Database management system

FileMaker is a cross-platform relational database application from Claris International, a subsidiary of Apple Inc. It integrates a database engine with a graphical user interface (GUI) and security features, allowing users to modify the database by dragging new elements into layouts, screens, or forms. It is available in desktop, server, iOS and web-delivery configurations.

FileMaker Pro, the desktop app, evolved from a DOS application, originally called simply FileMaker, but was then developed primarily for the Apple Macintosh and released in April 1985. It was rebranded as FileMaker Pro in 1990. Since 1992 it has been available for Microsoft Windows and for the classic Mac OS and macOS, and can be used in a cross-platform environment.

FileMaker Go, the mobile app, was released for iOS devices in July 2010.

FileMaker Server allows centralized hosting of apps which can be used by clients running the desktop or mobile apps. It is also available hosted by Claris, called FileMaker Cloud.


FileMaker began as an MS-DOS-based computer program named Nutshell – developed by Nashoba Systems of Concord, Massachusetts, in the early 1980s. Nutshell was distributed by Leading Edge, an electronics marketer that had recently started selling IBM PC-compatible computers.[1][2]

With the introduction of the Macintosh, Nashoba combined the basic data engine with a new forms-based graphical user interface (GUI). Leading Edge was not interested in newer versions, preferring to remain a DOS-only vendor, and kept the Nutshell name. Nashoba found another distributor, Forethought Inc., and introduced the program on the Macintosh platform as FileMaker in April 1985. When Apple introduced the Macintosh Plus in 1986 the next version of FileMaker was named FileMaker Plus to reflect the new model's name.

Forethought was purchased by Microsoft, which was then introducing their PowerPoint product that became part of Microsoft Office. Microsoft had introduced its own database application, Microsoft File, shortly before FileMaker, but was outsold by FileMaker and therefore Microsoft File was discontinued. Microsoft negotiated with Nashoba for the right to publish FileMaker, but Nashoba decided to self-publish the next version, FileMaker 4.[1]

Purchase by Claris[edit]

Shortly thereafter, Apple Computer formed Claris, a wholly owned subsidiary, to market software. Claris purchased Nashoba to round out its software suite. By then, Leading Edge and Nutshell had faded from the marketplace because of competition from other DOS- and later Windows-platform database products. FileMaker, however, continued to succeed on the Macintosh platform.

Claris changed the product's name to FileMaker II to conform to its naming scheme for other products, such as MacWrite II, but the product changed little from the last Nashoba version. Several minor versions followed.

In 1990 it was released as FileMaker Pro 1.0. And in September 1992, Claris released a cross-platform version for both the Mac and Windows; except for a few platform-specific functions, the program's features and user interface were the same. Up to this point FileMaker had no real relational capabilities; it was limited to automatically looking up and importing values from other files. It only had the ability to save a state—a filter and a sort, and a layout for the data. Version 3.0, released around 1995, introduced new relational and scripting features.

By 1995, FileMaker Pro was the only strong-selling product in Claris's lineup. In 1998, Apple moved development of some of the other Claris products in-house, dropped most of the rest, and changed Claris's name to FileMaker, Inc., to concentrate on that product.

In 2020 FileMaker International Inc. changed its name (back) to Claris International Inc. and announced Claris Connect workflow software.

Later updates[edit]

Version 4.0, introduced in 1997, added a plug-in architecture much like that of Adobe Photoshop, which enabled third-party developers to add features to FileMaker. A bundled plug-in, the Web Companion, allowed the database to act as a web server. Other plug-ins added features to the interface and enabled FileMaker to serve as an FTP client, perform external file operations, and send messages to remote FileMaker files over the Internet or an intranet.

Version 7, released in 2004, introduced a new file format (file extension .fp7) supporting file sizes up to 8 terabytes (an increase from the 2 gigabytes allowed in previous versions). Individual fields could hold up to 4 gigabytes of binary data (container fields) or 2 gigabytes of 2-byte Unicode text per record (up from 64 kilobytes in previous versions). FileMaker's relational model was enriched, offering multiple tables per file and a graphical relationship editor that displayed and allowed manipulation of related tables in a manner that resembled the entity-relationship diagram format. Accompanying these foundational changes, FileMaker Inc. also introduced a developer certification program.

