Post image for Studio Manager 18

Studio Manager 18

Essentials

  • Studio Manager 18 is scheduled for release December 30, 2019. It runs beautifully in FileMaker Pro 17 or 18. The SM18 demo is targeted for completion hopefully by Monday as well.  In the meantime you can try out Studio Manager 16 as a full function demo which should give you good idea of the Studio Manager’s capability. We think it is embarrassing that we’ve still got SM16 demo up and want to get that fixed pronto but first, we have to check and double-check Studio Manager 18 and its documentation — which is considerable. Please contact us with your questions if you have a specific need or situation not covered here. FileMaker 18 came out in May and 3 point releases are out, so we whole heartedly recommend FileMaker 18 for use with Studio Manager 18. We’re crazy about FileMaker 18  because it’s more powerful, responsive and secure than ever before. If you would like to tweak Studio Manager further, you will be thrilled with how good FileMaker is as a development tool.
  • Excellent iPhone and iPad versions are included. Most of our customers use Studio Manager from their desktop and laptop Macs at work. But some like the convenience and portability of being able to access Studio Manager, whether on the go or on the couch, with an iPhone or iPad. The performance is better than ever on these mobile devices using the free FileMaker Go app. Studio Manager’s Mobile layouts are designed specifically for efficiency and speed. The app automatically detects the iPhone model you are using and shows you only relevant layouts that are sized correctly. Additionally, job creation, estimating and invoicing are available on an iPad which might be crucial in certain circumstances. Reporting features include the ability to print invoices directly via iOS to your AirPrint-enabled printer. In 2019 we spent a huge chunk of our development time on improving and expanding the capabilities and interface of the mobile layouts.
  • Our goal is to update Studio Manager every two years. We are not looking to add features per se. But we are committed to staying up with both FileMaker and other technologies that can enhance Studio Manager’s already full feature set. Because Studio Manager is extremely customizable, we don’t have to make an “everything and the kitchen sink type of product, which most of our competitors selling hard to customize products do. Unlike the competition, you and your local FileMaker expert can easily change this product to make it fit your work group and company. We are here if you need advice or even help on anything you would rather have us do for you. To support our philosophy we have incredible user manuals that are kept up to date! This is a lot of work but fits our philosophy to empower you.
  • FileMaker keeps giving us new developer and product functionality that make FileMaker, and thus Studio Manager, more efficient and powerful. The final result is a sharp-looking, responsive app that engages your attention. Our mission includes making your mission-critical management tool, Studio Manager, both appealing and fun to use. We are committed to constantly improving Studio Manager. We want you and your hard working staff to have use of the best software possible to perform the unglamorous and yet vital tasks of data entry that you need to run a profitable business and take full advantage of that data for real time account, management and strategic decisions.
  • The new SM18 Demo will be available soon. Open the Demo tab. The demo allows you to see for yourself Studio Manager’s remarkable feature set. We want to make running the business of creative services sane and simple. We know how hectic things get in your world. Take Studio Manager for a test drive to see just how elegantly it handles complex calculations, estimates and change orders, invoicing, reporting and keeping track of all the contacts in your world. FileMaker also offers trial versions. So, for no money, you can see exactly what you are paying for.
  • Starts at the amazing price of $695 for the full product single-user license. 4-user is $1395, 10-user $2295. Volume discounts drive the seat cost down as the number of seats goes up.

What’s New in Studio Manager 18?

Improved upon and flattened the CSS Theme. We “CSS-styled” every nook and cranny (tech speak for “layout”) we could, so you can change colors, fonts, sizes, alignment, capitalization and more all across Studio Manager rather than doing it one layout at a time. You just modify a Style and update it to the Theme to change formatting to your liking across all layouts using that Style.

Updated the Theme for all 5 supported sizes of iPhone: iPhone SE/5, iPhone X/Xs/Xs Max and iPhone Plus 6/7/8. We’ve got button bars and lots of goodies for the user interface, including SVG graphics, now the same as those seen on the computer. Many hours went into perfecting the user interface, to make using Studio Manager 18 enjoyable and easy to use. We are committed to constantly improving Studio Manager.

Studio Manager 18 is faster than ever thanks to continued breakthroughs in responsiveness from FileMaker 18. FileMaker Pro 18 and its little sister, FileMaker Go, have been continue to be optimized. You’ll notice that especially on the iPad and iPhone, things snap. No more waiting for screen redraws with fast broadband. FileMaker continues to tweak their product, continually adding to performance and ease of use for users and developers like us, our clients and their FileMaker-savvy staff and consultants. Thanks to automatic updating of MacOS and iOS, you are kept current whether you pay attention to such details or not.

Big Upgrades to iOS Functionality. FileMaker Go, free on the App Store, always installs the most recent version. It will run Studio Manager versions 14, 15 and 16. So, don’t hesitate. This works on our demo too, if you want to try it out. You can even install the demo of Studio Manager 16 on your iPad or iPhone (using iTunes) and check it out at your convenience.

Clearly, we’d like you to use FileMaker 18 to run our upcoming Studio Manager 17, but our testing and experience show that you can keep running FileMaker 17 and probably 16 if the improved speed and security are not issues for you. We don’t think you have to upgrade FileMaker every year unless you have compelling reasons to do so. But, FileMaker now renamed as Claris because they offer a second complimentary software product, makes every effort to add enough performance, security and ease of use enhancements to do so. You can purchase either an annual subscription or buy FileMaker outright like you may have done previously. That choice is up to you.

Most important in iOS:

  • Speed. FileMaker Go 18 is extremely robust and fast. Given the experience in the past few years, expect Filemaker Go to continually become faster and more feature-rich as FileMaker and Apple keep driving the iPhone and iPad platform forward.
  • Create Jobs and more. The iPad version allows you to create jobs, estimates and invoices wherever it’s convenient, like at your client’s office. Can you imagine how impressed you customer will be? No waiting!
  • Key Reports. The 13 most essential reports, Like Job Status and Accounts/Receivable are available from your iPhone or iPad.
  • Timesheets and Tasks. Essential features like the entry of timesheets and the ability to see your assigned tasks and mark them done are much more useable due to a robust, improved FileMaker Go 18 architecture.
  • Storing PDFs. FileMaker Go 18 is great with PDFs. You can store the PDF for each invoice right on the Invoices entry screen, on its own tab. That way the exact record of what went out the door to the client is there for reference. If you like this, you can add additional documents to the database such as estimate PDFs. The 80-20 rule means that storing a few key documents in a small amount of storage can make a big difference.