FileMaker has announced that it’s discontinuing Bento, its consumer-level database for the Mac and iOS. The app will be available for purchase until September 30.
First introduced back in 2008, Bento sought to make databases less intimidating to the average user. It automatically imported contacts and calendar events, provided iTunes-like search tools, and let users drag-and-drop items for import. The company rapidly iterated on that initial release— Bento 2 came out in late 2008, Bento 3 in 2009, and the current version, Bento 4, in 2011—adding integration with Mail and iPhoto, multi-user sharing, improved security, and more along the way.
FileMaker says that it is discontinuing Bento in order to focus on its namesake product line. If you want a database product, the company is encouraging you to take a look at FileMaker Pro. The company does offer a migration tool that helps you move data from Bento 4 for Mac to FileMaker Pro 12. The Mac version can also export databases to Numbers, Excel, and comma- or tab-delimited formats. Those who used just the iOS versions of Bento can get a free trial version of the app for the Mac, sync their iOS data to that, then export from there to whatever new format they choose. For Bento users who choose to make the migration to the full-powered database tool, the company website recommends using FileMaker Pro’s built-in “starter” templates.
Users who bought Bento from the Mac or iTunes app stores but then accidentally delete it will still be able to download it again from those sources. Those looking for old software updates will be able to download those from the FileMaker Product Downloads Archive until July 30, 2014 (and possibly beyond). And Bento’s support forums will also continue to be moderated until then.