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Importing data to Bento

From: Bento 2 Essential Training

Video: Importing data to Bento

One of the nice things about Bento databases is that you don't have to add every record that's inside your database yourself. You can import records in from other files that were created in other applications. This is a great way to add new data in batches instead of having to manually enter it all. So you'll first notice that under the File menu, there is an option for Import. And under Import, you see that you got two choices. We are going to concentrate on importing a file right now. If we open the Import file dialog window, you have three different options here. You can import certain file formats and you can choose a file that will act as the import source.

Importing data to Bento

One of the nice things about Bento databases is that you don't have to add every record that's inside your database yourself. You can import records in from other files that were created in other applications. This is a great way to add new data in batches instead of having to manually enter it all. So you'll first notice that under the File menu, there is an option for Import. And under Import, you see that you got two choices. We are going to concentrate on importing a file right now. If we open the Import file dialog window, you have three different options here. You can import certain file formats and you can choose a file that will act as the import source.

Your import source is going to be the file that's most likely created in another application. It's going to contain the data that you want to import into Bento and it has to be one of the compatible formats. The compatible formats for import sources in Bento are Comma Separated files which you see here as a CSV or a Tab Delimited file. Also Numbers files. And a quick note here, Numbers '08 files are supported but if you want to import a Numbers '09 version file, you will need to update your Bento application to version 2.0v4 or later.

Also Excel documents can act as import sources and there are Excel documents that have an extension of .xls and there is also extension .xlsx, which are Excel '08 and later files. And those are supported formats for import source. So in this case, we are first going to choose CSV files, which is really a text format. And you will see that after you've chosen the file, you can choose a format, in this case, this file could be interpreted as either Comma separated or Tab separated. We are going to keep it at its default, Comma.

Now this is an important part in step number 2. You are going to choose the target, so we have chosen the source or the file that we are going to import that has all the data we are trying to bring into Bento. But then we also have the target meaning where is all that data going to go inside of our database. Now in one of the first movies in this title, we covered creating a new library by importing information in which is a great way to get started in Bento. But in this case, what we are going to do is choose one of our existing libraries. So here we have Properties, where we have only got three records as you see in the background. And we want to bring in all the records from the source file into this library. Once we choose the target library, we then need to move on to step 3.

In step 3, what we are doing is not only do we have pick which library these are going into but we have to take the individual columns in our source file and say what fields those will go into inside of our chosen target which is the Properties. So now what I'll do is go into the column on the far left for the record values, which represents the values that are inside the source file, and I'll choose which one of these values matches up, in this case, with the Street field inside the Property library. Now I'm going to do the same for City and we see we have a city there, and State, and Zip. And I'm kind of eyeballing these based on what logically looks like the right record value. But if I want to check to make sure I have lined them up properly, I can cycle through all of the different records in the source to make sure that the formats look okay.

One interesting thing here is if there is a piece of data that's in this list from the source file that I don't already have a field for inside of my chosen library, then I can just hit the Add Field button here which will allow me to go create a field and then line that field up without having to close out of my Import dialog, which is a pretty handy feature inside of Bento. Now I'll hit the Import button. Then as you see, we have all these new records that are added inside of our Properties table. To do another example of this, we'll go back under the File menu, to Import, and select File. This time, I'm going to choose a Numbers file and again we should mention, this is a Numbers '09 file that's in your Exercise Files. But it's important to know that if you have not yet updated your Bento version to Version 2.0v4, you will not be able to import in an '09 file but instead only a Numbers '08 file.

So again, we've chosen the Numbers file, and if there are multiple sheets or multiple tables we'll select them but in this case we just have one of each. And we'll also choose Properties, and you see now we have 13 records in the Properties table. And we are going to do the same exercise. Now you'll notice in this case, instead of having data show up in the record values, we instead have the column headers or the names of the fields. So here we'll just line up Address with Street, City with City, State with State, Zip with Zip. And then I can cycle through all the records and now see the data and make sure that looks like it lines up properly.

So now we know it's okay to Import but now we see instead of having 13 records, we now have 37 records imported into our table. In this case, there were some empty records inside of our Numbers file, so we can easily just select those, hold down one record, go all the way down to the bottom and if we'd like we could then hit Delete Selected Records to clean everything up. So now we have got a total of 37 records. We have even cleaned up some of the records that we brought in. You can't always rely on the fact that the data that you are bringing in from other sources is going to be clean. So sometimes you have to do a little bit of scrubbing after it gets imported into your table.

And now I have got one more example to show you of how we can bring record data into Bento. And if we look into another application that we have open, and we'll just pick the records, let's say from Broomfield, CO. And then go into Copy and now that we have those in our clipboard we can navigate back to Bento. And if I click into one of the new field areas and simply hit Paste, we see now that what I'm able to do is copy and paste information from another spreadsheet application.

