Bento 4 makes working with databases easier than ever
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Bento 4 makes working with databases easier than ever

I've always found database programs to be a necessary evil. However, when FileMaker Inc. (http://www.filemaker.com) debuted Bento they offered a database app "for the rest of us" that almost makes creating a database fun.

Like I said, almost. But if you have a need to create databases -- and almost everyone does these days -- Bento offers an affordable, and elegant way to do this (and why should you expect less from a wholly owned subsidiary of Apple?). With the jump to version 4, Bento for Mac OS X (10.5.7 and higher) takes another step toward making it easy for anyone to build and use a database while retaining the same US$49 price tag.

Many of the new features in Bento are geared toward the small business user and the home user (big businesses will probably go for Bento's big brother, FileMaker Pro). First of all, it's easy to get started by using one of the built-in templates that come with the app. If you can't find a suitable one among the included templates, you'll almost certainly find one to suit your needs at the Bento Template Exchange (http://solutions.filemaker.com/database-templates/), which seemingly has a template for every type of database known to mankind.

Once you're up and going, you'll appreciate the new features in Bento 4. You can now print mailing labels, inventory tags, name badges and more directly from the app (well, the Mac version anyway, though printing for iOS devices is coming in the future). Bento 4 also offers more (Mac) printing options.

A new Location Field Type lets you track the location where information was entered or modified with the new location field type. Some folks may not need this, but the feature could be very useful for field researchers, survey takers, real estate agents, and mobile salespeople.

And the things we loved about previous versions of Bento are still here. It links to the Mac OS X Address Book and iCal data you already have on your Mac. You can view data in a variety of forms, do quick sorting, advanced searching and add passwords.

You can view your iPhoto albums from within Bento, and track lots of info about your multimedia files and photos. You can even create a digital scrapbook combining photos, videos, and travel notes all on one screen.

There are also several nice little touches. Among them: the ability to quickly "lock" and "unlock" a file by clicking on an icon so you don't accidentally alter data.

You can use Bento for Mac with Bento for iPhone or Bento for iPad ($4.99) to get instant access to details when you’re away from your Mac. In other words, you can view libraries and collections, create new records, edit details, sort data, and more on your iOS device. Plus, you can wirelessly keep your desktop and mobile device in sync whether you edit information on your Mac or on the go.

Bento for iPad -- which comes with 25 pre-designed templates -- has also gotten some nice tweaks. The details stored in Bento are now larger and easier to read. In landscape, a split screen view shows both a complete records list and a single record’s details simultaneously.

You can rotate the iPad to portrait to focus on one record at a time. Numbers are easy to enter thanks to the large, custom onscreen keyboard. You can even view photos, movies, and Adobe PDF files stored in Bento media fields. Finally, Bento for iPad includes background themes with coordinated fonts designed specifically for the Apple tablet to make your data look better than ever on the larger screen.

Similar to Bento for iPhone, Bento for iPad is a solid standalone app. Of course, as mentioned, it also synchronizes directly with Bento running on a Mac, so you can automatically keep your desktop and iPad up-to-date whether editing your information on your Mac or iPad.

Note that if you're moving from Bento 3 to Bento 4, when you launch Bento 4 for the first time, it renames your previous Bento database. Then, Bento 4 creates a new database based upon your existing database.

You probably won't whip out Bento to play around with in your spare time. But when it comes time to work with databases, the FileMaker app makes it as painless as possible.

