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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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Alpha Five Version 10 hailed as "secret weapon in Web development" by InfoWorld

Alpha Five Version 10 was featured on InfoWorld's Open Sources blog today, and I'm happy to say, was noted for its flexibility and speed of development time. Not to mention, A5V10's potential to "ultimately provide the kind of developer experience needed to provide a breakthrough in Web-based development." Open Sources blogger Zach Urlocker even mentioned Robert Scoble's first impressions. :)

Yep, I'd say it's a pretty good review. Have a look at the full InfoWorld article.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

ALPHA FIVE VERSION 10 RC1 WITH CODELESS AJAX NOW AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD

Yes, you read that correctly. I'll say it one more time ... ALPHA FIVE VERSION 10 RC1 WITH CODELESS AJAX NOW AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD!

You've been reading about the hype for what probably feels like forever. Well, the day is FINALLY here. Alpha Five Version 10 with codeless Ajax is now available for a free trial download. The press release hit the wire this morning, and I'm so excited I wanted to share it with you here too. It's like watching my baby take her first steps. *Ahem ... er, sorry, daughters.*


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Alpha Five Version 10 Feature Peek #37: The "Working Preview" pane in the Grid Builder

Alpha Five Version 10's "Working Preview" pane in the Grid Builder lets you run the Grid (just as the Live Preview pane does). But "Working Preview" doesn't use the Application Server. Instead, it uses a special protocol (not "http") to talk to Alpha Five directly. This also makes debugging your Xbasic event handlers extremely easy.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Alpha Five Version 10 on SoftwareMag.com

Last week, the folks over at SoftwareMag.com did a write-up of Alpha Five Version 10. Not surprisingly, the three words that have everyone a-tizzy (myself included): CODELESS AJAX DEVELOPMENT. Ooh, I get chills just thinking about it.

If you're a regular blog reader, you could probably recite all of these details by memory anyway, but if you're in the mood for a little afternoon techie titillation, have a look at the article!



Alpha Five Version 10 Feature Peek #36: User-Defined Watch Events

A User-Defined Watch Event lets you to define Javascript code that will be executed whenever the value in a "watched" field in your Grid changes. In the video below, we show how the label on the "state" field can be changed to "state" if the country is "USA" and to "province" for all other countries.



Thursday, October 22, 2009

Alpha Five Version 10 Feature Peek #35: Tree Control Genie

For users who choose to hand-code Web pages in Alpha Five Version 10, the Tree Control Genie shows you how to create the Javascript and Xbasic to display an Ajax-enabled tree control.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Developer praise for Alpha Five Version 10

If you've seen our latest newsletter, then you've already gotten a taste of some of the things developers are saying about Alpha Five Version 10 beta. And if you read the blog regularly, you know that one of the most influential bloggers has said some pretty nice things too. We've pulled some of the most representative comments for our current beta developers, and are featuring them here. These are unedited, exactly what they wrote to us, and we didn't tell anyone what to say. If you've been an Alpha user for a long time, you know we don't play those types of marketing games



"Development is fun and incredibly productive with V10. The Ajax driven grid has consistent, reliable and predictable behavior. With its unlimited capability to link and drill down to expose related information, the V10 grid makes the creation of powerful, fast web applications within the reach of even novice developers.

This will encourage a whole new breed of developers to dig in and push the envelope with V10 and they won’t be disappointed. With the exposure of a vast array of server and client side events, the experienced developer has the ability to create custom behaviors’ that are limited only by your imagination and skills. You can easily wire in any of the popular Javascript libraries like JQuery or Dojo to create animation effects or widgets to pass data to custom Alpha V10 Ajax handlers. The ability to easily tie into ANY of the popular SQL databases like MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server, Postgres, etc. and the support of international languages and character sets is a huge benefit that provides the horsepower needed to build a wide array of powerful and fast web apps that can help large and small enterprises worldwide."

- Bob Moore, Micromedia Studios



"One of the things that I like most about Alpha Five which is considerably different than other tools is 'it's got altitude.' You don't get topped out on capability since you can always revert to lower level functionality that's readily accessible. Then, as you've shown, it can be generalized to a higher level as the demand increases (or the time availability does!) Awesome!”

V10 is really a great achievement ... and you can quote me!!!"

