Hold on! Before you upgrade to Catalina on your Mac – read this!

FileMaker Pro 18 Advanced is not yet certified for Catalina. FileMaker Server is a smaller piece of software than FileMaker Pro 18 Advanced, which will probably not get certified until next month (November 2019).

Even though FM Server 18.0.3 is certified now, please read up on FileMaker Server 18 to make sure your computer is up to the task, and that you are using a dedicated Mac or Windows PC for that purpose. If on Windows, a limited number of editions are supported. Windows is not my area, so you’ll need to look at the specifics on the FileMaker Server 18 Tech Specs page.

FileMaker Cloud 2.18.0 is available…

We were recently affected by a PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) due to the Kincade Fire in Northern California. Without electric power, we weren’t able to access our FileMaker Server for two days. This experience and the fact that we are being told there will be more power shutoffs in the future, are motivating me to consider FileMaker Cloud.

Before I get into the details, keep in mind that FileMaker Server is not your only option anymore for providing wide area network access to FileMaker databases. We have NOT started testing FileMaker Cloud, but are reading the documentation and, if all goes well, hope to start using it soon, as a possibly superior option to FileMaker Server. I’ll write more about FileMaker Cloud as soon as I know enough not to be dangerous.

Who Might like FileMaker Cloud?

The two key points about FileMaker Cloud: it is a server in the cloud so you don’t require your own hardware to run it, and because it will be backed up frequently – so you don’t need to remember or have good backup practices. One last key point is that you can start small and add capacity later. You don’t have to purchase or repurpose a really fast Mac or PC as a server, but instead can just essentially turn a knob to get more speed, if you are willing to pay a higher monthly fee. Additionally, you can stop using the service if you don’t like it.

We have a Mac mini 2018 running MacOS Mojave, which is still on FileMaker Server 17. The Mac mini cost $1500, which didn’t break the bank. So I have the local hardware and am running FileMaker Server 17 without incident. But, I have been living through the fire threats and power outages going on in California. Not having to protect that server seems appealing. I’m expecting FileMaker Cloud to make it easier for me to support some of my smaller clients who don’t have an IT department or staff person to keep an eye on things and manage FileMaker Server.

Catalina on Mac – Easy as She Goes WHEN it is certified FileMaker Compatible

I’m not likely to upgrade to Catalina this year, unless I have a good reason. I like to wait a while as every upgrade makes some of my older and still loved applications unusable. For example, Scapple, which I love, apparently isn’t yet compatible with Catalina. I’ve got about 5-6 notices coming up for smaller utility apps. And typically, whenever I upgrade to a new MacOS, I get a surprise or two that I can live with, but would have rather not had.

I’ll be back when I know more about FileMaker Server 18, and then again when I sign onto FileMaker Cloud. As a FileMaker consultant, I HAVE to learn FileMaker Cloud, even if I don’t continue using it. However, I’m cautiously optimistic that I will like it, and that it will perhaps, over the next year, become a set it and forget it utility that saves time and a little stress. I’ve already got one of my clients waiting for me to sign off on it, so I’ll be running FileMaker Cloud by January at the latest!


The important message right now is: don’t upgrade your Mac shop to Catalina just yet.  The following screenshot was taken today (Oct 25, 2019 9:33 am PDT):

The fine print below the table says: “Operating systems not listed in the table above have not been tested and are not supported.” Besides what it says, that means use at your own risk. The fine print also says these are the minimum requirements and FileMaker Pro Advanced may also work with later operating systems certified by FileMaker, Inc. I think we can take it that MacOS Catalina is not yet certified until such time as FileMaker Inc./AKA Claris, Inc. says so.

Waiting may be difficult to resist as there are clickable buttons regularly appearing on my MacOS Mojave screen that say an update is available “Updates Available” Do you want to install the updates now or try tonight? Button: “Install/Later”. Nothing like a little encouragement.

Here’s the Link to check for the Technical Specifications for FileMaker Pro 18 Advanced: https://www.filemaker.com/products/filemaker-pro-advanced/18-technical-specifications.html.

