How reliable is Bento?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Nostromo, Sep 2, 2011.

  1. Nostromo macrumors 65816

    Nostromo

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    Deep Space
    #1
    I need a database program.

    Filemaker pro is complex and expensive, but Bento can do simple lists and sorting prospective clients well enough.

    I downloaded the trial version.

    Now: how reliable is the Bento database.

    I read an Amazon review where the reviewer said that upgrading to Lion corrupted his database.

    Is this a single incident, and is the Bento database otherwise reliable?
     
  2. vitzr macrumors 68030

    vitzr

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    Jul 28, 2011
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    California
    #2
    I asked the same question of an Apple Genius I know quite well. He was very tactful in sharing that it's not one of their better products. That matched up with everything I'd read after extensive research on it.

    It would be nice if Apple focused on sorting it out, as it seems the basic premise is a very good one.
     
  3. wpotere Guest

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    #3
    @vitzr: Apple doesn't make Bento....

    As for reliability, I have used it for years and never had a problem with a corrupt database. If you are upgrading to Lion you should backup your data before you do it and always keep a good backup of your system anyway. It is a simple database program that can serve its purpose for lightweight use but if you plan on anything more powerful, you need to look elsewhere or look at Filemaker.
     
  4. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

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    #4
    Apple owns Filemaker, who makes Bento. Ergo, Apple makes Bento. You're half right, though, in that I believe Filemaker is considered a subsidiary, and thus Bento is not an "in-house" project. It still belongs to Apple, though.

    jW
     
  5. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

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    #5
    I also use it - not extensively, but I do own it and keep track of around 100 items - and haven't had any trouble with corruption. Started with Bento 1, currently on Bento 4 (skipped 2 and 3, by the way).

    But as for everything, I recommend regular backups. Not only Time Machine, but Bento can also save a backup of the database itself which I suggest storing on something like DropBox or a USB stick for easy access.
     
  6. wpotere Guest

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    Oct 7, 2010
    #6
    Didn't know that, thanks! :cool:
     
  7. ScottNWDW macrumors 65816

    ScottNWDW

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    #7
    I am using Bento 4 and have not had any issues with corruption at all and I have upgraded from Snow Leopard to Lion. I will admit though that I do not have any giant files, but I am the membership chairman of a club with over 150 members and all the member information is stored in Bento.

    I also love the product for other things as well and the templates available are great. I have used the Travel template a few times planning some trips that I have or will be taking. It's been pretty good.

    I highly recommend it.
     
  8. Nostromo thread starter macrumors 65816

    Nostromo

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    #8
    Thanks for all your replies.

    The alternative would be to buy a used copy of Filemaker 10 (current version is 11) off Amazon ($70).

    But I feel a bit uncomfortable about it. All those "used" Filemakers come with a sealed CD and product key, which smells like OEM (which would be, I think, illegal).

    Asked directly about OEM, those sellers would evade the question. Which proves that it probably is OEM. Just wondering why Filemaker doesn't do anything about this practice. Could they be OK with it, as someone with an older Filemaker could always be a potential upgrade buyer?

    Filemaker has a customizable interface and is rock solid, so I heard.
     
  9. ScottNWDW macrumors 65816

    ScottNWDW

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    #9
    FileMaker is a great program and is customizable and solid. To an extent, Bento is also customizable. I've used FileMaker in the past and I loved it. The only reason I am not using it now is that is far more of a program than I need at this point.

    Did you know that FileMaker created a business organizer template for Bento. In fact a few days ago I received an email from FileMaker letting me know about this free download for Bento. Since it was mentioned in the original post that this would be for sorting and keeping track of clients this may be just what you are looking for. The Business organizer keeps track of contacts, inventory, products, sales orders. projects, events, tasks and voice memos. It looks pretty cool to me. If you haven't seen it look it up on the Bento site in the template section.

    Also, Bento does have an iPhone and iPad app and this way you can carry and access your data on either of those devices as well.

    In all honesty I don't think you could go wrong with Bento, and if it's not powerful enough for you then I would go with FileMaker, but if it is something I would depend on and use extensively I would buy a NEW copy and not a used older copy.
     
  10. Nostromo thread starter macrumors 65816

    Nostromo

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    #10
    Great. I will definitely take a look at the template.

    I decided to go with Bento and I suppose if I want to upgrade to Filemaker at a later time I can import my Bento database into Bento.

    In regards to the older Filemaker versions, they are only sold as "used", they are also without a box, but a sealed CD sleeve. I don't really feel comfortable with that, so I will pass on it and go with Bento.
     
  11. nastebu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    #11
    Filemaker and Bento are barely comparable. It's like the difference between an apple and apple pie.

    Bento is wonderfully simple. It will take you half an hour to learn the whole application, and another half an hour to set up your database. If all you want to do is keep track of information about clients and other flat databases, you'll never run into its limitations.

    If you've never built a database, Filemaker, out of the box, will not be very useful at all. You'll need to buy a book and spend a week or so reading it. Then you'll spend about the equivalent time building and testing a database, and then redoing the parts that aren't working well. But you'll have an application that is very powerful and able to keep track of not only a list of clients, but the relationship between those clients and, for example, separate databases of customer service issues, invoices, inventory... etc. It's an pretty enormous investment of time to learn to do it yourself, but from Filemaker you can run a quite complex business.

    As for corruptions in Bento, it's never happened to me. And as was pointed out above, you can set Bento to back up automatically.
     
  12. gb1631 macrumors regular

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    Dec 3, 2009
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    PNW Puget Sound
    #12
    I have Bento and compared to a relational database it sort of sucks. I was a long time Helix Rade Relational database user. I have it (Rade) on all my computers; however, to really work on a data base one has to use a computer that will run OS 9.x on their 10.4.x machine. One can open the database on a OS 10.7 machine using a Rade engine that works on 10.7.x and print it or convert things to a .pdf format.

    They keep saying that they will get a version that will full bore on the newest OS (10.7.x) but so far they haven't.

    http://www.qsatoolworks.com/product/
     
  13. Nostromo thread starter macrumors 65816

    Nostromo

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    #13
    I took a look at the Filemaker Pro volume of the Missing Manual series.

    That this book is about 800 pages thick alone is an argument for Bento.

    Bento is really simple, so it doesn't take your mind away from your actual work. I will simply back up my database regularly, just in case.
     
  14. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #14
    "I need a database program."

    If your needs are "light" -- that is to say, if you don't need relational capabilities, and are just in need of a simple "flat-file" db -- have you looked at "iData"?

    It reminds me a lot of the old database that used to be in the "Classic" release of Microsoft Works for the Mac. Fast, simple, and easy.

    I don't think it's been updated for a couple of years now, but seems to be Intel-native and works fine with Lion....
     

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