Studio Manager 9.2 New Features
More FileMaker 10, Still FileMaker 9 Compatible
FileMaker 10 is Getting More Play in Studio Manager
We are in love with FileMaker Pro 10. And we do have lives. We promise. We think that if you can possibly pull it off you should put your firm on FileMaker Pro 10 ASAP. It is a major upgrade that pays off immediately in many ways. At Tokerud Consulting, we want to make sure our new customers and upgraders can use FileMaker 10 and get some FileMaker 10 goodness without delay. That's why we programmed another point release ASAP after FileMaker Pro 10 came out: to enable FileMaker 10 features, if you are lucky enough to be using it already.
The economy is not cooperating. But, some of you have maintenance agreements with FileMaker so you get *free* FileMaker Pro 10 upgrades as part of that service. Others of you haven't upgraded in ages and know the time has come - economy be damned. You are the ones most likely to lust after Studio Manager 9.2.
Is there anything in this release for FileMaker 9 Users? But, of course. If you are still on 9, you still get the new table view layouts that let you rearrange and resize columns at will. This is quite valuable in and of itself. And, the moment you upgrade to FileMaker 10, all the dynamic subheads and subtotals are there waiting for you.
Studio Manager Goes Wide Screen - Sort of. Screen resizing is not very sexy. It is practical. Unfortunately even small modifications in screen size means a large-scale screen layout modification project. Studio Manager has probably 25 entry screens that needed haircuts and saddle-bags. We scrunched things a bit vertically and then widened things a bit to get back the lost real estate. Things will seem very familiar for upgraders. You won't notice the difference.
Studio Manager 9.2 Highlights
FileMaker 10 Dynamic Reporting. Studio Manager has never taken advantage of Table Views. Until now! We got busy and created table views using these new FileMaker 10 features in all our main tables - 14 new layouts in all. We spent serious time deciding how best to use the new ability to display sub-heads, sub-totals and counts in browse mode with live updating. You must try it. See below for a couple screenshots to give you some idea of what we are so excited about.
Keeping Studio Manager Road Warrior Friendly. FileMaker Inc., in all its wisdom, decided to move the Status Bar, a 1" wide area at the left of the screen in versions 1 - 9, to the top of the window in FileMaker Pro 10. The beauty of that is FileMaker gets a modern look makeover that includes a full-scale, customizable toolbar at the top. Each user can have his or her own preferred tools available when working with Studio Manager. The downside for us was that the extra inch on top made Studio Manager a bit too tall to fit on a 13" screen. We know that most design personnel have big screens at the office, but what about when they go on the road? Not everyone totes a 17" screen around or even a 15". Admin, account managers and often owners also tend to use smaller screens such as those found on a MacBook or, our favorite, the MacBook Air.
Never before in the history of FileMaker Pro or Studio Manager has anyone been able to view and modify live reports on screen. FileMaker Pro 10 has finally changed that. To take advantage of this new feature, we added Table Views to all the main Places in Studio Manager: Contacts, Jobs, Estimates, Invoices and more, even Billing Codes. These new layouts can be accessed by clicking on Table View (just below the button/link for List Screen, under COMMANDS).
Whenever you are in table view, a new button appears in the upper right portion of the screen. Click once on "Modify..." and you will be presented with a list of fields that correspond to columns in the table. To shorten the width of the table and remove data that is not useful to you at the moment, just click on a check mark to remove it. The table changes on the fly.
Depending on the sort that you select (notice the sort buttons at the bottom of the window), the report will redraw and show you one or more summary parts (generally referred to as subsummaries). Because Table View is a variation on Browse mode, the data can be modified. If you want to change the Status of a job in your dynamic report, for example, you simply select a different value, right on the report. Just this one feature alone amps up your ability to customize reporting yourself without the need to know how to create or modify layouts (which is more difficult).
New Screen Form Factor
We applaud FileMaker for finally giving us an easy to customize Status Toolbar. Once we all get used to it being at the top of the window, rather than on the side, everyone will love it. The new Status Toolbar can be customized in Browse, Layout, Preview and even Find mode. The settings are computer-specific.
We adjusted the screens in Studio Manager to be wider and less tall. The new toolbar at the top imposes an additional inch of screen real estate (in addition to providing cool new features). When we opened up Studio Manager in FileMaker Pro 10 for the first time, we saw that our windows would not fit in full on smaller computer and laptop screens. "This cannot be allowed!" we exclaimed. It took many a late night and we succeeded in resizing every Entry Screen layout. We widened the screen slightly too and moved a few fields. Then, voila, they all fit in FileMaker Pro 10. [The size of the screenshot below has been reduced to fit on this page.]
Free Video Tutorials for FileMaker Pro 10
We are pleased as punch with the new FileMaker Pro 10 and we realize that everyone, developers like us included, will need to adjust. To learn more about FileMaker Pro 10, we recommend that you go to the source and take a look at the really helpful videos that have been made available to you for free. See FileMaker Pro 10 Tutorials