Not long ago, if someone offered you a full-featured database program from a leading software maker for $10, you might have looked for a \u201cSucker\u201d sticker on your back\u2014or you should have.\n\n But today Bento 4 for iPad, which is indeed a complete, self-contained database application, costs just ten bucks. Even better, between now and July 31, FileMaker, Bento\u2019s developer, is offering the iPad app for $5. (There\u2019s a separate Bento app for iPhone and iPod touch that costs $5 but isn\u2019t on sale; I didn\u2019t test that app.)\n\n\n\tMind you, Bento 4 for iPad isn\u2019t for corporate types. It\u2019s a personal database tool for individuals and small-business users who spend a lot of time on their tablets. And for them, it\u2019s an ideal app, despite a few minor drawbacks.\n\n\n\tWith the recently updated Bento 4 for iPad, you can easily drag and drop fields; sort them in multiple ways; switch between form, table, split and full-screen views; create encrypted fields (an excellent new feature for security-conscious users); and add calculation and GPS location fields.\n\n\n\tThe app includes 25 database templates to get you started. And if that\u2019s not enough, a link within Bento 4 for iPad gets you to a FileMaker Web page, where you can browse and download additional Bento templates. However, I had issues with some of those templates, including the as "Get a Job" template, which I couldn't import into the app. The reason, according to the error message I received, was that \u201ctemplates exported from Bento 3 or earlier are not supported.\u201d\n\n\n\tYou can import data from Excel, Numbers or other spreadsheet programs, but doing so requires several steps. You must first export the data into CSV format and email the CSV file to yourself. Then, on your iPad, you have to open your email message, click to open the CSV file and then choose Bento as the app with which to open the file. If your Excel spreadsheet contains multiple worksheets, the CSV export will create a file for each worksheet. Each sheet must be imported into Bento separately.\n\n\n\tExporting a Bento database is a similar process accomplished via CSV export and emailing, but Bento 4 for iPad makes it extremely easy.\n\n\n\tBento 4 for iPad includes 40 new database themes, which are, in essence, color and font treatments. Unfortunately, you can\u2019t set a default theme for all your new databases. Also, the theme you choose is only applied to the first form of a database, and a database may have multiple forms. I\u2019d rather have the theme unilaterally applied to all the database\u2019s forms.\n\n\n\tAnother nit: Bento\u2019s search function is a bit weak. When I searched for "Andy" in my Contacts database, for example, Bento 4 for iPad\u2019s search served up not only the Andys in my life, but also the Randys and Sandys.\n\n You can sync Bento 4 for iPad files with the Bento Mac OS software application over a shared Wi-Fi connection. But unlike FileMaker Go 12 for iOS and FileMaker Pro 12 for Windows and Mac, Bento\u2019s iPad app doesn\u2019t rely upon its desktop software counterpart for any features. A few things are easier to do in the Mac version, however, such as renaming existing databases.\n\n\n\tEven so, for many users I suspect Bento 4 for iPad will be a gateway drug to the Mac OS Bento program. Mac Bento is also a great piece of software, and it too is on sale through July 31 for $29 (down from $49). Though the Bento apps for iPad and Mac have some room for improvement, you\u2019d be a sucker not to jump on either of them at these prices.