- John Landry, Former Vice President for Technology Strategy at IBM, CTO at Lotus Development Corporation, CTO at Dun and Bradstreet



"In a nutshell, Alpha Five V10 is the first Web application data builder for developers large and small that delivers true commercial-grade performance in both development productivity and content delivery. The world’s first Codeless AJAX™ capabilities are so empowering I feel confident enough to be able to engage the wishes of even the largest organizations with first class data-to-the-Web solutions and do it in record time. I could never imagine such results would ever be achievable by individual developers, and while you can now easily include a world of third party Java apps, you don’t need any other product for most work -- it truly is amazing."

- Peter Conway, Web Designer/entrepreneur



"I never really had time for coding which is why I liked Alpha Five years ago. Anyone can give it a go as long as they know what they want to achieve, the possibilities are endless, and now with the latest V10, well, where does it stop... It's no longer about 'Where do you want to go today' but 'What do you want to develop today.' With Alpha Five Version 10, the possibilities are literally endless!"

- Phil Eaton, Managing Director, Speedy Business Systems Limited



"The ability to connect to virtually any database and then develop powerful software for both desktop and Web platforms with ease, as well as to create, publish and display reports to end users quickly and intuitively have always made Alpha Five an attractive option for RAD solutions.

Alpha Five Version 10, with its stunning and innovative features such as Codeless AJAX™, online full HTML editing fields and sophisticated user interface controls, has cemented Alpha Five’s position as our 'weapon of choice' at Speedy Business Systems -- combining ease of use with nigh on unlimited programmability in both the native Xbasic and now also automated scripting, as well as custom JavaScripts and much, much more.

With the help of Alpha Five v10, we are now able to offer our clients a fully rounded service from hardware supplies and support through to custom-written Web and desktop software, more quickly, flexibly and competently than before. 'Drool-worthy' was my initial reaction to the v10 demos and I still stand by that statement – and sincerely hope more people out there will catch the Alpha Five bug in the near future!"

- Andrea Gill, Database Developer, Speedy Business Systems Limited



"V10 has put the excitement back into development for me. Spending time being creative instead of dealing with the tedium that coding can sometimes be, is a pleasure. I am able to knock out and deploy requests quickly and easily. People are wondering where I am hiding the 'invisible IT Staff.' V10 has rejuvenated my brain. I am constantly thinking of new ways, new methods, new designs to present data in a more usable format. All this with relatively NO background in web development. In the past, I have attempted to develop data driven applications and stood around scratching my head wondering why I was even bothering. I find V10 extremely intuitive and easy to use and can accomplish pretty amazing things with NO CODING. It seems that the options will be limitless with Alpha and the inclusion of 3rd party tools (FusionCharts, Java tools, etc.)."

- Bill Griffin, IT director, Parkell, Inc.




"I have been developing database solutions for over 20 years, the tools I use are Microsoft's Expression Web and Alpha Five, and now with the release of V10 my two favourite programs can work together. I can develop the Web page's graphically in Expression then import the page into A5 and use the new genie to link fields in my web page to the elements within my data base. A5 V10 is truly a great step forward for me."

- Andy Meer, developer



"Looking back on more than 30 years experience with IT, I can say that the new Alpha V10 tool is the top one database development tool I ever came across. I cannot remember being so excited since I started working in IT. This product is revolutionary and certainly should be noticed by all involved in web development. Especially those who now think they have to rely on whatever mainstream product they count their bets on now. Alpha V10 will beat all of them in terms of development speed, consistency and flexibility. If you see what can be achieved in terms of development speed and therefore cost savings compared f.i. to AJAX development, it is truly amazing. Even if you use frameworks like Wicket with AJAX. I currently use Alpha V10 as a rapid prototyping tool as the product owner in an Agile SCRUM project approach. The prototype was finished in 2-3 months ... Working. Development in Ajax at the client is finishing at Dec this year with 4-5 developers working with AJAX for more than 16 months. Against the same Oracle Database! Alpha Five V10 takes (most of) the coding out of web development and therefore brings back precious time to spend on real creativity and excellence in development projects. It can compete with any other currently on the market I am aware off ... And this includes tools in the open source arena. This product deserves it to be recognized by all (ranging from developers to IT management) as a great tool to accelerate development time, save money, exceed customer expectation and end user satisfaction with the resulting application."

