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.


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.


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%. […]

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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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