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Bento / AppleWorks

1825 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Oct 4, 2013 12:36 PM by R J Kerr RSS
peter1952 Calculating status...
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Apr 9, 2012 12:32 AM

A number of discussions state that Bento is not a full replacement for AppleWorks database functionality. I realise that Bento and AW fall far short of Filemaker Pro in terms of functionality. I also realise that Bento will not read an AW database file and that data must be saved out of AW as asci text and then imported into Bento and layouts etc will be lost. Leaving those limitations aside just what is it that Bento won't do?  By way of explanation I have transferred all my AW  databases to Bento on my iMac running OS 10.7 and first looks suggest it is quite functional. Perhaps I wasn't exploiting AW's functionality to the full but I'm wondering what I am missing.  The reason for the question is that my Macbook still runs OS 10.6 (it's the original 2006 model which won't run OS 10.7) but I will have to replace it at some stage.

MacBook, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • fruhulda Level 6 Level 6 (14,830 points)
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    Apr 9, 2012 1:27 AM (in response to peter1952)

    I used AW database for creating language dictionaries when learning a language. Each post had the foreign and the native langue in singular, plural, and with the article. The posts could be shown alone on a page, all one after each other on one or more pages. The last is what lacks in Bento for me.

  • Roger Wilmut1 Level 9 Level 9 (64,175 points)
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    Apr 9, 2012 1:31 AM (in response to peter1952)

    Bento is a very simple and inflexible database program: its main advantages are close integration with Address Book and a pretty interface; but its reports aren't very customisable and it lacks the more advanced capabilities of the AW database (which is actually extremely powerful if you dig into it a bit).


    If you are only making simple databases - a list of CDs, for example - then Bento should be fine. If you want to produce customised reports and formatting, have complex calculation fields, or carry out automated processes, then it won't suit you and Filemaker Pro is really the only satisfactory replacement.


    As you are able to experiment with Bento you can judge whether it will do what you want - if it does then you can always move up to FileMaker Pro if required at some future point.

  • Peggy Level 8 Level 8 (38,085 points)
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    Apr 9, 2012 8:04 AM (in response to peter1952)

    The reasons I won't use Bento. Granted, I haven't even looked at a new version for a couple of years.


    1. It saves everything in a single file somewhere in your user library. You can export a single Bento "library" as text but to share it you also have to share the template for the recipient to put back together. And even sharing with another Mac of your own is not easy.
    2. There really isn't a way to share individual "libraries" (I certainly wouldn't call them database files) with anyone else except as above.
    3. With Bento 2 they made a big "to-do" about being able to import AppleWorks files. Sure, as long as you still have AppleWorks to export whatever data you have as plain text & then import it THEN recreate any layouts, calculations, etc.
    4. It gets all of its calendar & address data from iCal & Address Book. Tough if you actually want to create separate files of addresses/contact that you don't want to put into Address Book. I do use Address Book to integrate with Mail, but I don't want all of my family, friends, church members, business contacts, etc. in Address Book if I don't send them e-mails. They did finally add the ability to link from one entry to another, say a parent & child or spouses.



  • R J Kerr Calculating status...
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    Oct 4, 2013 12:36 PM (in response to peter1952)

    I spent all the time migrating to Bento from AW then, guess what, they are axing Bento. Eeeuuww!


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