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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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FileMaker has released Bento [App Store, $4.99], the company's personal database application, for the iPhone and iPod touch. The new application operates both as a standalone database application and also synchronizes with the desktop version of Bento to provide accessibility on the go.

- Comes with 25 ready-to-use database templates that can be easily customized for whatever you need to organize.
- Supports 15 different field types so you can store text, numbers, dates, times, durations, pictures, sounds, video clips, pop-up choices, check boxes, prices, rates, addresses, phone numbers, ratings, web sites, email addresses, instant messaging accounts, and more.
- Includes iTunes-style searching and instant sorting to help you find things fast.
- Integrates with other iPhone apps so you can simply tap on a Bento field to call a contact, view a web site, send an email or display a map.
- Works as a standalone application or can be synchronized with Bento 2.0v4 for Mac desktop software (sold separately).

CNET briefly demoed the new application and was impressed with both the operation and look of it.

We got a demo of the handsome, dark Bento app a few weeks ago. After playing with it for a while, it appears to balance a mine of data fields with the iPhone's customarily accessible interface. Bento's home screen displays all your data libraries, which you can swipe through to view. Other screens let you add a new library, search for entries, or sync to Bento on the Mac. Each new library is prepopulated with one dummy entry to get you started. While there is a dedicated search screen, a similar search field within each library facilitates more advanced investigations of your data.

FileMaker also offers a video demo of the Bento iPhone application.

Article Link: Filemaker Releases 'Bento' for iPhone
 

AdeFowler

macrumors 68020
Aug 27, 2004
2,303
322
England
Looks very good.

I bought Bento six months ago with the intention of learning how to use it, but have yet to find a use for it (my problem, not Bentos). What are people using it for?
 

danny_w

macrumors 601
Mar 8, 2005
4,387
247
Suwanee, GA
Looks very good.

I bought Bento six months ago with the intention of learning how to use it, but have yet to find a use for it (my problem, not Bentos). What are people using it for?
I haven't bought either version but hoped to buy the desktop version (didn't know about the iPhone version) and use it initially to do a home inventory. It sounds like the combination may be even better for this. You can enter the basics and take pictures with the iPhone, and the sync with the desktop to do all of the tedious data entry. Is syncing bi-directional? One thing I didn't like about the desktop version when I looked at it was that there was now ay to keep a common database synced between different computers. Has that changed?
 

SirROM

macrumors member
May 1, 2006
76
0
Try This...

Man, I wish they'd release FM Pro for iPhone...

If you are really interested, try FMTouch for the iPhone. I have used it since it appeared about a year ago and it works well. The developers frequently update it and are always adding new features. I run my business on Filemaker and this app does a good job of putting Filemaker on the iPhone.
 

AdeFowler

macrumors 68020
Aug 27, 2004
2,303
322
England
One thing I didn't like about the desktop version when I looked at it was that there was now way to keep a common database synced between different computers. Has that changed?

Apparently not. The iPhone version syncs wirelessly though which is nice ;)
 

Dimwhit

macrumors 68020
Apr 10, 2007
2,061
284
If you are really interested, try FMTouch for the iPhone. I have used it since it appeared about a year ago and it works well. The developers frequently update it and are always adding new features. I run my business on Filemaker and this app does a good job of putting Filemaker on the iPhone.

I've been keeping an eye on that one. It's still lacking some of the scripting and calculation support I need, but I'll probably spring for it at some point. Very pricey, though.
 

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,941
1,304
Washington DC
Coverflow? I thought that was verboten.

No. Tapping into Apple's coverflow software on the iPhone and just telling your program to use that is against the rules.

But if you program your own code that looks and works the same then it's ok.

There was an app a few months ago (forget which) that was rejected from the app store for using coverflow against the rules. Turns out, they had programed their own version in and Apple had to admit their mistake and accept the app. Apple just assumed it was their own without checking!

After all that, I'm sure the Bento folks know this and made their own coverflow code.


Apparently not. The iPhone version syncs wirelessly though which is nice ;)

I'm hopeful this means the desktop versions will be syncing soon. I sent them a question asking.

Even so, though, this iPhone app makes Bento 10 times better! I'm loving it!

So far I'm using Bento on my Mac for:
- Tracking small jobs that people owe me money for
- My car maintenence records
- Favorite recepies

I'm hopeful I can find more uses, I enjoy the small amount of use I've gotten out of it so far.
 

danny_w

macrumors 601
Mar 8, 2005
4,387
247
Suwanee, GA
Sounds like it is time to quit putting it off and go ahead and buy it. It sounds like this would make Bento so much more useful.
 

