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, January 29, 2010

Dogs in the office? Yes!

Bouncing down the hallway like a kangaroo, but in an ungainly fashion. That describes my dog and company mascot, Clifton, in a nutshell. He's gained about 20 pounds since I last shared any Clifton stories with you.

Regular readers know about my "bring your dog to work" philosophy. It's not just talk. I eat my own dog food (pun intended). Clifton is here every day with me. I probably should start cutting a check each week for client relations services, but frankly, he prefers jerky.

He also opens doors for me, in more ways than one.

Recently we ordered pizza for lunch, and I didn't want Clifton to bother us while we were eating. I put him in my office and shut the door. A few minutes later, there he is, bouncing down the hallway with our pizza in his sights.

Did I leave the door ajar? I couldn't imagine that had he figured out how to open the door, because to leave my office, you have to pull the door in. I can see a dog figuring out how to push a door open, but pulling it in? No.

An investigation ensured. I shut my office door, walked away, then slipped around the corner and watched. Sure enough, Clifton gets on his hind legs, and puts both paws on the handles. He pulls the handle down and, keeping one paw on the handle, pulls the door inward with his other paw. Sheer canine genius.

I'll try to capture a video of Clifton the Wonder Dog in action, and share it here. Meanwhile, here's a shot of him enjoying himself in the snow a few weeks back. The Boston area was hit pretty hard in January, but it was no fur off his back.

Got a "dogs in the office" story you'd like to share? Write to me and I'll post it here, or comment on this post.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

DON'T MISS OUT: Only a few seats left for Alpha Five Version 10 training classes!

Alpha's Live Hands-On Alpha Five Version 10 Training Classes have sold out. But don't worry! We're opening up A LIMITED number of seats due to popular demand. Plus, you'll SAVE $100 if you sign up right now.

As I mentioned to you in December, "Alpha University" is a hands-on, in depth training course that will teach you how to build modern Ajax-enabled Web database applications rapidly with Alpha Five Version 10.

Here's why you should attend. The courses will accelerate your Alpha Five Version 10 learning curve for building Web applications that look and perform like desktop applications. The courses will position you to take full advantage of the mega trends as outlined last month by New York Times Columnist Tom Friedman, who describes the "Great Inflection."

The courses will be taught by Dr. Martin Heller, who writes the "Strategic Developer" Blog for InfoWorld, and as you know, is a well respected author, educator, and developer. The training is taking place at the Hilton Garden Inn in Burlington, Mass., on Feb. 22 - 26.

Make sure you take a look at last month's post about the training classes for all the details, or head to the registration page to sign up today!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Alpha Five Version 10 Feature Peek #43: An alternative way to configure the Tabbed UI component

Wouldn't it be nice to have some flexibility when configuring the Tabbed UI component in Alpha Five Version 10? A normal Tabbed UI component has a series of buttons down the left or right side. But what if you don't want them there?

Using the page layout component, you can put the buttons directly on the home page that is displayed when the Tabbed UI component is first opened. It's as easy at that, but watch the video to get the step-by-step details.

Friday, January 15, 2010

CTOEdge, CBR, and ebizQ give Alpha Five Version 10 two thumbs up

As you might have heard, we officially launched a little product called ALPHA FIVE VERSION 10 on Tuesday. Sorry for the SCREAMING CAPS, but I'm still pretty excited.

We got a lot of love from the press even before we launched this game-changing software, because we were sharing alpha, beta, and RC versions with them. Some additional coverage has been generated since the launch. I'll continue to post the press coverage we receive right here on the blog. And I'll kick that off with these three fresh ones.

First up, CTOEdge's Mike Vizard highlights the simplicity and the ease of use of Alpha Five Version 10's Codeless Ajax technology. Thanks Mike for checking the product out. We appreciate your time and insights.

Next up is CBR. They chose to focus on how Alpha Five Version 10 visually builds rich Internet database applications easily.

Lastly, ebizQ shared all the news about our release with its readers.

