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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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Alpha Five Version 11 Feature Peek #31: Super secret sample scripts

OK, they're not really super secret. But you do need Selwyn to show you where to find these sample scripts for charting in Xdialog.

Alpha Five Version 11 includes plenty of good samples for charting in Xdialog. And in this new video from Selwyn, we're going to show you how to get your hands on those sample scripts no matter what database you're currently using.

Selwyn gets things moving by opening a new database under "Database Tasks" in the "Select Database" window. When he opens it, you'll see that it's starting out as a completely empty database. To get the scripts in there, Selwyn will head into his code editor and click on his "Task List" drop-drown menu. In that menu, you have lots of options, such as turning on your code library (which you can look for on the right-hand side of the screen while watching); entering the XBasic, Database, or Function Explorers; or looking at other options under the "Scripts/Function" selection.

Now, he'll go into the activated code library and chose from his existing HTML character entries. At Alpha, we try to make things as clear as possible, so it's no surprise that Selwyn can easily find what he's looking for -- it's labeled "Create Learning Xdialog Library."

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Thanksgiving thank you to the Alpha Five community

Thanksgiving is the day of the year to let people know you're thankful for them. But since I can't fit the entire Alpha Five community around my table tomorrow, I'm going to tell all of you here.

The first round of thanks goes to the Alpha Five customers. If it weren't for your support and feedback, we wouldn't know what works and what needs a second look. Next, I want to say thank you to our partners for your creativity, passion, and commitment to Alpha Five.

Thanks to our staff and development team for all your amazing innovation and hard work, especially in the past year as we worked on Alpha Five Version 11 -- and a special thanks to my brother Selwyn, as well as Bob, Jerry, and Eavan for keeping us all updated along the way with their feature peeks.

That's the long story short of why I'm thankful this year. I'll be even more thankful if we can keep Clifton away from the turkey ... but that's another tale.

On second thought, with all the great sniff testing he's done this year, maybe he deserves his own turkey! Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Math 101: How to calculate your highest common denominator

If you've picked up Alpha Five Version 11, you've already done it. Let me explain.

While we were working on Version 11, we were well aware of the criticisms and cautionary tales that have surrounded build-once-run-all solutions for years.

We knew that, traditionally, solutions founded on that concept rely on developing "lowest common denominator" applications.

As a result, these solutions are only optimized for low-performance platforms, and consequentially, sub-optimized for the best platforms.

Wendy Welton, RA: Registered Alpha-holic

Log on to your favorite company's website, pick a color, size, add it to your cart, and proceed to checkout. Sound like you're shopping for jeans? Not quite.

If you're visiting Wendy Welton's website, Artform Home Plans, that's all it takes to choose the design of your new home. Wendy, a Registered Architect, is the President of Art Form Architecture, and Artform Home Plans is where her customers and builders come to select the plans for their additions, renovations, or new homes. She's also an avid Alpha user.

But she wasn't always an avid Alpha user. In fact, she wasn't an avid user of any development tool. Wendy had no experience with website development before she ordered Alpha Five. After suffering through setback after setback with the site, she ordered Alpha Five and completely transformed her company's website all by herself.

So I got in touch with Wendy and asked her to sit down to tell us about her experience. Click play below to watch our Skypecast with Wendy and get the full story about how she became a Registered Alpha-holic.

Friday, November 11, 2011

What have you heard about Alpha Five Version 11? More Version 11 media coverage

Alpha Five Version 11 has been out for a little over a week now, and since ReadWriteWeb and TechRepblic picked up the news, we've been happy to see that a few other publications have been spreading the word as well.

First off, Tab Times mirrored our concerns about the proliferation of development languages in its story, "Alpha Five aims to simplify the business dev of apps across tablets, smartphones and more." Writer David Needle gave us a great feature. He called our approach to generating user experience as HTML5 our "secret sauce." Thanks to David for that.

While we're at it, I'd also like to thank and for featuring our news release.

What have you heard about Alpha Five Version 11? Let us know in a comment.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Alpha Five Version 11 Feature Peek #30: Making reports pop with a pie chart

Alpha Five Version 11 has been officially released, but in case you haven't picked it up yet, or want some extra tutorials showing what it can do, we are going to keep posting Selwyn's helpful feature peeks here on the blog.

We left off with the image gallery component, so let's start with a different way to add visual pop to your apps: embedding charts into a report.

This video from Selwyn shows you how to embed a chart into an Alpha Five report. Selwyn has a simple report set up to get us started. The numbers have been pulled from a standard invoice and will serve as the information used in the sample chart he's about to create.

Selwyn goes with a pie chart that will display a breakdown of the items on the invoice. To give you the best look, he'll head into design mode and increase the size of the detail section. Once he's there, he'll select "embedded chart." Now he's all set up to create the pie chart.

Friday, November 04, 2011

ReadWriteWeb, TechRepublic cover Version 11

Yesterday, we issued a press release announcing the launch of Alpha Five Version 11. Since then, a few publications have picked up on the scent of our "build once, deploy anywhere" message -- no pun intended, Clifton.

ReadWriteWeb was the first to pick up the story, complete with the video that Bob Moore created to showcase our brand-new image gallery component. We were all excited to be featured on ReadWriteWeb, but it got better when we saw author Jon Mitchell's headline: "When Developers Can Build Once For All Devices, Users Win." Exactly! We couldn't have said it better.

ReadWriteWeb also featured the story on its Facebook page and Tweeted about it. Following suit, Jon personally shared the story on Twitter and Google+.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

On the 11th month of the 11th year, Alpha created Version 11

Yes, it might have been a little catchier if we held off until 11/11/11, but we just couldn't wait any longer. Today, we announced the release of Alpha Five Version 11.

If you're a regular on our blog, then you know all about this. For months now, you've been reading about it, watching videos about it, and listening to what the beta testers have to say about it. But we thought we should let everyone else out there in on it, so we issued a press release with all the juicy details.

And because I'm not one to keep a secret, here's one more important announcement: After the sniff test, Clifton told me that he smells a feature pack in the future.

What will your first project in Version 11 be? Take a look at the press release below to help you decide.

Finally: One Development Tool for All Five of Today’s Platforms

Alpha Five Version 11 sets a new standard for integrated rapid HTML5 application development for the building of business apps simultaneously for smartphones, tablets, the web, laptops,
and desktops -- and whatever comes next

BURLINGTON, Mass. -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- There are thousands of computer programming tools on the market today, but only one lets programmers build apps for all five of today’s computing platforms without having to use Java, Flash, Silverlight, or other plugins: the new Alpha Five Version 11, released today by Alpha Software. It uses the power of Microsoft .NET and HTML5 to help developers solve a business problem once, and make their app available to users wherever they are and however they like to work—whether that’s on a smartphone, tablet, the web, a laptop or netbook, or their trusty ol’ Windows PC. At last, developers can stop worrying about platform uncertainty, and focus on delivering apps that won’t become obsolete every few years.

“The iPhone, the iPad, and mobile computing have changed everything, but you might be surprised to learn that not all of those changes have been for the best,” says Richard Rabins, Co-Chairman of Alpha Software. “Mobile and tablet computing are great for users, but they’ve added cost, complexity, and uncertainty for companies. IT has been forced to choose between investing in apps for the desktop or laptop, the web, mobile, and new form factors such as tablets. Development teams are burning out. They’re understaffed and overworked, because they have to cope with budget cuts while learning new languages and reinventing apps for multiple platforms. Business leaders are holding back, because they’re worried how the platform wars will shake out -- and that’s compromising productivity and competitiveness. It’s a mess.”

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