In 2005 FileMaker Inc. announced the FileMaker 8 product family, which offered the developer an expanded feature set. These included a tabbed interface, script variables, tooltips, enhanced debugging, custom menus, and the ability to copy and paste entire tables and field definitions, scripts, and script steps within and between files. Version 8.5, released in 2006, added an integrated web viewer (with the ability to view such things as shipment tracking information from FedEx and Wikipedia entries) and named layout objects.

FileMaker 9, released on July 10, 2007, introduced a quick-start screen, conditional formatting, fluid layout auto-resizing, hyperlinked pointers into databases, and external SQL links. FileMaker 10 was released on January 5, 2009, before that year's Macworld Conference & Expo, and offered scripts that can be triggered by user actions and a redesigned user interface similar to that of Mac OS X Leopard (10.5) applications.

FileMaker 11, released on March 9, 2010, introduced charting, which was further streamlined in FileMaker 12, released April 4, 2012. That version also added themes, more database templates (so-called starter solutions) and simplified creation of iOS databases. FileMaker Go 11 (July 20, 2010) and FileMaker Go 12 for iPhone and iPad (April 4, 2012) allow only the creation, modification, and deletion of records on these handheld devices. Design and schema changes must be made within the full FileMaker Pro application. FileMaker Go 12 offers multitasking, improved media integration, export of data to multiple formats and enhanced container fields.

FileMaker 13, released after the launches of iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks (10.9), first shipped in December 2013. The client and server products were enhanced to support many mobile and web methods of data access. FileMaker Go 13, the parallel iPad–iPhone product, has now become a single client for both devices, and the Server Admin tool now runs in HTML5, no longer requiring a Java app.

FileMaker 14 platform released on May 15, 2015.[3] This included FileMaker Pro 14, FileMaker Pro 14 Advanced, FileMaker Server 14 and FileMaker Go 14. This was followed by version 15 in May 2016 and version 16 in May 2017; both including equivalent Pro, Pro Advanced, Server and Go versions.

In late 2016, FileMaker began annually publicizing a software roadmap of future features they are working on as well as identifying features they are moving away from or may deprecate in the near future.[citation needed]

FileMaker Inc. had always had a hard time describing what FileMaker software is because it is more than just a database; it includes the user interface, security, rapid application development tools, etc. FileMaker Inc. initiated a new marketing program at their annual developers conference in August 2018 to address its poor description categories: "Workplace Innovation Platform".[citation needed]

FileMaker Cloud[edit]

In 2016, FileMaker Cloud was introduced, including a Linux server (CentOS), which was offered exclusively through the Amazon Marketplace. In November 2019, FileMaker Cloud was reintroduced as a software as a service product offered directly from Claris for FileMaker Pro 18.0.3 using FileMaker Server Cloud 2.18 service on Amazon Servers, but managed by Claris instead of through the Amazon Marketplace, and making use of the new FileMaker ID authentication.

Version history[edit]