Besides this warning, a recent Filemaker update did come out: 18.03.317 and should be used to update your FileMaker Pro 18 Advanced if you haven’t done so already. I’ll keep an eye out for an official go ahead on Catalina and be back with a more reassuring message when the coast is clear. It’s likely another update will be issued to handle new features in Catalina. Last year when Mojave came out there were at least 2 updates before a general OK was issued and we may have the same this year. As I recall the OK on Mojave came out towards the end of November.

Other than this warning, we are using FileMaker Pro 18 Advanced for all our normal work as it has several valuable improvements. One improvement is a completely redone importing engine and process that speeds up importing from other sources and matching fields. Very well done, and it is different enough that you may want to read the help the first time you use it on a critical import. Existing scripted imports seem to work without modification.


It’s Great, but Don’t Go Live with FileMaker 18 Quite Yet!

This is my version of the warning not to start running your mission critical database with a brand new version of FileMaker in the first month of release. You can buy it now, no problem with that. Use it now on a TEST COPY for a bit. Now, this is in no way to disparage FileMaker 18. Filemaker.com, a subsidiary of Apple, is amazing and protects your data and database better than anyone.

Luckily for you, some firms HAVE to upgrade right this minute and test their hearts out and go live in these early days and the rest of us can benefit — as long as we wait a little while. You can do all sorts of testing on COPIES of your mission critical database while you wait for those who have to go first.

We have already run COPIES of our software in development on the beta of FileMaker 18 and on the release version of FileMaker Pro 18 Advanced we downloaded yesterday. I’ve discovered some really great new features so far and am thrilled to explore its new features. So let’s get on with the fun.

What Does it Take to Run FileMaker 18 in your shop or department?

FileMaker says it best as long as you go to the right page. Get the full skinny at filemaker.com here. If you don’t want to click that link, I’ve got very best of it for you here:

System requirements for FileMaker Pro 18 Advanced:

Note that macOS Sierra 10.12 is no longer supported. Be sure to update your operating system before upgrading to FileMaker Pro 18 Advanced.

Certified Operating System*
Windows 10 Pro Edition
Windows 10 Enterprise Edition
32-bit and 64-bit
October 2018 Update
Windows 8.1 Standard Edition
Windows 8.1 Pro Edition
System updates 2919355 and 2999226
Windows 7 SP1 Professional Edition
Windows 7 SP1 Ultimate Edition
System update 2999226
macOS Mojave 10.14
macOS High Sierra 10.13

*Version stated is the minimum requirement. FileMaker Pro Advanced may also work with later operating systems certified by FileMaker, Inc. Operating systems not listed in the table above have not been tested and are not supported.

Hardware Requirements for FileMaker Pro 18 Advanced

Minimum Requirements Recommended Requirements
Windows CPU: 1 GHz or faster x86- or x64-bit processor
CPU: 1 GHz or faster x86- or x64-bit processor
RAM: 2 GB or more
Mac RAM: 2 GB RAM: 4 GB or more

How Long Must We Wait to Go Live?

I like waiting about 6 weeks before installing FileMaker 18 Server or myself or my users running a mission critical database in a new version of FileMaker. But I’m ready on day one, to tell you to buy FileMaker Pro 18 or to download a free trial version of it. Test a COPY with FileMaker 18 Advanced first. If you are getting new hardware for your FileMaker 18 Server, you can install it and immediately test using the Example database file that will already be in the Databases folder after you install FileMaker Server. Then, go back to your Mac or PC that’s got either FileMaker 18 Advanced or the Trial Version of it installed and try out the Example DB. If that goes well. Put a COPY of your mission critical db on there and test that.

Why Bother with FileMaker 18?

First of all, tech is changing rapidly, security is more important than ever and FileMaker is the easiest best desktop database out there. They are aggressively adding new features and new ways of making FileMaker better than ever. It is the #1 database for the desktop and on iOS. But it can’t stand still and neither can you if you want to stay current.

My Favorite Feature so Far

Importing. I’m a FileMaker developer, so I like things that may or may not be at the top of your list. My favorite on day 1 is the vastly improved importing capabilities in 18. Databases excel at certain key things: importing data, data entry, exporting data and lots of cool processing tricks. Notice that Importing is in the top 4 here. Sometimes another department, program, web service or app has some good data you need whether it is MailChimp or something else, this process of getting that unruly data into your database the way you want it just got a lot easier yesterday when FileMaker 18 was released.

