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
RAM: 1 GB
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.

{ 0 comments }

Scout_Working_on_iMacPro_with_2_iPads_and_SM17

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.

{ 0 comments }

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.

{ 0 comments }

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.

{ 0 comments }

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.

{ 0 comments }

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.

{ 0 comments }

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 […]

Read the full article →

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 […]

Read the full article →

Studio Manager 16 is Out!

December 21, 2017 SM News

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 […]

Read the full article →

Studio Manager 16 Nearing Release

December 19, 2017 SM News

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%. […]

Read the full article →