Date Version Comment[4]
Apr 1985FileMaker v1.0Published by Forethought Inc.
Aug 1986FileMaker PlusPublished by Forethought Inc.
Jun 1988FileMaker 4Published by Nashoba Systems
Aug 1988FileMaker IIFirst version to be published by Claris Corporation
Oct 1990FileMaker Pro
Oct 1992FileMaker Pro 2Windows version added
Aug 1993FileMaker Pro 2.1
Jul 1994FileMaker Pro Server 2
Dec 1995FileMaker Pro 3Relational architecture, TCP/IP networking introduced
Jan 1996FileMaker Pro Server 3
Sep 1997FileMaker Pro 4Plug-in architecture introduced
May 1998FileMaker Pro 4 Developer EditionLast version to be published by Claris. Aimed at expert/professional FileMaker users.
Jun 1999FileMaker Pro 4.1v2First version to be published by FileMaker, Inc.[5]
Sep 1999FileMaker Pro 5
Nov 1999FileMaker Server 5
Apr 2001FileMaker Pro 5.5Native support for Mac OS X, Windows 2000, Windows 95/98 and ME.
Jul 2001FileMaker Server 5.5Windows 2000, Windows NT, Mac OS X, Mac OS 8.6, and Red Hat Linux. LDAP Support. Red Hat was short lived and dropped support in next version.
Sep 2002FileMaker Pro 6*Last version to support Mac OS 8 and 9
Mar 2004FileMaker Pro 7Multiple tables/file architecture introduced;
multiple windows; relationships graph; calc variables;
Improved security with individual accounts and passwords
introduced new file format .fp7; Mac version requires Mac OS X.
Aug 2005FileMaker Pro 8*Scriptable creation of PDF reports;[6] script variables; tabs on layouts
Jan 2006FileMaker Mobile 8FileMaker Mobile line discontinued
Jul 2006FileMaker Pro 8.5*Mac OS X Universal Binary support, embedded browser (Web Viewer), object names
Jul 2007FileMaker Pro/Server 9*Native support for the SQL databases MS SQL Server, MySQL and Oracle. Conditional formatting
Jan 2009FileMaker Pro/Server 10*Status area now horizontal; script triggering
Mar 2010FileMaker Pro/Server 11*Charts, snapshot link, filtered portals, and recurring imports
Jul 2010FileMaker Go 1.0FileMaker for iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch)
Sep 2010FileMaker Go 1.1PDF creation, photo support, import from FileMaker Pro
Apr 2011FileMaker Go 1.2Printing, signature capture, charts, enhanced PDF creation
Sep 2011FileMaker Pro/Advanced 11.0v4*Lion compatibility, fully implemented by October 2011
Apr 2012FileMaker Pro/Advanced 12Integrated themes (Pro/iOS); floating and modal windows;
execute SQL; enhanced container field; improved charting
FileMaker Server 1264-bit, faster WAN, progressive backups, rewritten web publishing engine, support for external container storage in files outside of the database
FileMaker Go 12iOS client is now free. Supports the .fmp12 file format.
Dec 2013FileMaker Pro/Advanced 13WebDirect and HTML5 features; better mobile app development;
enhanced GUI design tools, themes and behaviors; more dynamic data refreshing, "Hide object when..." layout object option based on calculation, encryption at rest (EAR 256bit AES) data protection, new summary list feature, enhanced ExecuteSQL expressions, perform script on server script step, 256bit SSL client server connection
FileMaker Go 13Free universal client for iPhones and iPads supports iOS 6 and iOS 7. Supports barcode scanning from camera.
FileMaker Server 13FileMaker WebDirect, Perform Script on Server, Platform Security; new HTML5 Admin Console replaced need for Java
May 2015FileMaker Pro/Advanced 14Script workspace, Button bar, Tooltips in layout mode, Launch Center
FileMaker Server 14Standby server, FileMaker Pro auto-reconnect, WebDirect support for Android
FileMaker Go 14Improved signature capture, iOS 8-style interface, Video/audio controls, Keyboard control, Rich editing
May 2016FileMaker Pro/Advanced 15In-Product Updates, Portal In-line Progress Bar, Concealed Edit Box, Script Workspace highlighting and unlimited undo
FileMaker Server 15External SQL Support extended to DB2 and PostgreSQL, SSL Certificate installation made easier, eliminated shared hosting, Licensing for Teams
FileMaker Go 15iOS SDK, Touch ID and 3D Touch, App Extensions and iBeacons
Sept 2016FileMaker Cloud 1.0FileMaker Server via Amazon Web Services (AWS) running on CentOS Linux
May 2017 FileMaker Pro/Advanced 16 Layout Objects window (control layers in layouts), Cards feature (better control of prompts), cURL support added for "Insert from URL" function (HTTP/S methods such as POST/GET), JSON text manipulation functions, data viewer auto calc
FileMaker Server 16 REST-based FileMaker Data API, WebDirect browser support scalability up to 500 concurrent users, PDF generation on server and WebDirect, OAuth 2.0 support (Amazon, Google, Microsoft) at the Security layer
FileMaker Go 16 Enhanced signature capture, geofence, plugin compatibility, animations and transitions
May 2018 FileMaker Pro Advanced 17 No more FileMaker Pro without Advanced tools, Pre-made add-on tables to templates, Layout modification tool improvements, sensor support (barometer, GPS etc), Self-Lookup table for Master-detail layouts, multiple email attachments, new data migration tool (separate application).
FileMaker Server 17 redesigned server admin console with dashboard, new Admin API, new Data API completely re-written from v16.
FileMaker Go 17 FileMaker Go push notifications, auto-complete, drag and drop, improved iOS app SDK
May 22, 2019 FileMaker Pro Advanced 18 New user interface for importing data, open specific app at launch, file-based script steps, script error logging, while calculation function, SetRecursion calculation function, new managed security access privilege, new manage security dialog box, plug-in security enhancements, default file access protection.
FileMaker Server 18 Startup Restoration automatically restores files after a crash, FileMaker Server Admin Console enhancements, server monitoring enhancements, FileMaker Data API enhancements, FileMaker Admin API is now standard, Spanish language support.
FileMaker Go 18 Open specific app at launch, append to existing PDF, enhanced barcode support.
May 20, 2020 FileMaker 19 (Pro, Server, Go) JavaScript WebViewer Integration, FileMaker Add-Ons (including JavaScript), supports Apple's Dark/Light modes, Configure Machine Learning Models using CoreML, NFC scanning support, Siri Shortcuts, Card Windows now supported in WebDirect, Claris Marketplace, Print Page Numbers, Solution Upgrade Tool, At Start Open File, Minimum version requirement on live hosted files, Claris ID can automatically be logged in each time, Convert to/from FileMaker Paths, On-premise Server on CentOS in addition to already supported Windows Server & macOS, and Dates support Common Era formatting. No longer supports Runtimes, 32 bit apps, or Windows 7. Startup Restoration remains a feature, but is disabled by default probably because of a lot of problems in version 18 with it.