- Ron Leunis, Oracle developer



"As a technical engineer in a business environment I needed a development tool to be flexible and robust enough without learning an array of code to provide a solution for configuring simultaneous routers and keeping the business contact information plan dates etc. in a digested format to access over a 2-3 month project plan for each client. I've used MS and FM but efforts to setup and change are much more compliant in Alpha Five. Now with version 10 it was easy to migrate to a Web access design for our Intranet support solutions. This along with the unsurpassed Alpha community support presently, I believe has no equal."

- Gary Swell, software developer, FORTUNE 50 Company



"Alpha Five Version 10 is the game changing development platform I've been looking for. After 30 years of building on so many different platforms, I find V10 to be the most comprehensive tool for RAPIDLY building web applications that actually behave like desktop apps. Kudos to the Alpha Five development team for being so responsive to the needs of developers in the real world -- not technology for technology's sake, but a tool to solve the everyday problems we face. Codeless Ajax™, well thought out property sheets, a comprehensive set of controls, along with built in 'Genies' allow you create sophisticated applications with little to no coding at all. Combine that with both server and client side event models that exposes everything a developer needs for fine grained control as well as the powerful xBasic language and you have a toolbox that just can’t be rivaled. Thanks, Alpha Software, for making application development fun again …"

- Jim Dusoe, Director of Software Development, BMSI Software

Friday, October 16, 2009

Alpha Five Version 10 grids in action

One of our Alpha developers and v10 beta users from down under, Peter Conway, has been getting a ton of requests to see some of his Alpha Five Version 10 creations in action. So today, Peter made his V10 Etome and Space Cadet Samples V10 Sever VPS available for on the Alpha Message Board.


In Peter's words, he wanted to open his application up to "show the other power of grids in this revolutionary product."

In the link below, you'll find Peter's "Space Cadet" samples. My favorites to click on are the Milky Way, Earth, and NASA and Alan Shepard. And be sure to click the video link. To see the Etome sample, double click the grid. Perhaps most amazingly, Peter was able to do all of this without writing a single line of code.

The user name and password you need to access the application are below. So enjoy! Click around! Have fun! And stay tuned, because more videos from Peter are coming soon.

Login: developer@inspace.com
Password: developer

Log in here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Robert Scoble, the Scobleizer, deems Alpha Five Version 10 "revolutionary"

Yesterday was a really great day for me and for Alpha Software. As you know, I'm at Oracle OpenWorld 2009 networking with Oracle developers and trying to raise awareness of our codeless Ajax technology, and its ability to help developers -- Oracle and otherwise -- build more and better solutions in less time. As part of this, I've been setting up meetings with the media, hoping to get a chance to demonstrate Alpha Five Version 10.

One person I had the pleasure of meeting with is Robert Scoble. Now, unless you've been living in a cave, you know that Robert Scoble is one of the most widely read bloggers in all of techdom. There are good reasons for this. He knows his stuff. He has an uncanny track record for recognizing the next big thing. And he's incredibly prolific on his blog, Twitter, and myriad other social publishing platforms.

What you might not know is that Scoble has long been involved in, and has a deep understanding and passion for, programmers and programming. Long before blogs even existed, Scoble was moving about various online forums, networking with and helping developers. In fact, his work as an evangelist for developers and appdev technologies goes back to at least the early 90s, when he was an active participant in CompuServe, supporting early versions of Visual Basic.

Fast forward to 2009. Robert and I sat down in a Starbucks, and I shared the current beta (and soon to ship!) version of Alpha Five Version 10 with him. Now, I've been in "the business" for over 20 years. I've had countless meetings with the press and, more recently, with bloggers. But my meeting with Robert was truly unique.

As we discussed Alpha Five and development in general, Robert had one eye on me and one eye on his iPhone. He was tweeting the meeting live. I've never had another journalist or blogger do that. The most interesting thing was, his brain seemed fully capable of managing both our conversation and his tweeting, without missing a beat on either.

You can follow Robert's tweets @Scobleizer. Here are the tweets he published while we were talking.







It's not every day one of the most influential chaps on the Internet calls your product "revolutionary." It was a real validation of the planning and hard work the Alpha team has invested in Version 10 over the past year, as well as the months of testing and feedback our beta testers have invested.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Robert will deem Version 10 worthy of a deeper look on his blog.

I also talked to Robert about our interest in cloud computing, areas where we see a fit for Alpha Five, and technologies we can bring to bear to make building apps for cloud computing easier and faster for developers.

Robert is going to tee us up with the right people at Rackspace, which has an expansive and mature cloud computing platform that is very interesting to us. I hope to share whatever develops as a result of that with you here, in future posts. (And as some of you know, we are already hosting several mission-critical resources on Rackspace, so this would be a logical expansion of that relationship.)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Who's leading the way out of the recession?

