carloscastilla - Fotolia

Apple subsidiary delivers Claris Connect no-code tool

Claris Connect, the latest product from Claris, the enterprise software subsidiary of Apple, targets nonprogrammers at SMBs to help them build apps by stitching services together.

Claris, Apple's enterprise software subsidiary, has introduced a new development platform with low-code/no-code capabilities that can stitch together apps by connecting components of popular online services.

Dubbed Claris Connect, the new platform helps users to build new custom apps and to enhance and customize existing ones through integration with services such as Trello, Slack, DocuSign and Box, among others, without writing any code.

The system uses a drag-and-drop interface so users who do not have experience writing code can string together services to build apps and automate workflows. Claris Connect launched with 50 connectors and the company will continue to add new ones, said Brad Freitag, CEO of Claris.

"This is a profound offering that I think adds immediate value to many of our customers and hopefully will attract a lot more," he said. "This is going to be particularly attractive to our tens of thousands of FileMaker customers who have been writing code to connect FileMaker to other products and services in the past; they'll now be able to create these integrations really easily through a drag-and-drop interface."

Yet the system also enables professional developers to further customize applications as needed. Freitag refers to this as the company's "no-code-, low-code, full-code" strategy, which helps users at all levels of development experience use Claris Connect.

For pro developers, Claris Connect provides access to data transformation and webhooks for custom API integration. Professional JavaScript developers also can add custom server-side code.

The new Claris Connect tool targets small and midsize businesses, where the company has more than 1 million active users and a community of 50,000 developers, Freitag said.

Improved efficiency and speed are being realized through high-productivity, low-code tools.
Charlotte DunlapPrincipal analyst, GlobalData

In addition to SMBs, Claris customers include departments within larger enterprises.

There is a paucity of developers around to meet the growing demand for apps, particularly in the mobile and IoT spaces.

"There are not enough developers to build all the next-generation apps that enterprises require to make enterprise acceleration real," said Holger Mueller, principal analyst at Constellation Research in Cupertino, Calif. "So, it's up to business users to take charge, and for that they need productive low-code and no-code tools. As a consequence, vendors compete on coding productivity and now it's Claris' turn."

Claris Connect also features built-in templates to get users started. The templates are for processes such as managing marketing leads, routing prospects to sales, tracking IT ticket escalations, facilitating order processing and other scenarios.

Low-code, no-code options ease pressure on DevOps

Charlotte Dunlap, analyst, GlobalDataCharlotte Dunlap

Traditional enterprise application development methods are shifting in the wake of new, complex development architectures, including microservices and serverless computing, which has led to increased pressure on DevOps teams to speed up deployments, said Charlotte Dunlap, principal analyst at GlobalData in Santa Cruz, Calif. To this end, "improved efficiency and speed are being realized through high-productivity, low-code tools," she said.

Claris Connect is built on Claris Core, which brings support for DevOps and adds additional security in the form of end-to-end encryption, Hardware Security Module key management, OAuth, multi-factor authentication and AI-based threat protection.

Pricing begins at $99 per month for the Essentials version of Claris Connect and $249 a month for the Standard version. The Essentials version includes three active flows and 10,000 API requests. Users can purchase an expansion pack for the Essentials version for $50 to add 5,000 API requests per month. The Standard version includes six active flows and 50,000 API requests per month. And users can purchase an expansion pack of 15,000 API requests and one additional active flow.

Next Steps

No-code API tools for Excel wrangle data

Dig Deeper on Software design and development

Cloud Computing
App Architecture