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, June 30, 2011

Why application development in South Africa is more than a job: Mbuso Ngcongo interview transcript

For some, developing database applications is just a job. But for Mbuso Ngcongo, Systems Specialist at Infomas in South Africa, it has the potential to create wealth where there isn't any. It's one of the reasons why he's starting an Alpha Five training school in South Africa.

Melissa talked to Mbuso about his training school in a video interview last week. Now this week I'm giving you the transcript of the interview in case you prefer to read it. Scroll down to read the exciting plans Mbuso has for his Alpha Five training school and potential it can bring his students.

Melissa: Hi, everyone. I'm Melissa and I'm talking with Mbuso Ngcongo. Sorry if I didn't pronounce that right, but he is the system specialist at Infomas in South Africa. How are you today? Thank you for joining me.

Mbuso: I'm pretty well. Thank you, Melissa, and hi everyone.

Melissa: And just for the audience, what was your name again? Because I know I didn't pronounce it correctly and I apologize.

Mbuso: It was very close. Mbuso Ngcongo.

Melissa: All right. Well, thank you, Mbuso, for joining us. Mbuso is actually one of our Alpha Five developers in South Africa who is starting a training college focusing on database application development using Alpha Five.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The agenda is in for the Alpha UK launch and Developer Conference!

As the month of June winds down, I'm getting ready for a big date in July. No, it's not the Fourth of July, although that's a big day too -- and you'll find me at the grill in a "Kiss the Cook" apron! But aside from that, I'm referring to July 6.

That's when the Alpha UK launch and Developer Conference will take place at the Heathrow Hilton in London. Last month I gave you a preview of what you'll be able to do at the conference, including meeting the madmen behind Alpha Software and getting in-depth insight into our upcoming Alpha Five release.

As things fall into place, I now bring you the tentative agenda for the day. But before I launch into the list of sessions, let me remind you that the event is free, AND everyone who comes will get the beta version of Alpha Five V.11 How's that for fireworks??

Here's the agenda so far. We'll kick off the day with an 8:30 a.m. start.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Alpha Five Version 11 Feature Peek #12: Animate your apps

Every time Selwyn sends me a video of a new feature in Alpha Five Version 11, I kind of feel like Clifton when he sees me reach for the leash to take him for a walk. I just get more and more excited about the upcoming release of Version 11.

So let me share with you the latest from Selwyn. He made two new videos that give you a look at the new animation feature in Alpha Five Version 11. This time he shows you how to add animation to the buttons pane in the Tabbed UI and the detail view in the Grid component.

Hit the videos to watch how adding animation to the Tabbed UI and Grid components can add pizzazz to your database applications. And if you missed the other videos demoing the animation feature, hop back to my previous posts now to get the nitty-gritty details.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Alpha Five Version 10.5: Wanted by the FBI

Now that Boston mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger was captured, a new spot has opened up on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list. And filling that spot is Alpha Five Version 10.5.

It's true! :) Although Alpha Five doesn't a pose a deadly risk, it is threatening the future of other development platforms such as Microsoft Access 2010 and FileMaker.

Alpha Five Version 10.5 is wanted for its ruthless cost savings, data manipulation, and conspiracy to make organizations more efficient.

It has been known to disguise itself as a desktop, Web, or mobile application. If you see Alpha Five Version 10.5 caution should be taken. It's known to be armed with powerful reporting, security, and Codeless Ajax.

Developers who have encountered Alpha Five Version 10.5 report that its ease of use, massive flexibility, power and tutorials quickly lure them in to using it.

REWARD: Developers who capture Alpha Five Version 10.5 will be rewarded with sophisticated database applications for the desktop, Web, and mobile. As a result their client base will expand dramatically or their company will give them a huge pay raise for finding a development platform that won't lock them in or abandon them.

AND now there is a video that tells the story.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Is Microsoft going to abandon .Net developers?

Microsoft Visual Basic and Visual FoxPro developers are still wincing over Microsoft's abandonment of their favorite platforms.

