Your essential guide to the Claris and FileMaker product families

30 May 2023

This article was updated in August 2023 following updates from Claris.

The Claris FileMaker family of products offer all the tools required to build the perfect software system for your business. But the FileMaker toolkit can be confusing. Here’s our guide to the different products and solutions, how they can be used and what their benefits are. 

The Claris FileMaker platform

The FileMaker platform is a fantastic set of tools we use to solve our clients’ problems. But it’s not always easy understanding what the different Claris FileMaker products and solutions do and why you’d use them. That’s why we’ve created an essential user guide, drawing on our expertise as Claris platinum partners and Claris certified developers.

Claris FileMaker Pro

You use Claris FileMaker Pro on your desktop or laptop (Windows or Mac) whenever you need to access and interact with your FileMaker system. Pro also runs on touchscreens, of the kind that can be installed in a warehouse or factory in a fixed location.

Claris FileMaker Go

FileMaker Go frees you to use FileMaker on mobile iOS devices. This is what you rely on if you have an application which is used remotely on an iPad or iPhone – for example walking around a site while conducting an inspection, carrying out a stock count in your warehouse, or doing quality inspections as your goods go out for delivery.  

Claris FileMaker WebDirect 

WebDirect is a tool for connecting to your FileMaker system online via a web browser rather than via Pro or Go. It uses a compatible web browser such as Chrome, Internet Explorer or Safari and offers only limited access, but it’s a handy way to give known external parties such as suppliers the ability to input or access information. However it’s not suitable for interacting with large audiences. 

Web portal development

Easy to use, custom web portals can be created for Claris FileMaker, allowing large numbers of users to enter data or submit requests via any web browser on desktop, laptop or mobile devices. At Decent Group we frequently create these kinds of bespoke web portals for our clients. 

API integrations 

A custom API integration connects a Claris FileMaker system with external software applications. This goes beyond simple apps such as Google calendar – for example, it can enable your system to share data with delivery services such as DHL and TNT or accounting systems such as Sage, Xero and NetSuite. This is just the start: API integrations are possible with a huge range of software products, both commonplace and niche. We often customise our clients’ systems to talk to a wide range of other software – it’s the key to a complete business system that spans your entire workflow. 

Claris FileMaker Server and Claris FileMaker Cloud

Claris FileMaker Server is the foundation that keeps everything else running. For any system larger than one used by a single user, files are stored on a server running the FileMaker Server software. Once it’s been set up appropriately – in the cloud, or in your own infrastructure – you can leave it alone. Find out more here about setting up your server reliably.

Claris Connect 

Claris Connect allows a Claris FileMaker system to connect with popular third-party apps to sync data or automate tasks. This is a limited version of what a custom API integration (above) can achieve.

Claris Studio 

Claris Studio is an easy way to create online web-based forms that solve simple requirements quickly – offering something a little more sophisticated than WebDirect’s capabilities. This is a limited version of what web portal development (above) can provide.

What about the Claris platform?  

Claris was planning a rebrand of FileMaker as the Claris platform but as of August 2023 this isn’t now going ahead. Instead the Claris team will be focusing their energies on improving and enhancing Claris FileMaker for the future.

The power of Claris FileMaker

The Claris FileMaker platform offer a range of important tools for developing business systems, but the true power of the platform is realised when these tools are used to build bespoke systems with custom integrations and portals. This is what we specialise in – using Claris FileMaker to create the perfect fit that your business needs.

Looking for more information on Claris FileMaker?

Find out more about this versitile platform and see how you can take advantage of its powerful features to transform your business.

See more

Subscribe and hear from us regularly

Gain access to insights about tech changes that could affect you, as well as updates on what we’re up to.

Subscribe now

Download our business system self-audit

Put together to help SMEs evaluate efficiency and identify the potential for software-driven improvements.


Make your FileMaker system do more

Find out more about extending your existing FileMaker system to supercharge your growth and drive efficiencies. 

See more
Decent Group watermark image Decent Group watermark image

Start a conversation

Fill in your details and give us an idea of what you’d like to talk to us about, and we will contact you shortly.

Up for telling us some more?

It’s only 3 extra things and the more details we have, the better!

Provide more details

Can we stay in touch?

Every few weeks we share our insights into changes in the tech landscape, issues facing small and medium-sized businesses and how to get the best out of digital technology, as well as insights and examples of solutions we’ve created for our clients.

Fill in your details above and click the button below to join our mailing list. We will never pass your information to any third party and you can unsubscribe at any time. View our full privacy policy here.