FileMaker 19

Claris FileMaker Pro 19 was announced today, the latest step in Apple’s many transformations of database management software originally acquired many years ago from Nashoba Systems. Apple now licenses the software almost entirely on a subscription basis under a subsidiary it calls “Claris”, recycling a name from an earlier era with entirely different products.

FileMaker Pro 19 touts “AI via Apple’s Core ML” to “unlock the potential of data with image classification, sentiment analysis, object detection and more.” Also new is the integration of JavaScript with code libraries and web services “to directly embed maps, animated graphics, data visualization, and more.”

Apple/Claris also says that FileMaker Pro 19 subscriptions are allowed to “create apps directly in the cloud with zero configuration and deployment.” Web publishing lets FileMaker subscribers connect to a server or cloud database via a web browser but is limited to the number of users allowed in the subscription (see below).

Features retained from previous versions include a friendly user interface; support for SQL data sources, JSON and cURL; an iOS client; and server options, but Apple has removed the ability to create standalone (“runtime”) databases. FileMaker documentation and release notes offer additional information.

FileMaker 19 is priced starting at $1,140/year for a 5-user cloud subscription that’s limited to hosting 3 “apps” with a limit of 2 GB of “outbound data transfer of FileMaker Data API/OData per user/per month”, and “medium compute” performance. System requirements specify macOS 10.14 or 10.15, Windows 8.1 or later, iOS 13.2 or later.  A 45-day trial is available in return for information about your company.

FileMaker Server “on premise” (non-cloud) versions are priced starting at $900/year with a limit of 5 users and 2 GB outbound data transfer per user per month. A FileMaker Server 19 “developer preview” supports CentOS 7.7, along with macOS and Windows.

Claris Connect, for workflow automation and third-party service integration, is priced starting at $99/user/month with a limit of 15 “active flows” and “10,000 API requests” per month.

A FileMaker Pro “individual” (non-cloud) license option has been marginalized but remains available at $540. (An upgrade from FileMaker Pro Advanced 16 or later is $197.)

Standard Notes

Standard Notes is cross-platform software from (Mo Bitar, Theodore Chu et al) for keeping notes that are stored securely in the “cloud” and synchronized across systems using end-to-end encryption for a secure, private alternative to things like Evernote, Apple Notes, etc. Basic capabilities include plain text notes with local storage and backup, encryption, automatic sync (with a free account) across computers with unlimited device support and web access.

An “Extended” subscription supports encrypted file attachments, rich text editing (with HTML, Markdown, and LaTeX), “infinite undo” and version history, 2FA (two-factor authentication), cloud backups, and user interface themes. (See help pages for more details.)

Standard Notes 3.3.5 is open-source software (based on Electron) for OS X 10.10 and later, iOS 9 and later (Standard Notes 3.0.21), Linux, Windows, Android and as a Web app. Standard Notes Extended service is priced at $9.99/mo, $49.99/yr., or $149 for a 5-year plan.


Cryptomator is cross-platform software from Skymatic UG for encrypting files stored on cloud services. You create an encrypted vault on the cloud drive, with a password, then drag and drop files into a virtual USB drive locally, while Cryptomator encrypts and decrypts files going to and from the cloud vault, unlike Dropbox, iCloud and most other services.

Most cloud providers encrypt data only during transmission or they keep the keys for decryption for themselves. These keys can be stolen, copied, or misused. Thanks to Cryptomator, only you have the key to your data in your hand.

Cryptomator allows you to access your files from all your devices. It’s easy to use and integrates seamlessly between your data and the cloud.

(See Cryptomator docs and FAQ for additional details.)

Cryptomator 1.5.1 is open-source donationware for OS X 10.11 and later, Linux, or Windows. (Cryptomator support is also built into David Kocher’s MountainDuck and Cyberduck apps.)

Cryptomator 1.5.0 is priced at $4.99 for iOS 10 and later.


Airtable is a user-friendly, cloud-based database management system. Features include easy setup, a large variety of useful and helpful field types (which can be changed on the fly) plus programmable “formula” fields, easily created relations between tables, Undo, easy import and export of CSV/spreadsheet data, the ability to create multiple “views” of data (with features such as grouping, sorting and filtering, plus calendar, Kanban, gallery and form views), various templates and “blocks” (such as scripting, charts, pivot tables, and search), plus easy database sharing on the Web, other collaboration capabilities, and a REST/JSON API for developers.

Airtable service is available at a free level with email signup and limits on database size and features, while a “Pro” version with a fuller feature set is priced at $24/month.

Airtable is native and fully functional in a web browser, but client apps are available, too, for macOS 10.10 and up, iOS 11 and up, Android, and Windows.

