Updates about the FileMaker Developer Subscription

Claris announced they would review the FDS program: FileMaker Developer Subscription.

It seems it will now grant access to a full copy of the product(s). I am not aware if limitations will apply or not (ie: for testing purpose only, etc.)

The student / displaced worker trial page reads:

At Claris, we’re closely connected with our customers who for decades have defined their careers using our platform. Many have built their businesses relying on Claris FileMaker. Many have started their journey as higher-education students. And we recognize the specific impact the pandemic is having on small businesses and students entering the work force. We’d like to help.

That is why we are making our FileMaker Developer Subscription free for one year for students and recently displaced workers looking to acquire new skills during this unprecedented time.

This subscription gives you everything you need to learn Claris FileMaker: FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Server, FileMaker Go, FileMaker WebDirect, and the FileMaker Data API. Also included are the FileMaker iOS App SDK (software development kit), the FileMaker data migration tool, and the FileMaker app upgrade tool.

*Normally a $99 USD annual subscription, this extended trial offer is valid for eligible recipients through December 31, 2020. Options to continue with a paid subscription will be available on expiration. There is no obligation to subscribe.

Hopefully, they will iron out the problems about sending the actual licence by email. It's been very unreliable in my experience since they started handing them over email.

It has been stated that the regular testing subscription will be based on the cloud offering. No more local server for testing.

Can you share sources about this? I don't recall anything about that, but admit it sounds plausible (but would go against a subscription that gives you everything you need to learn Claris FileMaker).

I hope Claris Partners will be granted access to FMCloud in some form. Larger players may be able to do so and not mind the 5 seat minimum requirement. I guess we will see how this gets shaped.

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Issue with FMCloud is that each instance will generate costs to Claris. In typical SAAS solutions whole offering is based on one application that will be shared with everyone (there are exceptions of course). Single small scale test account does not generate practically extra costs for provider.

At the moment for small partner FMCloud without any developer/test access is problematic because it's quite difficult to offer a solution to clients without extensive knowledge of limitations in FMCloud. For example FMCloud server size is based on number of users but it's not always the number one factor when deciding which is suitable server for each case.

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Based on the cloud: :scream:. I don't take as great news. Since this is not the official Community, we are allowed to make speculations !

Claris states Cloud First. People were concerned. And Claris answered "don't fear, on premise will always be available". With FDS as it is now, we can test an on premise server and be ready to implement it at customer's place. Now if it's removed from FDS, we loose that possibility. Is this because Claris planned to remove at some point the on premise server ? My other me responds to myself "Claris would have ported the server to Linux". Maybe, but the Cloud runs on Linux.

Your theories are as good as mine. My hope is that Claris will not go that way.

Fill out the form. And ask. Last time they did something with my subscription, included as part of a renewal, it just extended my subscription by one year.

Here it is: https://community.claris.com/en/s/claris-products-roadmap
at 40:40. FDS will be replaced by some ‘smart cloud offering’, it says.
The FDS, with its license ‘for testing only’, was ridiculously misnamed. Testing, it seems, is only one part of the development cycle. Developers know that, marketing guys not so much.

My guess is that FM will become a cloud-only thing.

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To be sure I get it right, your guess is that on premise server will go away ?

While I suppose this is always possible... It is the opposite of what they have publicly and privately said.

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Just adding to what @jormond said, I don't see how releasing a CentOS version to the public would align with "cloud-only". If I wanted to force people into a specific offering, the last thing I would do, is give them one more way to run the software by themselves.

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Exactly. My boss had a 1-on-1 conversation with Srini. He was disappointed that people didn't get what he said... "Cloud-first not Cloud-only". On-premise is "an equal citizen" at Claris.

Very well. Then, why will FDS be replaced by some ‘smart cloud offering’?
On-premise and cloud both being part of the platform may be true today, but tomorrow?

P.S. I understand Srini’s frustration. He’s an engineer. That people don’t believe what he says has something to do with the company’s long-standing communication culture.

Thanks @Torsten for pointing to the specific video & timestamp. We hear Rick clearly say the original FDS program:

was made for a different era where you needed to get a testing server in your hands

Also, the last point on the slide talks about current subscribers getting the developer server lincense for FMS19, expiring with your current membership. So the text points to a testing server no longer being available in its "on-prem" version in the not so distant future. How will that be replaced? Will it be replaced? Is that what the "Cloud-Smart offering" will be about? I do not have those answers.

I can only guess and attempt to explain it this way: if they have a cloud-based replacement for the test server, it would be because they see FDS as something for people to "learn" the platform, and they want those people to learn it with Cloud as the first deployment mechanism, not something that will do ok on LAN but will have issues over WAN and so on. (let's agree that performance on WAN is another topic, ok?)

Personally, I would have more use for a cloud-based test server than an on-prem one. As long as the stats can compare to the low-end of the production instances for Cloud.

I still don't see this as a clue that on-prem will drop from the platform. So we both look at the same stuff and draw different conclusions. That is ok to me.

The bottom line is this shift (going Cloud-First) is having a lot of people in the community concerned about other parts of the platform and Claris should improve how they communicate about that.

Communication is everything... Everything is communication.

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+1 @Bobino

The thing is known since a long time:
A written commitment, stating that platform constituent x will be available at least until month/year, platform constituent y will be available...and so on..
This would allow businesses to base strategies on the platform, without being impeded by unilateral vendor decisions about availability.

Bigger vendors like SAP faced backlash from their customers when they tried to force them away from on-premise to cloud.

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Interesting discussion... for me there will be no way doing more than maybe developing in the cloud. When it comes to testing and we get real data involved cloud is a no-go for me regarding the GDPR stuff etc.

Since none of my clients wants to get into the cloud and even bigger companies up to 150 FM users do the hosting via VPN/Terminalserver locally there is no benefit.

I believe the Claris people if they tell us on-premise will be around. I've heard Srini saying it in person in front of a lot of developers.

In case of the FDS-dev-server maybe a better way would be to let developers decide by them selfs and for me if they want to add to the cost of FDS even that would be OK although I suppose FDS-server in the cloud will cost them a lot more. It's a matter of choice. If they don't let me choose I'll have to find different ways.

2 Cents to the box from Holger

I imagine a lot of reasons. Not the least of which would be their maintenance. I have personally requested they maintain the on-prem server as part of the offering. The request was well received, but we will see what happens. Also, making Cloud part of the offering is a good way to get people to rest it. While not all will be able to move to Cloud, many will. I’m still not convinced it is “most” people, but I have not interest in trying to figure out that detail. Time will tell.

Adding Cloud to the offering would have been a smart move. Patronising developers into using cloud is the worst marketing move I can imagine in a corporate IT context.
And maybe there will be a smart new name like ‘Tester Subscripion’ :owl:

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This may be a regional difference. Here in the US, the move to Cloud services is strong. It doesn’t encompass everyone, but the number of services and the number of clients moving to mostly cloud services is very high, especially in certain sectors of the country.

To an extent, we have even moved many of our internal services to our own cloud. Both our clients and internal staff’s custom apps hit our API endpoints.

If it was in my hands, I would bind it with the new academy stuff. Limiting the licence to testing only, It would be nice if it was to be free for everyone: it would be one less obstacle for devs that simply turn to open source tech because the initial investment is very low.

It would not be something that could be used for everything the trial is used for, but could give a chance to some trial users (problem solvers) feeling 45 days is too tight to both learn the platform and build a compelling proof of concept.

That would make it the "Claris Academy Subscription".

We will see... the only thing we can do is wait.