My Thoughts on the Future of Claris

The Future of Claris

Claris recently made some really big announcements and I thought I’d share some specific thoughts on the future of Claris.

My journey with FileMaker started way back in 1991 so needless to say I’ve had the privilege to experience first-hand a LOT of news and innovations over the years. Truth be told, some of the announcements during that long journey would leave me wondering, “Hmm, is that all there is? What about XYZ feature and aren’t they forgetting about the XYZ situation?”  But this time things are different. There’s a buzz, there’s energy, there’s a promise for the future, and so far, I believe Claris is aiming in the right direction!

Here are my key takeaways from their announcement.

FileMaker to Claris: Product Name Change!

My staff here at Productive Computing along with many of my developer colleagues have wanted to know if there would ever be a “FileMaker 20”?  Well, now we know - the answer is Yes and No. The next version of FileMaker Pro will be named “Claris Pro.” FileMaker Server and FileMaker Go will now be Claris Server and Claris Go.

New to the lineup is Claris Studio which is a web-based offering that includes Claris Connect. Version numbers seem to be a thing of the past. Let me clarify that a bit. We’ll still have version numbers, but they won’t be part of the product name itself and it won’t be a regular part of the conversation when explaining things to customers.  We’ll simply say things like, “We’ll be using Claris Pro to create your system in conjunction with Claris Studio, Claris Go, and Claris Server.”

It will be nice not to have to worry so much about version numbers. moving away from the name “FileMaker” will also allow for a fresh perspective to all those new developers we’re hoping to see sign up to the platform which is now free.

Claris Platform - Claris Pro, Claris Go, Claris Server, Claris Studio

FileMaker (or Claris) will be FREE for Life!

Wait, what?? Free? It’s free for a single user, which enables the developer to incorporate all aspects of the platform without the worry about an expiring trial. Not only that, the free account extends to the ENTIRE platform so that you can really “create something awesome” and ensure that it works before committing to the deployment.

Once it’s time to go live with a customer and start adding additional users, you’ll need to sign up for a paid subscription, and pricing will be based on the number of users accessing the system. This is not unlike the standard model you see today with countless other online offerings and platforms. I’m particularly excited about this new model as this is something I have personally requested over and over again to anyone who would be willing to listen. This is going to be the single biggest boost to the long-term adoption of the Claris Platform and I couldn’t be more excited!

Putting Developers First

I’ve seen a shift in thinking over the last few years where Claris has a renewed sense of who their customers are and where they should be focusing their attention. Sure, technically speaking, the customers are the ones buying the licenses - I get that. But really, the customer or the focus should ideally be on the partner doing the consultation, architecting, development, deployment, implementation, migration, and training required for all those Claris solutions. I applaud this fundamental shift, and I believe we’re already seeing the fruits of this mind shift making huge results.

Investing in the Future / Staying Relevant

I wouldn’t be writing this article now if I wasn’t excited about the future product direction Claris appears to be heading in. I believe Claris is on the right track by investing in the platform in ways that keep it relevant in today’s growing competition of online platform offerings.

Here’s a list of the main things that have me really excited about the future:

  • “Cloud First” Yes! Just about everything today has a cloud component/requirement in its offering. Without this, you don’t even have a seat at the table - this is the bare minimum to be relevant today.
  • “Free for developers to get started” Yes! AWS did this too and blasted off at light speed as a result. This is how you grow your developer base which will ultimately grow the customer base and build new enthusiasm for a product that has a rich history but that has also reinvented itself.
Claris Pro, Freemium
  • “Invest in data storage that is expandable both in size and in scale” Yes! We need the data to be better distributed and more expandable than we have today. Using tried and true “WAN first” technologies as the foundation for future data storage and retrieval is necessary.
  • “Unify the licensing structure” Yes! Make it easy to onboard new users and provide a single license type that gets “the run of the house” for all Claris products on the platform.
Claris Platform One License
  • “Involve the Claris Partners” Yes! Put partners first by listening to their needs and taking advantage of their expertise - become a true partner not just in name, but in actions.
  • “Backed by Apple” Yes! Claris is an Apple company and as such should arrive with the same enthusiasm and emphasis on providing quality products backed by passionate inventors.
Claris, an Apple Company

This is just the beginning…

Here at PCI, we plan to have a lot of content coming out discussing the new offerings when they become available and helping to train customers and developers with exciting new capabilities and the future opportunities they will provide.

To stay informed on the Claris platform, please consider signing up for our Newsletter or reviewing the services we offer. We have been a Claris Partner for 24 years and can assist you with just about anything you can dream of.

Here's to the future of Claris!

Marc Larochelle
CEO, Productive Computing, Inc.

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