Claris Engage 2020: It’s About You

by Scott Love - Partner

Day two of Claris Engage opened with Srini Gurrapu, VP of Product and Design, sharing the company’s strategy for its products and providing a glimpse into what lays ahead for its customers. It was – A LOT.

People First

The team continued its focus on its community. John Sindelar shared how to connect SeedCode’s DayBack add-on into a Claris FileMaker solution with an easy drag, Todd Geist illustrated how to seamlessly incorporate powerful JavaScript tools into solutions, and Cris Ippolite of iSolutions demoed how the platform, across the board, can serve distance learning.

These quick inclusions reinforced a cohesive focus from the Claris team: it’s about people. This isn’t just a casual marketing tactic – you can see it span their product strategy.

Insights, Actions, Outcomes

Srini stressed driving “insights, actions, and outcomes” for users through the creation of intelligent apps. I find those concepts reflected as well in Agile methodology user stories: “As a <persona>, I want to <action>, so that <reason>”. In the work of digital transformation, the emphasis from Claris is on the results delivered for users.

Claris FileMaker

Rick Kalman, Director of Product Management and Robert Holsey, Senior Product Manager, shared Quick App Authoring in Claris FileMaker, JavaScript interoperability, and the fully integrated Claris Marketplace. The latter two features allow Claris customers to make use of thousands of tools, add-ons, vertical solutions, and libraries built in Claris FileMaker or other web-based technologies. It’s stunning how many mature, well-tested, rich components now exist within reach on which we as developers can draw.

Claris Connect

Sangita Banerjee, Manager of Product Management, walked through how to use Claris Connect to leverage intelligent automation to stitch API-driven third-party apps together without complex coding. New features on the horizon will include logical triggers, automated data processing, and custom code (when necessary).

Rather than try to author every feature within a closed silo, Claris is embracing the Cloud and unlocking the capability to draw on best-of-breed solutions – all in service of driving impactive outcomes for its users.

Claris Next Gen

Giuliano Iacobelli, Director of Product Management, spoke about Claris Next Gen, coming in 2021. The product is revolutionary: rather than focused on building an app with forms, buttons, and databases, it begins with — here’s that word again – people, and most importantly, purpose.

It allows developers to define the logical flow for a given process – regardless of presentation or even which technology you might be using. By way of example, think of a task like revising and confirming a contract: you’d likely work with file sharing from OneDrive or, you’d no doubt need an authoring environment (Microsoft Word), and then later need to interact with others in an approval process, and you’d perhaps end with a digital signature platform.

Claris NG allows you to lay out the whole, associate people with each step, and only then work on the interface and data mechanics behind the scenes. Regardless of what underlying technology is involved, I’d imagine a “meta” authoring environment that overlays connected interfaces, tools, and databases to manage permissions, integrations, and business logic. In today’s world, we might begin by building an interface view, then labor to define permissions for who can see it and when. With Claris NG, we’ll instead begin with the “who” and the “when”, as logically central to the work, see the overarching path from beginning to end, and then lastly supply the “how”.

Intelligent Apps

The vision of the Claris team is apparent. Srini drove home four pillars of their product design: Cloud-smart, Modern Experience, Automation, and AI-driven Advanced Technology. Claris Intelligent Apps will:

  • live in the Cloud (in reach, security, and deployment) and draw from thousands of tools, add-ons, and products;
  • deliver contemporary, savvy experiences across devices and browsers;
  • leverage automation and make networked computing services work for users;
  • and turn to advanced machine learning and AI services to extend beyond simple form-based tools.

Claris Engage

We’re All Digital

Srini opened by, I think rightly, claiming that all companies today face transformation – they’re all digital companies and all employees are, in some form or another, developers. We all use technology to solve problems. Our businesses need a capacity for regularly crafting technology innovations: it can’t be just the work of IT professionals.

This is the challenge – across markets and spanning low-code to pro-code developers – Claris is striving to address. Claris is working to put powerful, accessible tools into your hands and bring solutions immediately within reach. All in service of delivering concrete, impactive outcomes for individuals and teams.

Missed the first day of Claris Engage? Catch up on our first impressions here.

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