Originally Posted by GQB
I've had Bento on my iPad since it first came out, and frankly found little use for it.
It tends to support my feeling that the meme that 'the iPad isn't for real work' is based on the idea that only spreadsheets and databases represent 'real' work.
The fact is that you use spreadsheets and databases to write applications... point solutions. And the applications you write with such tools tend to be REALLY crappy compared to point solutions in the form of real apps.
You could never write a calorie/exercise tracking app a tenth as good as LoseIt using a spreadsheet or database.
I truly believe that for the vast majority of users, spreadsheets and database have passed into horse and buggy land faster then we ever could have expected.
To the degree that they're useful, its (like traditional computers) as 'trucks'.
With all due respect, you are clearly not speaking with any knowledge of the database community, particularly FileMaker Pro.
How can you say that databases are dead? That's an absurd notion: every shopping site you use on the web uses a backend database; every financial institution, store, restaurant, auto repair outlet (that's more than a greasy one-bay garage), applicance supplier--they all operate using databases and spreadsheets.
This app that you mentioned, "LoseIt," uses a database as the backend to store the data that is input, as do tons of apps on iPhones, iPads, Androids, Blackberrys, and every desktop computer in the world. Did you think this data was just piled somewhere? :)
IN FACT: This message board is powered by a database that stores these message threads. If you knew anything about databases you'd know that.
I wrote a FileMaker solution that manages 2 tourist venues--purchase orders, supplies, ticketing, reservations, web booking, scheduling, accounting, and on and on; huge corporations, universities and scientific institutions use FileMaker Pro every day for different projects.
I've also written solutions for lots of large universities, successful companies, as well as non-profits, financial concerns, and mom-and-pops.
What FileMaker solutions have you seen, that were written by competent FileMaker developers and not users who don't really know how to use it properly? To say that they're all crappy is to also say that anything written with ANY programming language is crap, based on bad programming by mediocre programmers.
FileMaker's strength is that it's easy for beginners to use and modify for simple needs; this also enables novices to write some really awful solutions as well--but if you take the time to learn how to properly write FileMaker relational solutions (as I have for many years), you'd know that it's incredibly powerful and can tackle any task--elegantly, efficiently and for less expense than some other development environments.