3 Replies Latest reply on Jan 15, 2013 10:16 AM by philmodjunk

    Filemaker or Bento for project database?



      Filemaker or Bento for project database?


           I would love some help trying to decide on Filemaker (FMPA12) vs Bento (v4) for a department I'm setting up with a database. (We have both programs already so cost is not an issue).

           I will do the setting up & the users who will then use the database are not technical or used to using databases.

           It is for our community widows project. There is a list of about 300 women, with photos and various data. There is also a list of requests, with each request being linked to one woman. Then there is a housing list for those needing housing.

           Bento is ideal in terms of its ease of use, but it doesn't quite do all I would like it do to. For example, if a woman comes into the office with a new request, I would like them to be able to add the request as a new record, then link it to the woman's profile, such that the list of requests automatically has the name, village, age etc. of that woman. I have experimented in Bento with the "related data" field, with which you can bring in the woman's entry into the Requests form, but it does not appear in the table list. The info can be copied and pasted though, but that doesn't feel quite like how you should be using a database.

           Having only used Filemaker a little, I want to know if

           a) I realistically could learn how to set up the database in this way - assuming FM does do what I am asking (I am fairly competent on software and have some time I could put into learning)

           b) Whether the people using the database once it is set up would be fine or whether they would inevitably run into problems.

           Many thanks

        • 1. Re: Filemaker or Bento for project database?

               a) Probably, but since we can't "see inside your head" we really can't answer that question. There are training resources, books and tutorials tha can help you get a broad based introduction to FileMaker--even some tutorials on YouTube and we'll be glad to answer any specific questions that you have here in this forum.

               b) If you design the layouts/scripts/value lists to be easy to use, the average user should have no trouble using the database. You'll probably find that you have many more layout design options in FileMaker than Bento. The end user should not require any special skills beyond the ability to read. (Of course the more familiar they are with other programs, the less effort will be needed to show them how your layouts work, but a properly designed layout should be fairly self explanatory...)

          • 2. Re: Filemaker or Bento for project database?

                 Thanks, that's good to know.

                 I should have asked as an overall question whether you would recommend using Filemaker instead of Bento for this task?

                 Also, I have seen the resources on filemaker.com and have seen some videos available on youtube (lynda.com ones), but if you or anyone else has any links to free resources that are good, that would be amazing


            • 3. Re: Filemaker or Bento for project database?

                   Not being a Mac user, I have never used Bento. My impression from posts made by others is that Filemaker will be the better option, but "your mileage will vary" as the added options for how you can design the system that FileMaker provides also means that it will result in a steeper "learning curve" for you.