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.)


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.

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.


Ninox is “easy to use” database software that runs on Macs, mobile devices and web browsers (the “cloud”). Features include forms, reports, and “triggers”, “smart relations” between tables, a visual formula editor for calculations, charts, a calendar, permissions, “real-time sync” among devices, more than 15 field types (including choice fields and rich text), Bento and Contacts import, Excel export, and CSV import/export. (See Ninox manual for more details.)

Ninox 2.6.5 for OS X 10.10 and later is priced at $34.99  with optional cloud subscriptions starting at $9.99/month/user.

Ninox  2.6.5 for iPads running iOS 9 and later is $9.99 for the “Premium” version, plus subscription costs.

Ninox 2.6.5 for iPhones running iOS 9 and later is a free download with subscription prices as above.  It’s also available for Android.

Ninox Cloud is priced starting at $99.96/user/year.  A free 30-day trial is available.

Ninox Private Cloud starts at  $199.92/user/year for “a dedicated server or installed on your company’s network.”

Valentina Studio

Valentina is a cross-platform (Qt-based) database management system from Paradigma Software Inc. that can create, edit, query, import and administer Valentina DB, MySQL, Postgre and SQLite databases. Many tools are available in the free version including Schema Editor, Data Editor, Import/Export, SQL Editor and Builder, Server Administrator and Utilities, while the Pro version adds data transfer between databases, a report editor and query builder and other capabilities.

Valentina Studio 10.0.0 is available in a free download for macOS 10.12 and later, as well as Linux and Windows. The new version includes the following updates:

 • Synchronization of server bookmarks and SQL snippets via Cloud Storage (Dropbox, GoogleDrive). Prefs Panel lets you can specify the folder on an HDD where Valentina Studio will generate these two files.
• SQL Snippets now can be linked to specific database(s) you are working on. Select snippets using a contextual menu based on the database.

Valentina Studio Pro, with its extra features, is priced at $159.99 for a single platform or $319.99 for a Universal version that works on macOS, Linux or Windows (but just one at a time).

Valentina Server combines a server “based on ultra-fast, object-relational columnar technology”, a reports server that “turns data into highly formatted reports as rich media web pages, text, images, PDFs, and an SQLite database server “with full multi-access, industry-standard server features.” Valentina Server is a free download for non-profit and internal evaluation uses, while the commercial version starts at $1499.95.

Panorama X

Panorama X was a ground-up overhaul of the original Mac database software from ProVUE Development, debuting in 2017 after five years of development and testing.
  While Panorama X retains the blindingly fast, RAM-based architecture of the classic version and its rich feature set (including programmability), the rewrite brought an all-new, native Mac interface plus innovative, multi-level universal Undo, Unicode support, AES-256 encryption, distance calculations (using latitude/longitude or zip codes); OS X Notifications, JSON support, timers, background (and web page) downloads, automatic memory allocation, 64-bit code to handle very large databases, and many more improvements, including AppleScript support, charts, summary tables and crosstabs (with Summary Workshop and Crosstab Workshop “wizards”), multi-page and variable-height printing, and more. (See ProVUE’s comprehensive documentation for all the details.) The most recent version brought a few improvements, including a chart fix for macOS Mojave, but the software has been notably stable and reliable. A server version is in development.
  Panorama X 10.1.5, which runs on OS X 10.9 and up (including macOS 10.14 Mojave), uses a unique pricing model that ranges from $0 to $15/month per user, depending on usage, with free updates. Unlike Adobe’s subscription scheme, Panorama X continues to function even if you stop paying (and you can still access your data), nor are you charged if you’re not actively using the software. The system works by periodically phoning home to a ProVUE server with identification and usage data (see Panorama X FAQ).

Panorama X takes a new flexible approach to software subscriptions. Unlike a traditional subscription, you only pay for months when you actually use the software. If you don’t use it every month, you don’t pay every month. Unused credits don’t expire, so if you pre-pay for a year, and only use Panorama part time, those credits may actually last for two years or more.
… Panorama X needs to periodically contact the ProVUE server to monitor usage and maintain account security.
… Panorama will never hold your data hostage. If a payment is due, Panorama X will politely request that you make the payment. If you decline, it will keep asking periodically until the payment is made. You can continue working between requests. If you no longer wish to use Panorama X this will give you an opportunity to export your data without making any additional payment.

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.