Claris Studio is a new product that was released to the general public September 8, 2022. It is a web application builder built on a proven cloud-based technology stack under the hood (MongoDB, Node.js, and React) that is designed to extend and expand the reach of the Claris FileMaker platform.
Sold as SaaS software under a Claris licensing subscription, using Claris Studio as an author works through authentication with a Claris ID and connects to share data with Claris Pro (similar to FileMaker Pro) using the same Claris IDs. This first iteration of Claris Studio lets the user set up forms, questionnaires, and surveys for “anonymous” users without the need to login or install any software.
Originally announced in April 2022, we have clarification now that FileMaker Pro will continue to be a companion product to Claris Pro. The main difference being deployment options, login requirements, and connection to Claris Studio.
Claris Studio is not meant to replace FileMaker, but as it gains capabilities over time, more and more solutions could theoretically be built using Claris Studio alone. In theory, it is scalable beyond the number of users FileMaker can support today.
Claris Studio supports common form data types of text, numbers, dates, multiple choice questions, phone numbers, email addresses, and more. The forms can be customized with a header, logo, or images. As responsive forms, they automatically adapt to different devices and screen sizes.
Claris Studio uses Views and Hubs to display data. Views allow you to customize the way you want to visualize and work with your data. Current options include: Forms, Spreadsheet, List, Kanban, and Dashboard views. Hubs are collections of views that you can share with selected team members. Team managers can see all the hubs in the organization and individual team members can only see those hubs that have been shared with them.
A Claris ID is now your authentication to allow access to Claris Studio, Claris Pro, Claris Connect, and Claris Go. Apps created with Claris Pro now use the filename extension .claris instead of .fmp12. FileMaker Pro files can be converted to the Claris Pro format, but once converted, they are not backwards compatible with FileMaker Pro.
The tool is rapidly changing with iterations of new functionality every few weeks. As of the writing of this article, the product has several limitations:
- Customizing the appearance of the form is limited.
- There are no conditional questions.
- You can not integrate the form into an existing website with a different (non Claris) URL or iFrame.
- Accepting payments or advanced form functionality does not exist at present.
- You can upload attachments up to 5 mb (preview for jpg, png, gif, and bmp formats).
- You can not add a hyperlink to the forms.
- Regional support for languages is not available yet.
- There is no option for high security forms (HIPAA, etc.)
- You must convert your FileMaker solution to Claris Pro format and utilize Claris IDs for login to enable data sharing
- At present, Claris Studio is only available from an AWS west coast (Washington) data center, which makes use globally an issue due to latency, but Claris does plan to roll it out globally over time.
- Some legacy products require an extended permissions workaround until full compatibility with Claris ID is released.
Fortunately, solutions for all these limitations already exist today. LuminFire’s integration product fmFlare that talks with WordPress Gravity forms overcomes all these limitations and provides great functionality.
Additionally. BrilliantPortal provides a foundation for connecting amazing web apps to FileMaker so you can push more functionality to the web.
Where does Claris Studio fit?
Claris Studio will become more valuable in the future. As an included tool in the Claris platform it will add value and expand what can be done with the Claris tool set. This should bring more users to the platform and grow the user base over time.
Claris Studio might be a good fit if you do not have a WordPress website available and you want to provide a quick survey or questionnaire that integrates with your Claris Pro application solution. This might include customer satisfaction surveys, employment questionnaires, registration forms, vacation requests, team building surveys, etc. It will also be a helpful solution for someone new to the Claris platform who does not have an existing FileMaker app or server in place.
Claris Studio is available today as part of the Claris bundle that includes Claris Pro, Claris Go, Claris Server, Claris WebDirect, Claris DataAPI, and Claris Connect. It costs 25% more than the license for FileMaker Pro. You can get access to Claris Studio with the Claris Platform Bundle for $18.75 per user/per month for 12 months.
Claris is also planning to soon release a freemium version of Claris Pro that will allow single users to utilize the tool at no cost until they wish to deploy to multiple users.
There may be practical reasons at this time for continuing to use the FileMaker platform instead of moving wholesale to Claris Pro/Studio/Connect. For example, you may require offline access without Claris ID authentication, ODBC/JDBC, Active Directory/Oauth, etc. In these cases, Claris Studio isn’t the right choice, but options from LuminFire’s suite of tools can help. Our solutions for form creation (GravityForms/fmFlare) and custom web portals (BrilliantPortal) make all the types of integration you need possible… and they’ll keep working when you move to a future iteration of the new Claris Pro/Studio platform.
If you are interested in looking more closely at the capabilities of Claris Studio, contact us for a conversation. We will get you the best pricing on the product and help guide you through all the available options.