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FileMaker Previews Bento, The Stylish Personal Database for Leopard


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[blurb]

FileMaker Previews Bento, The Stylish Personal Database for Leopard

Incredibly easy software unleashes your Address Book contacts and iCal events, and organizes your Mac-based info in one place

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – November 13, 2007 – Today FileMaker, Inc. began a public preview of Bento, a new personal database designed specifically for Mac OS X v.10.5 Leopard. Bento is designed to help Mac users organize their lives by giving them one place to put their important information, from contacts and calendars to projects and events. Bento can organize activities related to work, home, school and community.

Bento automatically displays contacts and calendars kept within Address Book and iCal. There is no need to re-enter existing names, phone numbers, email addresses and upcoming events into Bento so users can start organizing and extending to their information right away.

“Bento is the personal database for the millions of Mac users who appreciate the elegance and ease of use of their Mac,” said FileMaker president Dominique Goupil. “With Bento, we are providing an incredibly easy way to manage all your information -- iCal calendar events, Address Book contacts, digital media and files -- all in one place, effortlessly.”

Bento users can organize contacts, calendars, photos and files so they can easily do the following and more:

• Manage a vast amount of contact details

• Coordinate events, parties and fundraisers

• Track projects, assignments and deadlines

• Connect related information together

• Prioritize tasks

• Catalog inventory, donations and items for sale

• Record hours worked and payments due

• Assign ratings to service providers and sellers

• Create libraries for music, movies and other media

• Store files and photos in relation to projects and events

Bento builds on Leopard’s gorgeous new look and consistent design to bring simplicity and style to personal databases.

[/blurb]

Key features include:

• Built-in links to Address Book and iCal. Be productive instantly by integrating and adding to your contact and calendar information. Add photos to your contacts, add invitees to an iCal event, and more. And because Bento links with Address Book and iCal, you can see data on your iPhone or share it over the Web with .Mac.

• Stylish templates and themes. More than 20 ready-to-use templates sport elegant themes to reflect each user’s unique style, personality or activity. Forms and fields are designed with coordinated colors, layouts, fonts and text styles for immediate use.

• Works with iPhone and .Mac. Bento links to live Address Book and iCal data. No synchronization is necessary to be in sync with Bento, since Apple’s core technology takes the information to iPhone and .Mac for sharing over the Web.

• iTunes-like search. Searching, organizing and sorting records is simple. Create collections to store work, personal or volunteer tasks in the same way you would create smart playlists in iTunes or albums in iPhoto.

• Drag, drop and import with ease. Rearranging, regrouping and viewing lists or forms are drag-and-drop easy, as is importing or exporting data from Microsoft Excel, Numbers or any other program that creates CSV files.

• See things your way. One-click customization options for themes, columns displayed, label positions, text sizes, shading, and alignment; the Table View allows for easy sorting and quick stats in Summary Row; Add more pages to view different slices of information.

• Get the Leopard experience. Users will love many of the exciting new Leopard capabilities in Bento, including: Media Manager, which allows users to store and change images in Bento fields; live connection to iCal, which exchanges data between calendars and tasks; Advanced Find, which re-uses the “Advanced Find” module from Leopard’s Finder for pinpointing specific information within the database; and Time Machine, the new Leopard feature that allows for easy database back-ups.

Bento by FileMaker

Bento is brought to you by FileMaker, and it takes advantage of the company’s 20 years of database software experience. FileMaker, Inc., makers of the legendary FileMaker Pro, one of the world’s easiest to use full-featured databases, now brings you a personal database with virtually a “zero learning curve.”

Availability

Bento is designed to run exclusively on Mac OS X v.10.5 Leopard. A free public preview is available at (URL available tomorrow) FileMaker intends to ship Bento in January, 2008. The Bento public preview is time-limited beta software meant for evaluation purposes only. Please read the software license accompanying the preview software for full

terms and conditions.

About FileMaker, Inc.

FileMaker, Inc. develops award-winning database software. Its products include the legendary 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.

Customer contact:


800-325-2747


www.filemaker.com



Media contact:
Kevin Mallon


408-987-7227


[email protected]



©2007 FileMaker, Inc. All rights reserved. Bento is a trademark of FileMaker, Inc., and FileMaker is a trademark of FileMaker, Inc. registered in the U.S. and other countries.

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NO.

I wouldn't be so sure with your 'NO'. FileMaker has to get out a solution for the iPhone sooner or later, and Bento just fits right. :)

Looking more into Bento, it looks like a 'skin' for (existing) FileMaker applications. Probably developers will be able to port their custom sultions within Bento onto the iPhone?

Any more thoughts anybody?