When you upgrade Studio Manager, your data needs to be imported in to the brand new copy of Studio Manager — soon to be Studio Manager 18. The importing facilities in FileMaker 18 just got great. I tend to update clients overnight or over the weekend. Guess what happened to my nights and weekends? Any distress there has been in matching fields and adding custom fields and making sure the import goes flawlessly has gone bye bye. That’s one I can tell you in the first 24 hours. Stay tuned and enjoy another great release of FileMaker!

Of course, feel free to contact us:

Email janet@tokerud.com for the fastest response. If you’ve got our phone number handy (on the About Screen in the Studio Manager Demo or Product), feel free to text or call.



We really never stop developing Studio Manager, but this time of year we are busy finishing off a new version – this time it is 17 to take advantage of the 17th version of FileMaker. Our Mac version is designed to fit on screens of 12 inches or more. But on the iPad and iPhone sides, we have a few more screens to account for.

In this photo, Scout is using an iMac Pro working on the Studio Manager 17 beta with an iPad Pro 12.9” and iPad 9.7” for reference. Thank God for 27” screens!

We still put our top priority on the Mac version of Studio Manager 17 because most designers use big screen Macs for their design work and find it handy to use that same screen for Timesheets and task updates. And since creative services professionals hand down those big screened Macs to their Admin counterparts, big screens abound. But we’ve become mobile at every turn so lots of iPhones, iPads and MacBooks fill the gaps and they are so fast these days that we don’t count out exactly how much happens on an iPad, for example.

Our database tool of choice, FileMaker, is fast, reliable and useful on all these devices. Almost everyone has an iPhone and iPad by now which means single tasks like checking contact information, looking up the status of a job, entering time and task status can be handled anywhere. When you aren’t in your office or at your desk, you still have access to your mission-critical information.

Since FileMaker Go for iPhone and iPad is free and we usually use one device at a time, FileMaker’s licensing is by the concurrent connections, you can use all 3 devices as needed without blowing out your licensing limit. Studio Manager works on the basis of concurrent users as well, so you get maximum flexibility which in this world of devices is what we need.

I’ve got work to do getting this version out the door, so will get back to you soon with other tidbits about what 17 will look like and also keep providing FileMaker upgrade help regarding which versions of Filemaker work with which versions of MacOS. If you have a PC, you are in luck in that certain versions of Windows 10, 8.1 and 7 are certified to run with FileMaker 17. Did I mention that there are more Windows users of FileMaker than there are Mac? Check out the details at FileMaker 17 Advanced Tech Specs.

Since we always encourage new and upgrading customers to use the latest version of FileMaker once a few months have passed, here is the latest tip:

FileMaker 17 now runs well on the latest Macs running MacOS 10.14 Mojave and also on 10.13 High Sierra and 10.12 Sierra. This is the usual 3 MacOS Window FileMaker supports.

We are close to finishing Studio Manager 17, but it is looking like an early February Release due to the demo, web and user manual updates we make once the actual product is done. We are shooting for early January for getting the new Studio Manager 17 demo up. Right now, though, you can try out Studio Manager 16 using our free full-feature Studio Manager 16 demo.

We will be posting and updating screenshots from here on out. As always, don’t hesitate to contact us (TCG iPhone 415 789-5219) with any questions, comments or suggestions you have about any of the topics we cover on our site.


FileMaker 17 Server and Pro received updates in early December 2018 to make them fully Mojave-ready. Like many other Mac users, we bought one of the great new Mac minis and it comes with Mojave installed. With FileMaker 17’s upgrades, you are now good to go with Mojave. We have FileMaker Server 17 running on our new Mac mini right now and have not had a single burp.

If you aren’t quite ready for Mojave but think it is about time to upgrade to the latest and greatest FileMaker, know that FileMaker 17 is also compatible with MacOS Sierra (10.12) and MacOS High Sierra (10.13). In a pinch, I’ve managed to run FileMaker Pro 17 Advanced on a Sierra Mac and also run FileMaker Pro 11 (as a guest only). When my clients upgrade to 17, they often are coming from as far back as FileMaker 11 and I encourage them to run parallel briefly as they are converting and then customizing their new software.