* (*) indicates both FileMaker Pro / FileMaker Pro Advanced (Developer Edition in v4-6) or FileMaker Server / FileMaker Server Advanced

FileMaker files are compatible between Mac and Windows. File type extensions are:

  • .fm since FileMaker Pro 2.0
  • .fp3 since FileMaker Pro 3.0
  • .fp5 since FileMaker Pro 5.0 (including 5, 5.5, 6.0)
  • .fp7 since FileMaker Pro 7.0 (including 7, 8, 8.5, 9, 10, 11 and FileMaker Go 1.0)
  • .fmp12 since FileMaker Pro 12 (including 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19)

Self-running applications (runtime, kiosk mode) are platform-specific only.

Internationalization and localization[edit]

FileMaker is available in worldwide English, Simplified Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish.

There are also specific versions of FileMaker for users of Central European, Indian and Middle Eastern languages. These versions offer spellchecking, data entry, sorting and printing options for languages of the respective region. They also contain localized templates and localized instant web publishing.

The Central European version FileMaker includes English, Russian, Polish, Czech and Turkish interfaces. There are customized templates for Russian, Polish, Czech, Turkish. In addition Russian, Greek, Estonian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Serbian, Bulgarian and Hungarian are supported to varying degrees.

The version intended for Southeast Asian languages has only an English user interface, but supports Indic-language data entry, sorting and indexing in Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Panjabi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam.

Similarly, the Middle Eastern version has only English and French user interfaces, but with its option to change the text direction to right-to-left, it does support Arabic and Hebrew data entry.


A simple Filemaker script that flags duplicate entries in a list of names.

FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Pro Advanced include scripting capabilities and a variety of built-in functions for automation of common tasks and complex calculations. Numerous steps are available for navigation, conditional execution of script steps, editing records, and other utilities. FileMaker Pro Advanced provides a script debugger which allows the developer to set break points, monitor data values and step through script lines.

