After we mentioned Bento 2 from FileMaker yesterday it generated quite a bit of email traffic so we decided to do a quick follow-up of it today. Just what exactly is Bento 2? What makes it unique? How is it useful? We'll give you some FirstLook answers to these questions today. We'll have a more detail analysis at the end of the Summer.
FileMaker is a company which started on the Mac platform, so one would expect that any software they publish would be very Mac-centric. Indeed this is exactly what we get with Bento 2. Bento 2 is a personal database creation and management system written just for the Mac.
It has all of the tight OSX integration one would expect of from a native Mac application. It also has seemless integration with many of the OSX apps such as Mail, Address Book, and iCal. Filemaker has a library of custom templates that make it easy for Bento users to get started. Users may also share their templates via Filemaker's online repository.
Installation of the software is a simple drag-n-drop of the main application into the Apps folder. A full working version may be downloaded from the FileMaker site, but to use the software past the trial period. a license key is required. Once installed, the software will walk the user through all they need to know to create a database. The FileMaker site has all kinds of tutorials and videos to help users get going on Bento.
One thing to remember about Bento 2 is that it is a personal database system. It is not one designed to be accessed by multiple users over a network. Bento 2 databases' main purpose is to help you organize your life. We'll let you know in a few months if it has made a difference in ours.
BTW, over time, the envelope with the license key and the installation disc can get separated. Without the key, the software is pretty useless. Keep the two together. We like to be sure way by writing the key on the CD itself. [Permalink] - Bento 2 FirstLook