Jottings on science, religion, technology, pop culture and faith from the Antipodes.



I like databases, which means that when I see that there’s a new iTunes-style interface database, Bento, coming out for the Mac (by the same developers as FileMaker (Thanks, Matt)) I’ll sit up and pay attention. See Bento: Mac’s New Database App Is iTunes for Control Freaks:

It’s only available for Mac OS X 10.5, but there’s a preview (Alpha? Beta?) available at Meet Bento

I really, really hope it works well, though the reviewer at TidBITS Home Macs: FileMaker’s Bento: Undercooked and Slightly Fishy is less convinced.

Now, if someone could bolt a Leopard interface on top of MySQL and make it as easy to use as iTunes then that’d be cool.

Matt also notes in the comments that SQLite is lurking as part of Mac OS X 10.4 (see here).


  1. Bento is built *by* FileMaker, but not based on it. Apparently it’s using SQLite underneath, which is a flatfile sql db, not entirely unrelated to MySQL. (SQLite has shipped with Mac OS X since 10.4; you can poke around with the ‘sqlite3’ command line tool if you’re keen.)

    I’m a FileMaker developer by day, so Bento’s not especially exciting for me, but in the brief five minutes I spend with it it seemed a reasonably well executed idea.

  2. Thanks for that Matt. I think I must have misinterpreted a couple of the reviews i read. I stand corrected. (Will adjust post).

    I’m still way back on 10.3 so not default SQLite installed. Still I do have MySQL running on the old iBook – works just fine for testing WordPress and Moodle stuff. Might grab a copy of SQLite and have a look.

  3. Thanks for the links. This pre-release has caught my eye and it sounds like something I might be interested in (though ideally as part of iLife 09!). Most academic mac users I know (and a few musicians as well) pine for better cataloging and reference options.

  4. One of the things that people have said about it would be for it to integrate with iWork (rather than iLife). Then you’d have the ‘Big 4’ apps in one place – database, wordprocessor, spreadsheet and presentation.

    Hey! It’s ClarisWorks all over again 🙂 (I miss my ClarisWorks / AppleWorks. My best diagrams were created in the Draw module. Must find the AppleWorks install that came with the original Mac OS X 10.1 setup.)

  5. Sorry, I meant to write iWork, not iLife. You are right about it becoming Works all over again (which is not a bad thing) and the draw application. I’ve been going through some old files and keep stumbling on things I did with that module years ago that still look pretty neat.

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