Mountain Duck

Mountain Duck is a cross-platform utility from David Kocher (Iterate GmbH) that “lets you mount any remote FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, S3 and OpenStack Swift server storage as a local disk in the Finder. Open remote files with any application and work like on a local volume. Transfer files using Finder to remote servers, fast.” Among many MountainDuck features is support for Cryptomator interoperable secure vaults (like cross-platform, cloud-friendly versions of Apple’s FileVault-encrypted Mac disk images).

Mountain Duck 3.3.6 is priced at $39 for OS X 10.11 and later with a trial version available for downloading (and also is available for Windows). The latest release has some bug fixes, after the previous release added support for TLS 1.3 networking and for Cryptomator Version 7 vaults. While Version 4.0.0 is in beta testing with some new features, Version 3 already added a smart synchronization feature for offline support:

Like Dropbox for any cloud storage with smart synchronization. Files are synchronized to your local disk when opened to allow offline usage and changes are uploaded in the background as soon as a connection is available. You can also explicitly select files and folders available for offline use.


Cyberduck is a cross-platform file transfer program from David Kocher with support for FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, Amazon S3, Rackspace and Google clouds, OpenStack Swift, and more. Features include resumable uploads and downloads, file deletion and renaming, permission setting, Cryptomator vault support, Quick Look previews, external editor support, file synchronization, bookmarking, international language support, SSH features, OS X Keychain support, Gzip compression and more. A Transcript window lets you select a previous operation and easily repeat it (e.g. synchronizing local and remote folders), which can save time and trouble.

CyberDuck 7.3.0 is freely downloadable, open-source donationware for OS X 10.8 and up, as well as Windows, supported by donations and a $23.99 Mac App Store version. (See also: Mountain Duck, a product for mounting server and cloud storage as a virtual disk in the Finder.)

The latest version of Cyberduck brings support for Cryptomator Vault 7 format and for TLS 1.3, bookmark labels and other improvements.

Claris Connect

Claris Connect, a “workflow automation platform” from Apple’s subsidiary with the old recycled name and FileMaker in its portfolio, officially launched today with a very puffy press release, more than half a year after its original announcement last summer.

What makes Claris Connect unique:

  • Integrate and automate all critical applications whether in the cloud, on-prem, and even on-device.
  • Claris’ global developer community, serving more than 1 million active users, now have the power of cross-application integrate and automation using a platform they already know.

Additional services include:

  • Automate Almost Automatically – Apps can be selected and connected easily to get advanced automation up and running in minutes. Stringing together apps with triggers and actions, means developers no longer have to choose between power and simplicity.
  • Leverage Templates – built-in templates let users instantly manage marketing leads, route prospects to sales, track IT ticket escalations, facilitate order processing, and much more.
  • Feel Free to Go Pro – Access powerful tools like data transformation, approvals, and webhooks for custom API integration. Use JavaScript to add custom server-side code and leverage built-in logging, flow control with conditional logic, loops, error handling, and versioning.

Claris Connect is priced starting at $1,188/year for an “Essentials” version limited to 3 “active flows” and 10,000 “API requests” per month. A “Standard” version is priced at $2,988/year with 6 “active flows” and 50,000 “API requests” per month. “Expansion packs” provide more API requests and active flows at additional costs. A 15-day trial is available for customers with FIleMaker IDs.

FileMaker to Claris, cloud, AI, etc.

Apple today took the strange step of bringing back a subsidiary it previously abandoned, as it now abandons its replacement in a return again to the original name for its latest spin towards an A.I. bot-driven future….

FileMaker reborn as Claris
FileMaker, Inc. … unveiled the start of a new chapter in the company’s history as Claris International Inc. … In 1986, Claris began as an Apple subsidiary. In 1998, the company was renamed as FileMaker, Inc.

The future of the Claris Platform: from FileMaker, to Claris Connect and beyond
Claris Next Gen will be built to leverage the full power of modern workflow apps with built-in orchestration and automation, machine learning, and advanced user experiences powered by AI Bots and AR/VR. Just as our Connect product will significantly lower the barrier to sophisticated app development through 3rd party cloud services, our Next Gen platform will provide modern, AI-driven apps delivered as a service.

An Apple subsidiary once led by legendary Silicon Valley ‘coach’ Bill Campbell is getting a complete rebrand
A little-known subsidiary of Apple is getting a fresh coat of paint: FileMaker is no more, CEO Brad Freitag said in an interview. … Freitag is relatively new in the top role, taking over the CEO position earlier this year from Dominique Goupil, who had led FileMaker for more than 20 years. … Claris is transitioning away from a business model where it runs on servers owned and operated by companies that purchase the software outright to a monthly subscription model of about $50 $15 per person per month, Freitag said.