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Bento allows you direct access to your ical and address book and. It does not talk to FileMaker or existing solutions unless you export / import csv files. It stores its data in SQLLite database apart of the OS.

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I wonder. FileMaker 9 has added SQL access, for such big databases as mySQL. Why couldn't they tweak that a bit to support local SQLite also? PHP supports both, with separate but similar query syntax. It just seems so obvious that we would want to connect to this data from FileMaker Pro, that they would at least try to do something. It would seem that if Bento is using the OS SQLite, access should not be that difficult. There is even a command line sqlite tool built-in to 10.4; though there is a paucity of documentation, like one short manual page. I hope they think about this, because a FileMaker Pro - SQLite data - Bento - SQLite data - iCal, Address Book, etc. synchronization solution would be the ultimate reality for client Macs.

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Lol, it has a decent interface, how ironic.

Now all they have to do is come out with a decent version of FileMaker - they can call it whatever the hell they want - like Rigato for example - see, just pull the first letter off some japanese word and you have a product name ;)

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I really regret and find it sad that we are having some sarcastic people on board of this forum (thread). Funny that they are XP users and are not able to contribute constructive information to the rest of us.

This forum is great and has helped me a lot so far with solving problems. IMHO, it's just not nice that some members misuse this forum with sarcasm.

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Lol was that directed at me? I wasn't being sarcastic, i'm just laughing at FileMaker and I really doubt this will go to iPhone. On an unrelated note, please don't go down the "You're an XP user you suck road".

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I don't mind sarcasm, on any platform. Given a situation where FMI tells me "wait before you upgrade to Leopard until we have fixed some issues" and at the same time "try out this new application that requires Leopard", I don't know how sarcasm can be avoided.

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Well there's that, but there's also irony in the fact that they can't get their interface up to current standards but can throw this app together in what would've had to have been a fairly short period of time with fully up to date apple GUI.

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I am not sure about that. There might be a difference in designing a cross-platform application (with some backwards compatibility to boot) and this. From the little I understand, one could create an application like Bento merely by building a front end for capabilities already provided by the OS, so it should be a breeze - but then I am not a programmer.

OTOH, Apple itself succeeded in porting some of its apps to Windows, most notably iTunes. So let's hope this is a preview of things planned for FMP 10.

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I don't mind sarcasm, on any platform. Given a situation where FMI tells me "wait before you upgrade to Leopard until we have fixed some issues" and at the same time "try out this new application that requires Leopard", I don't know how sarcasm can be avoided.

Nicely said comment.

I couldn't agree more.

Lee

p.s. to clarify which post.

Edited by Guest
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From the little I understand, one could create an application like Bento merely by building a front end for capabilities already provided by the OS, so it should be a breeze - but then I am not a programmer.

No I've dabbled in programming, so I agree there... still doesn't change the fact that it's annoying. We can always hope with FMP 10 - actually iTunes hadn't occurred to me but that's a brilliant example.

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A wild guess:

FMI has a small group of devs working on various possibilities for "the next big thing". Bento is the first product from this group to make it public, and is a test bed for technologies that may or may not make it into FMP. Being a "personal" product, it is arguably less critical that new features / tech be bulletproof, so there is more freedom to experiment.

If this is even close, I hope FMP inherits Bento DNA soon. In any case, it's my opinion that FMI owes the FMP developer community a statement about what, if anything, this means for FMP. Is FMP now a "legacy" platform? Will FMP 10 be a big change? Will there be a "Bento Pro" or "Bento Advanced"?

Chris

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I'm so cornfused.

I haven't upgraded to Leopard, so I wasn't able to install Bento, but it seems this application, created and marketed by FMI, has no connection to their flaghsip product, FileMaker Pro.

Is that accurate?

If so, why should I consider this more newsworthy than other Apple product releases and why is FMI marketing it?

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This product has no connection to FM Pro... well its a database app, but directed at more of a personal use type of thing from what i can make out - but no its not an "FM Pro upgrade" or anything like that.

why should I consider this more newsworthy than other Apple product releases

FMI created it and we should be outraged that they could write an entirely new application for leopard but couldn't patch FM in time for the release?

Plus like i said before, the fact that "bento" has decent GUI tools is annoying.

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Outraged? This product has no connection to FileMaker Pro except that it was made by the same company.

Should I be upset because Apple released "Numbers" when I was waiting for a new release of "Final Cut"? These are clearly independent teams with nothing to do with each other - the database technology being used is actually SQLite, not FileMaker's format, so they are not even compatible.

So FileMaker decided to invest money in trying something new - I don't think that's anything to be upset about.

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I said we should be outraged at FMI... They had a decent enough knowledge of the leopard system to create an application from scratch to run specifically on it using its new features, but apparently they didn't have a decent enough knowledge to debug and patch FM...

