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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Friday, August 29, 2008

Alpha introduces a new (better, faster, cheaper) licensing model

Our licensing model evolved over many years. And as it did, so did its complexity.

We recently spent some time reworking our model. The goal: simplify it for developers, and make it more cost-competitive. The result is our new Alpha Five Version 9 Unlimited Distribution License.

For a flat fee of $999, developers can use Alpha Five to create as many applications for as many different customers as they'd like, without worrying about seats, license counts, contracts, and compliance.

Under the new Alpha Five v9 Unlimited Distribution License, once you've built your application in Alpha Five Platinum, you can:

  • Distribute your applications freely, with no restrictions or royalties.
  • Make an unlimited number of copies of your application, including trial or demo copies.
  • Develop an unlimited number of applications (each with an unlimited number of copies).
  • Work with .DBF or SQL servers (such as SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle, Postgres, Access, etc.).
  • Use the included installer for building your own custom setup program.
  • Restricts users from editing (and possibly breaking) your application.
  • Allow users to create and edit their own reports, labels, and letters.
  • Create your own custom splash screen that appears when the software loads.

The Unlimited Distribution License does require that you first develop your application using a copy of Alpha Five v9 Platinum Edition. But if you already have Alpha Five v9 Standard, you can upgrade to v9 Platinum without having to modify any code.

For more information on how you can take advantage of our new licensing deal, hit our Web site, contact our sales team at 781-229-4500 ext. 1, or write to us.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

SmallBizTechnology gives Alpha Five a nod

SmallBizTechnology.com published an article this week on the advantages of using a database over an Excel spreadsheet for things such as inventory lists, staff databases, customer contacts, payroll information, and more.

While many businesses -- large and small -- simply use Excel, it's because they don't know how to use a database, such as Alpha Five, Filemaker Pro, or Microsoft Access. And with Alpha, they won't have to worry about learning, because it's easy!

You can read the full article here.

Sad news

Regular Alpha blog readers have probably caught on to my love of dogs. I talk about them all the time. One of our favorite Alpha dogs, however, was a beautiful hound mix named Hurley. Hurley lived with Bridget, who helps keep this blog up and running.

Bridget and Hurley made quite a pair. He often accompanied her to work, and was a perfect gentleman while in the office. When they weren't at work together, they were usually jogging, swimming at the beach, or romping with the other dogs at the local dog park.

But a few weeks ago, Hurley was struck by a car, and he didn't make it. We are all very saddened by this news at Alpha (though I doubt anyone is as sad as Bridget -- she's a bit of a wreck without her baby).

In case you couldn't tell from his last Alpha post, Hurley was quite a goof ball. And he was incredibly affectionate and intelligent. Take a look at Bridget's post on her beloved pup on her own blog, Yellaphant. Now try and tell me your heart isn't breaking too.

Why doesn't FileMaker compare itself to Alpha Five?

After we posted our competitive features grid yesterday, one of our readers pointed out to us that FileMaker has their own comparison document posted on their Web site. But one comparison is glaringly missing ... Alpha Five.

I wonder why?

By the way, our competitive features grid has been in production for several months now, and we've been using it in our media outreach. So it isn't a response to FileMaker's comparison document, which we just learned of yesterday. But it does make you wonder.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Get the facts: Alpha Five compared to Access 2007 and FileMaker 9

When setting out to purchase a database application platform for the first time, naturally people have questions. To make things easier, we hired a professional software reviewer to produce this competitive features grid.

It objectively compares Alpha Five with Microsoft Access 2007, Filemaker Pro 9, Filemaker Pro 9 Advanced, Filemaker Server 9, and Filemaker Server 9 Advanced.

Our writer's marching orders were simple: compare the products, and be completely transparent. We think he did a great job, and compared the products fully and accurately.

If you're in the market for a new database tool, this grid will help you understand how three of the industry's leading products stack up. And if you're a journalist or blogger, feel free to take this grid and use it. Don't worry about copyright. Just give us a heads up so we can see what you wrote.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

How to get the most out of QReportBuilder

We've had several inquiries about tutorials since introducing QReportBuilder. We have now scheduled a number of interactive online tutorials with a live instructor, Al Buchholz.

Al has years of experience in building custom reports for QuickBooks users, and is an expert with QReportBuilder. If you are interested in getting all you can from QRB, move quickly, as there are only two classes left. Sign up here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Alpha Software talks SmallBiz with SmartMoney

As business owners know, the benefits to a company newsletter are great. It's an easy way to communicate. Whether it be announcing a sale, touting a new item, or just saying hi, a newsletter is the perfect way to foster relationships with the people who mean most to your business: your customers.

But, as business owners also know, it's become increasingly difficult to ensure a company newsletter actually gets from your computer screen to your customers' inboxes. And when SmartMoney's SmallBiz.com published an article on that topic, they called on me to offer some advice. *cough* AlphaMailer *cough* *cough*

Take a look.

Alpha takes gold ... again

We're proud to announce that Alpha Software has been selected by Everything Channel as a CRN Emerging Tech vendor for our Alpha Five Platinum for the second year in a row.

CRN's Emerging Tech list captures companies that are delivering high margins for solution providers with innovative and easy-to-use technology that undercuts industry giants. And we've just gone two for two. You'll have to excuse me, I'm having a little bit of a Michael Phelps moment.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Are dogs smarter than babies?

Honestly, folks, I tried and tried to think of a way to relate this to what we do, but I couldn't. It's just too funny to not share though. Enjoy!

Sitemaps and robots and bears, oh my!

I think many of you will agree that it's been a pretty busy summer. So when I wanted to burn off some steam recently, I gave myself an evening to kick out a new Alpha Web app.

I added integrated creation of sitemap.xml and robots.txt into my Web application template. Those are the two most important files for search engines. By "integrated," I mean the system is dynamic, and creates the files according to the structure of the Alpha Five Web application.

Take a look at the video and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A peek at Alpha and Postgres Plus

Enterprise DB's Bob Zurek and our own Selwyn Rabins put together a webinar yesterday that demonstrates Alpha Five being used against a Postgres database. As you can see, Alpha can be used for browsers, forms, reports, Web apps, and even AJAX apps. Take a look and let us know what you think. Hope you find it helpful.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

BusinessWeek pops some smart questions

Karen Klein covers entrepreneurship and small-business issues for BusinessWeek. She rang me up to talk about the FTC's recently updated CAN-SPAM regs.

Why interview me on CAN-SPAM? It's simple, really. We have to be up to speed on all aspects of CAN-SPAM, because our AlphaMailer product (built in Alpha Five, 'natch) is used by legitimate e-marketers to manage massive e-mail marketing campaigns.

My conversation with Karen is now posted as a podcast on the BusinessWeek Web site. If you tune in, I think you'll find some good insight into CAN-SPAM and e-mail marketing in general.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Reservations made easy with Alpha Five

Alpha One's Mike Thomson put together this short video demo to showcase a new commercial reservation system he recently developed with Alpha Five.



Or take a look at the high-resolution version on the Alpha site. As you can see, Mike takes advantage of many of the Alpha Five tools that make database entry easy, such as the new AJAX features introduced in v9, drag+drop functionality, context-sensitive bubble help, and the ability to resize reservations with handles.

If you've ever used a program for keeping track of bookings, you'll notice this one is a big step up in the area of convenience.

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