Why it’s time to start looking at alternatives to Bento – BIT

And FileMaker Pro is the alternative of choice in this article.

Why it’s time to start looking at alternatives to Bento

Looking for a replacement for the handy little software tool Bento? Here is a basic introduction to FileMaker and how it’s different.

Bento is one of those useful tools you can use to keep track of all sorts of things – timesheets, customers, events…the list goes on.

So it is interesting that FileMaker recently stopped offering new versions of Bento. So what if you use Bento? Below we explain why we think you should start looking at alternative software and we explain how FileMaker is different.

Bento and FileMaker: what are they?

FileMaker (the company, not the product) had two main products until 30 September 2013: Bento and FileMaker Pro.

  • Bento was a very simple program designed for capturing the sort of data you probably used a spreadsheet for, but added some nice features such as attractive data entry forms and the ability to easily create basic reports. For example, I’ve been using it to enter and store timesheets.
  • FileMaker Pro is a more powerful, but complex, tool for creating relational databases – collections of information where relationships exist between different types of data. Think of products, customers and sales. A relational database can link those three sets of information.

So Bento and FileMaker served different needs.

Why it’s time to start looking at alternatives to Bento

Although FileMaker, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Apple, has stopped developing new versions of Bento, that doesn’t mean it’s going to stop working. If you have Bento installed on your Mac or iOS devices it will continue to work – for now.

Apple releases new versions of OS X and iOS every year or so. It’s a fair bet that at some point, one of those changes will alter the way Bento works. For example, under OS X Mavericks, Bento still works, but the entry of some data can be a little flaky. If I enter a time into my timesheet application, it defaults to AM unless I manually type PM. That’s just an annoyance but it’s possible that a future change will render Bento inoperable.

While Bento still works, my advice is to start looking at alternatives and to plan a transition sooner rather than later if you have a Bento application you rely on.

More…Why it’s time to start looking at alternatives to Bento – BIT.

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