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Claris FileMaker Licensing

Updated: Mar 1, 2023

Software licensing can be confusing and Claris has gone a long way to make their licensing model as straightforward as possible. We look at the most frequently asked questions raised by Claris FileMaker customers and answer them so that you might not need to delve into the Claris help pages.

Claris FileMaker Licensing FAQ
Claris FileMaker Licensing FAQ

What is Claris FileMaker User Licensing?

Claris FileMaker Users Licensing is the preferred method for groups of people to use / licence Claris FileMaker. This form of licensing is based upon the number individuals within a company or organisation who make use of a Claris FileMaker software.


So what is an 'individual'?

A individual is a user who access a FileMaker database. As a user with a Claris FileMaker licence, you will be able to view, edit and delete database information via FileMaker Go (on an iPad or iPhone), via Mac OS, via Windows OS and via web (where it is supported).


What are the advantages of user licensing?

Ease of use and flexibility for a start. If you need to purchase a Claris FileMaker licence, you no longer need to determine the product you require as you will be able to use any of the Claris FileMaker products, consequently, you only need to know how many unique individuals / users you will need to access a FileMaker system.


What are the Claris FIleMaker products?

Any FileMaker 19 client which includes : FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Server, FileMaker Go and FileMaker WebDirect. Each FileMaker User licence includes 3 licenses of FileMaker Server (FMS) so, for example, a company or organisation can have a development server, a test server and a live server. This allows for considerable flexibility.

What happened to FileMaker Pro Advanced?

Claris decided to incorporate all of the FileMaker Pro Advanced features within FileMaker Pro - they're just disabled as standard. Most users will find little use for them enabled but developers can enable them in FileMaker preferences.

What is the minimum number of user licences I can purchase?

5 but after the initial 5, you can purchase licences for 1 or more additional users. There are also advantageous price points for 10, 25 and 50 users.


Is there any way to purchase less than 5 licences?

Yes. You can purchase a single FileMaker Pro Licence from the Claris FileMaker online store. Please be aware that this sort of licence does not include any maintenance of the software so it might not be the best solution for you.

Is the licence for a specific person?

No - each licence is for a single user so a member of staff might user a licence and then leave the company - that licence doesn't stay with them but resides with the purchasing company and may be used by another member of staff.


What about unknown users, for example, a web user?

These are called FileMaker Concurrent Connections and Claris provides support for them but you'd need to contact the Claris Sales team for more information. FileMaker Concurrent Connections licences include a single server licence so they don't offer the same 'server' flexibility as FileMaker User licences however, they are an excellent choice for organisations that make use of web direct. Be aware that you will need to estimate the maximum number of unknown concurrent users you will require, before you purchase the licence.


If I'm using FileMaker 19 software, can I access older FileMaker databases? What about if I have an older copy of FIleMaker - can I access FileMaker 19 databases with it?

You can use a FileMaker 19 client to access other FileMaker 19 databases along with FileMaker 18 databases. Earlier versions (17 and below) cannot be accessed from FileMaker 19 clients. If you're using a copy of FileMaker 18 then you can access FileMaker 19 databases but if your software predates version 18, you will not be able to.


How do I go about purchasing FileMaker User licences?

You can do this online from the Claris Sales team (be aware that you will need your licence key and licensing details on hand). You can also do it from the Sever Admin console, presuming that you have a copy of FileMaker Server installed.

Am I able to reduce the number of users?

Yes but only when it's time for renewing the licence.


I've heard that there are limits on how much data can be transferred to / from the FileMaker database to other systems. Is that true?

In part. There is no licence limit to how much data can be transferred from an external system to a FileMaker database however, there are limits imposed on mow much data can be transferred from the FileMaker database, via the Data API, to an external system. Each user gets a 24 GB per year data transfer allowance and this amount is added to all user allowances to create a system-wide Data API allowance (ie more users equals more allowance to share across other users). If this is insufficient for your needs, you can purchase additional allowance. Container data (eg graphic files, PDFs, Word documents, etc) are exempt from this allowance.


What if my question isn't answer here?

You could head over to the Claris webpage where there are more detailed help guides.


Closing Notes

If you’re running a small or medium sized organisation, there's little doubt that the FileMaker platform has the power and flexibility to run your business operation better. If you have any queries about licensing a FileMaker product and need bespoke software support, then Flare Software are here to help you get it right. So do yourself (and your colleagues!) a favour and contact us for your free consultation - let us show you how we can help.




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