This is another way. We are not necessarily importing but we can paste information from either Excel or Numbers, which is a handy way to bring data inside of your Bento database. Although, we should note that we could have just imported Excel, the same way we did with the Numbers file, or even the CSV file. Instead we copied and pasted just a subset of data, not the entire file's worth of data from our Excel document. So this way we don't have to bring in all of the records. We can just choose ones that we want, copy them from the spreadsheet, and then paste them right into Table View inside of our libraries in Bento. This, by the way, is a feature that's available in Bento 2.

So it's a good idea to get familiar with the different ways that you can bring data from other applications into your Bento database, so that you don't have to manually create all of the records that you are storing inside of Bento.

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This video is part of

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Bento 2 Essential Training

66 video lessons · 9256 viewers

Cris Ippolite
Author

 
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  1. 3m 44s
    1. Welcome
      59s
    2. Using the exercise files
      2m 45s
  2. 10m 57s
    1. Introduction to databases
      2m 25s
    2. What is Bento?
      53s
    3. The Bento Home dialog
      1m 5s
    4. Exploring the Bento window
      3m 50s
    5. Understanding Form view, Table view, and Split view
      2m 44s
  3. 11m 24s
    1. Using libraries in Bento
      2m 25s
    2. Viewing records in a library
      1m 49s
    3. Planning libraries
      1m 55s
    4. Creating libraries by importing
      3m 41s
    5. Creating libraries from Bento templates
      1m 34s
  4. 5m 47s
    1. Working with linked data from Address Book and iCal
      2m 27s
    2. Updating Address Book and iCal data from Bento
      3m 20s
  5. 5m 5s
    1. Searching in Bento
      2m 31s
    2. Advanced Find
      2m 34s
  6. 14m 23s
    1. Understanding collections
      2m 11s
    2. Creating collections
      3m 44s
    3. Modifying collections
      2m 52s
    4. Creating and modifying Smart Collections
      5m 36s
  7. 12m 13s
    1. Creating, editing, and sorting records in Table view
      4m 16s
    2. Managing fields in Table view
      3m 39s
    3. Filling multiple fields at once using the Fill Down feature
      1m 14s
    4. Summarizing column data
      3m 4s
  8. 18m 5s
    1. Creating and editing records in Form view
      2m 25s
    2. Creating forms and adding fields to a form
      3m 42s
    3. Moving and resizing fields on a form
      2m 47s
    4. Integrating Live Maps
      1m 32s
    5. Linking to iChat with forms
      1m 29s
    6. Customizing form layouts
      6m 10s
  9. 12m 40s
    1. Understanding fields
      1m 35s
    2. Reviewing field types
      2m 49s
    3. Creating fields and using the Fields pane
      6m 15s
    4. Working with fields in Table view and Form view
      2m 1s
  10. 8m 21s
    1. Understanding List fields
      2m 3s
    2. File List fields
      6m 18s
  11. 7m 43s
    1. Using Message List fields
      3m 27s
    2. Linking Apple Mail messages and RSS articles to forms
      4m 16s
  12. 10m 32s
    1. Understanding Related Records lists
      1m 39s
    2. Creating Related Records lists
      2m 52s
    3. Managing Related Records lists
      6m 1s
  13. 9m 15s
    1. Understanding Media fields
      1m 39s
    2. Adding Media fields
      4m 21s
    3. Adding photos to a Media field using the iSight camera
      58s
    4. Positioning and resizing images
      55s
    5. Saving media files
      1m 22s
  14. 22m 19s
    1. Understanding Calculation fields
      5m 49s
    2. Merging fields using calculations
      3m 20s
    3. Calculating age
      4m 35s
    4. Calculating duration
      3m 18s
    5. Displaying summary information in the parent library
      5m 17s
  15. 19m 23s
    1. Importing data to Bento
      6m 49s
    2. Exporting data from Bento
      2m 56s
    3. Importing and exporting templates
      4m 16s
    4. Using the Bento Template Exchange
      5m 22s
  16. 7m 23s
    1. Printing from libraries and collections
      5m 39s
    2. Printing mailing labels
      1m 44s
  17. 12m 5s
    1. Creating Bento backup files
      3m 53s
    2. Restoring data
      2m 4s
    3. Using the Backup Reminder
      1m 5s
    4. Using Time Machine with Bento
      1m 54s
    5. Syncing with MobileMe and Entourage
      3m 9s
  18. 10m 24s
    1. Creating a library in the Bento app
      3m 26s
    2. Using the linked Address Book library in the Bento app
      3m 38s
    3. Syncing the Bento app with Bento on the Mac
      3m 20s
  19. 28s
    1. Goodbye
      28s

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