You have correctly identified the strengths of Bento (except the iCal integration is restricted to a 2 year horizon). Here are some of the downsides for your consideration, at least from my perspective:
• Bento is essentially a single user database. If your DJ company accesses the client info from several concurrent computers or via the web, this is a show-stopper.
• Bento is not relational although it can emulate some of the relational functionality using Related Record Lists. But these are quite limited.
• Bento does not support scripts and buttons. It's calculations are basic. There is no support for conditional tests (If… then… else). There is no Applescript support (MacOS).
• Bento's output is quite limited. Things like e-mailing and reports are very basic. I often think of Bento as a write-only database ;)
Just to let you know, it happened I had the same issue of having to have a Scheduling feature for my clients and been teased by Bento's iCal integration.
On the other hand FMP has too many features.....
Trying to solve my issue using FMP (9ADV), I bought 2 different plugins for this purpose:
"Schedula Professional" now called "Jacknife" which creates a SEPARATE Calendar not iCal integrated but with zillions of scheduling features.
and "FM-iCal Connector" which integrates FMP to iCal BUT you better know MP scripting, because it is "raw" meaning you do the setting up and support for this is "not really what I call user friendly...".
I'm sure you can Google them to have a look.
If it doesn't help GO FOR BENTO!
Thank you for your post.
I wanted to make sure you received answers from other users before I chimed in. That way, there would be no bias.
In Bento, you can define an Email field. Attached to every Email field is an icon that when clicked, launches Apple Mail with a new message addressed to the contents of the Email field. You can then enter the Subject and Message. Bento will not automatically send the email for you.
Bento does not have any auto-enter features like FileMaker, except for a field defined as "Automatic Counter".
The reply from "Jade" is totally correct (Thank you!).
You may want to download a trial version from our website and try it out for yourself. Let me know if you have any additional questions.
Thanks guys,I think it's pretty clear that I am utilizing so many great features of FMP which supersedes the few cool benefits of Bento. We're sticking with FMP until they come up with a hybrid
Beto Boton - thanks for the info on syncing with iCal. Although those two options don't seem feasible right now, I'm glad to see people are working on the integration. I would love to click a button that would add my meeting to iCal!!!!!
ME TOO! Maybe on FMP 11!