Solutions

FileMaker Pro Keeps the Jazz Cool for The Knitting Factor

The Knitting Factory

FileMaker Pro is showing up in the hippest places. When Czech Republic president Vaclav Havel and U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright wanted to hang out with rocker Lou Reed and performance artist Lori Anderson, they went to the Knitting Factory. The Knitting Factory is both a nightclub, presenting live jazz music seven nights a week, and a record label that releases compact discs by many of the artists who perform there. Naturally, when the Knitting Factory wanted to manage their web site, they turned to FileMaker Pro. FileMaker Pro is a relational database application designed to help manage and share information in the real world. It's a fast and easy software system for creating databases that are completely cross–platform on Macintosh, Windows 95, Windows NT, or Windows 3.1.

Overview

  • When The Knitting Factory — both a jazz nightclub and a record label — needed a system to manage their business and their Web site, they turned to FileMaker Pro. The Knitting Factory uses FileMaker Pro for everything from tracking employee timecards to publishing schedules of upcoming events on the Web.

Industry

  • Creative Services
  • Entertainment
  • Small Business

Essentially, before FileMaker Pro we had no ability to do any tracking without pulling out piles of paper. Now, rather than digging through a box of old paper, it's all just right there.

— Dave Brenner, Chief Technical Officer, The Knitting Factory

Business Challenge

In the old days, The Knitting Factory kept all its records on paper. The paper was kept in files, and the files were stacked away in boxes. Year after year, the piles of boxes got bigger and tracking down any information required time consuming detective work.

'It was a nightmare finding out details like what was the best night of the year financially, or how much such and such a band did the last time they were here,' said the Knitting Factory's Chief Technical Officer, Dave Brenner. Brenner began experimenting with an early version of FileMaker Pro, and became excited by the possibilities he saw. He sited FileMaker Pro's scripting power to automate repetitive tasks, as well as the ease of data entry for non-programmers.

Successful Solution

'It was simple to learn,' Brenner said. 'It only took a couple days to figure out the strengths of the program. Since then, it's become a natural extension of what we do. I really appreciate the ability to find and sort information in FileMaker. I also find the script building tools very powerful. Everything's listed for you, so you don't have to spend time memorizing or remembering protocols.

'Essentially, before FileMaker Pro we had no ability to do any tracking without pulling out piles of paper. Now, rather than digging through a box of old paper, it's all just right there.

'We keep finding new uses, too. We even use it for simple tasks like printing attendance sheets for people to fill out at the end of their shift. They were originally created in Quark, and had to be manually updated with dates and times. Now we have a template that actually allows us to enter last night's info. Then, when we print out a new blank sheet, it has today's dates and times as well as who's working. It's decreased the repetitiveness. '

Knitting On The Web
'Recently, we've begun using FileMaker to power our database of upcoming events,' Brenner said. 'It automatically updates the nightly and monthly online schedules for our upstairs and downstairs performance spaces. We also keep a tour database of our artists on the web, so that people can check in to see where in the world their favorite bands are.'

It only took a couple days to figure out the strengths of the program. Since then, it's become a natural extension of what we do. I really appreciate the ability to find and sort information in FileMaker.

— Dave Brenner, Chief Technical Officer, The Knitting Factory

Customer Benefits

Before going online, The Knitting Factory had a FileMaker database to help with show bookings. It kept track of bands, production schedules, and even technical information for the sound engineers.

Since all the scheduling information is already in the database, updating the web site is an easy and invisible process. The Knitting Factory uses ROFM, a FileMaker Pro CGI by Russell Owen to dynamically building web pages automatically.

For FileMaker:

Kevin Mallon
Public Relations Manager
FileMaker Inc.
408-987-7227
kevin_mallon@filemaker.com
http://www.filemaker.com