Bento, the consumer-oriented database offering from Apple subsidiary FileMaker, is being discontinued on September 30. Bento offered users the ability to create databases using existing or custom templates for various types of information, and integrated with OS X's Calendar and Contacts applications. The discontinuation was announced in a statement by FileMaker:
FileMaker, Inc. is increasing its focus on FileMaker Product Line software. Thanks to the ease of creating iPad and iPhone solutions, our customers' use of FileMaker on iOS is growing rapidly. Our increased focus will create an even better experience for these customers.
As part of our sharpened focus, we will stop further development of the Bento consumer products.
For Bento users, this news is certainly disappointing. Many relied on Bento for database management of projects, contacts, clients, and events. And while FileMaker Pro for desktop and the FileMaker Go apps for iPhone and iPad can fill some of the void, they're also more difficult to use for most users, lack certain features like calendar and contacts integration, and, most importantly for some, they are priced much higher than Bento. FileMaker Pro costs $299, while Bento costs $49.
As unfortunate as this is, it also makes sense that FileMaker would turn their focus to their flagship product line. FileMaker Pro hasn't seen an update since April of 2012, while the iOS apps have been idle since September.
If you're a Bento user, are you surprised by this announcement? Let us know in the comments below, and tell us what you plan to do in the wake of this decision.