Apple is moving fast with their OS Upgrades these days (once a year), and FileMaker is right there with them with yearly upgrades. If you haven’t upgraded in a while, you might be shocked at how much better the performance is these days.

One last thing about FileMaker and where it is going. At this Summer’s Developer Conference in Dallas, FileMaker Inc. leadership made it clear that FileMaker is focused on making it as easy as possible for end users to customize their apps. We are 100% on board as we’ve always been because each person, work group and company is different and keeps evolving. We are here to support you by making Studio Manager easy to customize and providing support as requested to help you or your favorite local contractor make it fit like a glove.


We love the new version of FileMaker 17 and we have some tips that may save you money and trouble.

Test a Copy of Your Database. FileMaker 17 was released this week on May 15. We’ve written some of the things you should know about it on my FileMaker Fever blog. If you know you want to upgrade to FileMaker 17, then the first step might be to download the trial version of 17 and test your copy of Studio Manager, our Studio Manager 16 demo or your own mission critical FileMaker database with it. Please note, you don’t go live on day one with an important database. What we did when we started testing FileMaker 17, was make copies of some of our key databases, including our current development version of Studio Manager. Copies is the operative word.

You may be able to find FileMaker Pro 16 on the market still and get a free upgrade from 16 to 17. I saw FileMaker Pro 16 for sale on Apple.com a minute ago for $329.95 and the upgrade version of FileMaker Pro 16 is $197.95 (you need to have FileMaker Pro 14 or higher to upgrade). That free upgrade Window would apply for those purchasing 16 within the 30 days prior to the FileMaker 17 launch (hoping there is some wiggle room if you buy close to FileMaker 17 launch.

One other advantage of 16 over 17 right now is that FileMaker 16 can run on OS X 10.11 El Capitan which might allow you to keep running it on an older Mac. If you can get to 16 right away and then try to get the free upgrade to 17. Keep 17 handy and for testing for now. And roll it out in a month or two with our blessings.

FileMaker Pro 17 has combined into FileMaker Pro Advanced. In our 16 to 17 scenario above, you might end up upgrading to FileMaker Pro Advanced 17 for the price of upgrading to FileMaker Pro 16. There is no more FileMaker Pro in 17 just FileMaker Pro Advanced which has a bunch of extra advanced features that can be turned off if you want for certain users.

We haven’t tested the 16->17 theory, but in any event if you don’t already have 16, we recommend you get it and use it. If you are doing an upgrade from an older version of FileMaker, testing your databases in FileMaker 16 is still essential. Since you aren’t the first one on your block to go to 16 since it has been out for a year. And 5 minor updates have been released already, so you are on solid, well-tested ground. Still, test any mission critical functions because as you move forward, things change in the world of technology and you probably have a fairly unique setup. You may find something has changed and needs attention before you go live with 16.

Check out my FileMaker Fever post on FileMaker 17 for some introductory details on your purchasing options. Feel free to contact Janet if you have questions.

More to follow on what we discover in our testing of FileMaker 17 here and on FileMaker Fever.


New Mac Buyers Who Run FileMaker Pro need FileMaker 15 or higher

March 20, 2018 FileMaker 13

Hi everyone. I have been hearing from some of my Studio Manager customers who have upgraded to High Sierra either voluntarily or because they bought a new Mac, that their Studio Manager database won’t run on FileMaker Pro 14 or lower. Actually, I haven’t heard from a FileMaker Pro 14 user yet about a problem, but […]

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FileMaker 11 and Under Users Warning about OS X High Sierra

January 30, 2018 Compatibility

We’ve been running into problems lately with some of our Studio Manager users who have not recently upgraded their FileMaker (or Studio Manager) but may have bought a new Mac that requires High Sierra. FileMaker Pro 11 and new Macs. If you are still running the excellent, FileMaker Pro 11, you aren’t going to be […]

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New Free Full-function Studio Manager 16 Demo is Available Now

December 30, 2017 FileMaker 16

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 […]

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Studio Manager 16 Demo is done but not up yet…

December 27, 2017 FileMaker 16

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 […]

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