When you are out shopping for the mission critical softare that will be at the heart of your creative services business, think about this. Will you get a one-size-fits-all black box system or a modifiable database that you can shape and control? Black box systems are those that are programmed with such intricate complexity that the developers don't let the customer under the hood. Period.
The set it and forget it nature of a black box system might seem appealing, but most firms make sure they can modify their own mission critical software. They want their most important business software to closely fit their needs and mirror hard won business practices. They want to be able to modify the software over time as their needs change and evolve.
Studio Manager is based on FileMaker Pro, an incredibly easy-to-use database development environment. Databases are a lot easier to customize than traditional programmed software. FileMaker is the easiest database tool out there. This sounds a little crass, but it is a lot cheaper to develop with FileMaker.
Cheap translates to affordable customizing. Using a tool like FileMaker as the basis of your mission critical software gives you a level of control and flexibility that is remarkable in the software world. For example, you can easily add or modify reports. You can add, resequence or delete tabs that your don't need.
When you compare features between different pieces of software, don’t forget to think about the platform you have signed up for. Group your options by platform. For example, you could have groups for web-based, programmed, FileMaker-based, Other database.
Open vs. Closed. One last thing, most vertical market software is closed even if based on FileMaker. They may offer customization services. But you won't be able to choose your own consultant or do it yourself. Studio Manager is in the open category with 99.9% customizability - not just a few user-modifiable options. We strongly believe that FileMaker, an end-user-oriented development tool, is meant to be open.