Does Claris ever listen developer feedback?

This topic was created by splitting the original thread. Does Claris ever listen developer feedback? And would it help if we got together and somehow presented them with the list of 4-5 OBVIOUS feature requests that shouldn't be too onerous to them. I'm thinking something like::

The title of this topic is verbatim an exclamation that many have heard or blurted themselves. Pick the emotional shade it was coloured with — exasperation, desperation, frustration, astonishment, irony, whiningly— and you can replay it in your head.

Is there a way to discuss this « constructively »? I believe we can.

I have copied below some answers that were offered in the original thread.

Additionally I suggest that we explore various angles related to that question:

  • In my experience, Claris _______. For instance, __________.
  • How does Claris get feedback from developers.
  • Does Claris have a preferred way to receive feedback?
  • If ______________ it would make me feel heard by Claris.
  • I find that when Claris does _________________________ I feel disengaged.
  • How do you foster a bidirectional communication in your relation with Claris?
  • Is your opinion about Claris receptivity to feedback based on your observation of other people’s comment or on first hand experience.
  • Can you share good examples of successful bidirectional communication with Claris that you wish would occur more?
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My very unofficial sense is that Claris chooses what they want to focus on, and then once they decide that, they work hard at listening in those areas.

As an example, last week I received a cold-call message on the old forum from someone who appears to be a Claris rep, who asked if I could spend a few minutes to offer some feedback on a couple of specific topics that, I gather, are of interest to Claris. Since I don't have any creds on that forum other than being a long-time contributor, I take that to mean that Claris does do outreach to listen to general FM devs, but that perhaps they are targeting feedback in areas that they have already decided are where they want to focus.


AFAIK, Claris does listen to customers - in a way a SW company does that. Does not mean that my wishes come true )-:
The 'ideas' - site is the place to start

The official portal for feature requests is at

In the past we’ve had assurances from Claris (née FileMaker Inc) that the ideas section included by @Malcolm above is looked at very frequently (we were told daily). The problem is that everyone has their own priorities, hence what may be important to one person is irrelevant to another.

If you do have an idea, please carry out careful searches in the ideas section to ensure that someone hasn’t already put forward the idea, as you can then vote for it. It is the ideas with the highest number of votes that are likely to be included in future versions. Putting forward a duplicate or similar variation of an idea dilutes the voting.

Our highest priority remains the missing OnRecordUnload or OnRecordExit script trigger to pair with OnRecordLoad to complement our move away from using cross table calculations, abandonment of the slow backward compatible legacy features and to implement clients’ business rules. We lose hundreds of development hours working around this missing script trigger. However, there is no sign of this being a major priority for the majority of developers, although I see this now has 300 votes - Claris Community (English) (I’ve just commented as this post seems to have gained most traction).


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I think they listen, but there are many channels to feed requests

  • ideas section in community
  • own needs @ Claris or @ Apple
  • feedback from testers
  • feedback from partners
  • feedback from sales
  • long term plans at Claris.

And the next release is coming soon and I think a few things in there should link to entries in the ideas section.

PS: And not to forget they may look on what plugin developers do.

If I remember well (think it was in a company communication), the vendor has a 'customer board', or kind of, for gathering feedback and inspiration. Has anyone heard of it lately?

That reminds me about something, but never heard about for a long time. I wonder if Claris has set this board or if it remains a project.

when I set up my macOS 12 beta for testing last week I was invited by Apple to install a feedback app on the system. I happily agreed and have since put findings about minor glitches in the beta into feedback items. A very simple idea but the data flow will have to be curated which I suppose is really time consuming on Apples side.

I know that XOJO also has a feedback app for developers to share findings with a) XOJO Inc. and b) the community - this in my opinion is an even better approach.

Replying to OP

The recent FileMaker Context Podcast by Jeremy Brown at Proof Geist with Andy LeCates as guest addresses many of the original questions. Does Claris Listen? He says they do. Do Claris read the "Ideas" forum: he says Rick Kalman reads every one.

