FileMaker replacement

I’d be somewhat concerned about the ‘cloud first’ thing if I wasn’t already happy with my old versions (2, 4, 6 and 12) for years to come. If the free version requires the user to put ones data in their cloud, it would be a non starter for me.

I’m also annoyed that there’s no text press release. I’ll close to never watch a 45 minute video (or listen to a podcast) when the same info in text would take about 5 minutes to read, and is searchable.

My guess that the free version will not be cloud. Claris would have to shell out big bucks for ever increasing cloud storage space.

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I understood the term, but I obviously misunderstood your reference. I thought you meant the FM program was a one-trick pony (as DiskWarrior was/maybe will be again for APFS and Apple silicon Macs), not the user.

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I should have made myself clearer. FileMaker is super versatile and very easy to use, so much so that even I can build relational databases and quickly and easily execute complex searches in them.

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“The Fall” quarter starts in September and includes what is typically one of their biggest selling seasons…back to school and pre holiday purchases. App Store sales are usually good at this time of year as well. This is why new Macs and other hardware and software are usually released in the fall. And this year, the markets are still very shakey overall; supply side issues haven’t improved. It’s still a very challenging year for Apple. This is what Apple didn’t say during the last quarter:

“Apple did not provide formal guidance for the quarter. Analysts expected the company to give fourth-quarter guidance of $1.31 in earnings per share and nearly $90 billion in sales.”

I am another individual who would welcome this. I’ve used Filemaker since 1986 (way before Apple bought it) and tried valiantly to keep up with it since then in terms of licensing. My last license was for FMPro 13, which does not run on my current hardware or MacOS.

My jaw dropped when I saw that an upgrade would essentially be a new license, and would cost as much as a new iPad.

The only other application I have that approaches Filemaker in programming complexity and maturity is Finale for music notation. When they publish a new version, the upgrade cost is reasonable and the upgrade path is from multiple earlier versions. Claris went along a different road for a long time.

Making the application freely available for individual users like me who aren’t otherwise likely to use it, but could contribute to name recognition and possibly expand the universe of FM-based products, would be a winner all around.


I have FMPro 16. I purchased the license back when I had to migrate my old FMPro 11 to 64 bit. By that time v16 was already well outdated so I was fortunate enough to find less expensive (and legit!) licenses on Amazon. About $150 at that time IIRC. Last I checked those were all gone.

$150 for several years is great. $500+ not so much considering the rather basic level of use I need and the fact that this is personal use. No company paying for any of it.

So these days if I had to upgrade I’d be in serious trouble.I’d very much like their “free” license for personal use as long as that allows for everything remaining local to a single Mac I own. If OTOH I have to go into the cloud or lose local control, that likely would turn me away. This is personal data that’s very dear to me. I always liked FM Pro so I’d want to stick with it, but I’m not going into the cloud with any of this data.

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I just watched the whole video. It sounds like FileMaker will continue as it exists (with regular updates/upgrades), but with a 10% license fee increase, effective September 24th when the new Claris Studio platform will be introduced. Claris Pro will be part of Claris Studio and can only be used with a license for Studio. The free version is limited to a single user, but gives access to the entire system to enable developers to build and test a complete proof-of-concept app or service for nothing. There will be no charges until you give access to others.

From what Peter Nelson, VP of Engineering (video says he’s at Apple, not Claris), said in the video, it seems that Claris Pro will have the same functionality as FMPro. It also appears that the single user will have to use their cloud, since Nelson said that the paid version of Studio will not support on-premises hosting in the near term.

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I downloaded the transcript of the Claris video and there will be four products, Claris Pro, Claris Go, Claris Server and Claris Studio with one license for all of them. (Filemaker Cloud is a Filemaker Server on Amazon’s web servers, and I guess it will be renamed Claris Cloud.) At minute 17:43 in the Claris YouTube presentation, Peter Nelson does a recap. You will be able to go to or the Mac App Store and download Claris Pro and use it indefinitely for free as a single user. You can also use Claris Studio for free. Claris Studio is web based and can be set up for anonymous surveys and will be able to communicate with FileMaker Pro. I do not have Claris Studio, but advanced Filemaker developers have been given access to pre-release versions of it as it evolves. For advanced Filemaker developers, there was a 2-day virtual event on July 19 and 20 called AutoEnter Live sponsored by Claris and a number of Filemaker-related companies. 40 videos have been posted on Youtube and one of them is from Robert Holsey, the Claris lead for Claris Studio. Claris Studio is still in development, but this presentation gives a glimpse into it as of July, 2022 – it is a new product that will work with Claris Pro if so desired:
Tech Talk - What’s next for the Claris platform | AutoEnter Live 2022 - YouTube


For those who want to jump straight there, here’s a link to that time index: Claris Updates Webinar - Apr 26, 2022 - YouTube

Perhaps you would find it easier using a Master-Detail portal/setup.

This is much like many apps, e.g. Mail, Notes etc. where you have a list on the left and the detail on the right. The difference with these, which were introduced in FM17, is that you are working with Found Sets. This greatly simplifies the relationship graph.

On top of this will be the massive change that appears to be on its way, as Apple seem to have decided to invest in FM/Claris. The deeper incorporation of javascript and json are both offering a major leap forward for UI and functionality. For example, layouts will be Responsive with no added effort, which puts an end to having to build them separately for computer/tablet/phone. Drag and drop elements thanks to javascript, are really cool too.


Oh wow, I wasn’t aware of this but it would be a major improvement. Manipulating multiple layouts and trying to make everything look consistent has been a significant problem in the past.

I must be one of the few who (begrudgingly) stumped up the upgrade costs every 12-15 months for each version.

Perhaps Claris finally saw they were losing existing/new users, so took this strategy.

I did it every 3 years, just to keep within the upgradeability window rather than having to purchase full retail (i.e. v13 to v16 to v19). Hopefully the new sales model will help out everyone needing relational database development capabilities.

I did regular upgrades through work until I retired last year. I made sure I upgraded just before I left. I think the entry point for Filemaker was too high for casual users. If you don’t get entry level users you don’t get higher level users or budding developers.

The new freemium model will expose Filemaker to many people who would never have seen (or considered) it otherwise.

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It’s not a price that supports casual / occasional / exploratory use. The new one changes all that. I’ve bought versions sporadically over the years as various projects demanded it (or seemed to). I can’t wait, it’ll foster new ideas and I think some interesting development will come from it.


2 posts were split to a new topic: Talking about time in technology anouncements

So they have until either December 20, 2022 (in the Northern Hemisphere) or June 20, 2023 (in the Southern Hemisphere).

Ditto. I abhor “cloud” applications and storage. Even worse is when they move to the “cloud” and also make you pay a subscription to access your data.

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One of my long standing criticisms of Filemaker, is the limited vision of its management. The app could be an amazing tool for so many things.

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