If you're a regular reader, you know that Alpha does a lot to try and encourage entrepreneurship. And -- stop me if you've heard this one -- there's no better time to be an entrepreneur than today. Well a recent article on CNN Money agrees!

Thursday's article discusses how new businesses have been helping to lead the way out of this lagging recession. It also notes that the globalized companies have largely been safe from, and will help lead us further out of, the slump. And he cites Alpha Software as a prime example, thanks to our business with developers in Asia, Europe, Africa, and the U.K.




Thousands flock to Oracle's OpenWorld 2009

There's Richard, down there somewhere in that massive throng of people who all arrived yesterday at San Francisco's Moscone Center for Oracle OpenWorld 2009! I think I see him right ... no ... oh maybe that's him ... er ... oh, oh that's gotta be ... hmm.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Codeless Ajax generating buzz before Oracle OpenWorld 2009

In today's InfoWorld, Paul Krill gave a little nod to Alpha Software and Alpha Five Version 10 in his article about some of the soon-to-be-goings-ons at Oracle's OpenWorld 2009, taking place Oct. 11-15.

Besides the buzz over Oracle's potential plans for Java, Krill mentions, "notable among third parties presenting app dev technologies at the event is Alpha Software, which plans to demonstrate its 'codeless AJAX' development tool."

Have a look at the article to see what else will be taking the spotlight at next week's conference.


Alpha Five Version 10 Feature Peek #34: Advanced use of "ShowRowExpanderIcon" event

When you use the Row Expander feature in a grid, by default, the expand icon is shown next to each row in the grid, regardless of whether that row actually has any records. In some cases, you might want to suppress the row expander icon from showing if there are no child records. You can do this using the ShowRowExpanderIcon event.


Thursday, October 08, 2009

Alpha Five Version 10 Feature Peek #33: Advanced use of custom controls in a grid

One of the control types available in the Alpha Five Version 10 grid is the custom control. This allows you to define an arbitrary Xbasic function to compute the HTML and Javascript for the control.

In the example below, the grid is showing invoices. One of the cells in the grid shows the line items for the invoice. This could have been done using an embedded grid component, but the custom control is a lighter weight, faster solution.

Part 1:



Part 2:


Wednesday, October 07, 2009

It's about doggone time for a doggy update

Way back in the beginning of the summer, Bridget and I told you about the new puppy we were gearing up to adopt. Well, in true Rabins fashion, I've been so excited about HAVING A PUPPY that I haven't yet gotten around to updating you on his wonderful adoption.

So without further ado, meet Clifton. The wonder Pup:)



As you can see, he's no longer the tiny puppy I raved about last spring. But just like every pup, he has been keeping the Rabins household busy. Not to mention, keeping us on our toes (if you're a fellow dog owner, I know you know what I mean). He's frisky and friendly, and every day he's getting better at his manners. But above all, he's a joy!




Monday, October 05, 2009

Using third-party JavaScript libraries in Alpha Five Version 10

Bob Moore, one of our Alpha Five Version 10 beta testers, recently put together this video to demonstrate how he has used third-party JavaScript libraries in a v10 application. This is a BIG DEAL, because it demonstrates how Alpha Five Version 10 can be easily extended using open JavaScript libraries.

In the video, Bob uses some JavaScript libraries from DOJO -- one of the MANY open source JavaScript tool kits -- to extend the functionality of an Alpha Five Version 10 grid. This is just one more example of the increased openness of Version 10, made possible by its rich new event model. Enjoy the video!

This is a simple example that anyone should be able to follow. Using the same approach, any third-party external JavaScript libraries can be used to add scheduling, specialized image viewing, stock market data feeds, and much more to Alpha Five applications.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Alpha Five Version 10 Feature Peek #32: Using arguments in the PageLayout and tabbedUI components to filter records

Alpha Five Version 10 makes it possible to define arguments in the PageLayout and TabbedUI builder. Arguments are what let you filter the grid and reports shown in the PageLayout or TabbedUI based on some external data (such as a session variable or page variable).

The videos below show how you can put a button in a grid to open a pop-up window. The pop-up window shows a PageLayout component that is filtered based on data in the current grid row. A second button opens a pop-up window showing a TabbedUI component that is also filtered based on data in the current grid row.






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