Archiving Specialists Solve Unique Workflow Challenges with FileMaker and Tandem Development

George Blood Audio

Founded as a live audio recording studio in 1982 George Blood Audio (GBA), also known as Safe Sound Archive, has grown to become a leading provider of audio and video archiving services. One of only a few similar companies in the world, GBA is an expert in transferring audio and video content to or from any format. Services consist of reformatting (recovering sound from failing or obsolete formats), restoring audio and video formats (enhancing the sound, including improving intelligibility, removing noise, etc.), and archiving old audio and video types in a secure, climate–controlled and fire–protected vault while transferring them to digital versions. Some long–term clients include The Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, The Museum of Jewish Heritage, the National Park Service, the Library of Con–gress, and the United States Marine Corps Band.


  • Leading provider of audio and video archiving services
  • Clients include the Boston Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, the Museum of Jewish Heritage, the National Park Service, and the Library of Congress


  • High Technology


  • Customized FileMaker solution to address very complex business problems such as digital reformatting, running multiple file conversions simultaneously and tracking enhancements for all audio files and new materials.


  • GBA can internally manage ongoing FileMaker projects and expand existing systems

Business Challenge

GBA staff member Preston Cabe, who handles internal IT and FileMaker programming among his duties, built a File–Maker–based project tracking solution over the past several years that managed much of the company's workflow. For a given audio project, the system tracked original audio sources received from clients, time and work performed by GBA staff, and project deliverables that are shipped back to clients. Following completion of the Professional Training Founda–tion Series III for FileMaker 8 at IT Solutions in 2007, Preston did a very impressive job building a customized FileMaker solution to address very complex business problems such as digital reformatting, running multiple file conversions simul–taneously and tracking enhancements for all audio files and new materials. But a few more modules were needed to complete a holistic end–to–end solution with all parts of the workflow represented. Facing an increasing number of time constraints and the limitations of working as a lone developer, GBA reached out to IT Solutions to assist with the identifi–cation of missing functionality, project planning, and co–development of the remaining features needed to complete the solution.

Successful Solution

George Blood Audio partnered with IT Solutions to achieve the desired outcomes through a Tandem Development en–gagement. This approach provides clients with a certified FileMaker developer who works on–site and side–by–side with internal resources to share ideas, develop collaboratively, and build the internal capacity for further future enhancements to custom FileMaker solutions.

After closely reviewing and discussing the overall functionality of the current system, IT Solutions consultants proposed five areas for either improvement or expansion. During the development phase, the recommended features were divided between GBA's internal resources and the certified IT Solutions FileMaker developer in order to complete the solution. During iteration review and planning meetings, all development was reviewed collaboratively, and all design decisions were made as a team. Additionally, IT Solutions managed the project using an Agile methodology and provided GBA with FM Agile, an Agile project management solution built in FileMaker. The project management coaching and FM Agile software will allow GBA to continue to internally manage ongoing FileMaker projects moving forward.

The following modules were implemented to complete the system:

  • Shipments: Enhancement of shipment line items for a more comprehensive tracking of shipment orders.
  • Project Deliverables: Consolidation of both projects and services into a single list of offerings for increased and more consistent tracking.
  • Invoices: Integration of an invoicing module allowing users to build an invoice directly within FileMaker by se–lecting from a current list of statements of work.
  • Security: Development of an account–based security module, using external authentication via open directory.
  • Reporting: Ability to generate more comprehensive data–driven reports in the areas of time, volume and quality assurance, in order to make more strategic business decisions.

Nearly every workflow in our company revolves around our home–grown FileMaker solution. As we've expanded our business, we've asked more of FileMaker as well. IT Solutions has helped us through many of the breakthroughs and speed bumps along the way. Personally, they've helped me grow from a curious geek into a competent developer.

— Preston Cabe, Systems Engineer, GBA

Customer Benefits

The advancement toward a more holistic end–to–end system has given George Blood Audio the opportunity to streamline its workflow into one comprehensive FileMaker solution. In addition, GBA has increased its internal capacity for File–Maker development and project management through the IT Solutions Tandem Development approach that offers side–by–side development and collaborative coaching. Now, GBA has the training and knowledge to continue to improve and enhance internal FileMaker solutions without an exclusive dependency on outside consultants.

For FileMaker:

Kevin Mallon
Public Relations Manager
FileMaker Inc.