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Thursday, March 18, 2010

How to build an Ajax Web application in Alpha Five: "The Tutorial, Volume 1" now available

When InfoWorld journalist, Ph.D., and international man of mystery, Martin Heller, joined Alpha Software, we didn't waste any time putting him to work. After many sleepless nights and thankless weekends, Martin has produced the first volume of what we think will be the be-all, end-all tutorial on how to build, test, deploy, and maintain Ajax Web database applications with Alpha Five Version 10.

THE TUTORIAL: Ready to be read
Ultimately,"Alpha Five Version 10 Web Applications: The Tutorial" will consists of three books.

Volume 1
  • Teaches you how to create Ajax Web grids against SQL databases, without programming.
Volume 2
  • Will teach you everything else needed to create Web applications with Version 10 without programming.
Volume 3
  • Unleashes the full power of Version 10 by teaching how to program with the product and utilize its rich client- and server- event models for Web applications.

I'm proud to say that Volume 1 is ready to ship. I'm doubly excited by this. At one level, it's great to announce that this is available. But at another level, this plugs a hole that we have had in our supporting material for Alpha Five.

Customers, colleagues, and partners have been pointing this out to us for too long. The problem was one of resources and bandwidth, and I'm happy to say that we've invested in that in the form of Martin Heller. Here you have the first fruits of that investment.

If you want to read the first chapter, go ahead. It's on me. The level of detail Martin provides is, in my opinion, remarkable. If you like what you read, you can buy the PDF download for only $24. Or, if you still like "dead trees" editions, you can get that for $34, and you'll still get the PDF. Once you read Volume 1, you'll see how valuable all three volumes are sure to be.
Here's a look at the table of contents.

Section I: Hello, Alpha!
Downloading & Installing Alpha Five Version 10
Introduction to Databases
Kinds of Databases
Kinds of Alpha Database Connections
Creating your first Alpha Five project
Starting Alpha
Creating a new, empty database and project
Navigating the V10 IDE
About the Northwind database sample
Creating a connection string for Northwind.mdb
Saving and naming the connection string
Displaying a database table in a Grid
Creating a Grid component
Choosing a Grid template
Grid definition forms
Connecting the Grid to the Northwind database
Picking a table
Picking fields
Previewing the grid
Working Preview
A note about Web projects
Summary

Section II: Parts of the Grid
Grid overview
Grid layouts
Tabular
Form (Columnar)
Detail views
Search parts
Kinds of searches
Lookup searches
Ways to combine searches
Organizing search results
Quick search
Alphabet buttons
Query-by-example row
Summary

Section III: A Grid for All Seasons!
Grid styles
Shading and dividers
Titles and sorting options
Record navigation
Grid update settings
Detail view options
Kinds of grid fields
Text box and text area fields
Hidden and label fields
Checkboxes, radio buttons, and push-buttons
Image and link fields
Drop-down box fields
Edit-combo box and auto-suggest lookup text fields
Special controls
Field properties
Formatting
Field validation
Master layout templates
Creating your own Grid component templates
Filtering and ordering a table in a grid
Using SQL Select Statements with a grid
Watermarks
Tab, Accordion, Container, and Frame controls
Liquid Forms
Summary

After you look at the first chapter, let me know what you think. If you decide to buy the book, send us your feedback. If there's anything you think we've missed, let us know because there is still time to influence the second and third volumes.

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