Bento 4.0.6 for Mac - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Bento for Mac

CNET Editors' review

Bento is a database app from the makers of Filemaker offering plenty of great features, but its deliberate lack of focus may make it difficult for people to grasp its usefulness. Bento is loaded with templates to create databases of people, places, or things using nice-looking graphics. The interface takes some time to get used to, but with a little poking around (and once the major features become clear), the true power of Bento starts to materialize.

Bento can be used to catalog just about anything in any number of ways. Comic book collectors could use the program to catalog their collection, for example, complete with pictures, short summaries, and more, all in an aesthetically-pleasing interface. You might also use it to search for a new home, adding all the information, addresses, prices, and pictures of locations making it easy to compare houses against each other. Really any sort of collector or person trying to catalog similar items could find a use for this program. Bento comes with a large number of templates that cover many hobbies and business-related activities, and there are more user-made templates you can browse through at the Web site. Everything from showing more info about the players of your football team to cataloging your DVD collection are great examples of uses for Bento. But perhaps its amazing amount flexibility is its primary weakness because people can't immediately see what use they would have for the program.

Bento works seamlessly with Excel and Numbers making it possible to import information to fill out your templates. You also can import contacts and your personal calendar to display the information in unique ways. Plus, you can share Bento databases, allowing others to add information to your template, making it great for collaboration on a project.

Overall, we think Bento is a solid database program made easy by a largely WYSYWIG interface. The trouble with Bento is that it is not immediately clear why it is useful, making this great program a sleeper hit that remains under most people's radar.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    2.8 stars

    out of 40 votes

    • 5 star: 9
    • 4 star: 4
    • 3 star: 11
    • 2 star: 3
    • 1 star: 13
  • Current version:

    2.7 stars

    out of 3 votes

    • 5 star: 0
    • 4 star: 1
    • 3 star: 1
    • 2 star: 0
    • 1 star: 1
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-3 of 3

  • 4.0 stars

    "Great Functionality & Design; but not for Inventory Mgt"

    April 25, 2012  |   By LOOPS75

    Version: Bento 4.0.6

    Pros

    The linking between all the tables in the library/database
    The flexibility and ability to customise to your heart's desire
    Customer service (even pre purchase) is fantastic via the forums

    Cons

    It is not a relational database (which means it doesn't update records, you have to record changes manually). I have to admit that I knew this already, but thought I could work around it.

    Summary

    When I first downloaded the trial version of this, I loved it. I thought, if I could just wrap my head around what I need, I can build the right links and tables etc to my requirements. I hit some speed bumps, and contacted them via the forum and they answered promptly and in very helpful detail. I carried on, but in the end I realised that for my needs (managing inventory/manufacturing levels, as well as purchasing of raw materials and sales of finished goods), I might be able to get it to work, but there would be so much manual tweaking that is wasn't worth it in the end. I would still buy this if I can figure out a justification for another project.

    Reply to this review Read reply (1)

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Useless program"

    March 13, 2012  |   By kenand1

    Version: Bento 4.0.6

    Pros

    I had nothing positive to say about this product but this site demands that something be entered in this space, so I will say that the advertising for Bento had pretty pictures on it.

    Cons

    I downloaded this program to try it and found that the tutorial videos did not work, and access to its "Forum" did not work. Plus there was no accessible "help'

    The problem seemed to be that although the app. went on line with no problem there was no working site for it to use.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (2)

  • 3.0 stars

    "Designed to be a catch-all database, nice templates"

    December 14, 2011  |   By Durt_Bagg

    Version: Bento 4.0.6

    Pros

    Inexpensive, easy to use database.

    Cons

    Relies on iCal to show a month's of events? Why not build a calendar into Bento? I don't want to have to open multiple programs.

    Summary

    I've tried Daylite, which is costly, cumbersome in some ways, and Filemaker which is great but again relies on 3rd party for a simple calendar. I've settled on SOHO Organizer 9. BYW I am in remote insurance sales (WebEx, Email etc) so everything I do is on the phone and computer with email, calendar, and a customer database. I also liked Fantastical for a calendar.

    Reply to this review

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Results 1-3 of 3

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Bento for Mac