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 FileMaker, Inc. says High Sierra is compatible with only FileMaker Pro 15 and FileMaker Pro 16. You can always try FileMaker Pro 14 and see if what you do with Studio Manager works but I recommend not bothering. You would be skating on thin ice.

If you are stuck on High Sierra, spend the money and either upgrade if you can or buy one or more full versions of FileMaker Pro 16. By the way, FileMaker Pro is on an annual upgrade schedule that seems to be happening sometime in the Spring, so you may not be able to upgrade for free to FileMaker Pro 17 if you purchase FileMaker Pro 16 right now.

However, the drawback of waiting until FileMaker Pro 17 comes out is (1) you have to wait and if you already have your new Mac running High Sierra that may be a problem for you and (2) brand new versions of FileMaker Pro are best left to the adventurers for a few weeks after release (say at least 6 weeks). That cautionary wait puts you into summer. Up to you.

I have more on your FileMaker Pro buying decision in my January 30th FileMaker Pro 11 blog post.


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 able to install it on a High Sierra Mac. This is most likely a brand new Mac which will come with and require High Sierra.

FileMaker Pro 16 won’t mix and match with FileMaker Pro 11. Needless to say, the current version of FileMaker Pro 16 runs fine on High Sierra. But FileMaker 12 or higher is incompatible with a FileMaker network running FileMaker Pro 11. This may be the owner’s new Mac. Not a good person to be locked out of your Studio Manager database. This could be an account manager.

If you Can’t Upgrade to FileMaker 15 or 16. One option if you aren’t in the mood to upgrade your shop’s installs of FileMaker to FileMaker 15 or higher (which is recommended), is to use a second Mac that can run FileMaker Pro 11 for access to Studio Manager.

Upgrading Shop to FileMaker Pro 15/16 Might Work. FileMaker Pro 16 has better security, ease of use and performance and can work on Macs running El Capitan (10.11), Sierra (10.12) and High Sierra (10.13). If you have one or more Macs running Yosemite (10.10) that you need for FileMaker/Studio Manager, when you buy FileMaker Pro 16, you can get 15 on request in addition to 16. We don’t 100% recommend Filemaker Pro 15 as it isn’t quite as tolerant of old versions of Studio Manager as 16 is. FileMaker Pro 16 converts older versions FileMaker databases built before FileMaker 12. I’ve been impressed with how well FileMaker Pro 16 can heal the wounds of older FileMaker files that have suffered many power outages and crashes. (Backup religiously and don’t let your Studio Manager or other FileMaker databases crash for any reason, though – miracles aren’t always possible.)

You can Buy FileMaker One Year at a Time. Like a renewable subscription. That makes it affordable and flexible if you expect to upgrade more frequently than once every four years. Also, FileMaker team licenses are for numbers of concurrent users instead of by computer. That means if you have 8 people using Studio Manager, but not all of them use filemaker a lot, as few as a 5-user license could suffice. You will be limited if you want more than 5 users at once and will have to work around that limitation occasionally. You can learn more about upgrade pricing and whatnot by clicking the Buy button at the top right on filemaker.com.

FileMaker Server Compatibility. If you do upgrade to FileMaker Pro 16, you can use FileMaker Pro Server 14, 15 or 16 to host for FileMaker Pro 16.

I will be writing more about compatibility but wanted to get you something right now in case you run into this situation. Feel free to contact me for specific advice for your situation.


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 filemaker.com 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 FileMaker.com 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.


FileMaker Buy One, Give One Offer Expires on December 20, 2017

December 7, 2017 FileMaker 16

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 […]

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FileMaker 16 is Out and Studio Manager Users Should be Good to Go

June 20, 2017 Alert

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 […]

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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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