They had to throw out 100 percent of your code when .Net was introduced, and rewrite their apps from scratch, or just give up and call it a career. Now rumor has it that history is about to repeat itself.

.Net developers are getting nervous that they might end up in the same boat as their Visual Basic and FoxPro cousins. They were stunned at the absence of any .Net mention at the Windows 8 demo at D9. How do you introduce a new OS version and user interface paradigm without also showing developers how they will be building for it?

Microsoft is investing in (and reinventing around) HTML5JavaScript, and XML for its Windows 8 applications. It's a smart move on Microsoft's part, because if it doesn't adapt to the contemporary approach that's dominating the Web today, Windows will surely be left behind.

You could even argue that Microsoft is leap-frogging Apple. The Mac OS will be mired in the old user interface paradigm, requiring C++ and native API calls to get anything done, while Microsoft is embracing the technology that's driving the Web, cloud, Software as a Service, and mobile.

But what does that mean for MS .Net developers and their users? In Microsoft's usual style, they're following the trends, embracing with a bear hug late in the game, and re-inventing the wheel. In the process, collateral damage is acceptable -- even if it's their loyal developer base that gets sacrificed. Microsoft still believes that  rip and replace is superior to fluid evolution of platforms. Out with the old, in with the new, and to hell with your millions of lines of proven code.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

ITWorld names Alpha Five Version 10.5 a tool to 'accelerate Web application development'

They say that three's a crowd, but this is a pretty good crowd to be a part of! Reporter Frank Ohlhorst named Alpha Five Version 10.5 as one of the "3 tools to accelerate Web application development" in his ITWorld article.

He said that Alpha Five is "one of the quickest ways to build a web application, ultimately saving time, money and frustration." Thanks Frank! If you think Version 10.5 can build a Web app quickly, just wait until you see Alpha Five Version 11.

You'll not only be able to build sophisticated Web apps, but mobile apps too. The mobile development framework in Version 11 will let developers build a mobile application once and be able to run it across every mobile platform on the market, including tablets. And the best part is that it will look and behave like a native application.

But I'll stop getting ahead of myself. Head over to Frank's article to find out why he thinks Alpha Five Version 10.5 is one of the top three development tools for building Web applications.

Monday, June 20, 2011

How Alpha Five training in South Africa will teach more than just application development

I love South Africa (you know, since I'm from there) and I love Alpha Five. Combine the two, and you have my full attention! Mbuso Ngcongo, Systems Specialist at Infomas in South Africa, got just that when he told me he was starting an Alpha Five training school in my home country. I immediately wanted to talk to him to find out more.

Mbuso's been using Alpha Five as the main database application development tool at Infomas, the company he started in 2002 that develops custom databases to manage internal business operations. Prior to Alpha Five, Mbuso was using FileMaker. But the amount of code he was writing wasn't getting applications built fast enough. He searched for an alternative and discovered Alpha Five.

Its Codeless Ajax let him build sophisticated database applications quickly, but it also gave him the ability to write code himself. He was so impressed at the speed at which he could build apps that he wanted to introduce Alpha Five to other developers in South Africa.

That's why Mbuso decided to open up an Alpha Five training school. But Mbuso's school will do more than just teach application development. He believes that software has the potential to create wealth from where isn't any. And if more people are exposed to technology, particularly application development, the more economically liberated South Africa will become.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Alpha Five Version 11 Feature Peek #11: More animation in the Grid

Talking about the new animation options available in Alpha Five Version 11 yesterday got me animated! In fact, I was so excited that I forgot to include the two other videos Selwyn created demoing this new feature. Hear that? That was me slapping myself on the forehead.

Today's videos will show you how to add animation to the Grid component, specifically to the tab and accordion objects you use to lay out the fields in your components. The second video demos how to add animation to the row expander in the Grid.

