Migrating from Bento

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This topic contains 17 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  David Butenhof 6 months ago.

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  • January 23, 2016 at 12:27 PM #15730

    David Gill
    Participant

    I would like to Migrate from Bento. I have managed to install the template … but how to I import the data? This seems to be contained in:
    bento.bentodb

    I would be very grateful for some guidance on this.

    January 23, 2016 at 9:34 PM #15731

    David Butenhof
    Participant

    TapForms can’t import a “raw” Bento database file. You have to Export from Bento and then Import into TapForms.

    For very simple isolated forms, you can just export from Bento as a CSV and import that into TapForms. But it’s best to — and for anything complex you need to — export from Bento as a “template”, including all the data, and then use File > Import Bento Template … to import that template into TapForms.

    It worked great for most of my Bento data.

    The only problem I had was that I’d used Bento Simple Lists for several critical databases to record multiple values; and TapForms can’t import those. After a lot of experimentation and exchanging information on this forum, I worked out a Python script to massage the Bento export into a form that TapForms could handle. It was a messy multi-step process, but it only had to be done once for each of the forms, and then I was blissfully free of Bento.

    Welcome to the Light Side, Padawan.

    January 23, 2016 at 9:35 PM #15732

    Cliff Tarrance
    Participant

    When you exported the template from Bento, did you check the box “Include records in template”? If you did that, Tap Forms should automatically import the data, I believe.

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    January 25, 2016 at 4:49 AM #15748

    David Gill
    Participant

    Thank you for your suggestions. There does not appear to be ‘include records in template’ checkbox. I can export to Numbers or to Excel – so perhaps I can do it indirectly.

    January 25, 2016 at 4:55 AM #15749

    David Butenhof
    Participant

    Yes, there is. You want to export to Bento’s template format. In the Export dialog, it’s the right-most option for me, along the top. There’s a box of “related libraries” you can select, if there are any (do), and underneath is the “Include records in template” checkbox.

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    January 25, 2016 at 10:54 AM #15752

    Cliff Tarrance
    Participant

    Possibly you don’t have the include records in template option if you don’t have the latest version of Bento. I think they added that in a later version. If you don’t have that, then you will have to export the records as text and import records in Tap Forms.

    January 25, 2016 at 2:08 PM #15753

    David Gill
    Participant

    Thank you – this is really helpful!

    January 25, 2016 at 2:29 PM #15755

    Brendan
    Keymaster

    Right, the Export Records option only appeared in Bento 4. Here’s a link to download the Bento 4 update which should have this:

    http://help.filemaker.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/11182

    Thanks,

    Brendan

    January 25, 2016 at 4:52 PM #15761

    Cliff Tarrance
    Participant

    Oh that’s cool, Brendan. I didn’t realize FileMaker was decent enough to let Bento users update to the last version even if they hadn’t bought it. A nice gesture after cutting us all loose! Anyway, I’m glad I ended up with Tap Forms, so Bento’s demise was not as bad as it seemed at first.

    January 25, 2016 at 5:17 PM #15762

    Brendan
    Keymaster

    Well, the problem with version 4 from the link above is it’s just a 30 day demo. So no, they don’t exactly let you upgrade. It’s just the demo version that can upgrade your 3.0 Bento database. I don’t know what would happen to your database after the demo expired. Fortunately I have a valid license that I’m able to run inside of Parallels running on OS X 10.9, so I can help customers convert their .bentodb files into .bentoTemplate files if they send me the .bentodb file.

    January 25, 2016 at 5:41 PM #15764

    Cliff Tarrance
    Participant

    Well, that being the case, I’d say to any Bento users (pre version 4) that they should get the demo, export templates with data for all their libraries, and get it all running in Tap Forms! Don’t cling to Bento any longer. As Bones would say, “It’s dead, Jim.”

    January 26, 2016 at 10:58 AM #15766

    David Gill
    Participant

    Thank you, all, for this advice. In the end I dumped everything into Excel, output to csv, then imported using the old Bento template. Most things are there — so I need to tidy up at the edges.

    For the record we were still on Bento 3. I was reluctant to update 3 to 4 with your link above in case I lost everything.