Thanks to all the reporters who thought our news was important to cover.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Comparing Alpha Five Version 10 to Microsoft Access, FileMaker, and Iron Speed

Since August 2008, we've been maintaining a grid that compares Alpha Five, Microsoft Access, FileMaker, and Iron Speed. This is a decision-making tool for developers who ask the question, "How does Alpha Five compare to other database products?"

It's a very important question. We pitched a lot of people in the media to publish a comparison. Unfortunately, we weren't able to pique anyone's interest in doing a tough head-to-head test of the leading tools on the market. Frankly, we think it's because the trade magazines are under-resourced these days.

Well, we took it upon ourselves to invest in creating this grid, because we think it's important to potential customers. It's maintained for us by an industry analyst.

To reiterate what we said when we first published the grid, the reviewer's marching orders are to make sure he keeps the features list up to date and accurate. That's it. There's no effort whatsoever in this process to make Alpha Five Version 10 come out ahead of any other products. Rather, we leave it to you to decide.

So take a look at our fancy PDF version of the comparison product grid. You can also go to to see a shareable, online spreadsheet version.

Please let us know if you see anything that's inaccurate in the grid. We'll correct any inaccuracies or errors immediately. And please feel free to share this with everyone you know. If you're a blogger or journalist who wants to use our grid, go ahead. Just let us know when you do so.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Alpha Software launches Alpha Five Version 10 with Codeless Ajax technology

WOOHOO! The day has finally come! We officially launched Alpha Five Version 10 today. It might not be news to you, since you've been reading about it here for so long, but it is news to the rest of the world.

Check out the official press release making the announcement. For members of the media, a full press kit is available at

Alpha Software Launches Alpha Five Version 10 with Codeless Ajax Technology

Be amazed at how fast you can build Ajax database apps that perform like desktop apps,
and run entirely in the cloud

BURLINGTON, Mass. -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Every day, companies announce new products and call them revolutionary, breakthrough, innovative, and game changing. It’s not often that a new product actually lives up to that kind of billing. Today is one of those days, with the official launch of Alpha Five Version 10, from Alpha Software. Featuring the company’s patent-pending “Codeless Ajax™” technology, Alpha Five V10 is the first programming tool that allows developers to visually build rich Internet database applications powered by Ajax—without having to write one line of code.

That said, developers who like to get their hands dirty can work swiftly using Alpha’s Codeless Ajax™, then optionally craft custom code using popular SQL dialects, JavaScript, REST Services, and Xbasic. Developers can also plug in open source or their own JavaScript code, components, and frameworks to extend the development platform in any way they need. Best of all, the resulting applications support every major SQL database, including the newest: Microsoft SQL Azure databases residing in the Microsoft cloud.

“Alpha Five Version 10 with Codeless Ajax™ is like having an entire development team at your fingertips,” says Richard Rabins, Co-Chairman of Alpha Software. “Just one developer can produce the output of five to 10 coders with Codeless Ajax™. The calculus is simple. If you’re a consultant or ISV, you produce more solutions in less time. If you’re a corporate developer, you solve more business problems faster, and slash your budget for custom application development. There’s no faster way to design and build contemporary Web applications.”

Over 70 New Features Help Developers Do More in Less Time

Alpha Five Version 10 is the most significant upgrade in the platform’s 20-year history, with over 70 new features spanning Web development, desktop development, the Xbasic language, Xdialog, and the Alpha Application Server. Key among all the new features is Alpha’s Codeless Ajax™ technology, Alpha’s Core JavaScript Library, and the Alpha AjaxForm Framework. Specifically:

Borland’s Turbo Pascal revolutionized programming in the 1980s with the first RAD IDE. Microsoft’s Visual Basic raised the bar in the 1990s, with the first visual RAD IDE for event-driven applications. Now Alpha Five Version 10 transforms programming again, with an Ajax-centered RAD IDE perfectly suited for today’s developer. Try it for yourself, and you’ll agree it deserves to be called “revolutionary, breakthrough, innovative, and game changing.”

