No improved communication between FileMaker and Adressbook so far. But Bento integration is a new feature.
What does Bento integration mean?
Is there a live link or relationship between FMP and the Bento data?
If so, can Address Book data be piped through Bento into FMP 10?
If not, does integration mean anything more than the ability to import Bento data (which would be a bit of a stretch to call integration)?
> Is there a live link or relationship between FMP and the Bento data?
> If so, can Address Book data be piped through Bento into FMP 10?
Of course not!
> If not, does integration mean anything more than the ability to import Bento data (which
> would be a bit of a stretch to call integration)?
How long do you know FileMaker?
There are new video tutorials posted on the FileMaker site, including one called "Bento Import".
It appears that Bento integration is defined as the ability to pull data from the Bento database, by either creating a new database from an existing Bento source on the Quick Start screen [File>New Database] or importing fields into an existing database [File>Import Records>Bento Data Source...].
There is no indication from the tutorial that the resulting FMP database is any different from the flat file you get by dragging a Bento library into FMP 9 or exporting from Bento and importing into any version of FMP. However, it appears that it might now be possible to script a refresh of Address Book data in a FMP 10 database, which might be useful as long as you don't need any custom or related data fields.
It would be nice to at least have access to the primary key for the Address Book contact, so that data could be stored in FMP and reliably linked to the related contact data. Does anyone know of any way to do this?
FileMaker Pro 10 will import data from Bento. It will not integrate with Bento. You can import an entire library (table) or just a collection (subset of records).
The relationships built in Bento are done manually. That is, you link a specific record in another library (table) to a record in the current library. In FileMaker Pro 10, you need a "key" field that makes the linking automatic. Therefore, any Bento related records are not imported into FileMaker Pro.
Thanks, TSGal! I just confirmed how the Bento import works by downloading the trial version of FMP 10. As far as I can tell, the resulting FMP 10 database is identical to what you get by exporting from Bento to a text file and importing into any version of FMP. That means no key fields, no related data, and no media files (such as photos). Sigh.
I also confirmed that you can get a scripted one-way synchronization of most Address Book data into a FMP 10 database. One way to do this would be to delete all FMP address book records before using File>Import Records>Bento Data Source... with an "Add new records" import action. This would result in a completely updated copy of all Address Book records in the FMP database. However, it would also delete any custom fields added to the FMP table (other than calculated fields).
I tested a second approach that seems to work reasonably well. On the import step, use the "Update matching records in found set" import action, with match fields of First Name, Middle Name, Last Name and Nickname and "Add remaining data as new records" checked. This updates records in FMP by matching them with Address Book entries based on the combination of the four name fields. The advantage is that other data can be added in FMP without being lost each time the import takes place. It is a bit fragile, however. All Address Book records without First, Middle or Last name data must be distinguished by unique Nicknames. Also, any change to any of these fields (including swapping first and last names, correcting a spelling mistake or adding a nickname) will break the link to added FMP data or related data, and would have to be fixed manually. Also, records deleted in the Address Book would have to be deleted in the FMP database after the import.
As I mentioned before, this would be much more reliable if the FMP import from Bento pulled across the Address Book primary key for the contacts, which could then be used within FMP.
Incidentally, Bento flattens several Address Book list fields by creating new fields for specific entries. The net result is that one value is exported to FMP for home phone, work phone, mobile phone, home email, work email, other email, home address, work address, other address, home IM, work IM, other IM and home page. Neither Bento nor FMP seem to be able to work with related names (spouse, child, etc.) or dates other than birthdate (anniversary or custom dates).
Not what I was hoping for (two-way integration between Address Book and FMP 10), but still a substantial improvement over FMP version 9.
I am also trying to figure out how to sync with address book from filemaker pro.
seems like one of the first things you would do when making a database is be able to sync with your contacts in other databases.
this is really important for us old filemaker users.
Bento doesn't even sync with filemaker.
I looked at addressbookmanipulator but it seems to be a development plugin. It costs $74 via credit card. It doesn't transform FMP in Bento with respect to address book integration :-( I would love to be able to select the address book as a data source in FMP.
Another promising option is OpenOffice 3.0. Its database wizard offers to connect to an existing database and lists Mac OS X Address Book as an option. When using it you get what seems a complete table for each Address Book group and includes the UID. The downside is that you can't edit the data.
Thanks for the tip on OpenOffice. I just confirmed that this works the same with NeoOffice 2.2.5. I had not even thought of trying that. Now if I could only get Bento to pass the UID through to FileMaker Pro 10.
As a 20 year user of FMP, I expect that the software team should be looking out for us. They have in the past. The Iphone is ubiquitous. Its Address Book is beautifully integrated in the phone and many softwares supporting it. I don't expect FMP to become the new address book.... too many responsibilities. All I want is a portal directly from address book to FMP to push and pull contacts and to synchronize the meager list of of fields address book supports. Maybe it could also note the creation date as opposed to the import date. I don't have to do this from the Iphone just in the Mac after the iphone syncs with the Mac. Bento is of no help and is ridiculously limited if you are a FMP user. (I can't believe that the synchronization from bento to FMP is not there either but I don't think that is as crucial for low level Bento user but it does not encourage anyone to upgrade) I have clients who are importing their FMP DB's into Address Book and saying goodbye to FMP. So please get this going before too many leave the ship. I believe they both talk mysql so what's the big deal? You programming future of FMP types need to be thinking about playing nice with others..... especially when speed and ease and synchronization are the future of these products.
PS I looked the AB Manipulator and I have to say their introduction video is lacking any content what so ever...its almost a satire of powerpoint business cliches wandering through public domain business graphic art images. They should watch the apple pod cast how to's ( short- to the point-interviews-no hype) and get a new media director and redo their videos immediately. I can't tell if their software works or not. I'm going to try it. I think FMP team should grab it as a scripting starting point and make some more elegant solutions.
Thank you for your post.
Since this is a product suggestion, I would encourage you to enter this information into our Feature Suggestion web form at:
Although I could easily copy your post and paste it into the form, there are additional questions asked that pertain only to you.
I have been using Address Book for years. I am new to this FMP thing and have well over 3500 contacts. If there's no sync between the 2...im not really seeing a point to use it? I mean it's awesome that I would be able to add different fields, view merchant's websites, and google maps, all integrated, but if my address book doesn't sync I think it would be less hectic to just go to those sites myself. Any solutions? Im not technically advanced...just determined with common sense. haha
Somewhat amazing that there is no integration, especially since: "Ownership: FileMaker, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL)."
They could easily include this as one of their business pack solutions.
They've certainly had plenty of time to work on this.