Sorry this has taken until 4:21 pm PST to finish and upload our Studio Manager 16 Demo. But it is in very good shape and we hope you love it! Get the demo by filling in our short download form. You’ll like the product, the demo and the form which is super forgiving. It’s Saturday and I am going off the clock but call, text or do whatever you want if you have a question, request or comment. Our Contact Info and it is not a form!


We are closing in on release of the free and full-function Studio Manager 16 demo. The Demo is done. If it weren’t for all the collateral like the Demo manual and the PHP changes and proofreading, we would be up right now. Still going at mid afternoon. Stay tuned – Friday Dec 29 is our drop dead date — some of you need it before you buy this year!

The Studio Manager 15 Demo and Demo manual is up on the Demo tab this afternoon. You’ll know it is only 15 because it says so. We want you to look at our demo, so if you aren’t sure you will remember to come back, grab 15. The iPad screens in SM15 don’t have portrait views (bummer!) and the button bars don’t have the slick, performance-friendly SVG graphics in them. The clarity, perfection and pop of the Mac layouts in SM16 isn’t as quite as good in SM15. So keep that in mind if you need that instant gratification right now.

P.S. You can nab the free trial version of FileMaker Pro 16 from the bottom of the site right here. For a truly try before you buy experience.

One more thing. Contact Janet if you want the 16 demo right this minute and already have the SM15 Demo manual and can make due with it. Janet (yours truly) will get it to you quick.


The Studio Manager 16 Product is here for your brand new 2018!

Get the true skinny on Studio Manager 16 on the SM16 tab above, then take the screenshots tour. Keep reading if you want even more information.

Check the demo tab above for the new free Studio Manager 16 full-function demo. This is getting the product for free on some level — it is just not customizable. The guts work. You’ll have to use your imagination for how your invoice would look in Studio Manager if you are new to this product for the creative services professional, workgroup or firm.

Although most of our customers spend a large amount of time on a big screen Mac, we’ve given some extra attention to iPad and iPhone this year. Last year got Mac great and this year tweaked that Mac version. But we redid the theme and the graphics in iPad and iPhone (using the performance enhancing SVGs FileMaker 15 and 16 lets us deploy). Every year better is our motto.

IPhones of various sizes are all accommodated with dedicated layouts except for the iPhone X which defaults to and works well on our existing iPhone 8 layouts.

Run the demo on your iPhone (for that always with you access to Studio Manager contacts, job status and whatever you need when away from your big screen Mac. The iPad version straddles between the Mac and iPhone adding more power and screen real estate for things like walking around the office and updating schedules or owners, executive and project managers checking on changes or that occasional challenge without having to lug a notebook Mac around.

If you have FileMaker Pro 15 or 16, on your Mac or PC (or a free trial version of FileMaker 16), the product and demo will work just fine. FileMaker Go 16 is free. Just like other companies, FileMaker Inc. keeps improving iPhone and iPad versions in every way. Keeps taking advantage of upgrades in iOS.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. The ReadMe file you get with the demo has phone numbers and email.


We are so close…

I’m writing on December 19 to make sure you realize we have a new version in the wings. Studio Manager 16 runs fast and beautifully on FileMaker Pro 16 and works well on FileMaker Pro 15 too. We expect it to work on FileMaker Pro 14 but have not tested it 100%. If you need to run on FileMaker Pro 14, you can always download our free demo and test it.

We are updating our user manuals so that they not only refer to Studio Manager 16 but also refer to the corresponding versions of FileMaker Pro. We are updating our website as we speak. This post here is part of that.

FileMaker 16

Each version of FileMaker Pro and its associated products like the free FileMaker Go is upgraded for performance, end-user facing features, developer features, security and other advances. The biggest reason to upgrade this year is for performance and security. Security is a big deal these days and has been aggressive in adding security features to FileMaker Pro.

The biggest improvement in FileMaker since version 12 has been in the area of interface tools. We now have an environment with themes, styles, states, svg graphics, button bars, and icons anywhere we want. These tools have been refined and upgraded with each release. What you see in Studio Manager 16 is made possible by FileMaker’s upgrades.

Main Features in FileMaker 16

  1. Aggressive Improvements in security, topping what’s already been done in recent releases.
  2. Faster performance and more responsiveness.
  3. Even better scripting environment.
  4. FileMaker Cloud which lets you have FileMaker Server in the Amazon (AWS) cloud and not need to have a server in your shop.
  5. FileMaker Web Direct is faster and more powerful than ever. Each year weaknesses in web browser access are overcome.
  6. FileMaker Server is more efficient and powerful than ever.

