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Bento 3 brings local sharing, iPhoto integration

updated 09:30 am EDT, Tue September 29, 2009

Personal database app gains major update

Apple-owned FileMaker has released Bento 3, a major new edition of its personal database utility. The software now includes iPhoto integration, which allows users to associate extra information with images. Photos can be linked with any material in a database, such as events, contacts or projects.

Bento has additionally been upgraded with features such as database sharing, which allows up to five users to view a person's libraries over a LAN connection. For security's sake a host is able to encrypt fields individually, protecting important information while exposing everything safe for consumption. Passwords lock out unauthorized viewers.

Other changes include a new Grid view, which displays both images and data in thumbnail form; similarly, File Lists now interweave thumbnails alongside text. Ten more templates have been added, covering topics like job and home searches, vacation planning, and wine collecting.

Bento 3 costs $49, and requires Mac OS X 10.5.7 or later. Bento 1 and 2 owners are eligible for a $20 rebate. FileMaker is also promising to release an updated iPhone app in the near future, Bento 1.0.3, which should fix compatibility problems.

by MacNN Staff



  1. My Dog Wally

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Another limp upgrade

    I guess it made sense years ago to break the FileMaker product off into a separate company, the better to give PC users the sense that they weren't getting an "Apple" product. But times have changed. PC users have integrated iTunes and Safari into their lives. They're using iPods and iPhones. And they're happily traipsing in to Apple stores to spend their money. So it really no longer seems to be a strategic necessity to have FileMaker as a separate company anymore, given that it's not necessary to continue to fool PC users.

    With that in mind, I wish Apple would disband FileMaker, Inc. and bring its products under the Apple umbrella. That way we would get fully featured, robust, and well-conceived upgrades and bug fixes instead of the tepid upgrades we've been getting with Bento. Really, is there THAT much of difference between versions 1 and 2? Or between versions 2 and 3? Maybe if Apple were looking over the shoulder of Bento's product manager, we'd be on version 1.3 instead of 3.1.

    I'm going to ignore this upgrade, 1) because I think it's silly, frivolous, and barely moves the needle; 2) because, as was proven with the upgrade to version 2, when FileMaker releases an upgrade of Bento, they ignore the bugs in the previous version; and 3) because I resent being charged full price for a limp set of new features I'll never use.

  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Limp? Really?

    I'm feeling just the opposite - even Filemaker can't store images internally let alone offer grid view by default - depending on your needs this seems a mammoth upgrade & I can't wait for the iPhone option - this would play into any tablet & the encryption/sharing/portability features may find their way into small office environments for everything from supplier information to portfolios... First impressions are fantastic for me !

    And they are offering a $20 discount for upgrades - a welcome change from past policy... Sign me up!

  1. pairof9s

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I agree w/ bobolicious

    Where the full price upgrade from vers 1 to 2 was a complete rip off for the limited new features and otherwise expected bug fixes, this update includes many long requested and well accepted additions including password protection and database sharing.

    When including the $20 discount for previous owners, I'd say this is a very justifiable upgrade... a policy that should have been provided with the first upgrade. Better late than never, FileMaker!


  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Another limp upgrade

    The ONLY reason Filemaker exists at all is because it wasn't brought in under Apple's umbrella. Everything else they got from Claris they killed.

    And do you really think that, magically, if it were under Apple's umbrella (like it isn't under their control now?) it would get great upgrades? Maybe you should review the complaints about Aperture that was brought up last week.

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