Database app linked to mac mail imac

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by spondootre, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. spondootre macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    #1
    Hi,

    I would like to set up a simple database with customers details and people whom have made general enquiries to my business which is searchable and also easily linked to mac mail if possible so that I can choose a group from the database to email details of when our sales start etc....

    Really any suggestion is a help as I'm new to the world of mac apps and a was using wind*ws until recently, the first program I bought for the mac was mac Microsoft office! Which doesn't come with access....
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    FileMaker Pro or Bento would possibly fill the database requirement, but neither of them play well with Mail. The only program that goes well with Mail is Address Book.
     
  3. ZilogZ80 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #3
    Bento would be perfect for your requirement.
    http://www.filemaker.com/products/bento/all-features.html
    look towards the bottom of that page. Shows exactly what you have described (using Mail to send group emails).
     
  4. spondootre thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    #4
    Bento does look like a perfect app, it looks a lot easier to use than access too which can't be a bad thing!...

    I also need some way of keeping track of stock levels, I don't have a barcode system or have much hope of linking invoices to any system at this point so it would be a manual system where the stock was altered after each sale and stock purchase, do you think bento would be ok for this or is there an actual stock app that isn't massivly complex and meant for huge organisations with scanners and the like?
     
  5. SpiceGrrl macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #5
    Hi, I too am investigating database software for my business and my needs are similar to yours. I am an online publisher with a niche clientele of high-end universities. So, I have two types of data to collect: information about the universities I deal with (e.g. enrollment, annual calendar and a million other little details that are relevant to my relationship with them), and information about my authors (name, contact info and many specific details about them.

    For me it has come down to either Bento or Filemaker Pro. Based on what I know right now, it seems like Filemaker is more customizable and portable across platforms, but Bento relates way better with Address Book and Mail. This is a very tough choice for me so I am doing some nitty-gritty comparative research. Just downloaded the free trial version of Bento and plan to play with it for a bit; then later I will install Filemaker (already have it on hand) and play with that next. I will issue a report and may have questions. BTW apparently there are User Forums for both:

    http://www.filemaker.com/support/forum_selection.html

    If anyone else has experience comparing these two apps, please share.
     
  6. SpiceGrrl macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #6
    OK, I have done some initial exploring and here are my observations and questions. Bento beats Filemaker in one very important respect: it syncs with Address Book and iCal. For me, as a publisher who manages dozens of authors with deadlines, this is critical. Filemaker lets you STORE email addresses (as text) and deadlines (as dates) but does not let you click on the email address to send a message, and does not sync with iCal, so if someone's deadline changes, that would have to be re-keyed in Filemaker.

    Another comment: I had heard that Bento is "less customizable" than Filemaker, but now I'm not so sure. When creating a FM dbase, they only give you a very few types of field to choose from, whereas Bento appears to give you more choices. The process is a little easier in FM, but again without the syncing with Address Book and iCal, FM seems about as flat and two-dimensional as Excel.

    One question though: Can a Bento library be worked on via more than one device? In other words, say I create a library of authors on my iMac. Then I leave the office and continue working on my iPad. Will I be able to make changes to the same library using the Bento iPad app?

    I will check that out myself and report back, but would love to hear from anyone who has done that, or tried.
     
  7. SpiceGrrl macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #7
    Ok, have explored some more and can now say YES, a Bento library can be exported to a mobile device, using the Bento for iPad app. You have to sync it before you leave, though, because it does not sync through the air automatically like Mobile Me does. Then sync again when you get back to the iMac. Seems doable.

    Additionally, found out that it is easier to migrate a library from Bento to Filemaker, than from Filemaker to Bento, suggesting it might be best to start with Bento.

    Just when I thought this decision was getting easy, I discovered there is a third party app that lets Filemaker use Address Book and iCal data. How well it works, I don't know, but it exists.

    Anyway, I am moving forward with both apps, using one for each of two databases that I have. Will post a new thread later on when I know even more than I do now. Nothing like practical experience.

    Cheers.
     

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