SirROM

macrumors member
May 1, 2006
76
0
I've been keeping an eye on that one. It's still lacking some of the scripting and calculation support I need, but I'll probably spring for it at some point. Very pricey, though.

There is an update due out any day now that has massive updates to the scripting and calculation engines of FMTouch. While I agree that it is a bit pricey, it has dropped from its initial $99 down to $69 (where I bought it) and it has been worth every penny to me. The ability to carry my DBs with me into a patient's room is worth a great deal and saves me a lot of time on the back end of the day.

As I noted before, the developers are very responsive and appear quite open to feedback and feature requests. Overall, it is 100x better than FM Mobile was on the Palm devices and the next best thing to Filemaker/Apple doing it themselves.
 

kironin

macrumors 6502a
May 4, 2004
617
251
Texas
looks great, but

just to have the software backed up am I going to have to buy Bento 2 for the Mac as well ? Since that only runs on Leopard, that would mean I would have to upgrade from Tiger.

So just to back up this $4.99 app, I would have spend at least another $178 ?

not so sweet.

what does a PC user with an iPhone do ?
 

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,941
1,304
Washington DC
looks great, but

just to have the software backed up am I going to have to buy Bento 2 for the Mac as well ? Since that only runs on Leopard, that would mean I would have to upgrade from Tiger.

So just to back up this $4.99 app, I would have spend at least another $178 ?

not so sweet.

what does a PC user with an iPhone do ?

I think you're looking at this backwards.

They wanted a way to make Mac Bento more useful to its users and extend what it can do. This app does that.

I mean, what you're saying is similar to looking at the 'Bank of America' app and complaining that it's useless because you use a different bank.

Not all apps are going to be useful for all people.
 

Dimwhit

macrumors 68020
Apr 10, 2007
2,061
284
There is an update due out any day now that has massive updates to the scripting and calculation engines of FMTouch. While I agree that it is a bit pricey, it has dropped from its initial $99 down to $69 (where I bought it) and it has been worth every penny to me. The ability to carry my DBs with me into a patient's room is worth a great deal and saves me a lot of time on the back end of the day.

As I noted before, the developers are very responsive and appear quite open to feedback and feature requests. Overall, it is 100x better than FM Mobile was on the Palm devices and the next best thing to Filemaker/Apple doing it themselves.

That's good to know. I may bug you when it's out to see if it has what I need. Unless they have a good manual that gives a list of supported calculations and scripts. Thanks!
 

kironin

macrumors 6502a
May 4, 2004
617
251
Texas
I think you're looking at this backwards.

They wanted a way to make Mac Bento more useful to its users and extend what it can do. This app does that.

I mean, what you're saying is similar to looking at the 'Bank of America' app and complaining that it's useless because you use a different bank.

I don't think your analogy makes any sense but beyond that ...

That's not the impression you get from the video. They never say what you said that this is just for Bento on the Mac users. They give you the impression that this is a great app for creating databases on your iPhone that blends well with the Apple apps especially the contacts on the iPhone, NOT that it is simply an app to access on your iPhone the databases you have created in Bento on your Mac.

also after seeing your comment and I went and looked at the iTunes description

"Works as a standalone application or can be synchonized with Bento 2 for Mac... sold separately"

so the question remains how is the work on this standalone application backed up ?
 

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,941
1,304
Washington DC
also after seeing your comment and I went and looked at the iTunes description

"Works as a standalone application or can be synchonized with Bento 2 for Mac... sold separately"

Yes, I disagree with that marketing approach, then.

I mean, it will probably sell more, but it seems like they're setting themselves up for a lower star rating. Don't know if that's the best strategy.

so the question remains how is the work on this standalone application backed up ?

When the entire iPhone is backed up by iTunes, isn't the app data part of that backup? Won't a restore bring it back? (Not sure, I'm asking.)

That's not as nice or as useful as syncing, obviously, but that would be protection from total data loss.
 

batchtaster

macrumors 65816
Mar 3, 2008
1,031
217
So just to back up this $4.99 app, I would have spend at least another $178 ?

iTunes backs up your entire iPhone for free.

That is, unless you're not actually talking about "back[ing] up" and mean that you want to get the data off your iPhone to import it into something else and mess around with it some more, which is completely not the same thing at all and a misuse of the word. I don't see why FileMaker has any obligation to provide that sort of functionality with anything other than their own products; which this already does. I mean, would Pocket Access for Windows Mobile be expected to sync with anything other than Access for Windows? Surely not, so why apply a different standard here? And what product are you proposing to do that in, if any?

Bento for iPhone is an extension of Bento for Mac, not the other way around.

And it also works on its own.
 
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