Id’s and get the status of several faxes.
  4. Once you have the ID in there you will hit Send and get the following output.
    You can see here that we have a complete record of the fax transmission. You can parse the JSON result in whatever method you choose and you can see that we have the Date, Direction, PageCount, Quality and Status which is Complete. So the fax is completed.

 

Success! As you can see it’s not hard at all to add Faxing to your Enterprise application. If you have questions or need more help please reach out to us at 800-473-6208 or contact us via email.

 

How to add the WestFax API into your enterprise application

You have your enterprise application coded but you need to be able to send faxes occasionally. Sure, you could just generate a PDF, Print it off and then fax it. But with just a few lines of code you can integrate faxing into your application. Here are some simple instructions to get your application fax enabled. In this article we will show you how to send a fax.

Here is what you need:

  1. We will assume you are using a relatively modern development framework. PHP, React, .Net, etc…
  2. We recommend you use a tool like Postman (Free and available on all platforms) to test your API’s and generate the code.
  3. Developer API account. Easy to sign up and get started immediately.

The WestFax API is comprised of a large set of methods that are exposed using a RESTful interface. Data can be interchanged in a number of formats including JSON and XML. Additionally, WestFax offers SOAP and RPC bindings that are described elsewhere. For the purposes of this demo the REST interface with JSON encoding is used.

  1. Get the sample code for Postman. Link here.
  2. Click Download or Fork it to your local repo.
  3. Once you have the local files you should see two Json Files: WestFaxApi_Postman_collection.json and WestFaxApiEnvironment.postman_environment.json
  4. Open Postman and create a new Request. You can call it whatever you want to call it but we will use WestFax.
  5. Now go click the File -> Import command.
  6. Drag or select  the two Json Files from the code you downloaded earlier and click import.
  7. You will see it quickly import and you will have 23 requests in your new WestFax Collection.
  8. Now look at the top right corner of postman. You should see a drop down and an “eye” icon and a gear icon.
    Select the Dropdown to select “WestFaxApiEnvironment” and then click the Eye icon.
  9. You will now see a bunch of pre-defined variables. You will want to change these by clicking Edit.
  10. Change the default values to the ones you received when you signed up for API access.
  11. Now let’s go test to make sure we are connecting ok and getting a response from the server. On the left menu under “23 requests” select the “Security_Ping”. Go ahead and click the blue “SEND” button.
  12. You should see something like this come back from the API. If not please feel free to contact us for support.
  13. Now let’s try to send a fax. If you have an incoming number attached to your account you can use that or any other fax number. You can also use the well known HP Faxback test number at 1-888-473-2963. They will fax you back that they received your fax usually within 5 minutes.
  14. So click the Fax_SendFax method on the left and you will see this for your Body setup.
  15. The {{Orange}} values are filled in from the config you already set so you can ignore those. The values you need to set are the Numbers1, Files0 fields. The rest are optional and you can unclick them if you want. Although adding a FeedbackEmail value is useful to get confirmation of the fax sending. Once you set all these variables go ahead and click send.
  16. You should see a result code of True and a hash string with the confirmation code.
  17. Ok, so here is a neat trick that Postman give us. You can get all your code done for you. Just click the button “Code”. It’s kind of buried near the Send button next to cookies.
  18. Now when you click code you will get formatted code for almost any programming language you may need:

Success! As you can see it’s not hard at all to add Faxing to your Enterprise application. If you have questions or need more help please reach out to us at 800-473-6208 or contact us via email.

 

5 Essential tools for Digital Nomads

Traveling the world and working remotely is a new hot trend. Whether your destination is stateside or at an exotic location you will find that living remotely can pose an interesting set of challenges. There are plenty of websites dedicated to digital nomadism but here are 5 easy ways to keep things running smoothly.

Google Drive / Google Apps

Odd’s are you already have this but are you fully utilizing it? There are tools such as Sheets (Excel replacement), Docs (Word Replacement) and Slides (Powerpoint) that can open, save and edit any of the aforementioned formats. But you have MS office already. Why change things? Well, that’s fine for most people but imagine if you lose your laptop or the hard drive crashes when you are in a distant land or if your luggage is stolen. If your files are on the cloud you can just use your phone or buy a cheap replacement computer and get all your data back immediately.

Vonage Phone Adapter

If you maintain a business presence in the US or need to be on the phone then you already know that cell phones are not going to be optimal for this due to expensive roaming and long distance fees and spotty connection. Having a VOIP phone adapter (Check this out) can be plugged into a network and forward your local US number to your local device. One digital nomad we know maintained his DC based business for 6 weeks in Argentina and no one knew he was there.

WestFax Fax To Email

Similar to the phone adapter above if your business needs access to fax or document management services that use fax then having a fax to email service is critical. Using WestFax’s Fax to Email service you can have a toll free or local number and sending a fax is as simple as sending an email.

If you need to send documents securely or you’re in any healthcare related field, access to fax is likely essential. Sending a fax using a service ensures your important documents are secure and won’t fall into international hackers hands. Using public fax machines overseas can be monitored as well.

Skype

This one is pretty obvious. Get your Skype account setup and activated, test your hardware and microphone so you know it works well. Having a spotty or poorly configured Skype setup can make working remotely painful. Having and solid headset can make the difference. Check out these webcams too.

Websites

There are many Digital nomad sites out there but a few stand out.

  • Teleport.org
    This site has detailed metrics and data on many cities around the world and key information about Housing, cost of living, crime, etc… It also has useful data like Gym club membership costs, internet costs, and more. The amount of data is staggering. Check out Tokyo
  • Workfrom
    This site is useful for daily use if you travel for business. Just let it know where you are or where you are going and find coffee shops, co-working and more. There are also app versions as well.

Regardless of how much you plan on traveling and working abroad having a solid tool set. Using the same tools at home and remote makes the remote experience a cinch.

Learn more about Nomadism here.

What is Fax to Email and how does it work?

Get your entire company set up in 4 easy steps

If one has worked in an office then the fax machine has been a part of almost every business. Love them or hate them the fax machine has be relegated to the backoffice area or in a closet. Ever faithful and reliable but with the advent of newer scanning and workflow options on copiers and other devices we are seeing a move to more digital fax solutions. Offering faxing service to your entire workforce is as easy as sending an email.

Here is how easy our Fax to Email service is to set up:

  1. Create an account on our Fax to Email service and choose your toll free or local fax number.
  2. Once you have your account created head over to Fax-Email settings under the account menu.
  3. On the Allowed Senders option just add your staff email accounts (see below)
  4. Once you have your emails added anyone can send an email to ###-###-####@westfax.com (replace # with the number) and your fax will be sent.
  5. That’s it! Easy. Signup today for a two month FREE trial of WestFax Fax to Email service.