FileMaker launches free Bento 3 Family Organizer Kit

invisibleSHIELD case for iPadFileMaker, Inc. today announced the Bento 3 Family Organizer, a fast, free and easy way for families to get organized using their Mac, an iPhone or new iPad, once it is released in Australia. It includes a free 30-day trial of Bento 3, the latest version of the personal database that’s as easy to use as your Mac, plus beautifully designed templates that organize bills, meal planning, shopping lists, chores and weekly routines—all within Bento.

For families who worry over whether they have missed a bill, or are frustrated because they constantly recreate shopping lists, meal plans, chore charts and weekly family events, the Bento 3 Family Organizer is the answer.

“Organizing a household is challenging for all of us. From paying bills to shopping, planning meals and other responsibilities, it’s a major job,” said Steve McManus, Regional Manager, Asia Pacific, FileMaker, Inc., in the press release. “The Family Organizer, together with Bento 3, helps make the task of organizing a busy family much easier.”

The Bento 3 Family Organizer is designed to work with Bento 3, which has received numerous media accolades including an Editor’s Pick award from Macworld. Bento 3 adds useful new features such as Grid View, integration with iPhoto, sharing data with others on a local network and securing data with 128-bit AES encryption. The Bento 3 Family Organizer also works with Bento for iPhone and the soon to be released in Australia Bento for iPad, so customers can organize their bills, shopping lists and other family management activities on an iPhone or iPad and then synchronize the information with their Mac.

FileMaker also provides the Bento Template Exchange, offering hundreds of additional ways to use Bento. The Bento Template Exchange is a Bento community site that showcases real-world uses and offers Bento templates that users can browse, download and import into Bento 3 and use on a Mac, iPhone or iPad. Today, Bento users have created and shared over 600 templates on the Bento Template Exchange.

FileMaker is the leader in easy-to-use database software. Millions of people, from individuals to some of the world’s largest companies, rely on FileMaker software to manage, analyze and share essential information. The company’s products are the FileMaker Pro line – versatile database software for teams and organizations, for Windows, Mac and the Web – and Bento, the personal database for Mac, iPhone and iPad. FileMaker, Inc. is a subsidiary of Apple.

Source: FileMaker, Inc.


  1. Why can’t Bento access Filemaker served databases?

    I have an office full of people who need access to my fmp severed files, but will never make their own databases. But Filemaker wants them to buy fmp to use my severed fmp files.

    Silly and a huge waste of money.

    P.S. don’t tell me about sharing through a browser, the databases are too highly structured.

    Bento is affordable for me to buy for everyone in the office, especially for people who won’t ever make their own databases.

  2. Just called Apple about iPad WiFi+3G shipping particulars. The 3G models are all currently in the United States. I live in a suburb of Pittsburgh, and the representative I talked to said the iPad will be shipped from my closest Apple Store, and it will be on my doorstep on the 30th.

    Sincerely apologize for putting this in the comments of an unrelated story, but I just wanted to relay this information to the Apple community.

    And as far as billing your credit card is concerned, you would have received a notice from Apple if your card wasn’t authorized. Your card isn’t billed until the product is actually shipped.

  3. I find Bento to be absolutely useless on the iphone. So much so that I have not purchased it on my Mac. No Table views and static and junky UI’s on the iPhone make it completely useless.

    For the iPhone I would go with HandBase. It is a shame that Apple is supporting Bento as it affords no useful purpose. People, even Mom and Pop want and can use a RELATIONAL database. To ask people to shell out 50 bucks for a static database, and then 4 bucks for a database that is completely useless on the iPhone is a smack in the face to the public.

    If I were Steve Jobs I would be really embarrassed about this program. Consider buying HandBase. They actually have a clue. Their new iPhone layout is unbelievable. They now have a graphical first page with cabinets and the new color coding system makes it much easier to create and enter data. Add to that it’s ability to read from other databases and this is hands down the best program of all for iPhone Database functionality.

  4. @ deepdish: FMPro integration

    Completely with you on this issue. Been asking for this from the moment Bento came out.

    If FileMaker Pro is designed to front end an SQL database, why can’t Bento be designed to front end a FileMaker database?

  5. I bought two copies of Bento, one for my wife’s databases, Pantry & Freezers, which she can access from her iPhone, and one for my Wine Cellar database which I can access from my iPhone.

    This works really well for both of us, but you do need separate copies of Bento (one on a mini and one on an iMac) because each copy can only support one mobile device registered at a time.

    So………… Bento for iPhone should IMO be used to access a main DB on a host machine.

  6. @@johncrawford

    I’m not sure you want to know the reasons “why on earth would I subject” my wife or myself to “this useless program” as you appear to be on a hate campaign against Bento.

    But here goes! I wanted to be able to choose from my wine inventory using my phone on the 1st Floor (Ground in the UK), go down to my cellar to withdraw the chosen wine(s) and update the inventory there and then. With Bento for iPhone I can do all this without climbing to my study on the 3rd floor (2nd floor in the UK).

    My wife can do the same with her 3 main freezers, 2 of which are in the cellar, checking contents for shopping lists and updating her inventories there and then on her iPhone.

    As a user of FileMakerPro and a one-time user of 4D, I was looking for a simple and quick implementation. A relational DB was just overkill IMO, and as far as I can see FileMaker does not support the iPhone in the same simple and elegant way as Bento.

    Far from being a “useless” application, both of us have found it very useful and easy. Horses for courses. By the way, I will look at HandBase for future uses.

  7. John,

    I hold my case and have no regrets in saying that Bento is useless. However, I concede to you that you are probably the first and only person I have ever met that has found this debacle to be useful.

    I love my Mac, iPhone and I really love Mac software, but this is just the worst. It is elegant in design and has no teeth. Again, i am happy that you have found it to be useful.

    Personally, for what you are doing it may be okay. I would have opted for a Windows solution (yes, I did say that bad word), namely, Microsoft Access and then used HandBase as the database. Handbase also works well with SQL so anything from that genre that is on the Mac would also suffice. The downside to Handbase is that it has to be ported to another program on the mac that has a database or to an excel file. It is probably not as straightforward (or, dare I admit elegant) as the Bento solution.

    Again, not starting a flame war, just being honest about one of the worst debacles in software that I have seen in a long time. Again, I am a long time Mac user and with the exception of Access, I usually stay well away from Windows. But I have yet to find a very good Mac relational database with the exception of Filemaker (which I also hate by the way). Have a good one John. I’ll try not to be so judgmental next time.

    ….from the first floor ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />.

  8. Bento is relational but not in way Filemaker jockeys would always like.

    I do think that Bento on iPhone needs to be reviewed by the Steve-inator. As for regular Bento…. ahhh, it continues to be developed. I can’t say anymore.

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