The makers of FileMaker have released a preview of a new application called Bento. It’s labeled as “personal database software” for managing all aspects of your life from contacts and events to inventory and expenses.
It’s currently a pre-release trial version, meaning your trial will eventually expire, forcing you to purchase Bento if you intend to keep your data. The trial looks to last around 90 days at this point which I assume will coincide with an official launch of the product.
I have to say that Bento looks quite promising thus far. FileMaker is specifically targeting the “personal use” users, as opposed to businesses, with dozens of pre-made templates and simplistic interface. It seems they’ve taken their wildly popular FileMaker software and cut the fluff down so that the average user can get up and running quickly…which I have to say is quite appealing.
Bento divides data into “Libraries”. You can choose from a set of 23 different pre-built libraries that cover just about ever category imaginable of data that could be put in a database. Everything from an Exercise Log to Vehicle Maintenance to Home Inventory is available to jump right in to.
All of the libraries can be customized to fit your needs. My only complaint with this is that there doesn’t seem to be a way to change the default visual design of the templates though I assume this may be available in a future release.
Bento is definitely geared toward personal use but given its ability to be heavily customize, I would imagine that a slew of small businesses will be able to make use of this software. It can import any CSV-formated text file, which is great for those people who have been using something like an Excel spreadsheet for this type of data.
No word yet on pricing or an official launch date, but with a 3 month trial period, I highly suggest giving it a try.