Earlier this week, Apple subsidiary FileMaker Inc. announced that it was discontinuing its consumer-friendly Bento database software to focus on its flagship FileMaker line. Now, AppleInsider is claiming that the company has laid off 20 employees and is undergoing the process of restructuring, according to sources from within the company.

filemaker_pro_screenshot

Sources say Thursday's rumored job cuts are associated to Bento's demise, adding California-based external representatives, sales engineers, and technical support staff were let go. The layoffs may extend further, however, as at least one person responsible for sales of the flagship FileMaker software is said to no longer be with the company.

The latest version of the company’s flagship software, FileMaker Pro 12, was released in April 2012. The latest version of the company's Bento software however, was released more than two years ago, with an iPad version appearing in June 2012. FileMaker will stop offering Bento in both the Mac and iPhone/iPad App Stores as of September 30 of this year, although it will continue to support the apps until the end of July 2014, according to a post on FileMaker's technical support page.

FileMaker Pro 12 is currently priced at $299 for new users and $179 for upgrade users. An advanced version of the software, FileMaker Pro 12 Advanced, is $499 and $299 respectively. Both versions of the software are available for purchase on the company's website.

Top Rated Comments

MRU Avatar
140 months ago
Sad news... Bento was great, but the difference in cost to jump upto FileMaker is just not worth the difference for those users who were fine with Bento's feature set - which now leaves them somewhat in a limbo.

If Apple had any gumption they would have taken Bento out of the FileMaker portfolio and actually 'added' it to its iWork suite of apps as the missing database application....
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
latestmonkey Avatar
140 months ago
When companies drop software like this they destroy user access to their own user data. It should be illegal for a large company to do this and keep existing. Even in bankruptcy should not allow this. Continued support for the product is a liability that the company should be required to keep up with just like warranties and tax debt. If the company goes out of business then money from the sale of the company assets should be set aside to continue maintenance and the software/hardware should go into the public domain. The same holds for operating systems. Apple should not have been allowed to abandon MacOS Classic, PPC support, 68K support, etc. They can easily emulate all that - as they have proven - and they are so huge they should maintain those so that users can continue to access their data. Life lasts more than just five years. We need a Data Life Guarantee Law since companies are not willing to do this themselves.

It is a criminal travesty that I cannot find the proper ribbon for my smith corona in this day and age. Someone should sue.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CReimer Avatar
140 months ago
Bento is priced right but has limited features. Filemaker Pro is too expensive but has powerful features. Is there a database program that falls in the middle here?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iHateMacs Avatar
140 months ago
When companies drop software like this they destroy user access to their own user data. It should be illegal for a large company to do this and keep existing. Even in bankruptcy should not allow this. Continued support for the product is a liability that the company should be required to keep up with just like warranties and tax debt. If the company goes out of business then money from the sale of the company assets should be set aside to continue maintenance and the software/hardware should go into the public domain. The same holds for operating systems. Apple should not have been allowed to abandon MacOS Classic, PPC support, 68K support, etc. They can easily emulate all that - as they have proven - and they are so huge they should maintain those so that users can continue to access their data. Life lasts more than just five years. We need a Data Life Guarantee Law since companies are not willing to do this themselves.

So if Charles Babbage ever sold one of his difference Engines, then you'd expect it to be posthumously supported still?

I don't get your point.

Once Bento is stopped being produced, the hardware and software that customers are currently using to create/access their data will not cease working.

If people upgrade their hardware and it stops them from using the Bento they paid for, who's fault is that?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
smithrh Avatar
140 months ago

I agree that "sales engineer" is a suspect title. It sounds to me like your job is to engineer sales, i.e. lie in a technical way. However, my experience with the sales engineers at FileMaker has been excellent: competent and helpful folks.

Sales Engineer is a very common title throughout the entire software industry; it has nothing to do with Apple specifically.

In B2B software sales, the sales rep is responsible for (surprisingly enough) getting the sale. This means they're the main point of contact, getting the prospect the information they need, working on the sales contract and terms, working out a price and in general looking to understand what the customer truly needs on a business level, and so on. They're there to get the sale.

However, they're not expected to be technical. Sure, they may know the product fairly well at a high level, but not the details or specifics.

This is where the Sales Engineer comes in. They may not know the business specifics of the deal, but they understand the technical aspects extremely well. Typically, they demo the product for the customer and handle the technical questions about the product, and also understand the technical environment the product may be placed into. In addition, the Sales Engineer also takes feedback from demos and installations back to development for possible product fixes and enhancements.

Again, Sales Engineer is a well-known term in B2B software sales and has nothing to do with Apple; it's not a sketchy title in any way, nor does it imply that someone is trying to "engineer" the sale. If the product/customer is/are technical enough, yes, they'll also be engineers, but probably not for less technical products and situations.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pubwvj Avatar
140 months ago
When companies drop software like this they destroy user access to their own user data. It should be illegal for a large company to do this and keep existing. Even in bankruptcy should not allow this. Continued support for the product is a liability that the company should be required to keep up with just like warranties and tax debt. If the company goes out of business then money from the sale of the company assets should be set aside to continue maintenance and the software/hardware should go into the public domain. The same holds for operating systems. Apple should not have been allowed to abandon MacOS Classic, PPC support, 68K support, etc. They can easily emulate all that - as they have proven - and they are so huge they should maintain those so that users can continue to access their data. Life lasts more than just five years. We need a Data Life Guarantee Law since companies are not willing to do this themselves.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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