Claris and the FileMaker 19 Updaters from Hell

I'm catching a virtual machine of mine up to date on FileMaker 19. It had 19.1.2 on it and the prompt came up to update, so I clicked OK and authenticated... but it locked up. Reinstalled from the original .dmg file and that put 19.0.1 on the HD. Went to claris downloads and downloaded the 19.5.4 updater.

Uh, uh, I'm told; you don't have a valid copy of 19.4 anywhere to be found.

So I download the 19.4.1 updater and run it. Uhmm nope, can't find a valid copy of 19.3

Downlood the file only to be told that there's a problem, can't find a valid copy of RileMaker 19.2.x...

Annoyed, I call Claris tech support. "Y'all don't have a comprehensive updater?? WTF??"

"Well there's an easier way. Just go to your download pager and download the current installer".

Apparently I don't have a "download page" insofar as I bought FileMaker 19 from the Apple Store as an actual cardboard carton containing actual physical installation media.

"Well here's what you should do. Fill out all the nosy questions for doing a FileMaker trial, then they'll email you a link for a trial installer. Download that but use your activation code".


Back to downloading incremental installers.

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I'm surprised that you aren't provided with an account when you purchase the physical media. Do they think that you don't have the internet?

I'm guessing that Claris don't have access to Apple's invoicing system.

But really, it boils down to the assumptions made in the business rules: if an account record needs to contain certain details about a customer then the anonymous purchase of a license key from a third party supplier is not going to fit that process. You can get the customer to take explicit action to provide those details (as Claris Tech Support have suggested here) but otherwise you'd need to have an account record that violates the data integrity rules of the system, which is not appealing.

Those rules can be changed at any time, of course, but you have to modify the code that implements them at which point you need to consider the costs. Given that the vast majority of Claris' sales are now recurring subscriptions I think it's understandable that they're not expending the effort to accommodate customers whose purchasing patterns don't align with the company's preferences.