“Despite the gap left by AppleWorks, neither iWork nor Office provides a database component. FileMaker has recognised that its own database is overkill for home users and some small businesses, so Bento aims to let anyone organise data in a simple, effective manner,” Alan Stonebridge reports for MacUser.
“Bento fits comfortably with applications like iTunes and iPhoto by virtue of its similar layout. The left column shows data sources, the centre shows records, while the right chooses which fields are shown in the centre and is where fields are defined,” Stonebridge reports.
Stonebridge reports, “Data types can be simple, like text and numbers; or more complex, like calculations, file lists and abstract address fields that encompass all parts of an address. Many data types have presentational and behavioural settings, governing formatting of currencies and an autocomplete behaviour for text. Whatever Bento is asked to store, thought has gone into ensuring the user isn’t left frustrated by an unintuitive application.”
Stonebridge reports, “For the market it’s aimed at, Bento is an exemplary product. Much of this stems from the re-use of familiar concepts from Mac OS X and other Apple applications. A few minor issues leave room for improvement but overall Bento makes a good debut and at such a low price that only a die-hard open source advocate can grumble about.”
Full review here.
FileMaker’s Bento retails for US $49 or $99 for a family pack. Bento is designed to run exclusively on Mac OS X v.10.5 Leopard.
More info and download link for the free Bento preview here.
FileMaker, Inc. develops award-winning database software. Its products include the FileMaker Pro product line for Windows, Mac and the Web, and the new Bento personal database for Mac. Millions of customers, from individuals to large organizations, rely on FileMaker, Inc. software to manage, analyze and share information. FileMaker, Inc. is a subsidiary of Apple Inc.