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, March 02, 2012

What would happen if you sent an idea to Microsoft, Oracle, or Zend?

Probably not the same thing that happened when Derryn Balogh, one of our customers, sent his idea to us.

Derryn has been an Alphaholic for years, and recently tried his hand at developing apps with the new Alpha Five Version 11. After we released the feature pack on how to create slider bars in the dialog component, Derryn reached out to let me know how much he has appreciated Selwyn's videos. In addition to his feedback, he also provided a suggestion on how to enhance Version 11. Here's the unedited email he sent me:

Hi Richard,
The approach Alpha Five has taken in presenting videos with an introduction, followed by separate 'step-by-step' videos is fantastic. It gives people an understanding of what can be done, and the confidence in how to do it. WELL DONE, guys.
The slider bar feature pack will be appreciated by many. It's a fantastic input tool that will be VERY useful. Something that would make this feature pack even more valuable would be the ability to display an image dynamically, based on the input chosen by the user on the slider bar. Perhaps this could be packaged as another feature pack called the 'rating' component? Or, combined with the slider component for even more value.
One of the most common visual icons on the web these days would have to be the star image, frequently used on popular review websites and when booking accommodations, etc.
It would be awesome if the user could slide the bar to the number 2 and two stars would instantly appear. And even be able to have the option to select two criteria (as you currently have this option in the slider feature pack). For example, you could select between 1.5 stars and 4 stars. If this could be done with no coding, (much like you did with the markers on maps) it would REALLY show Alpha Five's true power, and run rings around FileMaker, Access, and the others.
Whenever I see a message like this, I automatically forward it to Selwyn. I was pleasantly surprised when, just a few days later, Selwyn sent me a two part series showing how this can be done.

Part One 

Part Two

When's the last time that happened when you sent an idea over to a company like Microsoft, or Oracle, or Zend, or [insert big honkin' company name here]? Never!

What are your ideas for Alpha Five Version 11? Leave them here in a comment. You never know -- the next video we show might be your idea!


Dan Bergen said...

That's true. A few years ago while they were finalizing a version (9?) I asked if they could add a certain number format preferred by we accountants into the reports. (Commas, and negative numbers denoted by parenthesis)
It made it into the final version a few weeks later. Thanks Selwyn.

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