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FileMaker CEO Brad Freitag

Photo by FileMaker


FileMaker Retakes the Claris Name after 21 Years

In 1998, Apple’s software subsidiary Claris—which developed and marketed products like MacWrite, MacPaint, ClarisWorks (which became AppleWorks), and Claris Emailer—divested itself of everything but its FileMaker database and changed its name to FileMaker Inc. New CEO Brad Freitag has announced a return to the Claris name, signaling his expanded vision for the company. The rebrand was inspired in part by FileMaker’s acquisition of enterprise platform company Stamplay, which will be rebranded as Claris Connect and will enable developers to create workflows and automations that link cloud services like Dropbox, Slack, and Salesforce. Now if only Apple would bring back Clarus too.

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Comments About FileMaker Retakes the Claris Name after 21 Years

Notable Replies

  1. ClarisDraw - good app.

  2. We lost a lot when Claris dropped AppleWorks instead of pushing the tools into the future

    Often wonder why Steve Jobs killed it OR didn’t bring that suite of applications into the main company. Probably a personal issue

    And Bento wasn’t very successful

  3. I’m not sure what the advantage of bringing back a brand that hasn’t been around for more than two decades.

  4. I used Filemaker back when an ordinary person could afford it. Loved it because it made my church work so much easier. Then they went big business and we of the poor clergy group couldn’t quite afford it - too many baskets of apples! lol. I now use Tap Forms 5 for most things but do miss the beauty of Filemaker. Wish them well - no, not really, after all the transferring I had to do to get years of pastoral records and membership materials out of the blasted thing ;-(

  5. jwking
    Jerry in FL

        August 7

    We lost a lot when Claris dropped AppleWorks instead of pushing the tools into the future

    Often wonder why Steve Jobs killed it OR didn’t bring that suite of applications into the main company. Probably a personal issue

    If I remember correctly, Claris was spun off shortly after Steve Jobs returned to Apple. At the time, Claris Works lagged very, very, very far behind MS Office, and Apple needed every penny it could muster to bring the Mac line up to speed, and also to convince companies to investminto developing software for Macs. They were loosing Mac developers at a terrifying rate and the chances that Windows would inflict a fatal blow was very real. Most probably, Steve had to invest every penny and all the human power he could into Mac OS and hardware development, and the resulting OS X and iMac line secured his place in history.

    But at that time there was no way Apple could compete with MS Office, Dynamics, etc. which had cornered about 90% of the business/personal productivity market on PCs and Macs. But MS refused to develop Acess for its Mac Office suite (and it still won’t). FileMaker worked and was selling just fine as a standalone, but copies of Apple or ClarisWorks were no longer moving. Steve didn’t have much of a choice on this one.

    And Bento wasn’t very successful

    To say the least. Personally, I’ve been using FileMaker since the mid 90s, when the Mac centric creative company I went to work for had switched to Word and Excel, which I was using at another job and at home. And like me, they couldn’t get used to Access so they stuck with FileMaker. At other jobs I suffered the tortures of the dammed with Access, FoxPro, Telemagic, and another one whose name I can’t remember. I love FileMaker, but I still miss the late lamented HyperCard.

  6. In 2003 I documented my frustrations with MS Access here:
    I still do some database work with my 40 year old DOS “app” Open Access (nothing to do with Microsoft). Its high-level programming language incorporating SQL relationships is very useful.
    The first thing I do when looking to upgrade a macOS version or migrate to a new Mac is to check that I can run Open Access in a window in DOSBOX for Mac.
    Despite becoming prohibitively expensive for non-business users Filemaker still lacks the fundamental database tools of Open Access (or they are very complicated to achieve - certainly not intuitive).

  7. Filemaker is extraordinary in the current offering, a development tool which people do make real money with. I used it often in the early days when all seemed possible and looking at it now, it’s quite remarkable how sophisticated it is.

    I took up with it again a few years back when I was looking to advise companies on digital publishing, I needed a tool I could develop comparative reports on options they faced, I was very impressed again with how much you could do, my tinker-with-this head was very tempted to jump back in full time.

    Amen, sister. The authoring system which should have been sustained.

  8. I go as far back as FileMaker II which was around 1989(?)

    Here’s hoping FileMa… er, Claris, don’t go down the Adobe path and have ‘subscription-only’ in the future ins5tead of single-user versions.

    It’s bad enough paying a yearly upgrade to get the latest version. Wait! That’s almost a…subscription!

  9. That’s not saying much; Bento actually sucked big time. I think Apple forced FileMaker to make a non-professional and economical database app but FileMaker didn’t want something that might impair sales of their cash cow FileMaker Pro. So they created Bento and made it as bad and useless as they could get away with so it would be cancelled for poor sales - and they succeeded!

  10. I miss the clean functionality of Claris CAD. It was a great tool to complete a 2D floor-plan in the field.

    Five years ago, I found my spare, sealed copy of Claris CAD buried in the back of the closet. Put it on E-bay with a starting bid of .99. Was shocked when it was bid up to $180. The winning bidder was a architecture firm in San Fransisco that valued its simple interface and tools for quick project workups. They were excited to get it and had kept the hardware to run it.

  11. I still have my Nashoba Systems hardcover manual. I spent years many years teaching and using FileMaker. I really wish I had a tool like this for the 2-3 times a year I could use it for some volunteer or community effort. I stopped buying at FileMaker v 11, just couldn’t justify the high cost for my intermittent use.

  12. Yes, same here Randy. Too occasional to keep upgrading. My last version is 13.

  13. I’m at v11 too. Eventually I’ll need to buy at least v16 to run on Catalina, but I can’t find any affordable licenses. There was one rather inexpensive single-user license for v16 on Amazon, but according to several reviews the seller is a scammer. I’m not paying $540 just to run a simple little old database. But I don’t want to have to virtualize either. Oh well.

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