I use Bento 4.1.2 on a Mac with OS X 10.8.5 (Mountain Lion). I am thinking about updating either to Mavericks or all the way to El Capitan. Will Bento still work in these operating systems?
Thank you in anticipation of valuable information.
Thank you for your post.
OS X 10.8.5 is really as up to date as you want to go with Bento 4.1.2. OS X 10.9 and newer are not supported on it and you immediately start losing functionality (which worsens the newer version you go). If you would like to move to a new Operating System without compatibility issues check out the Bento Migration to FileMaker. There is even a Migration Tool to move a majority of your current Bento information and templates over.
I hope this helps!
Thanks very much, TSPigeon. I really can't afford to buy FileMaker, so I am stuck with Mountain Lion, I think.
You might be able to export your data as CSV or into a spreadsheet. Then you can use the date in LibreOffice's database program, Base. It is similar to MS Access in setup. There will be a learning curve, and you will have to design your layouts and searches from scratch. But Base is relational, Multiplatform, and it is free.
Thank you, Jimwell, that is very useful.
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Sorry to come back again. I designed my LibreOffice database — created all the same fields as in my Bento one — and exported the Bento data as a csv file. I have now struggled for over an hour trying to get the data into the LibreOffice database, trying various combinations of copying and pasting, and have completely failed. Have you any idea how to do it? I thought I had followed the LibreOffice instructions, but I obviously got something wrong.
Doing a quick search in the online LibreOffice documentation, it appears that LibreOffice will also import Excel files. You may want to also try exporting the Bento data in Excel format. That is, while Bento is open, pull down the File menu and select "Export...". In the Export window, select the "Excel" icon at the top, select the defaults "All records" and "All table view fields", and click "Next...". Like before, select a file name, where you want the file saved, and click "Save".
What occurs when you try to import the data into LibreOffice? Do you get the wrong data? No data? Some data?
Thank you very much indeed. I had already exported my Bento data as an Excel file as well as a cvs text file. I have now tried with both file types.
In the LibreOffice database there is no 'Import', only Open, Copy and Paste. If I open either of the text files and choose Copy and then Paste, nothing at all happens. If I choose Open, select the entire cvs or Excel file, then choose Copy, go to the open LibreOffice database, select the only line below the field headings that is shown and then choose Edit > Paste, the famous (or notorious) Mac beach-ball starts spinning and goes on spinning indefinitely until I force-quit the LibreOffice database.
As I stated before, there is a learning curve for Base. I strongly suggest you use the help and find tutorials on how to create a simple database before trying anything more complex in order to familiarize yourself with Base. It is not nearly as intuitive as Filemaker. To directly answer your question, When you use the Base Wizard, you can choose to open a new database. Spreadsheet is listed in the choices. I suggest using your data to create a LO (LibreOffice) spreadsheet first then use the Base Wizard to import it. When using Base you need to ignore everything you know about Filemaker except the basic concepts of relational database design, such as field definitions, key fields, reports, etc. If you are not interested in spending the time to learn the Base environment and get a basic understanding of SQL database concepts, (you do not have to learn SQL programming with Base), then Base is not the product for you). Base is much more complex than Filemaker for the basic database and does not have Filemaker’s bells a whistles. Base is the least understood module of LO and has not historically received the attention to being user friendly as its other modules. In Base you cannot simply convert you FM database with a built-in tool and start running it. The only thing Base will convert is your field definitions and possibly your relationships. Screens, Reports, Searches, must be rebuilt from scratch.
Frankly, due to lack of time, I have only scratched the surface of Base. I know generally what it can do but not necessarily how to do it. Finding good documentation for the neophyte can also be challenging. Depending on your skill level I estimate it can take from days to weeks to create your first fully functional relational database in Base that includes Searches, and Reports. Much of what Filemaker does is hidden behind its GUI. In Base, you have to set it up. That is why Filemaker and its consultants can continue to exist at their price point. It is designed for people that want to create and use a database without learning about database creation concepts. Somewhere along the line you have to pay - either in time or money. However once you create your first database fully functional database, the future ones should go much quicker and easier. Please do not ask me about Base details. Frankly I don’t know them and I am a neophyte myself. By database background is I did tech support for Claris Inc, the precursor to Filemaker Inc. and support Filemaker. I also designed a complex water management database in Access for a landscape company 5 years ago. I am now retired.
Thank you so much for that very thorough and full reply. I have very modest demands for my database, which do not include the relational aspects at all. I mainly want it for cataloguing my very large collection of CDs, DATs, cassettes and LP records, in which, in turn, I have to be able to find items quickly in order to use them as illustrations when I am lecturing in Music History. As a result of what you say, I shall abandon Base and either rely on the Excel spreadsheet I made from Bento or make the very modest investment in a simple database app called iDatabase, which continues to be developed along with Apple's operating systems.
Or I may decide not to upgrade my OS at all and stay with Mountain Lion.
Thank you again and kind regards,
Non relational db’s are much easier to handle in any db including Base. However you would still need to build reports and searches. The latest versions of Base now has wizards to help you. Unfortunately any db for Mac that I know of either costs money, is not simple, or is canned - i.e. not general purpose, or a combination of the above. I have attached a sample CD database that took me 10 minutest to create using the Wizards and the included Wizard Templates contained in Base. Please understand that I am an amateur in regards to Base. You might to spend an hour exploring further before giving up on it.
Just found this and it looks like a Bento Replacement. It is on sale for $15, and has a trial version. I no nothing about it other than what you see on the website.
Thank you very much, jimweil, for taking so much trouble and spending so much time on my problem. I also came across Record, but it requires OS X 10.10 and at present I am on 10.8.5, so I have been unable to try the trial version. If and when I do upgrade my OS, I shall have a look at Record.
Thank you for your comment. I regard it as a crying shame that no affordable, general purpose, user friendly, relational database for personal use seems to exist for the Mac. I suspect that was the original design intention for Bento, but it was so crippled and limited that it never became attractive to the targeted audience. Hopefully as LibreOffice Base matures it can eventually fulfill that need.
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