    January 26, 2016 at 4:07 PM #15767

    Cliff Tarrance
    Participant

    David, I’m glad you got it to work.

    Brendan, I noticed you mentioned that you run Bento on a virtual machine with OS X 10.9. I still have Bento 4 installed on my Mac running OS X 10.11, and it seems to work fine, at least as far as opening the database and exporting records and templates. Is there some incompatibility with OS X >= 10.10 that I am unaware of? I don’t add any new data to Bento, but I have occasionally brought over libraries into Tap Forms if I needed to update them.

    January 27, 2016 at 3:11 PM #15772

    Brendan
    Keymaster

    Hi Cliff,

    Ya, I’ve seen all kinds of issues with Bento running on OS X 10.11. It very often just hangs up or crashes. So I keep Parallels and OS X 10.9 so that I can still run it.

    Thanks,

    Brendan

    January 27, 2016 at 3:18 PM #15773

    Cliff Tarrance
    Participant

    Okay, good to know! Thanks

    October 25, 2016 at 5:49 AM #20163

    IngerMarie Petersen
    Participant

    Hello David Blutenhof!
    You wrote:
    TapForms can’t import a “raw” Bento database file. You have to Export from Bento and then Import into TapForms.

    For very simple isolated forms, you can just export from Bento as a CSV and import that into TapForms. But it’s best to — and for anything complex you need to — export from Bento as a “template”, including all the data, and then use File > Import Bento Template … to import that template into TapForms.

    It worked great for most of my Bento data.

    The only problem I had was that I’d used Bento Simple Lists for several critical databases to record multiple values; and TapForms can’t import those. After a lot of experimentation and exchanging information on this forum, I worked out a Python script to massage the Bento export into a form that TapForms could handle. It was a messy multi-step process, but it only had to be done once for each of the forms, and then I was blissfully free of Bento.

    Welcome to the Light Side, Padawan.

    I am one of the late migrators from Bento to Tapforms, exactly because i can’t get my simple lists over. Is it possible for a lot less IT-skilfull person to do, what you did? Would it be possible to ask you for a guide in simple words?

    Best regards

    I.M. Petersen, DK

    October 26, 2016 at 7:59 AM #20179

    David Butenhof
    Participant

    I am one of the late migrators from Bento to Tapforms, exactly because i can’t get my simple lists over. Is it possible for a lot less IT-skilfull person to do, what you did? Would it be possible to ask you for a guide in simple words?

    When I worked out my procedure in the first place I’d considered trying to package it as a “no touch” conversion process. That would have been really complicated because I needed to do it in several stages. It exported the data from Bento, imported the main form into TapForms so that I could look at the private TapForms sqlite DB tables to pull out table ID numbers which I’d then edit into the related table CVS files.

    I had a Python script that would separate the Bento simple list columns into separate CSV files; but everything else (and there was a lot) was manual just because for the volume of data I had that was a lot easier than trying to script it. I’m afraid I didn’t even keep as detailed notes on the process as I should have, which means it’d take me a lot of time to work through it again.

    And even if I did all that, now that TapForms 5 is out, with very likely a very different DB schema, I’d have to work through all that before it was useful.

    And, in case you haven’t already gotten the right impression from all this, explaining it in “simple terms” would prove difficult!

    As much as I’d love to be able to help, I just don’t think that’s practical. Sorry.

    October 26, 2016 at 10:05 AM #20180

    David Butenhof
    Participant

    By the way; for anyone who wants to pick this up, I’m attaching my Python script. This only does the “easy part” of breaking out the Bento exported simple table columns (which are packed into a single CSV column) to separate CSV files suitable for import as a TapForms related form.

    The main manual part after that, that I remember now, was to break into the TapForms DB schema to get the parent form UUID (after importing it), and then going back to edit that into the proper column in the related forms.

    The script as presented also has some extra logic to process pick list data, partly to help do some cleanup and translation; but that’s the only part that’s specific to my data.

    A lot of this would be much easier to do inside TapForms… but as it didn’t bubble up to the top of Brendan’s priority list a year or two ago when the Bento ship was sinking, and the subject hasn’t really come up a lot since, I doubt it’s going to rate very highly now.

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