Bento 2.0 adds e-mail, spreadsheet integration

Bento 2.0 released

Approximately 10 months after its introduction, FileMaker has released v2.0 of its personally-oriented database software, Bento, focusing on user-suggested improvements. Rather than a complete revamp, this version is said to represent fine tuning. FileMaker has added 10 new themes, direct links to Apple Mail, easier import/export from Numbers and Excel, and a more "Mac-like" interface.

Product Manager Beth Nagengast says the company heard from many customers who had been keeping track of lists using spreadsheets, and wanted a simple way to bring data in and out of Bento from Microsoft Excel and Apple's Numbers. In an interview with MacNN, Nagengast said another user-suggested feature allows people to drag and drop Apple Mail items within Bento forms. Users can import data into templates to organize events, track classes, manage inventory, manage time or compile contacts.

FileMaker has also focused on simplifying the interface, letting users manage day-to-day projects without having to understand relational databases. To that end Bento borrows from iTunes, with search and sort functions resembling Apple's jukebox software. Data can be organized into "smart collections," much like Smart Playlists in iTunes. Bento themes make data entry simple and provide an attractive package for projects, but limit the changing of colors or fonts.

Other new features include the ability to print multiple records on a single page, integrated support for Google Maps and online chat, and the option to import and export tab-delimited files used by AppleWorks. Users now also have the option save their projects without data, creating templates to share with others.

Bento requires Mac OS X 10.5.4 or higher and works with Intel or PowerPC machines. The software is available now at $50 for a regular license, or $100 for a five-license family pack.

  1. bobolicious 10/14, 09:16am

    ...might be helpful for those who have legacy needs...

  1. LouZer 10/14, 09:29am

    Filemaker believes showcasing Apple's built-in APIs is more important than increasing their potential user base by porting the software all the way back to that ancient (2 years old) OS like 10.4.

  1. testudo 10/14, 09:41am

    And this is why some companies prefer not using built-in APIs of the OS to handle functions of their software. It limits their portability (both in terms of OS X as well as migrating to other platforms). Not to mention the fear the feature will go missing in some future version.

  1. chadpengar 10/14, 11:49am

    This is the most stupid thing I have ever read. As a SW developer, about the only time people roll-their-own is when going for cross platform support. And then the results are rather lame.

    People avoid using new API so they can get on the older platforms, but, except for must-have type functionality, they do not roll-their-own versions. They just do without. Rolling your own brings with it more problems than it solves and more support costs than it is usually worth.

  1. testudo 10/14, 12:23pm

    his is the most stupid thing I have ever read.

    You need to get out more. There's a lot of stupid c*** out there.

    As a SW developer, about the only time people roll-their-own is when going for cross platform support. And then the results are rather lame.

    Um, that's the whole point, cross-platform support. And the results aren't rather lame (unless you count most of the pro software out there lame, I guess - damn those Adobe dickwads!). In fact, if you ask anyone who uses Quicken, say, you'd be sure to hear most of them saying "How come they can't give both Windows and Mac the same features?" One would guess its because they AREN'T sharing the code base.

    I'm not talking rolling your own UI, I'm talking underneath functionality. And if you rely on something like CoreAnimation or CoreData, you're then limiting yourself to a world of just OS X and 10.5.

  1. legacyb4 10/14, 01:38pm

    that's not so good...

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