In today’s webinar, Claris focused on business leaders. Brad Freitag, Claris CEO, removed his Claris hat and played the role of just a CEO. Collectively, the Claris team focused on decision-makers, the Claris Community, and changes in the Claris platform.

Thinking like an executive

Brad Freitag talked about running a business in an agile framework, driven by priorities and a quarter-by-quarter horizon, motivated by the company’s vision and mission. He said an executive focuses on running a “coordinated company, not a clumsy company,” which requires clear communication and a focus on priorities.

A cohesive view of the business is critical for decision-makers and an ever-moving target. What you need one quarter may be different the next. Having technology that can pivot along with the business is a must-have. And having a team to help create and develop that product is a must-have, too.

Working with executives

Claris FileMaker Can Provide Dashboards for Executives

Often, as developers, we focus on what we are delivering or what we’re providing. However, effectively communicating with decision-makers is key to a healthy, long-term relationship with our clients. Brad Freitag focused on the importance of language that unites the development partner/team with executives. He highlighted the five points he learned from Dr. Jeff Sutherland:

  • Goal
  • Reasons
  • Measurements
  • Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Timeline

Freitag believes a commonly understood, working vocabulary is key, as is thinking like an executive, knowing that risk and managing risk are always top of mind to decision-makers. By focusing on the mindset of an executive, technology partners can offer a different perspective on building a successful business.

Modern FileMaker is the Claris platform

Gone are the days of a modern business tech stack made up of a single application. In our lives, we can think of all the apps we use personally (take a glance at your phone!). And at work, we’re juggling email, chat, and virtual meeting tech. But it doesn’t have to be juggling. 

Freitag reminds us that FileMaker has been vital in integration and that, more importantly, it continues to grow. Apps are not silos, and a thriving business continues its success with an integrated chain of software.

Changes to the platform

Claris is creating a distinction between the FileMaker platform to the Claris platform. The Claris platform includes Claris Studio, a cloud-native platform. They continue to broaden the feature set of their existing products and look for ways to integrate with other technologies.

 In an episode of The Context Podcast, we discuss the growing shift toward a more decoupled, lightweight approach to development. Ernest Koe and Todd Geist share how a new set of ideas, skills, and technologies directly inform how we build value with the tools we have, including FileMaker and the Claris Platform.

Keep in mind that FileMaker is consistently updated. In other words, Claris FileMaker and Claris Pro (the latter being part of the Claris Platform bundle) will live in parity for the foreseeable future. This FileMaker/Pro part of the platform continues to improve as the rest of the platform grows. Recently, we covered the changes in version 19.5 during an episode of The Context Podcast, and we expect 19.6 to bring a slew of new, exciting features.

Before today, access to Claris Studio was limited to Partners and members of the Problem Solvers Circle program. Starting today, Claris released licensing for the Claris platform for the general public.

The Claris Community

PauseOnError: The Claris FileMaker Community

Peter Nelson, VP of Engineering, spoke to the developer community, reiterating that our job as developers is different today than before. Customers expect products to be accessible and for the technology to grow along with the company. 

With the shift to the Claris platform and its growing suite of tools, developers now have more capabilities than before. Both Peter Nelson and Andrew LeCates, Director of Platform Evangelism, highlighted the importance of keeping up with modern security practices. As an Apple Company, Claris follows and audits against current best practices, including ISO certification and SOC audits.

Claris proudly shared that their delivery cadence has been every 4-6 weeks with Claris Studio. Robert Holsey, Product Manager, echoed the value of delivering quickly and listening to feedback. In other words, what the community shares with Claris matters.

Gianine Campbell, Community Relations, talked about the community as a critical part of the Claris ecosystem. She emphasized that the company continues to look for ways to increase engagement, provide valuable content to existing developers, and attract new developers. They are actively looking for ways to support the community at large (like AutoEnter Live and PauseOnError) and highlight the importance of community-building and community engagement.

Proof+Geist takeaways

What we know of the FileMaker platform is not lost or gone. FileMaker is part of the greater Claris Platform. It is actually the secret sauce. It makes Claris capable of hybrid business operating system strategies—which makes Claris challenging to replicate in value. It offers a suite of capabilities that remain incredibly relevant today. 

In the future, as Studio continues to gain features and capabilities, that gap will likely close. Today, FileMaker will continue to play an essential role for many businesses. But we are excited about the opportunities to do so much more.

Just like we suggest to customers that newer versions of FileMaker Pro bring better security, tools, and features, we feel that the Claris platform will do that at a larger scale.

Many of us in the FileMaker developer community have been playing the modern FileMaker game for a while. We saw more than 5 years ago that the game had fundamentally shifted to the cloud. We noticed that for FileMaker and the Claris platform to make this move, they would have to do several things:

  • Include cURL and JSON: We asked FileMaker to add these and provided working examples of JSON functions
  • Choose JSON over XML: We started using Node JS to create JSON APIs
    • Claris Added a RESTful JSON API
  • Embrace JavaScript:  Not just for Node-based APIs, but for web viewers. We worked with Claris to create the Javascript-based add-ons for FileMaker 19
  • Embrace the Software Development Life Cycle: We created Otto to help developers (including ourselves) create and manage a dev/prod environment
  • Shift the center of innovation from the File to the Server: We created Ottomatic, a world-class hosting platform with more locations than AWS. It’s modern, optimized, and constantly evolving

We are thrilled to hear Claris embrace the language of a “Modern FileMaker Revolution”.

An evolution would make FileMaker incrementally better. A revolution is a shift from an app development strategy to a platform strategy.