1 Reply Latest reply on Oct 24, 2013 11:14 AM by philmodjunk

    FileMaker Pro general questions (sad Bento owner)



      FileMaker Pro general questions (sad Bento owner)



           I know of the sad, sad news that Bento is no longer being developed and I'm crushed. I spent so much time this past year creating my Bento databases, and do not want to loose that work with the eventual OS / computer upgrade, so I'm looking into FileMaker pro, but have some questions. 

           1. I imported my Bento database via your migration software, but it seems that filemaker pro in general does not look as refined as my bento library did. I've uploaded two pictures for comparison here: http://www.fieldsfaraway.com/jon/01BentoDB.png vs http://www.fieldsfaraway.com/jon/02FileMakerProDB.png As you can see, Bento simply looks better; nicer fonts, better graphics on pulldowns, etc. Its like Bento looks like a mac program, while FileMaker Pro looks like a PC program. Is there anyway I can match Bento's look in FileMaker Pro? 

           2. Bento offers a GREAT split view, in which I can see the whole database in line/column view on top, and the highlighted line is displayed underneath. I use this everyday and is extremely important to my workflow. Can this be done in FileMaker Pro? If so, how? Here is an example of how Bento's split view works: http://www.fieldsfaraway.com/jon/03BentoSplitView.png

           3. Does FileMaker Pro have calendar functions? For example, I have a medical condition I track, and want to keep track of my "bad days." If I were to create a "bad day" checkbox for example and check it every time I have an attack, would I be able to view this on a calendar so I can see how many days a month I had an attack, etc? What would also be cool is to integrate this with a food / activity log so when I do have a "bad day" I can quickly see what I ate or what I did and look for patterns. This is something I was not able to do successfully in Bento and might make it worth the upgrade if I can do it in FileMaker Pro

           4. I was also using Bento for my small retail business to keep track of inventory, customers who want a backordered product etc. Is it possible in FileMaker Pro to have an "if this, then this" type action? For example, if I was out of stock on Apples (inventory value 0), and a customer wanted to be notified when I get more apples in stock, could I tell filemaker if I show an inventory value greater than 0, search my customer list for backorders? Again Bento was not able to go this deep, but I hope FileMaker can. 

           5. Is it possible in FileMaker Pro to create internal links to other enteries in the database? For example, I have a product entery for Apples which keeps track of my inventory, location, cost, etc. if I were to type "apples" as text under a customers "backorder" list, can I make the word "apple" a link to the actual apple inventory page, which would allow me to quickly jump around my large database? My example isn't the best, but the idea of internal links inside a database is important to me, and again something that Bento cannot do. The closest I got with bento is creating "smart lists." Speaking of which....

           6. Does FileMaker Pro do "smart lists" ala Bento? If you dont know what these are, think iTunes smart playlists where you can view only specific items based on specific criteria. 

           Sorry for all the questions, but even with the 40% off deal, FileMaker Pro is a large investment for me and I want to make sure its the right choice for my needs. Thank you for your help in answering my questions!! 

        • 1. Re: FileMaker Pro general questions (sad Bento owner)

               1) Once the basic conversion is done, you can enter layout mode and edit layouts in many different ways to change it's appearance. You can also go to Change theme and by making a single selection change the over all appearance of your layout to match that theme's default settings.

               2) Never having used Bento, I don't really know what that looks like exactly, but it might be possible to come up with something similar via a portal and a self join relationship. You'd see fields from a single record at the top of a form view layout and a portal shown below could list all the records in your table.

               A list view with fields placed an enlarged Header might also serve.

               3) you can create that capability. SeedCode offers a free calendar and you can take a look at my simpler demo file: https://www.dropbox.com/s/e8d03xvwe8vtz85/Calendar.fp7 to see how you might set this up. (Open this older format file from FileMaker 12's File menu to get a copy converted to the FMP12 file format.)

               4) That's an extremely general question. To give a very general answer: yes, there are conditional controls that can be used both in calculations and in script steps that have that capability. IF is both a function that can be used in a calculation and a step of the same name can be used n a script. Case and Choose are other calculation functions that you can use in calculations.

               5) FileMaker is a relational database system. Linking a record in one table to a records in another table (which can also be the same table) is a fundamental capability of the system.

               6) This might be done with a conditional value list, a portal that shows only related records, a portal that shows filtered related records, a list view of records produced by a find or a table view of records produced by a find.


                    FileMaker Pro is a large investment for me

               I suggest that you download the free 30 day trial and try to use it as the best way to evaluate your success in using it and how much additional study/training will be needed to get you up to speed. FIleMaker is a much more sophisticated system so while it does somethings very differently, it also offers the ability to do many things that Bento could not do at all.