Remember FileMaker? Apple's subsidiary could be onto a post-COVID-19 winner

Apple Park photo of the side of the main building
Apple Park photo of the side of the main building (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple's FileMaker is now known as Claris.
  • The company continues to make low code dev software FileMaker.
  • Its CEO thinks it's perfectly placed for a changing world.

The hardcore Apple follower will know the name FileMaker. It's become known as a low code development software of late, and the CEO behind the company now known as Claris reckons it's perfectly placed to make the best of a COVID-19 world.

In a piece on CNBC, Claris CEO Brad Freitag says that software is "helping to heal the world, and the low-code category awareness for nonprofits, government, health care and education is up, and it can have an immediate impact, a profound impact."

That certainly sounds promising, but what is low-code? Put simply, it's a way to create apps without coding. Apps are built using graphical user interfaces in a way similar to how people might create mini-apps in Shortcuts. That means that it's easier to do and, importantly, quicker than traditional code-based app development. And that's important.

Freitag tells the story of a European hospital that was dealing with COVID-19 patients using a decision tree on paper.

"They had a decision tree map drawn on paper for triage of Covid patients," Freitag explained. "Walking into some central room in ICU and going through a decision tree to determine next steps ... but the challenge with that sheet of paper in treatment is changing in real time."

It took Claris a day to build something in software and it's now running on mobile devices instead of paper. It can be easily changed when needed, too.

Claris is now fielding inquiries from multiple industries as they try to spin up new solutions quickly, something that its approach is uniquely designed for.

Claris says it has seen a spike in inbound inquiries amid the crisis, including both ongoing tech support and new customers, with big spikes in health care, education and the logistics sector. "Logistics was new to me, but it makes sense ... trucking, shipping parcels. It makes perfect sense given how much happens at small and mid-sized companies and not just Amazon," Freitag said.

Check the full CNBC piece out to see just how well Apple's Claris could come out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.