FileMaker 13 introduced a useful script that more deeply queries container field document metadata.

Dynamic Markup Language[edit]

The FileMaker Dynamic Markup Language or FDML was a markup language used in the earlier versions of FileMaker introduced in 1998. FDML is also often referred to as Claris Dynamic Markup Language or CDML, named after its former company Claris. FDML was an extension of HTML that used special tags, such as to display FileMaker data on Web pages. FileMaker officially dropped support for FDML in 2004.[citation needed]

SQL and ODBC support[edit]

FileMaker, since version 9, includes the ability to connect to a number of SQL databases without resorting to using SQL, including MySQL, SQL Server, and Oracle. This requires installation of the SQL database ODBC driver (in many cases a third-party license per client driver) to connect to a SQL database. Through Extended SQL Services (ESS), SQL databases can be used as data sources in FileMaker's relationship graph, thus allowing the developer to create new layouts based on the SQL database; create, edit, and delete SQL records via FileMaker layouts and functions; and reference SQL fields in FileMaker calculations and script steps. It is a cross-platform relational database application.

Versions from FileMaker Pro 5.5 onwards also have an ODBC interface.

FileMaker 12 introduced a new function, ExecuteSQL, which allows the user to perform an SQL query against the FileMaker database to retrieve data, but does not allow data modification or deletion, or schema changes.[7]

One major flaw with ODBC support is the lack of one-to-one field-type mapping from FileMaker to external industry-standard databases. Further issues are caused by the fact that FileMaker is not "strict" in its data types. A FileMaker field can be marked as "numeric" and will return this mapping to an ODBC driver; however, FileMaker allows non-numeric characters to be stored in this "numeric" field type unless the field is specifically marked as strictly "numeric".

Through a third party, Actual Technologies, FileMaker 15 and forward also support ODBC connectivity to IBM I 7.3 (AS/400), IBM Db2 11.1, and PostgreSQL 9.6.12. Using the Actual Adapter, these ODBC connections can also make ESS connections and be used as sources in the Relationship Graph.


FileMaker 16 provides integrations via cURL, JSON, REST-based FileMaker Data API support. Tableau Web Data Connector is offered to visualize FileMaker data. The REST-based API license is a free trial that expired September 27, 2018. FileMaker 17 offers a permanent REST-based Data API. Standard licensing include 2GB of outbound data per user per month. Container data does not count towards this limit, and inbound Data API data transfer is unlimited.

See also[edit]

  • Bento, a simplified personal database application from FileMaker Inc. (discontinued mid-2013)


  1. ^ abGlenn Koenig (August 7, 2015). "The Origin of FileMaker". Retrieved August 7, 2015.
  2. ^"Nashoba Systems and the Early Days of FileMaker Pro". Retrieved October 10, 2011.
  3. ^"FileMaker Release History".[dead link]
  4. ^Mike Weber (September 15, 2008). "FileMaker History". Low End Mac. Retrieved October 10, 2011.
  5. ^"". November 19, 2010. Archived from the original on June 30, 2012. Retrieved October 10, 2011.
  6. ^Cohen, Dennis R. (2006). FileMaker Pro 8.5 Bible. John Wiley & Sons. p. 354. ISBN .
  7. ^"ExecuteSQL". Retrieved December 13, 2013.

External links[edit]

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, FileMaker

Claris launches the last-ever annual FileMaker Pro release

FileMaker Pro 19 marks the final time that Claris's venerable database tool will see annual updates. AppleInsider examines the new version, as it moves to rolling releases.

Over the last several years, Claris has been repositioning its longstanding FileMaker Pro app. It's still the same software for making what people who've used it for decades refer to as database solutions. However, today that idea of bespoke tools that users can make and adapt is indistinguishable from what are now more commonly called apps.

So without actually changing how FileMaker Pro worked, or quite what it did, Claris has been increasingly erasing the word "database" and inserting the word "app" instead. It's far from unreasonable, as all of the power of the software remains, and the solutions that can be created in it can be apps in every sense of the word.