Rating: 10 out of 10

-- Dennis Sellers

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

How to evolve Eevee in Pokemon GO
By now, almost everyone should be hip to how to evolve Pokemon in Pokemon GO (and if not, there's a guide for that). Just gather enough candy of the appropriate type, feed them all to the Pokemon, and evolution happens. It's a miracle that would... | Read more »
CSR Racing 2: Guide to all game modes
It might not seem like there are all that many ways to go fast in a straight line, but CSR Racing 2 begs to differ. [Read more] | Read more »
Bulb Boy (Games)
Bulb Boy 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Multi-award winning 2D point & click horror adventure about a boy with a glowing head. | Read more »
5 top free emoji keyboard apps
If we're not at peak emoji yet as a society, it feels like we definitely should be. The emoji concept has gone far beyond what anyone in Japan could have envisioned when the people there unleashed it on an unsuspecting world, but the West has... | Read more »
How to unlock more characters in Disney...
One of the big charms of Disney Emoji Blitz is seeing a wide variety of beloved Disney and Pixar characters transformed into smiling emojis. Even someone like the sneaky Randall from Monsters Inc., who probably never cracked a smile on film, is... | Read more »
Cubway (Games)
Cubway 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Cubway is a journey with an abstract story of lifecycle of rebirth, called Samsara. Guide the cube through the long way full of dangers... | Read more »
Colorcube (Games)
Colorcube 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Turn pieces and blend colours in this minimal yet visually stunning puzzler.Over 200 handcrafted and challenging levels. Features... | Read more »
Doodle God Griddlers (Games)
Doodle God Griddlers 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Crusader Kings: Chronicles (Games)
Crusader Kings: Chronicles 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Crusader Kings: Chronicles is an interactive text based game that puts you in the shoes of Guy de Rose as you make... | Read more »
Roads of Rome: New Generation (Games)
Roads of Rome: New Generation 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $5.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Charitybuzz Set to Auction Unique Apple-1 Com...
Offering an opportunity to own the computer that sparked a revolution, on Monday, July 25, leading online charity auction platform Charitybuzz will auction what is claimed to be the world’s most... Read more
MacBook Airs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP
Amazon has 11″ and 13″ MacBook Airs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free: - 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air (sku MMGF2LL/A): $899.99 $100 off MSRP - 13″ 1.6GHz/256GB... Read more
Apple refurbished 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $270 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.7GHz... Read more
Apple refurbished 11-inch MacBook Airs availa...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 11″ MacBook Airs (the latest models), available for up to $170 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is... Read more
Apple iPad Pro Sales Far Outpacing Microsoft...
A report on Appleinsider notes that despite Microsoft Surface tablet PC sales growing by 9 percent year over year, revenues remained below $1 billion, and are down sequentially from the $1.1 billion... Read more
DEVONthink 2.9 Features Ultra-fast, Robust, A...
DEVONthink 2.9 allows users to keep databases synchronized using many means of transport. It transmits them between Macs on the local network or stores them in a syncable form on removable hard... Read more
12-inch WiFi Apple iPad Pros on sale for up t...
B&H Photo has 12″ WiFi iPad Pros on sale for up to $100 off MSRP, each including free shipping. B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 12″ Space Gray 32GB WiFi iPad Pro: $749 $50 off MSRP - 12″... Read more
Apple refurbished 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 15″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $380 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 15″ 2... Read more
Apple refurbished Mac minis available for up...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac minis available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $80 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac... Read more
Apple Mac Sales Finally Colliding With ‘Innov...
After successfully swimming against a tide of diminishing PC sales through 2014 and 2015, it appears that Apple has finally stopped defying gravity and is running up against the unwritten “innovate... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant - APPLE (United...
Job Summary As an Apple Solutions Consultant, you'll be the link between our future customers and our products. You'll showcase your entrepreneurial spirit as you Read more
*Apple* Professional Learning Specialist - A...
Job Summary The Apple Professional Learning Specialist is a full-time position for one year with Apple in the Phoenix, AZ area. This position requires a high Read more
*Apple* Picker - Apple Hill Orchard (United...
Apple Hill Orchard, Co. Rte. 21,Whitehall, NY 9/7/16-10/228/16. Pick fresh market or processing apples Productivity of 60 boxes and 80 boxes processing fruit per Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - APPLE (United...
Job Summary As an Apple Solutions Consultant, you'll be the link between our future customers and our products. You'll showcase your entrepreneurial spirit as you Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.