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FileMaker Pro 7: A Database System That Almost Runs the Business by Itself



Cutting-edge celebrity fashion photographer Jim Jordan, and his team at Jim Jordan Photography, depend on a system of FileMaker Pro databases for a wide range of information storage and retrieval functions. A new Digital Rights Management system created in FileMaker Pro 7 is their most dramatic innovation.

From the glossy pages of American Vogue, Vanity Fair, and the J. Crew catalog, to the upscale ad campaigns of BMW, American Express, and Mercedes-Benz, Jim Jordan's glamorous, classy images have an international attraction.

While he founded his studio, Jim Jordan Photography, on his signature fashion and celebrity photography, the company has been growing steadily and diversifying into other aspects of the business.

He has a staff of employees and agents in New York and Los Angeles, as well as a team of technicians who maintain his digital archives, and film and commercial libraries. They also represent other photographers, hair and makeup stylists, wardrobe stylists, and prop stylists, under the name of White Cross Productions.

All these enterprises serve an impressive list of clients and generate a vast amount of data: contact information, work notes, production orders, invoicing, as well as photography files.

Keeping track of that data was becoming more and more of a challenge. Then, Jordan met a member of the consulting team for the Smithsonian Institute, who told him how the Smithsonian was using FileMaker Pro for all their archiving and image retrieval

When Jordan realized the possible applications of FileMaker Pro for his business, he developed a full-scale FileMaker Pro database system of his own.

Successful Solution

The result was six comprehensive databases, covering every phase of the business, from contact management to work tracking to image storage and retrieval, to agency follow-up to legal releases and documentation.
"FileMaker Pro provides a searchable research database where I can store libraries of work in one place and have them instantly accessible for a variety of purposes," says Jordan.

The latest version of the software, FileMaker Pro 7, offers new advantages, including the capability to easily import and export not only digital images, but any files his business generates. So now Jordan can also track and manage his Word documents, movies, music, Excel spreadsheets, Adobe Acrobat PDF files, and PowerPoint presentation files.

FileMaker Pro 7's increase in storage capacity to 8 terabytes-a capacity more than 4,000 times the old limit-is another boost for the studio. Now Jordan and his staff can import, export, and store a variety of sized files, including those in QuickTime Video format, to bring the company databases to life with new types of content.

With so much data easily accessible, the advantages are enormous. For example, when new business is under consideration, he can qualify a job almost instantaneously.

"I can pull up a comprehensive history working with a previous client or match relevant work history to a new client's interests," says Jordan.

The Digital Rights Management database-the first database Jim Jordan Photography developed native to FileMaker Pro 7-is especially valuable for rapid access to image files for clients of the company's stock photo service.

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