You've always been able to use FileMaker Pro to make a client management solution for your staff's desktop Macs and PCs. More recently, you've been able to make mobile apps for iPads, too, and all using the same software.

While FileMaker Pro 19 does add significant new features, the greater part of the release is about cementing this semantic break from the past — and to have the product make more sense to new users who are developing apps.

The most immediately obvious changes for old hands are apparent as soon as you download the app. Claris may have done away with the different regular and advanced editions of the app some versions ago, but it continued to call it FileMaker Pro Advanced. This is has now gone, though, and it's solely called FileMaker Pro.

Then rather than a folder that contains the software plus a collection of extensions, resources and PDFs, you now solely get the app as a single file. Perhaps fittingly, as the old folder has gone, so the app has dropped its extraordinarily familiar and longstanding icon of a folder.

FileMaker Pro 19's icon is now the same as that of all products from Claris, though in an Adobe-like way, each is assigned different colors. FileMaker Pro is blue, for instance, and Claris Connect is green. Speaking of Claris Connect, that new service for linking apps Zapier- or IFTTT-like, is more prominently integrated into FileMaker Pro. Where the previous version presented a Learn section, FileMaker Pro 19 takes that and inserts it into a new Resources section.

This is chiefly a way of embedding the Claris Connect service inside the app, but the company has also used it as a way to bring third-party options to users, too. Alongside the Learn section's familiar tutorials, and the new Connect link, this Resources section offer quick access to a marketplace of third-party apps and solutions.

This is how most users see FileMaker Pro - not as a tool they're developing in, but as a finished app. (Source: Claris)

Plus it now makes finding FileMaker Pro developers easier with its new Find a Partner feature. Since few people who aren't already developers will open this section, its usefulness may not be all that great.

But after decades of use, FileMaker Pro has grown such a community of developers that there will always be someone who knows what you need to know. And while this will hopefully help share employment around, the community is such that you're as likely to find experts offering helpful advice as they are to wave a rate card at you.

Claris is clearly keen to continue this as it singles out FileMaker Pro 19's ability to let users create what it calls shareable add-ons. These are specifically to sell in the Claris Marketplace and overall concept is that FileMaker Pro 19 and Claris Connect are to be a comprehensive ecosystem.

The aim is to grow that ecosystem as widely and as easily as possible. Claris has recently claimed that interest in FileMaker Pro has grown hugely as companies needed new apps and solutions because of working changes caused by the coronavirus.

In the short time we got to test out FileMaker Pro 19 we found no clear updates or alterations to the core features. Apart from small cosmetic changes, this version is going to be immediately familiar to existing users — and of course will run existing solutions or apps immediately.

Beyond the familiar, though, this edition does add more options to improve apps, or to just have a very good time exploring. Chief amongst these is the way that users can leverage Apple's Core ML machine learning models.

It has been possible to do at least some of that through Python scripting and third-party add-ons, but now Claris is emphasizing how native ML support means a user's apps can take advantage of image object detection. FileMaker Pro 19 even exposes ML tools for sentiment analysis - the ability to automatically detect whether a passage of text is positive or negative, for instance - to users.

Similarly, FileMaker Pro 19 offers greater Javascript support, with the intention that users will increasingly be able to develop or buy modules that drop into their app solutions. So much of this release is about connecting FileMaker Pro 19 to extra technologies, and particularly Apple ones such as Siri Shortcuts.

You've always been able to add scripts like this, but now you can drag and drop Javascript elements into your app solution

What we had a brief time to test was the Mac version of FileMaker Pro 19 and, as always, there is a Windows release that is identical. The versions appear identical, down to the pixel, and the aim has always been that users could move database solutions between the two.

That presumably cannot happen now if a user does exploit Apple-specific technology, but this is unlikely to be any kind of Mac bias on the part of Apple-owned Claris. Rather, it's more likely to be a nod to iOS and the fact that there's no clear equivalent within Windows tablets.

Claris is clearly right to focus on app development, and it seems right that iOS be a big part of that. It's also good, though, that the decades of database development behind it remain as part of the product as ever.

