Apple subsidiary FileMaker lays off 20 employees following Bento discontinuation

“Wholly owned Apple subsidiary FileMaker Inc., makers of database programs FileMaker and the now-defunct Bento, reportedly conducted a round of layoffs on Thursday as the company restructures and consolidates its workforce,” Mikey Campbell reports for AppleInsider.

“People familiar with the situation told AppleInsider that FileMaker let go of approximately 20 employees Thursday night, including some company veterans with over 13 years of experience, in a bid to remain profitable amid slumping sales,” Campbell reports. “The reported shake up comes just days after FileMaker announced it would be discontinuing development of its database application Bento, an important consumer-facing title that boasted versions for the Mac, iPad and iPhone.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Immediate good luck to the affected employees!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
FileMaker discontinues Bento – July 31, 2013
FileMaker releases Bento for iPad – April 2, 2010
Sales of Bento for iPhone and iPod touch top 100,000 – December 8, 2009
FileMaker: Bento downloads top 250,000 mark – March 18, 2008
FileMaker previews ‘Bento’ personal database for Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard – November 13, 2007


      1. That’s a fair question, but TFA didn’t actually say 20 “Programmers” had been let go. It mentioned “external representatives, sales engineers, and technical support staff.”

  1. If iFile and iWork only worked seamlessly together like ClarisWorks/ AppleWorks used to…

    It was so easy to click on the database, and insert the number of columns and rows you needed into ANY document, drawing, word processing, didn’t matter it was awesome. NOTHING since has even tried to come close to the ease and functionality offered by Appleworks.

    Interesting to see that iWork has been stuck at 09 for over 4 years now, and the same thing happened to AppleWorks. It was stranded at 6 for years and years.

  2. As a dedicated Bento user, color me pissed! I hope someone picks up Bento. Aside from the way-too-expensive and more-than-I-need FileMaker, HanDBase is the only alternative. It’s problem is a horrendously amateur desktop component. Bad news for me }8-/

      1. Actually, I have the iPhone version of the app and it’s more similar to HanDBase than Bento. The other problem is that I’d have to purchase an iPad version as well as a desktop version. The desktop version is ~$26 and the iPad version is $9. And then there is the export to CSV and conversion of all my databases to Tap. It’s just a costly pita, basically. I’ll stick with my Bento stuff as long as I can. Mebbe I’ll get indistrious and buy the other Tap versions and slowly migrate.

        That’s my whine for the day.

        1. Tap Forms for Mac 2.0 has a new Bento template importer so you don’t have to do the CSV file dance to get your Bento data into Tap Forms. It will import it from a Bento template export. So your data and photos and file attachments and related libraries and forms also get imported.

  3. Apple needs to inject some new energy into this arena. Filemaker is long in the tooth, and it shows while Bento is so restricted it is next to useless. If Ruby on Rails was not so difficult to implement it would be a great replacement for Filemaker. Perhaps Apple should ditch Filemaker altogether and build a new solution on Rails to make it simple to install and add a compiler to make it more efficient to run…

    1. FileMaker is a successful program on its own. Apple isn’t likely to “fix what ain’t broke”. Apple isn’t likely to expand much on its iWork ensemble; Numbers is as much as it is likely to push in the Microsoft spreadsheet/database direction, unless MS Office for Mac goes away. Third-party apps will be left to grapple with the Bento afterlife. Cloud computing is focusing much of the enterprise software market. Third-party, enhanced database apps will chase that opportunity.

  4. I switched my small business over to Bento from Filemaker as soon as they offered label printing on Bento. Filemaker was far more than I needed for my very simple needs.

    I too hope that Apple will reenter the simple database market.

    I can probably use Bento for quite a while after they discontinue selling and supporting it but I am disappointed nonetheless.

  5. I am not liking this at all. I am an internal FM developer and our company runs on FM . Despite some comment about it being long in the tooth (I totally disagree), you won’t find a more developer friendly, lower cost database that runs cross platform. For small businesses and large businesses that have smaller scale needs for specific situations, it is a wonderful tool.

    1. Our little roofing company has been running on FMP since 1996 …..

      Will continue to support and use FMP as it fits us perfect ….

      By the way, if you are looking for any side work, we need some updating and our resident FMP guy is serving in Afghanistan ….. Reply back to this post and perhaps we can hookup ….

  6. They went nuts with too many versions of FileMaker. FileMaker Pro. FileMaker Advanced. FileMaker Server. By the time you got your company up on the current version, they were releasing all new versions.

    You’d have an easier time getting Michelle Obama on the phone than talking to one of their volume licensing people.

    There was all the nutty security where if you forgot to deinstall your license, it prevented you from installing again on your new computer.

    On top of all the weirdness, FileMaker is expensive. Especially FileMaker Server.

    Oh crap.
    I just remembered a bug in one of my FileMaker databases I was supposed to fix over the weekend. Whoops!

    1. couldn’t sync Bento on iOS into FMPro on desktop. doomed from start. couldn’t sync FMPro on iOS with desktop FMPro database. (email new version and import records? COME ON!!??). huge problem that they still don’t have fixed. too complicated and expensive for me to figure out how to do it with FMServer. Dropbox? Transformer?

    2. Too many versions? Well there’s Filemaker Pro and Filemaker Advanced. That’s two. Unless you want to debug scripts or create runtimes, the Pro version will do just fine. The Filemaker Server software is something altogether different that allows a database to be shared with multiple users.

      Maybe you were referring to the numbered versions, like 10, 11 and 12. You can open and use a database made in version 7 in 2004 with version 11. That was a pretty long run of file usefulness. There was no particular need to upgrade your Filemaker apps unless you wanted to use a new feature that previous versions did not have. Your OS would probably would force an upgrade to the software before Filemaker did.

      Granted, a version 12 file won’t open in previous versions. It’s got some substantial improvements and I guess it wasn’t practical to maintain the backwards compatibility. I would expect FMP12 files will be operable for another 4-5 versions.

      Filemaker is more expensive than the $50 Bento toy database app. It also creates relational databases, has advanced scripting, instant web publishing, sharing over the network and a bunch of other features that Bento was never designed to do.

      But that said, I’m puzzled as to why Filemaker discontinued Bento. Bento wasn’t really hurting anything. It seemed to work well for simple kinds of databases. Sometimes Bento users wanted more and moved up to Filemaker. I get why users are annoyed and I’d have to agree it seems dumb.

      My guess is that they have something like the free Filemaker Go app for desktops planned. Something that has no layout or script editing capability, but can simply open and operate database files. That would greatly reduce the entry costs for a company that wants to develop a shared database.

  7. All this trash talk about FileMaker. Would you guys prefer to retun to the world were MS Access the first database anyone thought of for desktop computers?

    I didn’t think so.

  8. At my company, Filemaker manages product, inventory, production and QC data. It generates product inserts, syncs data with website servers and was designed from the ground up. For ~5K a year we get server and advanced software for a company of 100+.
    For those type of applications it is very cost effective.

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