For more information on Alpha Five Version 10, visit the Alpha Software blog, Web site, or contact


Since 1982, Alpha Software has been providing developers with award-winning tools that make it easy to build business applications. Today over 1 million developers and tens of millions of users rely on Alpha Software’s Alpha Five. The company is privately held, and based in Burlington, Mass. Alpha Software can be found on the Web at The company’s blog is located at


Review copies, reviewer’s guide, and training available to press and bloggers.
Press kit:

Web site:


Alpha Software
Press Contact:
Kate Ritchie, 610-642-8253, ext. 162

Friday, January 08, 2010

Tying AJAX to the cloud with REST

Just before 2009 came to a close, I told you that InfoWorld's Martin Heller was making a strategic commitment to AJAX and REST services. At first I thought my eggnog was spiked, but then again, I've been telling you for months how easy it is to learn Alpha Five Version 10.

Martin is already keeping his promise in his latest Strategic Developer blog post. The IT world is headed to the cloud and it's being powered by AJAX. He'll tell you how the two will be integrated smoothly through REST services without taking all the time in the world. Time is precious, and Alpha Five Version 10 is giving you back the gift of time. But I'll let Martin give you the details today.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

You have a great idea. Now what?

All it takes is one idea. The "big one" that you think could make you more successful than Bill Gates or Abigail Johnson. Every entrepreneur is looking for their big break. What do you do next after you get your big idea?

Thomas Friedman, in a recent column in The New York Times, talks about the "great inflection." What he means is, how the Web is making companies ultra lean, innovative, and productive. And how the Web is transforming how business is done.

As I've said time and again, despite the recession, there's never been a better time to start a business. You don't necessarily have to seek out investors to jump start your product, service, or other idea. All you need, in most cases, is the Web. You don't have to take my word for it. This week AP reported that in the last decade the fastest growing industries were all Web-based.

If you're a regular reader of the blog, you know that I've repeatedly talked about how easy it is to bring a business idea to life using Alpha Five Version 10. Even if you're not a programmer, we have training sessions that you can take advantage of to learn how to do it yourself. Really, it's not hard.

Download Alpha Five Version 10 right now. See if you can take the ideas in your head at this moment and make them into a real Web application. Guess what? You might just be hours away from your own business. If you run into any roadblocks, I want you to write to me and tell me what you're problem is. I will do everything I can to get you over the hump.

Don't miss the "great inflection." Bring your big idea to life, and let us help you get there.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Channel Tech Center names Alpha Five Version 10 one of "The Most Important Products in 2009"

There's nothing like starting off the year with good news. And we just got some good news. In fact, I won't call it good. I'll call it great!

Channel Tech Center, an online publication whose mission is to make it easier for solution providers to find the technology guidance they need, has just named Alpha Five Version 10 one of "The Most Important Products in 2009."

It's noteworthy for Alpha to be recognized by a publication that focuses on the channel. They look for technology that benefits companies that live and die by the channel. And a huge percentage of our customer base are solution providers in the channel.

More over, Channel Tech Center doesn't play technology favorites. They don't care whether one technology is cool, trendy, or prettier than another. They care about what gets the job done fast and cost effectively for their readers. And that has always been the focus with Alpha Five -- never more so than today.

Certainly that's the reason we've made such a substantial investment in our codeless Ajax rapid application development technology.

If you compete in the channel and haven't given Alpha Five Version 10 a spin, I encourage you to take a test drive of the product Channel Tech Center just named as one of the best in 2009. You can do this quickly and easily by downloading a copy of Alpha Five Version 10 here.

Lastly, I want to thank the editors of Channel Tech Center for recognizing Alpha Five Version 10 as a product that can help solution providers move their applications to the Web quickly and cost effectively. In the end, this gives companies a competitive advantage by letting them deliver more applications to more customers in less time.

And that, frankly speaking, means more money in their pocket at the end of each fiscal year.

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