FileMaker Kills Bento to Focus on Pro Database Market

| Product News

FileMaker's jaunt in the consumer database market is coming to an end. The company announced that it will stop selling Bento on September 30 so that it can focus on its FileMaker professional database products.

FileMaker bows out of the consumer database marketFileMaker bows out of the consumer database market

Bento users will still be able to get technical support through July 30, 2014. According to the company, FileMaker has been gaining popularity on iOS which helped drive the decision to drop Bento from its product lineup.

When Bento is gone it'll take some compelling features with it, most notably the ability to create new databases on your iPhone or iPad, and WiFi syncing between iOS devices and Macs. FileMaker Go, FileMaker's mobile offering for FileMaker databases, is essentially an app for working with databases you make on your Mac and doesn't offer the simple data syncing features found in Bento.

Bento has been around for over five years and once it's gone FileMaker isn't planning on offering any alternatives other than FileMaker Pro. For uses that want to snap up a copy of Bento before it's gone, they can grab the Mac version for US$49.99, the iPad version for $9.99, and the iPhone and iPod touch version for $4.99.

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Once Bento is gone, FileMaker won't have a solution for creating new databases on your iPhone or iPad. For that, you'll need to have a Mac or PC. Since FileMaker is relegating the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch to satellite device status for database users, there's a great opportunity now for other companies to promote their full-featured products to fill the void Bento will leave. Bento was a great product. We're sad to see it go.

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ARE there any personal database options for the Mac or iOS?
Seriously we’re still using an ancient copy of FileMaker. It’s something like 12 years old. We never switched to Bento because we understood that it wouldn’t import our FileMaker data. With Bento gone IS there anything else? We have one Mac still on Snow Leopard just to run FileMaker and Office.X. I’d like to upgrade it but so far I can’t.

Does anyone know how well OpenOffice Base compares?


Apple (owner of Filemaker) never really promoted the product.  The most we heard about it was in Steve Jobs’ keynote.  I once mentioned it to some seniors at an Apple Store wanting to get a spreadsheet of their Christmas card list into their Mac and iPhone, when I mentioned Bento the salespeople actually gather around to listen ...


Having owned and used both FileMaker and Bento; I am not surprised by this development. Bento was a useful but very limited program. I was always running into something the program couldn’t do. If there were a bigger market for what Bento offered, the product would have continued. Most people buy ready made data organizing apps for specific data types like photos or recipes. They aren’t interested in designing their own solution. FileMaker, on the other hand, serves database designer’s purposes quite well.

Lee Dronick

I am asking the same question as Geoduck. Are there similar, or better, personal data base apps?

Lee Dronick

I just did an app store search, iOS apps, and there are some databases available. I will need to do some research on them.


By limiting Bento so severely so it wouldn’t compete with FileMaker they doomed it to ultimately fail. In my case, the lace of AppleScriptability was the killer. I never bought Bento; I tried it, but as skipaq says in his comment, it was just to limited to be really useful.


The AppStore user-reviewers of the latest Bento are unanimous in their outraged condemnation of it.  They all strenuously imply this message:

“Everyone who buys Bento will deeply regret it!”


As a FileMaker user, I like Bento for two reasons: 1. I have a simple freezer inventory appn. for our 2.5 freezers which my wife uses, and 2. I have a wine inventory appn. for my “cellar” which works well.

Perhaps I will be able to transfer this to FM and FM for iP5 and iPad.



Bad news Bento*, This will make me sad, although I agree the full potential was never realized.
I am an avid collector, and enjoyed cataloging my collections. I most definitely will be searching for more than “adequate” software…I’ll be back with my findings!! (if I am lucky to find suitable replacement!!)


For anyone who is looking for a Personal Database like Bento may find a tool we built called Dabitat interesting.

Checkout the explainer video:
And our Getting Started video:

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