Filemaker, originally a PC application for creating personal databases, was one of the killer apps that made the Mac a hit in the 1980s. It’s not hard to figure out compared to, say, MySQL or Oracle, and it has a reputation for not crashing and destroying months of carefully entered data.
This afternoon, Filemaker’s Bento for iPad app appeared in Apple’s iTunes App Store. It’s a $4.99 program that lets one build custom databases — think inventory, personal contacts, hobbies, or any use for which you want something more simple than Excel, yet customizable and designed to be looked at on an iPad screen.
Here’s what I wrote about the iPhone version a few months ago: At five bucks, it’s a lot of app for the money. Bento builds real Filemaker databases on your iPad. It’ll store, according to the documentation, “text, numbers, dates, times, durations, pictures, sounds, video clips, pop-up choices, check boxes, prices, rates, addresses, phone numbers, ratings, web sites, e-mail addresses, instant messaging accounts,” and then some.