FileMaker DevCon 2019 Recap

The 24th annual FileMaker Developer Conference (DevCon) was held this month in Orlando, Florida and there were some big announcements at the conference. Most attendees picked up on the absence of any FileMaker branding around the conference which led to much discussion about what might be coming in the opening keynote.

In his first opening keynote new FileMaker CEO Brad Freitag shared the vision for the FileMaker ecosystem, reiterating previous statements about the Workplace Innovation Platform and the role of problem solvers within that. Back in March when Brad was announced as the new CEO of FileMaker he said:

Last year, we introduced the Workplace Innovation Platform category. We are accelerating our strategy and will continue to invest in our brand to drive this forward, including considering potential acquisitions

The mention of potential acquisitions caught my attention at the time and in his keynote Brad announced that FileMaker had completed its first acquisition: Stamplay, an Italian company based in Rome that created a sophisticated enterprise platform that provides connectors for 150 cloud services. Stamplay is being renamed as Claris Connect and will allow customers to easily build workflows that connect the cloud services that they use every day, including Dropbox, Slack, Salesforce and more.

Brad then discussed the FileMaker brand and the need to improve the brand, whilst keeping FileMaker as a product in the new multi product company. They had been working with a branding specialist to come up with a new name for the company and that process ultimately saw them turn to their previous company name: Claris. Claris International Inc is the new name for the company – the FileMaker name won’t be going away as that will still be the product name under the Claris umbrella alongside Claris Connect (and other possible additions to the product line in the future).

Many of you will remember Claris from the 1980s and 1990s when they were a multi product company before a restructure in 1998 by Apple saw the company renamed to FileMaker, Inc. as they focussed on the FileMaker product line. You can watch Brad’s Opening Keynote on YouTube and read his welcome message on the FileMaker blog where he discusses these changes in more detail and talks about the goals and visions, including growing the Claris community from 50,000 to 150,000 developers in the coming years.

The following day saw the Product Visionary Keynote where we saw demonstrations of future products by the FileMaker product management team – this is also available to watch on YouTube. I would highly recommend taking the time to watch these and digest the changes that are coming to the company and the product line over the next 12 months. As well as the usual preview of new features coming to the FileMaker Platform we now have a new product to be released in 2020 as well (Claris Connect). You can read more about the future of the Claris Platform in this blog article by Srini Gurrapu, VP, Products & Design at Claris and the rebranding of FileMaker to Claris in this article by Ann Monroe, Vice President of Worldwide Marketing and Customer Success at Claris.

I spent the rest of the conference at the Databuzz booth demonstrating our integration solutions to attendees – our DocuSign, Xero, and eCommerce solutions for WooCommerce and Shopify were particularly popular. We also launched a new version of our oldest product – fmSMS – at the conference which has been updated to run natively on the FileMaker Platform, and support the Data API for message replies and also the Twilio API for WhatsApp. You can get all the details about v4 of fmSMS here.

We were honoured to be finalists in the annual FileMaker Business Alliance Excellence awards in the Product Innovation category and would like to congratulate all the winners.

The final announcement of DevCon 2019 was that next year’s conference will be held in Nashville, Tennessee and will now be called Claris Engage.

I look forward to catching up again next year at Claris Engage from August 3-6, 2020 at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee. FileMaker Claris have posted a short DevCon 2019 Recap Video (see if you can spot me!) as well as their Introducing Claris video. Here’s some photos I took during the conference: