FileMaker releases Bento 2

Personal database that organizes your busy lifeFileMaker, Inc, a subsidiary of Apple Inc., has announced the immediate availability of Bento 2, the new version of its wildly popular personal database that is as easy to use as the Mac. For the first time, Bento 2 now links Apple Mail messages and RSS feeds to contacts, events, projects, and other information stored in Bento.

With Bento 2, users can export spreadsheet data from Excel and Numbers directly into Bento 2 to view and use that data in beautiful Bento 2 forms, and secondarily import Bento 2 data into the spreadsheet apps. With Bento 2, users get convenient iTunes-style searching, quick sorting, instant summary stats, and much more. AppleWorks data may now also be imported and exported to and from Bento 2 via new support for tab-delimited files.

The new Bento 2 offers exciting new functionality including spreadsheet style “no set-up” data entry with intuitive “fill-downs”; the ability to edit records and modify forms without ever changing modes; view and edit table and detail records in split-view on one screen; and even instantly link to Google Maps and online chat.

“We found that the majority of Bento users were keeping track of their lists in spreadsheets, so we’ve added many new features to Bento that will make spreadsheet users very comfortable, while also accomplishing much more using Bento,” says Ryan Rosenberg, vice president, marketing and services, FileMaker, Inc., in the press release.

Ten new ready-to-use beautiful themes, ranging from “Bookworm’s” deep leathery browns to the cool tranquil blues and hues of “Swimming Pool” can instantly “wash-over” a record, changing its background and fonts – almost magically – without any need for database design know-how.

Bento 2 users can now tap into a new world of productivity by sharing templates with other Bento 2 users. Users can now export and email their original templates with other Bento users across the aisle or across the world.

Bento 2 requires Mac OS X v.10.5.4 Leopard on a Mac computer with an Intel, PowerPC G5 or PowerPC G4 (867MHz or faster) processor. A minimum of 512MB of RAM and 1GB of hard drive space is recommended. A CD drive is required for installation of boxed software.

Bento 2 retails for US$49, or $99 for a family pack of five licenses, and is available here.

Source: FileMaker, Inc.

18 Comments

  1. Looks like they did a significant update! They didn’t brag about their ability to create “reports”, one of my biggest objections to v.1, but they put in a couple of things that were also obviously missing. The most important to me is spreadsheet compatibility, but I’m guessing e-mail integration was more important to them.
    This is still very much a personal or SOHO application, not really designed for the Enterprise. But … that’s still what FileMaker is for, right? Has anyone suggested to them that they don’t need to keep the two quite so distinctly different?

  2. Finally! Excited about this. Downloading the trial now. Guess scripting’s not in the mix. 🙁 Didn’t expect it. Differentiates FileMaker Pro.

    Added Mail integration:
    “You asked for it. We delivered. Now you can link Apple Mail email messages directly to information stored in Bento with a simple drag and drop.”

    New mail features:
    http://www.filemaker.com/products/bento/bento_apple_mail.html

    New spreadsheet features:
    http://www.filemaker.com/products/bento/spreadsheets.html

    New customization features:
    http://www.filemaker.com/products/bento/themes.html

    All new features:
    http://www.filemaker.com/products/bento/top_ten.html

    Can share templates now, which will be nice. Now we’ll see some Bento themes websites soon.

  3. Bento is an incredibly Mac-like product. It is easy to realise its appeal when you see how it is used.

    My daughter is taking yoga for kids in one of those small studios in Manhattan. The girls that run the studio have a few iMacs in there, hooked up to some D-Link WiFi home router. They were using Bento for so many things there (scheduling, mailing lists, even billing), it was clear for me that the product was so intuitive, powerful and consistent with the rest of the Mac experience, even people with very little tech savvy have no trouble using them.

    Built-in templates go very long way in making it easy. I can’t think of anything in the Windows world that is as simple and intuitive, and as attractive as Bento.

  4. Ok I buy version 1 of the program, only to find out it wont export all the information to a spread sheet that I can share.
    Now they add some of the features that where needed call it version 2 and no upgrade ?
    So I have to repurchase the program that was useless to me in the first place to see again if it finally offers the features that I thought would have been apart of the program anyway.

  5. Great, Now maybe they can spend some time on Filemaker.

    RE: Glenn – It updates calendar and address book which would than in turn update the iphone.

    RE: Limey – Yes it can now import from Appleworks database.

  6. Noiseworks:

    They had a fully-working demo of Bento 1, and they have a fully-working demo of Bento 2 (in fact, both are full programmes, they just require purchase of serial number).

    You could have tested v.1 thoroughly before purchasing, by which time you would realised the shortcomings and dealbreakers. Conversely, you don’t need to purchase it again (for v.2) in order to find out if it now does what you want.

    You have waived your right to bitch the moment you chose to skip the demo and purchase right away.

  7. Does it now finally import all Pictures from Addressbook as well?

    Cause with v1 I would have needed to put them in manually one by one, and that was the only reason why I handed it back immediately.

    As long as this function is not available Bento won’t be helpful at all.

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