Maybe worth a listen in the context of this thread? (pun intended)

The Context Podcast

Connecting with Claris, Ep 1: Andy LeCates | The Context Podcast

In this first episode of a small series title Connecting with Claris, we sit down with Andy Lecates to talk topics that come up in the community now and again (very frequently). We chat about the Claris Community in general, Claris Engage Beyond and...

WE can still ask do Claris react to what they read and hear? That you can decide for yourself.

But he sits on them, like he did say a long time ago he read tens of thousands user request (before the ideas section) and still sat on them.

Who cares if he reads them, he does nothing about them.

If so, we would at least had a feature for custom excel headers

To convey this opinion in a manner that is in accord with the.fmsoup values, member would have done better wording it as follow:

Indeed, he did say a long time ago he read tens of thousands user request (before the ideas section). I did not notice any outcome at that time. That's why being told that he reads all the ideas submitted doesn't make me feel better. It frustrates me.

I don't think his reading them can be construed as a positive omen. If I could have observed at least a few popular requests implemented, like a feature for custom Excel headers, I might feel more hopeful or optimistic.

Why it is better:

When expressing one's opinion, it is important to use the subjective form (Me, I, my) instead of disguising it into an absolute "fact" form (It is, this). Most of the time we do this unintentionally, to give weight to what we declare. However, it prevents us from taking a step back and examine the thoughts and the emotions that are interfering with a fruitful communication.

Using expressions like "It seems to me, the way I see such, I admit I can be seeing more than there is to it, I believe that" when bringing a matter about which you do not have certitude or primary source information is less offensive. After all, do we really know what he thinks, what she does, how they feel? Often time we impugn motivations on others without having substantial bases or arguments to support our opinions.

Above, the opinion "I don't think this can be construed as a positive omen" is expressing a doubt about what Kalman will do following to his reading.
It is more accurate than accusing him of sitting on it.
The argument, "If I could have observed..." support the opinion.

This is getting a little too personal and in many ways highlights how approachable Claris now are.

I can’t believe any such discussion would be had about the likes of Microsoft or Oracle. Equally, I cannot believe the personal feedback I have recently had from Microsoft within the IOS app for issues raised with Outlook. As a result we’ve received both the best and worst from them (the other is a long story).

We all work within limitations enforced upon us and Claris are no exception. None of us know what these limitations are, but overall things appear to be heading in a positive direction.

Let’s look forward and not backwards.

I may add that the suggestion for Data API Plugins was posted three years ago in the ideas section and made it into the product in v19.3. Made me happy!

Well, I really hope that this feature Data API Plugins, didn't need our input to be planned. It's an obvious one, as filemaker supports plug-in there shouldn't be any reason the sub-platform that is DATA API, shouldn't have plugin support. It's more like they're 3 years late, but that's ok.

If Christian was invited to code for 1 month in Claris HQ, we would get 50 low-hanging features that would change our lives. In the past, I could have bought the "Claris has to do much more validation testing" but that's false as demonstrated by their behavior-changing updates that broke a lot of code, without any notice.

Plus, there's zero chance to have a feature like custom excel export headers doing any harm to the platform unless FileMaker's code is just an unbelievable spaghetti mess (which by the way I think it is, due to the constant stream of unrelated unexpected bugs that we get, and the unbelievable slow pace of new features).

There's no way a listening customer company would leave 20+ years constantly asked feature such easy to implement completely unaddressed.


I've seen it often with cooperations:
thousands of feature requests in a database and each gets weighted on questions how many are affected, does it hurt a big client, does it increase revenue if implemented or other metrics.
And since developer resources are often tight, things get heavily prioritized.

Sadly that means that some things will never hit the top of the list.

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Rick is probably as frustrated as we are with the lack of significant progress. He (and a few other PMs) are fighting in FMPs corner, but the significant reduction in engineers working on FMP (many were reassigned to Connect and Next Gen vaporware), plus Apple’s insistence that Claris return the same profit year after year means progress is very slow.

Sometimes it appears like Claris’ VPs don’t appreciate what a great product they have on their hands with FileMaker - and just leave the good work to a handful of PMs and engineers.


I got that same cold call follow up. Fortunately, that call went to voice mail...

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Like something utterly basic in every other product like ... "Search your scripts"?

Or ... Debugger for CFs? etc.

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