I received permission to post a tutorial written by Giacomo Vernoni (a recent Bento user who has converted to Tap Forms) from http://www.vecchicomputer.com
This tutorial is very technical, so if you’re comfortable with Terminal and downloading plugins for Firefox, then you should be ok with this tutorial. Giacomo has written a script which will convert the Bento images into an image file that you can bring into Tap Forms. The script is linked to below that you can download.
Also, since it’s a very technical tutorial, if you choose to follow it, I cannot be held responsible for any loss of data that you may incur. Pay close attention to Step 1 which describes how to make a backup of your database in Bento since you’ll want to work on your backup copy, NOT on your original copy.
Tutorial – How to export Bento images and import them into Tap Forms
One of the limits of Bento is that it can’t export the images embedded in its media fields. Even FileMaker can’t import Bento media fields. This tutorial shows you how to do it, and how to import all your records – including images – in Tap Forms.
If you have a dozen records, stop reading and do it manually: it will be faster. But if you have hundreds of records and every record has one or more image, following this half hour tutorial will save you days of tedious work.
Bento for Mac
Mozilla Firefox [http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/]
Bare Bones Software TextWrangler [http://www.barebones.com/products/textwrangler/]
The only commercial application that you need is Bento for Mac. So, let’s get started!
Before you start
This tutorial assumes that all or most of your images are in the same format (for example jpeg or png). If you took pictures with your iPhone or iPad, they should be JPEGs. If you imported pictures on the Mac version, you should know what you imported
Step 1: Backup your Bento database
Open Bento for Mac, and if you use Bento for iPhone or iPad, sync your data so that you have the most recent data on your Mac. From the File menu choose “Back Up Bento Data…” and save it wherever you like so you work on a copy of the database without risk of screwing up the db.
Step 2: Export a .csv file with image information
You can export to a .csv file in Bento, but image data (the image itself and a reference to its file name) will be missing, so we have to do this manually.
Download the latest version of Mozilla Firefox, then from the Tools menu select “Add-ons”. Search for “SQLite Manager” and install it; you must restart Firefox to use it.
Now the Tools menu has a new item, “SQLite Manager”: select it to launch the Firefox extension.
From the Database menu in the FireFox window select “Connect Database” – or click the corresponding icon on the toolbar. Select “All Files” from the Format pull-down menu, and then navigate to the Bento backup file you saved a few minutes ago.
You’ll see that the file is a package, a folder that contains other folders; navigate to
Bento Backup [date].bentodb › Contents › Resources and choose the obvious file named “Database”
There are many tables in the database, you must now find the table you want to export. A table represents a Bento Library. If the first name you gave to your Bento Library was “My Movies” then the table will mostly be named “gn_lib_my_movies”. Click it.
Now we have to get rid of a lot of Bento data that we don’t need or we can’t use. For example, Bento saves how much you zoomed a picture and the coordinates of the picture in the media field.
Right click on all the following fields and select “Drop column” (you have to confirm twice, ignore the warning because you are working on a copy of the database):
gn_gnDateCreated (optional if this information is useful to you)
gn_[name of the image field]GnFieldpanOffset
gn_[name of the image field]GnFieldzoomFactor
What remains is all your personal data, including a reference to the image file.
Now click on the “Export” button: you will reach the “Export Wizard” section. check the “First row contains column names” checkbox and leave the rest unchanged. Click OK and save the csv file.
If you want to take a peek at your data, click the “Browse & Search” tab. You will see that the content of your image fields is something like “bento://asset/22C0C417-6ED5-4E56-A60E-0A5623CA1FED”. This is a reference to a folder in the “Assets” folder of the Bento package. That folder contains one (and only one) image that can have different names.
Step 3: edit the csv file
This is quick. Download TextWrangler from the Mac App Store or from the link above.
Open the csv file with TextWrangler, and from the Search menu select “Find”. A window will show up. Check “Grep” on the lower part and copy and paste this string in the “Find” text box (including the quotes):
then copy and paste this string in the “Replace” text box (including the quotes):
"\1\.jpg" (if most of the images are in JPEG format)
"\1\.png" (if most of the images are in PNG format)
Now hit “Replace All”.
After that, our example
should have turned into
Save the csv file.
Step 4: launch the script
Go to the Finder and navigate to your .bentodb backup file. Right click on it and choose “Show Package Contents”. Navigate to Contents › Resources.
Download this script:
Unzip it then copy it into the Resources folder.
If you want to check that it doesn’t erase your hard disk or sends spam to all your contacts, open it with TextWrangler
Take a look at the Assets folder: the images of all your Bento Libraries are stored there, one in each folder.
Open Applications › Utilities › Terminal, then type “cd” without the quotes, add a space, and then drag the Resources folder in the terminal window. You should see something like:
cd /Users/john/Documents/Bento\ Backup\ -\ 2013-08-05.bentodb/Contents/Resources
and hit return.
You should see a list running on the screen; the name on the left is the original name, the one on the right is the new name that matches the one in the csv file.
Step 5 (optional): JPEGs and PNGs
If most of your images are in JPEG format, go to the Finder and look at the “new” Assets folder. Now all the images are there. Search “.png” in the search field, so you can check if there are some PNG images.
Copy the name, and in TextWrangler search for it (uncheck “grep”). Manually change the extension from “jpg” to “png.
Do the opposite if most of your images are PNGs and you find a few JPEGs.
If you don’t find any match, most probably the image belongs to another Bento Library. More on this in the next step.
Step 6: import the form in Tap Forms
Let’s go back to our csv file in TextWrangler. The first row should contain the field names, separated by commas.
You should rename every field with a better name, e.g. from “gn_titleGnField” to Movie Title, and then add the field tag after the name: <text>, <number>, <note>, <photo>, <check_mark>, <rating> are the most common.
As an example, your first row should look like:
Movie Title<text>,Year<number>,My rating<rating>,Poster<photo>,DVD<check_mark>,Blu-Ray<check_mark>
Save the csv file, and use it to import your Bento Library into Tap Forms.
Now you need to import the images: the procedure differs for the iPhone/iPad and the Mac version.
To import your images in the mobile version, open Tap Forms on your device, start the FTP server, and copy all your images to the Photos folder. I recommend using Cyberduck, which you can download from http://cyberduck.ch. Use anonymous login and make sure you enter 8080 into the port number field and just the IP address into the Server address. Tap Forms will display the IP address and port number for you on the Files screen once you’ve started the built-in FTP server.
To import your images in Tap Forms for Mac:
copy all your images into this folder if you’re NOT using iCloud sync:
or copy all your images into this folder if you have iCloud Sync enabled in Tap Forms:
Remember that the “~” symbol is a shortcut for your home folder (e.g. /Users/john).
If you don’t see the Library folder in your user home, go to the Finder and select the menu item “Go › Go to Folder…” and paste the above path.
Please note that the files you copy into the Tap Forms folder are the images of all your Libraries, not just the Library (or table: the csv file) you just imported.
This implies that if you import another Bento Library, you can skip step 4.
If you browse through your records in Tap Forms, now you should see all your images.
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