Claris Engage 2020 Recap

Claris Engage 2020 celebrates 25 years of excellence!

This year marked the 25th anniversary of the FileMaker developer conference, the annual event where users learn and connect. The Support Group has been around for every one of them. However, this particular event was different from the rest, not only because it was hosted virtually, but also because Claris has shifted its focus from technology tools to business solutions. Claris even changed the conference name from DevCon, as in Developer Conference, to Engage to adequately reflect their attention on problem-solving. To that end, this year’s conference was centered around how the different components of the Claris platform work together to provide people with solutions to their workflow challenges. These connections extend beyond the FileMaker platform, throughout the entire work universe, whether on planet Salesforce, nebula QuickBooks or galaxy MailChimp.

Highlight

During the FileMaker Developer Conference 2019, Claris announced a rebrand from FileMaker, Inc., and shortly after that, launched its new integration and workflow automation platform, Claris Connect. This year they elevated Claris Connect to new realms. There are many on-demand seminars that demonstrate how to set up and extend our Claris Connect experience. Claris also revised their pricing structure to make it more affordable, especially for existing FileMaker customers. The list of connectors and what each one can do expands with each passing month. They also spent time going over the fact that Claris Connect is not only about connecting apps and data but also automating processes and workflows.

Spotlight

This year, the spotlight was on Claris’s flagship product, FileMaker, with its newly added JavaScript capabilities. Another feature was FileMaker Server, which offers new deployment options. Both of these elements open FileMaker developers and users to a universe of opportunities. With the release of FileMaker 19, Claris gave us the ability to talk directly with the Web Viewer’s JavaScript and have it talk back. This allows us to do almost anything the web can do, right inside our FileMaker custom apps.

Nonetheless, if we want to harness all of this development power, we have to become acquainted with JavaScript, HTML and CSS. Learning new programming languages is not something many of us have the capacity or interest to do. Well, when Claris launches FileMaker 19.1, there will be nearly a dozen add-ons that include things like calendars, Kanbans, and even a barcode generator. Add-ons are a new feature in FileMaker that allow us to simply drag and drop a specific function, such as a calendar view, for instance, onto our layout. It automagically creates all the necessary components – tables, fields, scripts and layout objects – to use the preconfigured tools. So if you don’t know JavaScript, no problem! You can still leverage the full power of these web-based technologies without leaving the comfort of FileMaker.

Limelight

Speaking of the web, the operating system that runs the web, Linux will soon be supported by FileMaker Server. Why is this a big deal? Well, two words, the Cloud. Now you can have a FileMaker server that is hosted in the Cloud. This new Linux version has fully functional on-premise capabilities and it’s reliable and scalable, without the overhead and cost of a Windows license. It isn’t truly all new, because it was the behind-the-scenes engine for all the versions of FileMaker’s own Cloud since version 16. Now, this “new” Linux version might not seem all that revolutionary to some of you, but for those of us who’ve been around for a while, it’s quite a big deal. It gives FileMaker Server some real street credibility and opens up a world of hosting platforms and administration tools.

This is just a small piece of the new and exciting things that this year’s Engage conference had to offer. If you missed the live virtual event, you can experience it on demand. There’s so much to see and do on the Claris Engage website including on-demand tutorials and demonstrations, as well as keynotes and panel discussions that cover these inspiring topics in deep detail. So head over there and get engaged!

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