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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The most popular Alpha blog topics of 2010

It feels like only yesterday I sat down at my keyboard to reflect on 2009. Time really does fly when you're using Codeless Ajax. We have lots of new things coming to you in 2011, especially in the mobile arena (hint, hint). But I'm not going to dive into them just yet.

Instead, I'm going to take a step back. I compiled a roundup of our most popular topics on our blog based on the number of page views these articles received in 2010. Take a few minutes and thumb through the topics that created buzz on the blog.

Podcasts: This was a real surprise to me. I've heard some people say that podcasts are dead. Meanwhile, podcasts were one of the most popular topics on our blog in 2010. I think I know why. It's real developers sharing real stories of what it's like building Web apps in Alpha Five. Plus, we don't sugarcoat these interviews. We share the problems that the developers encountered, how they worked around them, as well as the advantages they found in the tool.

Feature tips: Everyone likes a helping hand, so we dished out as many helpful hints we could. We took tricks we learned from Alpha Five developers and ones we stumbled upon ourselves to help you speed up the developing process. By the way, you can contribute to our feature tips. If you have a neat trick that solves a problem, please share it with us. I'll make sure that your tip gets the chance to be featured on the blog. Developers helping developers -- that's what it's always been about.

Feature packs: Thirteen Alpha Five Version 10.5 feature packs debuted this year. One of the reasons we think they were so successful is because we wrote extensively about them. We wanted to show developers what they do, how they can help, and why they matter. Rather than just putting them on sale, it was important for us to give developers deep insight to help them decide which feature packs, if any, were right for them.

Press coverageThe media has no loyalty to Alpha Software. And as a result, they tell you exactly what they think when they review Alpha Five. I tell you all the time the benefits Alpha Five gives you. Then we work hard to get the product in front of reviewers who will confirm or invalidate the promises we make. I'm really gratified to say 2010 was a fantastic year for reviews. We received nothing but outstanding ratings from all of the reviewers, and you can read them all here on our blog.

Microsoft Access: Did you blink twice yet? This is the Alpha Software blog, but apparently you love reading about Microsoft Access. I think I know why. There's a move of foot among Access developers to see if there's a path for them to get their apps on the Web without the high cost and complexity of the current Microsoft model.

There's no question that Access developers aren't happy campers. And frankly, we are going to do all we can to help them migrate to Alpha Five. Part of that is making sure we have a rich array of blog posts that provide them with the support they need to understand how to get from Access to Alpha Five. Lots of man hours have been spent showing you how easy it is to migrate, and apparently you're finding it helpful. Is there something more you'd like to know? Let us know in a comment.

Comparison grid: Since August 2008, we've been maintaining a grid that compares Alpha Five, Microsoft Access, FileMaker, and Iron Speed. It was originally intended just as a tool to help developers who were trying to make a decision see how these products stack up. It's turned out to be an evergreen that developers turn to again and again.

That's my wrap up of 2010. Be sure to bookmark the topics you want to learn more about in the New Year. And I'll be telling you what to expect in 2011 in my next post.

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