It is interesting. But keep in mind that FMPro is multi-platform, and they have kept pretty good about feature parity. If they can't do something on Mac and Windows, they don't do it.
But it certainly does open the door for speculation, regarding the next version of FMP, pricing models, etc. Wish I were able to go to DevCon!
From a strategic standpoint, if it was costing more money to develop/update/maintain/support Bento than they were making from their 49€ sales, then it's plain business sense to trim the fat and stop selling a product. I'm not saying that IS what happened here, but given the strides in improvements to the Filemaker product line in the same timeframe of Bento's existance, there has been much more investment into Filemaker.
There are a few things in Bento that are not in Filemaker that I hope they carry over (functionality in Table view has a few cooler features), but all in all, I (personally) like where Filemaker has been going, to the point where Bento was not even on the radar to begin with.
There were things in HyperCard I had hoped they would carry over, but alas alack, no dice...
HyperCard, Bev, wow. I remember staying up all night when that came out!
HyperCard! My last experience with HC was trying to get data out of it in a format that could be pulled into FileMaker. A good reminder that some easier functionality on FileMaker's import and interactivity options with basic OS-standard apps would really improve productivity.
How about SQLite integration in Filemaker, which coincidentally is the stored format for Mac's Contacts, Calendar and iPhoto, as well as most iOS apps?
Yes, I hope they also integrate some of these Bento features into Filemaker. The nice thing about Bento was being able to create and modify the database on the iPad/iPhone. Maybe FMGO will offer some of this functionality down the road?
I am with the intex on the wish list. I know people that use Bento use it to tie their info together. iCal, easier Mail and Address Book support and easier photo support would be helpful to that crowd.
If that happens with the next generation of FileMaker, there may be an opportunity to do some conversion for people as well as a bunch of people that could use some FileMaker training. I like opportunity.
As far as the multi-platform issue, it seems like there are a couple of programs on the Windows side that are fairly equivalent that could work as substitutes that use the same mail and calendar standards. FileMaker Go for Android would round out the line for most users. One could use the All Apple All the Time environment or Windows/Android environment. Or some combination.
This is going to be an interesting year. Suppose any of this will roll out at the next Devcon?
is it possible? ... we see:
1 - The visual effects of BENTO.
2 - Usability of BENTO
... FileMaker incorporated?
I was thinking the very same. A wild departure from the underlying FMP format, but if it were possible to have the same/similar front end to one of the most versitile and transportable SQLs, then THAT would be amazing.
While, I agree with Tim - I can certainly understand it from a business standpoint, this move leaves lots of questions. I'm sure they'll have to at least address it at DevCon… hopefully with public info, instead of NDA stuff, for those of us who can't make it.
Bento was always a bit of an odd product. It's interesting how they are so vigilant about being cross-platform with FMP, then Bento was such a Mac product, skeumorphism and all! It always seemed like the missing iWork app, and users of AppleWorks who used the database part of it were left in a lurch, so it seemed like a good fit. But while the AppleWorks database seemed like a "FileMaker Lite," Bento felt like something completely different - even more consumery. Not sure if that is good or bad. I'd be very curious to see some stats on where AppleWorks users went for their database needs - did they go to Bento, Numbers/Excel, FileMaker Pro, or something else?
AppleWorks users and Bento users are usually the kind who would not consider spending $299 for FMP. And that leaves a big hole, where people are going to look elsewhere. It would be interesting if Apple would just move Bento into it's iWork suite (and change the name - Pages, Numbers, Keynote & Data? …Bases?). But I'm not sure if there is that much demand… Apple probably has enough "hobbies" right now.
Of course, there are a lot of people saying that FMI needs to change it's pricing structure. Something that would make more separation between Pro and Advanced. Something like a Go for the desktop that offers little in development tools, at a reduced price. Thrown in some more starter solutions and more themes, lower the price, and it starts to look attractive to the Bento/AppleWorks target market. Not sure how that would work, if you would need to take more features of out of FMPro and make them exclusive to Advanced? Always tough to take things away from people.
At any rate, it's fun to speculate… and I'm sure we'll hear more in the next couple of months!
FileMaker Reportedly Lays Off 20 Employees Following Announcement of Bento Discontinuation
I would love to believe it's Bento's fault. But i don't believe it.
I wrote this in november 2012 :
At this present time, I'm still prototyping with fmpa. It's just excellent. And I love it.
But considering my clients needs (web with reports functions, mobile on Android, interface with components
A la Java or Dot.net - Tscheduler, Tsplitter, ...) i can't use it anymore.
It will probably die like Clarisworks. Slowly, but surely. Will take more time than cwp.
Too bad... Unless fmp staff does a strong reset, wakes up, listen... And reacts.
I bet they won't. For too many stupid management reasons. Just like Borland, Ashton-tate and so many others did before with their databases and led the product to death.
Filemaker's business model is today, and I mean right NOW, 98% wrong. Outdated.
FMPA - Filemaker advanced doesn't answer many developpers needs regarding, WEB (saas), MOBILE (Android), DESKTOP (procedural programmation and still no POO).
FMGO - Filemaker GO doesn't answer many developpers needs regarding MOBILE (IOS) : we still can't publish an app on the App Store.
Sometimes, I would love to learn that Filemaker has been baught by Apple and that it's now possible...
FMP - Filemaker doesn't answer user needs regarding retailing price, WEB (saas) and GUI experience.
FMGO - Filemaker GO doesn't answer common users needs regarding MOBILE (Android)
1. Mid-corporations while still using IOS are now more and more buying piles of android tablets (I've been confirmed by several managers).
They don't favor the IOS ecosystem as much as before. And tend to be very careful, now, with microsoft mobile ecosystem beacause of MS recent business failures.
2. On windows, the common user will always favor Excel and its eco system Web cloud based (skydrive with office in the browser, or Office 365 on a solid client ) to store his contact list.
Not to talk about Google drive apps in the browser and so on... And when you know that LibreOffice cloud in the browser is getting announced before the end of the year, you wonder : Where is Filemaker ?
What are they doing ? Want to know the roadmap ? Pay ! And we'll tell you what you have already guessed !
3. Less and less people program for his everyday business needs. That's a fact that was wrong before but the world has changed. If this statement was wrong, Salesforce, Dynamics CRM, Caspio, ...and the Azure&Amazon eco-system wouldn't have emerged and established a solid business. Saas is where the money is. And where Filemaker isn't.
4. Technologies : Can you imagine SQL server 2012 not certified with Filemaker 12 ?... Not to talk about all that mess with Java 7 and FMS 12 ... And the terrible GUI experience with all those broken windows...
And we still can't work with objects properties by script....in 2013 ! Code and data STILL in the same file... in 2013... Global variables ( arrays) are still one dimension arrays... I could add so many things...
Future is going to be very exiting. I still enjoy to use FMPA 11 and sometimes FMPA 12 for ios stuff.
But I like the fact that I left the boat and enjoy another EDI and language too. And keep a very small part of hope for what could be, should have been, will be, Filemaker.
I could be completely wrong, why not after all...
Or may be that the 20 employeers that just left... are just an early sign of a major failure announcement by the IT press in a few months...
Me I have an opinion...
And whatever the result will be, I believe it's not Filemaker's main fault BUT Apple's management staff fault, like MS, who's guilty for stupid considerations and decisions taken in IT eco business world.