Moving from Bento to another database
February 09, 2016
Is anyone still using Bento, the excellent database app that FileMaker ruthlessly abandoned a couple of years ago? It still runs on the latest OS X, but clearly if you're using it, the clock is ticking.
I've switched to TapForms because it has both OS X and iOS versions. Honestly, I'm not that happy with it. The UI is clunky , and syncing is flakey as all hell. (I've never lost any data, but it is constantly having me reset the sync.)
I wish there were a better alternative. Air Table has been getting some buzz, but I refuse to use it because you can't even look at it until you surrender your email address. That's a ridiculous requirement that I won't support. Also, while they have a free tier, as soon as you exceed it, the price rises to $144 per year. Ouch.
Here's a tip about moving out of Bento. I wasn't able to find anything that could import my records intact; which meant I stood to lose nearly 600 images that were used in Bento. (It was a book collection database.) To access the images you had in Bento, find the .bentotemplate file for your db, then Command-Click on it, in the Finder. Choose "Show Package Contents", then in the window that opens, keep drilling down until you find the "media" folder. Inside of there there are a bunch of gibberish folders that contain your images. I had to individually re-import each one into TapForms, a task I hope to never repeat, and I shed a tear for Bento with each and every one.