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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Monday, April 04, 2011

The problem with QuickBase, Caspio, Zoho, and other Web-based development tools

We recently announced a competitive upgrade for Dabble DB developers whose databases were left out in the cold when they closed shop.

No sooner had we done that, we heard Intuit's QuickBase was trying to do the same thing: Lure Dabble DB developers over to its platform. Low and behold, Caspio and Zoho joined the fray too.

All four platforms -- QuickBase, Caspio, Zoho, and Alpha Five -- are trying to incentivize Dabble DB developers to come to their camp. But there's one fundamental difference between Alpha Software and all the others.

QuickBase, Caspio, and Zoho are the wolf dressed up as the lovable little grandmother with a hidden agenda. I'm not saying they're evil like the wolf, but it doesn't makes sense to go from cloud to cloud. Let's look at the logic, or should I say illogic, of accepting a competitive upgrade offer from QuickBase, Caspio, Zoho, or another Web-based development tool vendor.

First you need to export and download your database from Dabble DB by May 18. But your business logic is gone, locked in the Dabble DB proprietary environment. Then you upload that database to one of these Web-based dev tools I just mentioned. Now you're reinvesting a lot of time and energy learning this new system. Once you've got it figured out, you still have to rebuild your business logic around that database.

How much time do you think that'll take? Depending on the complexity of the database, it can take weeks, if not months. And then what happens if QuickBase, Caspio, or Zoho goes out of business, is bought by Oracle or some other major vendor, or they decide to raise their fees?

OK, I realize that QuickBase is owned by Intuit, a $3.5 billion-dollar company. But that doesn't mean one of those scenarios couldn't happen to them. Maybe Wall Street starts demanding to see more profit, so they decide to raise their monthly fees.

Here's the fundamental problem: You don't really own your business logic or your application's future when you commit a database application to a Web-based development tool. This is the problem we solve with Alpha Five because you build your application on the desktop and run it on the cloud.

Even if you never buy an upgrade of Alpha Five or we go out of business (but given the fact that we've been around for over 26 years, it's unlikely), you'll still be able to maintain, manage, and improve your applications. Even if your ISP goes out of business, you'll be able to relaunch your applications on another one.

This fundamental difference is something that you, as a developer, have to decide between. And I warn you as clearly as I can: Moving from one Web-based development tool to another is not only painful, time consuming, and costly, but it does nothing to reduce your risk or avoid the fate you are suffering right now as a Dabble DB developer.

And by the way, are any of these companies helping you exploit the mobile revolution? Because if you're a reader of this blog, you know we have some exciting things in the pipeline to keep you relevant. Just as we kept you relevant when the Web became the preferred platform and then AJAX became the preferred UI. Alpha has a 26-year history of keeping our developers at the cutting edge of what their customers want.

Regardless of the Web-based database application platform you are using, you should seriously be looking at Alpha Five. Because aside from the superior capabilities of Alpha Five Version 10.5 for application development, our huge built-in community gives you the help and support to get any programming problem solved in hours, if not minutes.

If you're a QuickBase, Caspio, Zoho, or another Web-based dev tool developer, get your database out of there as fast as possible to ensure a lucrative future for your application and your users. In fact, I'm even going to put together a competitive upgrade for you too, soon. Stay tuned to find out when it's announced.


Anonymous said...

Hi Guys, just got the following notification from InfDome. Sad to see as this looked like a promising product. We never tried it out in the end because it lacked "safe harbour" accreditation for data managed outside the EU (or EEA)

Dear Infodome Customer,

We regret to inform you that we will be discontinuing the Infodome service on May 15, 2011. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.

Your data will be available for export through May 15, 2011. Thereafter, it will be deleted from our servers and no longer available for use or export. It is therefore important that you export all of your data no later than May 15.

In the next week, we will be refunding the monthly payment you made to Infodome most recently.

If you have any questions related to exporting your data or the closure of your account, please contact us at

Thank you for having been an Infodome customer.

The Infodome Team

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