That rebranding as an app development tool has been taking place steadily over several years, and it's seemed that at the same time FileMaker Pro has been steadily heading toward a subscription model. You've long been able to buy site licences and ones that renew, but after last year's release simplified pricing, this year's continues the move away from annual purchases.

We're still going to get FileMaker Pro on the Mac, and the PC, and it is still going to be developed. What's perhaps also going to happen, though, is that the product will move away from the desktop. In version 19, Claris is already championing the ability to develop apps or databases entirely in the cloud, for instance.

Claris was famously called FileMaker, Inc, until its recent rebrand. The software's dropping of its Advanced name — even as it retained all the Advanced functionality — then the dropping of annual releases, it makes us wonder just how different the future of FileMaker is going to be.

For now, though, FileMaker Pro 19 is an exceptional tool for the company needing to make bespoke tools for its staff. If you're an existing version 18 user, there's no absolute requirement to upgrade, but the new integrations with Claris Connect, Core ML, and so on, do offer greater possibilities for developers.

That's certainly true but it's perhaps most appealing if you're already part of a large team and using the site licence version. If you're a one man or woman band who makes their living designing solutions for different clients, it's a bigger decision.

Up to now, you've had a capital outlay of a few hundred dollars every year — or, more likely, every two and three years as you skip some updates. Step onto the FileMaker Pro 19 subscription and its minimum of $19 per month means $228 every year. That is a licence for up to 10 users, but that's irrelevant if you're an individual developer.

Developers control every pixel of their app, from colors to how calculated variables are displayed

Whatever size developer you are, if you currently have, say, FileMaker Pro 18 or even 17, you aren't throwing that away. You could downgrade back to these older versions later. But you won't.

You won't because then you wouldn't be able to continue developing with the new tools. Claris can easily make the case that FileMaker Pro is a serious tool for serious companies, but if you develop with it, you also know that it is profoundly absorbing and even fun.

You will find reasons to use the new tools just because they are there and they're powerful. And this is how you get hooked.

Previously, there has been one other way that new users got brought in to the community and became addicts. It's also one way that presumably and actually rather sadly, is surely now over. In what was practically a tradition, Claris used to regularly offer a deal where when you buy FileMaker Pro for yourself, you get an entirely free copy for someone else.

FileMaker Pro 19 is now available direct from Claris and it costs from $19 per month for up to 10 users.

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FileMaker Database Hosting

The ITS FileMaker Database Hosting service provides a central resource for the campus to host databases with FileMaker Server 17 Hosting Databases on ITS Filemaker servers enables the campus community to access their own Filemaker database on a secure high performance server without spending thousands of dollars.

Using FileMaker Database Hosting

Filemaker Server 17 is compatible with FileMaker Pro 16 and 15, FileMaker Pro 17, 16 and 15 Advanced, FileMaker Go 17, 16 and 15, Apps created using iOS App SDK 17, 16 and 15, and FileMaker WebDirect. To request hosting a Filemaker database on central ITS servers, please go here: Request Filemaker Database Hosting Service

Request New Filemaker Database Hosting

Features and Functions

  • Production and Test Filemaker 15 server environment
  • Web Direct extends your database solution to the web
  • Custom Web Publishing with PHP enables PHP web applications to securely access Filemaker data
  • SSL secure access for all files published on the web
  • Encrypt all communications between FileMaker Pro clients and FileMaker Server using secure SSL encryption
  • Firewall protection
  • Scheduled automatic backups to protect against accidental data loss
  • Additional backups performed by a central storage system
  • Account Administration and Password recovery
  • Ample disk space for your database(s)


FileMaker Database Hosting costs $250 per database file per year.


Service hours for FileMaker Database Hosting are 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday.


Web Policies
Practices for Protecting Electronic P3-P4 Data
Acceptable Use Policy
UCSC Password Strength & Security Standards
UC Minimum Security Standard
Electronic Communications Policy (ECP)

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What’s New in the FileMaker?

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System Requirements for FileMaker

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