Claris Filemaker Inc.
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Claris' second corporate headquarters (nicknamed "The Wedge") was in Santa Clara, about six miles from the main Apple campus.
The reason for formation of Claris was because during the early days, Apple Macintoshes were shipped with MacWrite and MacPaint, so that users would have a working machine "out of the box". This meant that there was little opportunity for Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) or third-party developers.
Apple decided to allow the programs to "wither" to help the ISVs. Unfortunately, the ISVs time to market was poor and it was some time before truly capable replacements like WriteNow were available.
At first Claris provided only upgrades to the software to make it run on newer versions of the Apple Macintosh operating system. In 1988, Claris purchased FileMaker from Nashoba Systems and quickly released a rebranded version called FileMaker II, to conform to its naming scheme for other products, such as MacWrite II. It was succeeded by FileMaker Pro 1.0 in 1990. Major upgrades of their entire product line, including FileMaker were released as part of the Pro series of products.
In 1990, Apple decided that Claris should remain a wholly owned subsidiary and most of the senior executives left.
Also in 1990 Claris purchased an integrated application written by two former Claris employees and released it in 1991 as ClarisWorks with great success. This product was eventually taken back by Apple in 1998 and rebranded as AppleWorks (for Macintosh).
In September 1992, Claris released a FileMaker for both the Apple MacOS and Microsoft Windows with identical features and user interfaces. Up to this point FileMaker had no real relational capabilities; it was limited to automatically looking up and importing values from other files. It only had the ability to save a state—a filter and a sort, and a layout for the data. Version 3.0, released around 1995, introduced new relational and scripting features.
Transition to FileMaker Inc. and back again
Because of declining sales, Claris management decided that FileMaker and Claris HomePage 3.0. were the only products worth developing further and in 1998 the company renamed itself as FileMaker Inc.
ClarisWorks, was taken back by Apple to become AppleWorks.
FileMaker Inc. discontinued Claris HomePage in 2001 leaving FileMaker as its only offering until January 8, 2008, when it released Bento, a template-based database application with built in links to other applications. Bento was discontinued on September 30, 2013.
Return to Claris: During DevCon 2019, the developers' conference, FileMaker announced it was resurrecting the Claris name and FileMaker Inc. changed its name to Claris International. The FileMaker product name remained as Claris FileMaker.
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