Watch them now. And then I'd love to know, how important is it to you to add a little life to your apps using animation?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Alpha Five Version 11 Feature Peek #10: Animate the Tabbed UI component

This Alpha Five Version 11 feature peek doesn't add functionality to your apps, but it will let you add some pizzazz. And how do you add pizzazz to a database application? With animation, of course! Companies and clients want more than just a functional application for the desktop, Web, mobile, tablet, etc. They need it to look and feel smooth, fluid, and have some style.

And in Alpha Five Version 11 we're giving you the tools to let you easily add some aesthetically pleasing elements to your apps. Today I'm giving you a peek at how you'll be able to add animation to the Tabbed UI component and the Page Layout component.

Currently, if you collapse or expand the accordion control in the Tabbed UI, the buttons will display instantaneously. The same goes if you were using a tab control. In Version 11, there's a new property for the tab/accordion control called animation.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Project management as a service, the transcript

I recently posted Melissa's video interview with Mauricio Maisterrena, industrial engineer and creator of Projects AI, a full Web-based project management system built with Alpha Five Version 10.5.

But if you prefer to read the interview, I had it transcribed. Keep on reading to find out why Alpha Five developers should test the beta version of Projects AI.

You'll also hear why Mauricio decided to build a project management application, how it's different from other apps such as Basecamp and Primavera Project Planner, and more.

Melissa: Hi, everyone. I'm Melissa and I have Mauricio with me today. Hi, Mauricio.

Mauricio: Hello, Melissa. Thank you for having me.

Melissa: Oh, no problem. Now, Mauricio, pronounce your last name because I'm going to ruin it and I don't want to do that. So what's your last name?

Mauricio: Maisterrena. Or Maisterrena, people in the U.S. pronounce it like that.

Melissa: All right, well that's a much better job than I would have done, so thank you. So Mauricio did a full Web-based product management system in Alpha Five Version 10.5, called Projects AI.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Alpha Five goes Hollywood

In case you didn't see it on TV, here's the latest Alpha Five commercial. We put together this snazzy video to show the world how Alpha Five lets developers build better database applications faster to keep their company or clients ahead of the curve, unlike other platforms such as Microsoft Access.

And with the release of Alpha Five Version 11 coming up and the mobile development framework, we couldn't think of a better time to show the world how Alpha Five is still evolving 29 years later. Hit play and enjoy the show!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Introducing project management as a service built in Alpha Five

If you search "best project management software" on Google, you'll see that there are more than enough apps out there to satisfy any project manager or company that needs to manage projects. But that's also a problem.

There are so many companies trying to solve the problem of project management. And as a project manager, you could go to your grave still evaluating thousands of apps. And then when you do find a project management app, it's usually just good enough and doesn't really satisfy all of your needs.

That was the problem that Mauricio Maisterrena, an industrial engineer, faced. Part of Mauricio's job is managing projects. So when he was tasked with finding a project management application, nothing on the market was suiting his needs.

Instead of settling for something that would only do most of the job, not all of it, Mauricio decided to build an app himself. He had no programming experience, so he turned to Microsoft Access as a starting point since it was well known. But after he discovered that it lacked the tools to take his app to the Web, he started a search for a development tool that could securely deploy an app to the cloud.

Through an Internet search, Mauricio found Alpha Five and was shocked at how easy it was for a non-programmer like him to build an app and deploy it to the Web so easily. After building a project management app, Mauricio began learning Xbasic and started developing in his spare time.

And when he saw that other companies needed a similar project management application like the one he built, he carved out time to create his own project management application. Mauricio built a full Web-based project management system with Alpha Five Version 10.5 called Projects AI.

It’ll soon be available as a SaaS application through Alpha Software. Right now we are in beta test mode and we want to invite Alpha Five developers to give it a test drive to tell us what they think. But instead of just posting the demos Mauricio created, we asked Melissa to talk to Mauricio about how his application is different from other apps such as BasecampPrimavera Project Planner, and others. Hit play to find out why you should test out the beta version of Projects AI.

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