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FileMaker User Licensing

As of FileMaker 17 a new and improved licensing program called FileMaker User Licensing is available. FileMaker is no longer selling individual products; instead they are selling the entire platform for users. As FileMaker Growth Partner of the Year for the Americas we are one of the top FileMaker Partner Resellers in the world. Here we provide you with what to expect with the new FileMaker User Licensing program.

  • FileMaker User Licensing requires a minimum of five users to purchase. Any customer can now add users in increments of one, before you had to add users in packs of five users.

  • FileMaker's previous default licensing program, FileMaker License for Teams (FLT), has been replaced along with the Legacy Licensing programs AVLA, VLA, AFLT, and FLT. All customers will be immediately transitioned to FileMaker User Licensing when your license keys arrive via email.

  • FileMaker User Licensing comes with the entire FileMaker Platform: FileMaker Server, FileMaker Pro Advanced, FileMaker Go, FileMaker WebDirect, and the FileMaker Data API.

  • All customers will receive a single license key for each contract and the license key will not change from version to version.

  • You will be able to install up to 3 FileMaker Servers with FileMaker User Licensing. Great for customers who have multiple servers and utilize testing servers and/or backup servers. Only 1 FileMaker Server can be used for FileMaker Cloud.

  • FileMaker Cloud hosting must be done on annual licensing, as it will not work on perpetual (bought outright) licenses.

  • User pricing is tiered based on 5-9 users, 10-24 users, 25-49 users, 50-99 users, 100-249 users, 250-499 users, and 500+ users. Some customers may save money, while others may pay more based on user count.

  • Perpetual licensing is still available though not recommended for most business cases and is 3x the price of Annual licensing.

Along with FileMaker User Licensing, Concurrent Connection Licensing and Site Licensing continue to be available and have been updated. The new license program brings simplicity, the biggest being that FileMaker Pro has been replaced with FileMaker Pro Advanced for all users. For those who currently have a FileMaker License contract, you will automatically update to the new licensing programs and will be receiving the new FileMaker User Licensing download links, license keys, and new FileMaker License Certificate for FileMaker Server installations via email.

FileMaker Pro Advanced

FileMaker Pro Advanced is the only desktop offering moving forward. FileMaker Pro is no longer an option, so everyone has access to FileMaker Pro Advanced developer tools. To make this offering more exciting, FileMaker Pro Advanced works both online and offline unlike FileMaker Licensing for Teams with FileMaker Pro.

What is a User

A user is a unique person who will access the FileMaker Platform. They can use or create FileMaker apps on an iPad, iPhone, Mac, Windows, or the Web. With user licensing, FileMaker is moving away from only offering 5 user packs and you can increment 1 user license after starting at 5 users. If you currently have a FileMaker license, you will automatically transition to the new licensing program.

Existing Customers Transition

filemaker user licensingFileMaker Licensing for Teams (FLT) and FileMaker Volume Licensing (VLA) customers will be transitioned to the new FileMaker User Licensing when your license keys are sent via email. With FileMaker User Licensing you get 3 servers with it as well.

License Keys

With your license for FileMaker 17, you will only get 1 license key for all the product installations and it will not change for each release. If you have multiple contracts you will receive a key for each contract, but we will work with you to merge the contracts into 1 as your contract comes up for renewal 90 days out.

You will need to download and install the FileMaker License Certificate for each FileMaker Server when installing or changing the number of users licensed vs entering in a new license key as in the past. So remember to also download the FileMaker License Certificate which is an encrypted form of the Customer FileMaker License Agreement from the Electronic Software Download (ESD) page when preparing to install FileMaker Server.

Concurrent Connection Licensing

Concurrent connection licensing is 3x the price of regular FileMaker licensing. Ideal for when you have anonymous or occasional users of your FileMaker system. You get 1 FileMaker Server plus the amount of concurrent connections starting at 5 connections. You can put the concurrent connections on either a regular server or a cloud server as long as you have annual licensing. Anonymous users cannot use FileMaker Pro Advanced; therefore, they will have to access their FileMaker application through FileMaker Go and/or FileMaker WebDirect only.

For those of you that have FileMaker Pros and a FileMaker Server with 10 concurrent connections, you will get 2 license keys, one for FileMaker Concurrent Licensing and one for FileMaker User Licensing. The user licensing can be used on the concurrent connections server without taking away any connections. This will allow you to just use 1 server instead of setting up multiple servers. With Concurrent Connections Users, you cannot have these users use the FileMaker User License server unless you buy a user license for each of these users.

Site Licensing

Site licensing is very similar to how it was before, defined by the total headcount (full-time employees, part-time, and contractors in your organization), not just by who uses FileMaker, and starts at 25 seats. One thing to take into consideration is that the EULA states that you must maintain compliance with your headcount number. If the headcount in your organization exceeds the site license count by 10% or more at anytime during the term of your contract, you must add new seats immediately. You also get as many FileMaker Servers as the total headcount including FileMaker Cloud. That's alot of servers and a technical change in the EULA which used to say unlimited FileMaker Servers.

Site Licensing saves many organizations money when organizations have a headcount over 15 and most of the organization uses the FileMaker platform. Site Licensing is NOT available on the FileMaker Store. Call us for a quote for Site Licensing if most of your organization uses the FileMaker platform.

FileMaker Data API

The FileMaker Data API is the default way to build custom websites that push or pull data from FileMaker Server and is different then FileMaker WebDirect. With the FileMaker Data API, you are allowed an unlimited data transfer amount of inbound API calls (calling other websites from FileMaker Server). For Outbound API Calls (calling the FileMaker Server from other applications) you have a shared annual data transfer limit. It is calculated by multiplying the number of users licensed, or concurrencies, X 2GB per month X 12 months to get the Shared annual data transfer amount allowed. So each user will give you 24GB of data that is shared. That's quite a bit of data. If you are wanting to add more data, contact us or your FileMaker Sales rep directly for a quote.

FileMaker Shared Hosting

FileMaker Shared hosting customers will find that after installing FileMaker Pro Advanced 17 you will not be able to connect to your FileMaker Shared Hosting provider. The last supported client version for shared hosting is FileMaker 16 as FileMaker only supports two versions back. You will see a message when bringing up the host, "The host does not support this version of FileMaker" as the FileMaker EULA (End User License Agreement) no longer allows shared tenants for FileMaker Server as of FileMaker 14. Contact us to get a quote to move you to your own FileMaker Server or a FileMaker Cloud Server on the leading cloud provider Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Price Protection

You have price protection for up to 1 year (May 2019) from the launch of FileMaker 17 User Licensing to renew at your previous license program rates. You have the same options to renew for 1, 2, and 3 years. When renewing for 2 years you get 10 percent off and for 3 years you get 20 percent off. If you need to downgrade, you will receive up to 3 servers via a downgrade too.


The new and improved FileMaker User Licensing program makes understanding FileMaker Licensing easier and provides more convenience to you moving forward, as you get the entire platform at your disposal instead of individual products. If you have multiple contracts you will receive multiple keys so consolidating your contracts is always recommended and we can help you consolidate contracts. Contact us if you have any questions and we will help guide you to the best FileMaker Licensing for your FileMaker application use case.

Did you know we are an authorized reseller for Claris FileMaker Licensing?
Contact us to discuss upgrading your Claris FileMaker software.

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Jared Ellison

Jared is front and center in assisting clients with their software needs. Friendly and supportive by nature, he works diligently to understand how best to achieve excellence in delivering service that exceeds customer expectations.