File Maker have announced the availability of Bento 2, the new version of their popular personal database that is as easy to use as the Mac.
The Bento 2 personal database now links Apple Mail messages and RSS feeds to contacts, events, projects and other stored information.
With the Bento 2, users can export spreadsheet data from Excel and Numbers directly into it to view and use that data in Bento 2 forms, and secondarily import Bento 2 data into the spreadsheet applications.
With the Bento 2, users can get convenient iTunes-style searching, quick sorting and instant summary statistics. The AppleWorks data can also be imported and exported to and from the Bento 2 through new support for tab-delimited files.
The new Bento 2 personal database offers new functionality, including spreadsheet style ‘no set-up’ data entry with intuitive ‘fill-downs’. It has the ability to edit records and modify forms without changing modes. Users can view and edit tables and detail records in split-view on one screen and can instantly link to Google maps and online chat.
According to Steve McManus, Regional Manager – Asia Pacific, a majority of Bento users were keeping track of their lists in spreadsheets. For this reason, File Maker have added many new features to the Bento 2 that will make spreadsheet users comfortable, while also accomplishing much more.
The new Bento 2 personal database has ten new ready-to-use themes, ranging from ‘Bookworm’s’ browns to the blues of ‘Swimming Pool’ that can instantly ‘wash-over’ a record, changing its background and fonts without any know-how of database design.
Bento 2 personal database users can now share templates with other Bento 2 users. Users can export and email their original templates with other Bento users across the world.
An advantage of the Bento 2 personal database is its ability to connect to Apple Mail. It allows users to tie the Address Book, iCal and Apple Mail, all together in a better way. With the Table View feature in the Bento 2, users can include only the fields currently being manipulated. With the help of the Split View feature in the Bento 2 personal database, users can efficiently add information, without having to toggle between Table and Form views.
The Bento 2 can also print multiple records on one page, thereby making it useful for creating reports.
The Bento 2 personal database requires Mac OS X v.10.5.4 Leopard on a Mac computer with an Intel, PowerPC G5 or PowerPC G4 (867MHz or faster) processor. A minimum of 512MB of RAM and 1GB of hard drive space is recommended. A CD drive is required for installation of boxed software.