Alpha Software is focused on enabling developers to create robust, data-driven business applications that run on any PC, Tablet or Smartphone in the fastest, most efficient and cost-effective manner possible.

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Alpha Five Platinum: Transforming, manipulating, and analyzing data

A ton of our customers rely on Alpha Five Platinum for data manipulation, data analyis, data cleaning, data massaging, and data transformation (moving data from one format to another)

Here you can see how data can be imported from a wide variety of sources into an Alpha Five database.

A similar screen in Platinum will then show you how you can export data to the same set of formats.

As you can see, Alpha Five makes it easy to move data from one formats to another, such as from MySQL to MS SQL Server or from QuickBooks to Oracle.

In terms of manipulating data, the screen below displays some of the many options that are built right into Platinum. Plus, xbasic gives you an extra level of control over manipulating data.

The new features and abilities of Platinum have not gone unnoticed by our customers. Here's what a few of them think: as expressed in the comments section to the Techrepublic review of Alpha Five v9:

It [Alpha Five v9] doesn't have to be for full app development
It is great for app development, but it beats the pants off of Access for ad hoc data analysis and manipulation. The action scripting genies in combination with the expression builder make it easier to use than access, and the richness of the built in functions make it more powerful.
I imported an audit trail from Quickbooks in CSV format. The problem with many quickbooks exports is that it is really two tables combined into one, with the transaction header line repeated only once per transaction. There is also a problem in that multiple prior versions of the transaction are all referred to as prior, whereas I wanted P1 - Px to denote the particular version. Alpha's update operation made it quite easy to transform my data as alpha contains a function that refers to the previous record. I have created a short Jing screencast at that shows how easy it is.

Alpha's report writer has something that many competing products do not have. It can include conditional objects. Thus I can set a variety of styles in the detail band which at times can be nice.

VERY good point!
Very good point, and also something I feel contributes to what I perceive as Alpha's huge potential (and, incidentally, flexibility) as a core/all-round development tool. It can do a huge amount of different tasks, and it can do them without you needing to write a full interface/menu/app for it, either...

It's not just data manipulation, though - even just for the little tasks you need to do on the fly, without the need to build and deploy a fully-fledged app, Alpha5 - and the programming language built into it, Xbasic - has a HUGE range of functions (in particular file listing, list processing and character functions, including extract_string which is perfect for quickly grabbing XML data etc.) and there are dozens of dialogs and tools you can invoke with just a few snippets of code... and if you have the web app server, you can very quickly put any functionality you need available to your company/client/yourself on an Intra- or Internet website without needing to develop or distribute an application...


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