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Techie but Important Information

Few people actually enjoy reading about technical details, so we'll try to make this as quick and painless as possible.

Macs and PCs

DesignSmart runs equally well on Mac and PC computers. You can even have a combination of Macs and PCs in the same office. 

Cloud based or not - your decision

For most firms with fewer than five users, we recommend that The Smart Designer host your DesignSmart files on our commercial servers. The advantages are that our servers are professional grade and on the fastest internet connection available. Your data will be automatically backed up twice a day. Also we make offsite backups so that your data is additionally protected.

If you prefer to host your data on your own server, then please refer to the server requirements in the following section.

Internet Connection Speed

If your firm opts to have your DesignSmart data hosted in the cloud, then you will want to ensure that your internet connection is reasonably fast. You can test your internet speed here (wait till you see the words "Begin Test"). A download speed of 5 Mbps is acceptable, but 10 Mbps is recommended. Most businesses will have much faster connection speeds, but if you need to upgrade to a faster connection, the cost should be minimal.

 QuickBooks Pro and QuickBooks Enterprise

The optional QuickBooks Connector add-on module works with QuickBooks Pro 2013 and QuickBooks Enterprise 2013 or newer. At this time the module does not work with QuickBooks Online nor with QuickBooks for Mac. Depending on the inventory requirements, the optional SmartInventory add-on module may require the Advanced Inventory Module for QuickBooks Enterprise.

FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Server

DesignSmart uses FileMaker Pro as its database engine. This means each Mac or PC will need to have a copy of FileMaker Pro installed. Each license of DesignSmart includes a license of FileMaker Pro.  

For those firms that decide to host their DesignSmart data on their own server, they will need FileMaker Server software. The computing requirements for both FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Server are relatively minimal. For more information about these requirements, please click here for FileMaker Pro requirements and here for FileMaker Server.


Running DesignSmart on an iPad requires the purchase of a "concurrent license". We love iPads and believe that you'll enjoy the versatility and ease that DesignSmart on an iPad offers. However, the fact is that iPads don't have as much computing power as your laptop or desktop computer. So be aware that there are features that do not work as well on the iPad as they do on a computer.