Studio Manager 16 is Extremely Flexible

Please don’t forget that Studio Manager 16 and its predecessors are extremely customizable. FileMaker Pro is not like other development environments. It is not like web development or coding an iPhone app. You can easily tweak Studio Manager to make it fit the ways you work. Don’t settle for less.

Studio Manager 16

The two major efforts this year in creating Studio Manager 16 have been to:

  1. Make the user interface even more engaging and transparent. We started all over in January to find ways to make layouts better and made sure starting in May 2017 that everything runs great in FileMaker Pro 16.
  2. Streamline the product for performance and ease of use. This effort applies to the Mac/PC layouts as well the iOS layouts for iPad and iPhone. 95% of our Studio Manager customers use Apple computers and mobile devices. Bookkeepers and some client companies use Studio Manager on Windows PCs and that works well because FileMaker is seamlessly cross-platform. This year Mac/PC layouts got their fair share of attention, but we worked especially hard this year to make sure the iPad and iPhone layouts were just as good. This attention to iOS, mean that when you access Studio Manager from an iPhone or iPad, it will run faster and look better than ever.

Learn More about Studio Manager 16

Please go straight to the Tour tab above and click on the sections of Studio Manager you are interested in. There are dedicated web pages for lots of different things like timesheets, invoices, scheduling and much more. Be sure to click on the small screenshots to see them full size.

Don’t hesitate to ask me questions. We can do a Skype or Zoom or Go to Meeting or Teamviewer screensharing session if you want one to help you decide if Studio Manager 16 is a good fit for your firm or work group. Text or call Janet on her iPhone (415 272-8563) or Email her and get your questions answered. Don’t settle for Excel spreadsheets or some limited and inflexible solution for running your business.


If you are needing at least 2 copies of FileMaker Pro 16 or FileMaker Pro 16 Advanced, you might like this 1/2 price offer on 2 copies. The full normal consumer price for FileMaker Pro 16 is $329 USD. So you get 2 copies for that $329 which means $164.50 each! Don’t miss this if you are up for running FileMaker Pro 16, the best performing, most secure and most powerful version of FileMaker released to date.

Individual Licenses. This works for new full seats. So if you already have some seats of FileMaker 14 or 15 you can pay $197 per seat for upgrades to FileMaker Pro 16. But this BOGO deal is better than that in that you are only paying $164.50 each for these 2 seats.

Team Licenses. Keep in mind that FileMaker also sells team licenses that include FileMaker Server and license you for 5, 10, 15 or more concurrent FileMaker users whether by FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Go or their new Web Direct option. (These include FileMaker Server 16 as well as FileMaker Pro.) This works pretty well if you are upgrading your OS pretty regularly if you pay annually. A single year license costs 1/3rd of the cost for a perpetual license of a single version. If you upgrade FileMaker more frequently than every three years this is a no-brainer and provides you with the benefits of these newer versions. Every version improves performance, keeps pace with OS improvements (Windows, OS X and iOS).

Trial Copy of FileMaker Pro 16. If you want to either try out FileMaker Pro 16 or do a trial test run of your copy of Studio Manager with FileMaker Pro 16 before buying it, you and anyone else in your group can download a trial version. We always buy every new version of FileMaker Pro the day it comes out, so I haven’t downloaded this version but have never heard complaints. One caveat is that it seems you may not be able to download the trial version twice on the same computer.

Studio Manager. We work on Studio Manager all year long and try to do something special by year-end, so check back if you might be interested in what that will be this year. Our Studio Manager 15 demo is available on the Demo tab above. It’s the January version of Studio Manager 15, so won’t be quite as good as the current version of the product but close and will give an excellent chance to play around with the full product. It’s only limitation is it supports 3 users and layouts and scripts are not modifiable. You can still do things like change billing codes, rates, add customers, jobs, do estimates etc. to get a good feel for the product.


UPDATED: June 20 2017 — 7 pm. — GOOD NEWS, FALSE ALARM

This posted started out asking you to wait before upgrading to FileMaker Pro 16. But we’ve investigated further and we think you can safely upgrade. All the normal cautions about making a backup first and testing your version of Studio Manager with FileMaker Pro 16 before going live in your shop still apply. And we even have a tip for you to make sure the FileMaker 16 bug we were concerned about is not possible in your version of Studio Manager.

