There have been a lot of changes to the FileMaker platform over the last few years.
On the one hand, this is fantastic – it shows that, although the application has been around for nearly 40 years, they’re not standing still.
Claris announce a product strategy update.
With the introduction of REST API integration, Claris Connect and Claris Studio in the last few years, Claris are moving in step with the rapid pace of technological advancement. They are ensuring their customers have the best tools at their disposal to create bespoke software applications for their business in an evolving digital landscape.
However, a side effect of this dynamic approach to the Claris product roadmap, is that for customers who haven’t had time to keep up to speed on the many changes with the platform, things can get confusing. It had existing users scratching their heads and asking “Is FileMaker being discontinued”?
In 2023, Claris announced Claris Studio. As well as FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Server, FileMaker Go and Claris Connect, customers were now presented with the additional offerings of Claris Pro, Claris Go, Claris Server and Claris Studio. Although Claris Studio was a completely new concept – a way of being able to capture data, and present users with dashboards and reporting views via a browser (crucially, without requiring a FileMaker license) – it was only available if users signed up to the Claris Studio bundle. This included Claris Pro, Claris Go and Claris Server, which were similar, but not identical to the existing FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Go and FileMaker Server. As part of this new service, users would also receive Claris Connect.
Is FileMaker obsolete? No, because Claris listened.
If you’re confused, by all of that, you’re not the only ones. Many existing users were now asking “Is FileMaker obsolete?”, while many potential new users were reading about the new products and wondering “What is FileMaker?” and “What is Claris Pro?” and “What’s the difference between FileMaker and Claris Pro?”.
Although there were many reasons why Claris’ change of approach was valid, it has resulted in a lot of baffled end users – not to mention apprehensive developers in the FileMaker community who were unclear of what this would mean for their customers.
It was evident that the change of approach wasn’t as clear as Claris had hoped. But instead of just doubling down on the messaging and forging ahead with it anyway, Claris have done a remarkable thing. They have listened. They have taken on board the feedback from the development community and have gone back to the drawing board and redefined the product offering to allow users to take advantage of the new products, without having to get rid of their old, tried and trusted ones and – crucially – without having to migrate to the new Claris platform.
Here’s what that looks like:
- No more Claris Pro
- No more Claris Server
- Instead, FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Server will continue to be the primary tools for FileMaker Development
- Claris Studio will now work alongside FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Server – without the need to migrate anything
- Claris Connect will continue to work reliably with FileMaker, as it always has
- Claris Studio will be available to any users with an active annual license, but not currently to those on a perpetual license.
Claris Studio at no extra cost.
Essentially, instead of offering a completely new suite of products and asking existing users to make a leap of faith, they’re giving eligible users Claris Studio at no additional cost, outside of their current licensing plan.
This is a hugely exciting development for FileMaker users, who get to play with this fantastic new tool without a fear of having to ditch their existing setup, but also to the legions of FileMaker developers out there, who could see the benefits of Claris Studio, but were struggling to know how to pitch it to their customers, given the upheaval it would have entailed.
Thanks, Claris. I, for one, can’t wait to tell our clients about it!
Watch Claris’s Product Strategy Update for 2023
Hear from Claris themselves about their latest product roadmap update:
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