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New DesignSmart server option

Fast, easy and affordable - Works with Windows PCs and Macs


There are many benefits to "cloud" technology and approximatley 50% of our clients run DesignSmart from one of our cloud servers.  However, there are two important advantages to hosting DesignSmart data in your office rather than in the cloud:

  1. It will be faster. Consequently you will enjoy working with the system more. To understand the speed difference, consider that with a cloud server data and images have to travel 1,000's miles as opposed to 100 feet. Even if you have a super fast internet connection, hosting the data in your own office is going to be faster and day-in and day-out you will greatly appreciate the faster responsiveness.
  2. It will be less expensive in the long run. 

If your firm does not already have what is known as a server, then we recommmend the Apple Mac Mini (starting at $499.00) to host your DesignSmart data. It gets the name mini from the fact it is only 9" x 9" x 2". Even if you only use Windows PCs in your office, your PCs will connect and work seamlessly with the mini. 

Getting setup couldn't be any easier. We will purchase the mini online, install all of the necessary software and configure it to work with your network. When we send it to you all you have to do is plug in the power cord and a network cable. No need to plug in a monitor,  a keyboard, nor a mouse. When we need to make tweaks to your program, we'll simply connect to the mini remotely from our offices.

(Click Continue Reading for FAQs)


Q1. If I host the data in my office, then can my designers still run DesignSmart from home and when traveling?

A1. Yes. This will require that ports on your router are enable so DesignSmart is accessible from outside your office. This is a simple and routine IT process, but  we do not provide this service. You will need to have your IT support person do this.


Q2. We only have PCs in our office. Why wouldn't I get a Windows server?

A2. A Windows server would work as well, but they can cost several thousand dollars and require IT professionals to install and support. The Mac Mini starts at $499.00, PCs connect to it seamlessly, and we can support it remotely. With the mini, you will plug it in and forget about it. 


Q3. What else is required to host the data in my office?

A3. You will need to purchase FileMaker Server software because it safeguards and protects your DesignSmart data and images which for many design firms is mission critical data. It will automatically backup your data several times during the day and can even ensure the backup data is copied to a location off site. It is the same software we run on all of our development and regional servers. 


(Updated 08/16/16)



Categories: Best Practices