The Merge

That sounds like something from Survivor, but this is about the Claris and FileMaker platforms merging into a single platform.

Back in September 2022, Claris launched Claris Studio as the third and newest product in the Claris portfolio. Claris also created a fork of the FileMaker platform to encapsulate features that were only meaningful when integrating with Claris Studio. Claris Pro and Go and Claris Server were born, siblings of now renamed existing products: Claris FileMaker Pro and Go and Claris FileMaker Server.

We then had two platforms: the Claris FileMaker Platform that we’ve always had and the Claris Platform with those forked components, Claris Connect and the new Claris Studio.

Infographic showing the different Claris Platform and FileMaker Platform products

Almost from the get-go we found ourselves having to explain what the difference between the two platforms were and whether this now meant that the FileMaker platform was going away, and if so: when?

The confusion and push-back was amplified by the fact that Claris Pro and Go and Claris Server had limitations that do not exist in the Claris FileMaker platform components (Claris FileMaker Pro and Go, Claris FileMaker Server). And no: the naming of those components didn’t help either.

Plus, you had to make a fundamental choice to use the Claris Platform since it involves converting your existing FileMaker files to a new file format with no ability to convert back. All of this made it hard to make the jump and, in the meantime, the lingering doubt about the future of the ‘old’ FileMaker platform remained.

User Confusion About the Future of FileMaker

A look at our blog posts shows some of that. Even in our blog post introducing the new platform we felt we had to stress that the FileMaker platform was not going away.

We also wrote about the special process to install Claris Server, which only exists for Linux. Authentication, which is possible only through Claris ID, was problematic for many and confusing when it came to WebDirect and Data API usage.

By March 2023, the confusion hadn’t let up and we wrote a summary Tale of Two Platforms to try and help create some clarity. And a few months later, based on interactions with some of our clients we felt we had to explicitly address the future of the FileMaker platform as we saw it.

Merging the Two Platforms

To end this confusion, on August 29, 2023, Claris announced it is now merging the two platforms into one, rolling back the fork of FileMaker Pro, Go and Server. We are very happy with this; it is absolutely the right move to make. It means that existing clients can explore the features in Claris Connect and Claris Studio more freely, without having to make hard decisions up-front. Users don’t need to be fearful of having no way to back out and reverse direction or be hindered by functional differences between the two.

Claris FileMaker Pro, Go, and Server are here to stay, and Claris Connect and Claris Studio can supplement what we are building today. Sometime in the future, I can definitely see ourselves building solutions that start in Claris Studio and possibly using nothing but Claris Studio. But I don’t have to make hard decisions about that now. The decision will now simply present itself as an obvious – and pain free – alternative when the time comes.

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