Anyway, meh.

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For all who care: Bento is Japanese for Lunch Box, go figure.

Can one of ye with contacts inside that company please make them implements events properly? Also invisible and visible fields please. I sometimes feel like I'm trying to build a lattice with an adze over here. I'm not being sarcastic by the way, just moaning in general.

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For all who care: Bento is Japanese for Lunch Box, go figure.

It's actually Obento (stared at me all the way through year 7 and 8 Japanese classes - so long ago, but one of the few memories that haunt me lol), hence my earlier crack about Rigato being a suitable name.

... THAT or my book was wrong LOL!

On an unrelated note, to the guy who made the crack about me being on windows, tell me this isn't constructive:

See, its like the FM product, but its Windows - get it - constructive.

obento_xp.jpg

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I really dislike people who nitpick about stuff that doesn't matter....

.... but ....

.... the "O" is an honorific. It's applied to many nouns, Ohashi means chopsticks for example. Actual word is Bento.

Note the "jp" in my username, I can see the Tokyo tower from my bedroom ;-)

Nice lunchbox though.

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Meh - I was making the mention in a lighthearted way, but yeh, you're Japanese and probably know more than my text book (I was just reminiscing). Anyway so i'm just gonna go hide now.

Edited by Guest
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Interesting, I would like to see some of Bento interface features come to FMP.

-unified window

-drag and drop!!!!!!!

-real scroll bars in portals (horizontal and vertical)

-image scaling in container field

Played a bit more with it, and I have found that you can access your iPhotos and media through the Media section on the left when you click add media.

Have to play some more, all-in-all light weight but might work well for client reception desk or somewhere niche .

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I think we as developers are being tought a lesson if we have thought ourselves betting on the right horse, by persuing an absolutists approach to what our solutions are about, the gray line of what is considered to within the boundaries of a solution and what is purely the OS's task to deal with is swaying again ... let's be hosest for a short while, havn't we been occupied endless hours with calendaring solutions, which we must admit never ever really got there, where iCal is.

These attempt to redefine what an operating system is all about have allways been there with mac os's:

There are, as with most things, a variety of reasons, ranging from the profound to the absurd, for why Macintosh is so under appreciated and much maligned. The fundamental one is simply ignorance. The vast majority of people have simply never used a Macintosh. They used a couple of DOS programs (123, dBase or WordPerfect) and then moved up to a handful of Windows programs (almost all from Microsoft). Now, I'm an experienced Mac programmer and power user. I have 820 applications on my home machine. A lot of them are freeware and shareware applications. A fair number of them I've written myself.

From: http://www.seanet.com/~jonpugh/MacJihad.html

Allthough the point's made here are slightly bygones - at least the actor namedroppings are, is it indicating that the cut is very different!

But as such have the workflow the highest priority, while industrial or techological demands have deliberately been neglected, because it's perhaps because windows and linux are more likely to attack these spots first ... I've been using this quote for a quite some times now ... but I feel it's in essence what this is all about:

illustrates the importance of designing new products around the needs of the user, not the demands of the technology. Too many technology firms think that clever innards are enough to sell their products, resulting in gizmos designed by engineers for engineers

From this: http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9302662

This post mentioned below made me re-think, while it still yesterday was a "...what the devil is this":

http://www.nabble.com/forum/ViewPost.jtp?post=13748335&framed=y

Bart is very close to "...wise", and I'v allways begun to re-think the whole enchilada, when he've spoken up!!!!!!!!

--sd

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Now wait a minute!

Bento???

Who thought that name up?

I can just see it:

A: I've just got this great new personal database which is like a user-friendly extension to my own brain. It connects with all the Apple Apps, does EVERYTHING I could dream of* and links to absolutely ANYTHING. It's called "Super Dupa Mega PowerBase Pro Turbo" -- no actually it's called ... Bento!

B: Bentwhat? You're kidding!!! Pffft!

[* apart from link to FileMaker Pro]

Wouldn't a strong and serious name or a catchy groovy name actually help sell the product. A silly one just makes it sound like it's a lemon.

At least we now know what the guys at FileMaker have been doing, rather than fixing FM9 to work properly on Leopard. Also, wouldn't it be nice to have some of these features in FileMaker - direct links to AddressBook and iCal data and better interface design tools?

As a FM developers we design database solutions and even products for direct sale using FileMaker Pro. It is not very encouraging that FileMaker choose not to use their own product to do the same. Without a connection to FileMaker the product is useless to us and just a diversion from the real work of maintaining FileMaker as a truly great product.

Thanks for all the fish guys! Back to work please and I wish Bento the best of luck (Note: no amount of sarcasm is enough).

Tol

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