Pushing the limits of ocean discovery for the world to see.




The Claris platform brings together information from various relational databases and other solutions. Platform acts as the central hub of data for day-to-day operations.


OceanX worked with Claris Partner, Kyo Logic, to create a custom application that keeps the ship connected with the team on shore and synchronizes data in near real time.

From tagging an elusive deep-sea shark in the Bahamas, to capturing the first live images of a 60-foot squid off the coast of Japan, OceanX uncovers never-been-seen wonders hiding deep within the ocean. A nonprofit organization with a mission to “explore the ocean and bring it back to the world,” OceanX conducts research onboard its impressive vessel, OceanXplorer, and also creates audiovisual and photographic content to educate the world about the oceans and inspire change.

How does this massive operation, with many moving parts, keep everyone — from ship to shore — current and connected, even while at sea in remote locations? They rely on Claris FileMaker.

Unforgiving environment, but beautiful outcomes.

Talk to employees at OceanX and the passion for bringing together science, technology, and the organization’s mission-driven approach come through loud and clear. Vincent Pieribone, vice chairman with OceanX, is animated about the group’s desire to drive positive change, while navigating the immense power of the ocean waters.

“The ocean can be an unforgiving environment to work in, as we’re navigating pressure, salt, weather, kinetic energy, animals, and many other factors,” he describes. “We sail with major equipment, such as cameras and sonar systems, that don’t typically transmit Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, creating a very silent world. When you’re in the open ocean, it’s clear that nature is in charge.”

Sink or swim with off-the-shelf solutions.

OceanX is a unique organization, with intense operations taking place both on a vessel and on shore — finding its software requirements to be just as unique. To better manage information and support extensive logistics, the organization first tried several large-scale enterprise solutions, but found them cumbersome and costly, particularly around system integration and custom applications.

“When I joined OceanX, there were a bunch of high-end, cloud-based systems that people had tinkered with, gotten frustrated, and put down,” Vincent shares. “I said, ‘Let me introduce you to the platform I’ve been using for years,’ first using FileMaker in an academic setting a decade earlier ago and continuing to build on the platform ever since. Then we were off and running, initially building a FileMaker database to capture information from our crew, scientists, and researchers about features for our new vessel.”

The logical choice to further buoy development.

OceanX was ready to take its existing application to the next level, connecting to multiple relational databases, and enabling the application to live both on the ship and on the shore to support full operations. For development support, the organization turned to Claris Platinum Partner, Kyo Logic, after connecting at a Claris FileMaker developer group at Yale, where Vincent is also a professor of Cellular and Molecular Physiology and Neuroscience at Yale School of Medicine.

“Clients frequently have documents living in multiple places across multiple processes and want to pull them all together, and that’s where we step in,” shares John Mathewson, president of Kyo Logic and a Claris Partner. “Because Claris FileMaker is at the very high end of the low-code experience, it sits right in the sweet spot, allowing us to create digital solutions rapidly but with an extremely high level of power.”

No satellite at sea? FileMaker to the rescue.

The organization’s scientific research, media production, and exploration vessel, OceanXplorer, is often located far out in the open sea and far from reliable satellite communication. When connecting to the organization’s central server isn’t an option, OceanX utilizes the full FileMaker application to run on premise, then automatically synchronizes once back within a reliable connection — a true superpower that’s not possible when solely using a SaaS solution.

This coordination ensures all personnel are working off the latest information, which can change rapidly based on the realities of the organization’s research expeditions, such as unpredictable environmental conditions. “The challenge was how to synchronize an entire ship with the shore to keep everyone on the same page and working with the same set of data,” explains Vincent.

At sync on shore and at sea.

Kyo Logic built a synchronizing application to enable teams in both locations to communicate and connect in near real time, regardless of where the ship is located, utilizing the Claris FileMaker REST API. Today, the application syncs approximately every 10 minutes, all day long — built entirely within FileMaker, without any other external tools.

“FileMaker is an exceptionally good low-code tool and is one of the best-kept secrets in the universe,” John adds. “The people who know it, absolutely love it. And part of what we like about our job is being able to share information about the platform so more people can use low code and appreciate its benefits.”

A central hub for daily activity.

OceanX often has several hundred people coming on and off its ship, from divers and scientists to journalists from National Geographic and BBC. The Claris platform brings together information from various relational databases and other solutions, with FileMaker acting as the central hub for information for day-to-day operations.

“That’s the beauty of FileMaker — we had an idea and put it into action,” shares Vincent. “We continue to incorporate information from other systems, such as our scuba diving logs, making FileMaker a scalable application that continues to grow.”

Dive in and discover the possibilities.

Kyo Logic calls its work with OceanX fulfilling and powerful, honored to collaborate with an organization doing so much good in the world. And this Claris Partner wants other businesses and IT teams to know just how rewarding it is to embark on their own FileMaker journeys.

“Just start to work with Claris FileMaker and you’ll quickly realize what you can do with it” shares John. “You can start small on your own, and the application you’re building soon becomes a collaborative project that grows and evolves. FileMaker is truly one of the most user-friendly, yet sophisticated, software platforms out there.”