Upon further investigation including testing Studio Manager 8 and Studio Manager 15 and using our Filemaker analysis tools, we think you can safely upgrade to FileMaker Pro 16 at this time and not worry about the bug in deleting from portals that we discuss below the horizontal line.

There is a bug described but it doesn’t match up to our implementation methods for deleting portal rows. Our method works anyway and doesn’t trigger the bug.

If you’ve hired a FileMaker expert or have your own in-house expert who has added features to Studio Manager that include deleting portal rows with scripts, they need to read the FileMaker article (link) to make sure you are not going to have a problem with this change in the way FileMaker 16 works when it comes to deleting portal rows. He or she should determine if you need more testing than what I’ve described below.

Just to exercise an abundance of caution, if you upgrade to FileMaker 16, we  do recommend that you do a test estimate and try deleting estimate line items from Services, Expenses and Flat Fee Expenses (added in Studio Manager 11) using the delete buttons in the portal rows. Estimates is the only place in Studio Manager we could find that could possibly set off this new bug.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns at all about this! Janet will be happy to answer your questions.

There is a bug in FileMaker 16 that I am needing to make sure doesn’t affect your copy of Studio Manager. This is a more serious bug than typical but not at all at the catastrophic level. But it could be problematic if Murphy’s law happens just so.

In testing to see if this is an issue for Studio Manager, I haven’t been able to replicate the bug even by trying to make Studio Manager 15 fall into the trap I’ve read about. So, I’ll keep researching to see exactly what the vulnerability is.

The help from filemaker in their Knowledgebase article says that the first portal on the layout by creation order has to have some records and the portal you are trying to delete from has to have zero records. Also, the bug doesn’t occur if you can add records to the portal by typing into the bottom row.

Technically: If there is a Go to Object script step that is addressed to a portal (which is considered an object in FileMaker) and it is followed by a delete portal row script step, things can go awry if the Go to Object name and the Portal names don’t match. FileMaker 16 unlike previous versions of FileMaker, will default to the first portal created on the layout and delete from the wrong portal. In Studio Manager of recent vintage, that means you could be on the expenses or Add Item tabs deleting a line item there you think but end up deleting a services line item inadvertently. Not good!

Non-technically: Worst case, you could be trying to delete an estimate expense line item and wind up having a services line item delete without noticing it at the time. You would just see that the expense item didn’t delete and perhaps try again, deleting a second services line item.

I am concerned that some release somewhere of Studio Manager since FileMaker 8.5 when the Go to Object command was first made available, might have a discrepancy between the name of the Estimates portals and the name in the script. If you are running versions prior to FileMaker 15, this bug is not present.

We think FileMaker Inc. will fix this in its first update to FileMaker 16. That’s not out yet as of June 20, 2017.

So, like I said above, don’t upgrade to FileMaker Pro 16 quite yet if you are using Studio Manager especially versions before 15.

Feel free to contact me for free support on this if you’ve already upgraded to FMP16. If you are setup to allow remote filemaker users or you have a way for me to screen share from a user machine, I could login and check to see if you are vulnerable to this issue. An even more thorough method would be for you to give me a download link for a backup of your Studio Manager file or even better, to make an empty clone of your copy of Studio Manager with the File/Save a copy as… command so I can check that for you.


Our Main Phone line is now an iPhone!

April 4, 2017 Support

Our team has used iPhones for personal use and outgoing business calls. Finally, we’ve dumped our land line which just hasn’t been cutting it as our main business line. Feel free to text us or call. If you get a busy signal, just leave us a voice mail or text us. 415 789-5219. What an iPhone business line replacing […]

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Studio Manager 15 Demo is Up!

December 27, 2016 FileMaker 15

Go to the Demo tab and enter a few details, just enough so we can contact you while also protecting your privacy. These are as safe as safe can be. Contact me about anything and everything. Getting this demo up was a rush job, so if you are frustrated in any way or, even better, […]

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Studio Manager 15 is Out!

December 26, 2016 FileMaker 15

SM15 for Your 2017 The version 15 product is ready to go for those of you who want to play over the holidays to get ready for the 2017. We release before January so you can get the full calendar year into Studio Manager. It’s effective if you can do it. The Free Full-Function Demo. […]

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Studio Manager 15 is Coming this Month!

December 4, 2016 FileMaker 15

On the Verge of Release I’m writing on December 7 just to make sure if you come by you realize we have a new version in the wings. Studio Manager 15 runs fast and beautifully on FileMaker 15 and works well on 14 too. We haven’t tested it on 13, so you should do your […]

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