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Showing posts with label Adobe Dreamweaver. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Adobe Dreamweaver. Show all posts

Thursday, March 03, 2011

You've got database-driven mail: Alpha Five Netmailer and Netmailer Pro add ons

If mass e-mails are in your job description, or extracurricular activities (hey, I don't know what you count as fun), you can shave off some of the repetitive work and even improve your mailers with the Alpha Five Netmailer add on.

Netmailer is a broadcast e-mail package that integrates with Alpha Five. You can completely customize your e-mails using fields in your database, embed images, add attachments, and more.

It's a tool that can speed up building newsletters, invoices, statements of account, appointment reminders, and more. And if you want to add one more layer of organization to it, you can automatically manage subscribe and unsubscribe requests with Netmailer Pro.

It monitors incoming e-mails for these requests and then manages which list the requests fall under. Netmailer Pro can also be controlled via Xbasic, so it can be tightly integrated with the Alpha Five apps you create.

There's a lot more you can do with it too, such as using a third-party editor like Microsoft FrontPage, Adobe Dreamweaver, or Microsoft Expression. But take a look a the video to get a rundown of the features. And if you like what you see, you can buy Netmailer for $199 or Netmailer Pro for $499.

Friday, September 10, 2010

In case of emergency use Alpha Five

I routinely post e-mails from users telling me about their experiences developing with Alpha Five. Well the other day I got an insightful e-mail from Lee Taylor-Vaughan, who manages a cardiac surgery intensive care unit by night and teaches critical care education by day, explaining how he rediscovered Alpha Five after many years of using Microsoft Access.

I've pasted the e-mail below, verbatim, but if you don't have time to read the whole thing, let me give your a quick overview. I'll start off by saying that Lee is not a full-time developer. This is something he does in his spare time to make managing his work easier.

Lee used Alpha Four Version 1.1 when he was just 15 years old working at one of his first jobs in the U.K. But when he moved to the U.S., his new job gave him no choice but to switch to Microsoft Access. After using Access for 15 years, he reached the end of his rope with it when he needed to build a professional-looking Web application where doctors could register for his classes online.

He decided to use Dreamweaver to design the new website, but when Lee was searching for videos on Dreamweaver, he stumbled upon an Alpha Five video. After remembering the simplicity of using Alpha Four, he wondered if it was the same platform he used so many years ago. He discovered that it was and bought it. After only a few hours of familiarizing himself with the tool, he was able to start building!

That's only a taste of what's below in Lee's e-mail. So take a few extra minutes today and read his entire message, especially if you're looking for a way to get your MS Access application to the cloud. Thanks Lee for taking the time to write this up!

Currently, I run a very busy cardiac surgery intensive care unit-Critical Care Nurse Practitioner, at night, and during the day I have my own business teaching critical care education courses. I needed a website to automate all the back office operation for my teaching business, I.e. registrations, payments, receipts, contact hours certificates, etc. all of which I originally built in access; regardless of the access applications abilities, it still requires a great amount of time to sit and input the information (i.e. registration/payments/course status of students etc) in to the DB as there is no web pages that come with MS Access that are easy to implement-hence a huge amount manual data entry.

Years ago I learned A4 v1.1 (when I was 15!!); I used it in an office that imported steel-strip into the UK. My job was to communicate between the Italians, Germans, and English. Back then A4 was saved me heaps of time when it came to the data management side of things. I worked there for a year or so before going on to run my own Gymnastics School in Barnsley UK: Athersley Gymnastics Club. My exposure to A4, from my import/export job, pushed me to create a database of the all the gymnasts and their progress and payments etc. I still have the application and I seldom revisit it just to see what I did at such a young age.

In 1995 I moved to the USA; I worked for a summer camp that solely used access for its office applications. I was told that there was no way that we could use A4, no matter how much I pushed, so I learned Access-any mostly self taught. The last 15 years or so I've struggled with access. I written 20-30 applications, mainly as a hobby, using basic features, and more advanced coding in VBA; regardless of a developers skill level access has never been easy to 'get the job done'. Often many features are a work in progress especially with my access DB that maintains my Critical Care Education (CPR/FirstAid/PALS/ACLS) business (

It holds lists of clients from the last 10-12 years totaling approximately 23,000 students, and well over 40,000 registrations. I have longed to have a system that allows me to EASILY create web pages to perform many backend functions, but I've never had the time to sit down and learn HTML/ASP/PHP-simply put I've been too busy. 3 years ago, I tried posting a project on Elance, multiple times, and spent close to $7,000 in development fees-all of which was wasted as the development companies couldn't do what I wanted.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Codeless Ajax that every designer can sink their teeth into

As I said yesterday, we weren't only focusing on developers when revamping and creating Alpha Five Version 10's new and improved features. In fact, designers are one of our core targets with this release. And I've already mentioned some of the great new features that have designers clapping their hands.

Now, I'm happy to report, we've just opened the door for the whole world of people designing Web sites in Dreamweaver, MS Expressions, NotePad, FrontPage, and more to build Ajax forms in Version 10.

As you know, none of these platforms make it easy to build forms that are bound to databases. But now, designers can take any static HTML form and turn it into a live Ajax Alpha 5 Version 10 form.

The video below shows you how you can create live Ajax forms that are bound to SQL or dbf databases with Alpha Five Version 10.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Alpha Five Version 10 Feature Peek #26: Using third-party editors with Alpha Five

When it comes to their work, many designers have a particular HTML editor that they like and prefer to stick with what they know. That's why we've made it possible to incorporate platforms such as Adobe Dreamweaver or Microsoft Frontpage into your Alpha Five Version 10 Web project. Version 10 makes it easy to use third-party HTML editors. Have a look at the video below to see it in action.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Microsoft Expression Web & Alpha Five: Perfect together

Andy Meer, an Alpha customer, put together this document to help developers integrate Microsoft Expression, Dreamweaver, or FrontPage with Alpha Five Platinum to design Web GUIs for their applications. We thought it might come in handy to many of you, so decided to pass it along. Hope you find it helpful.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The battle for designers' hearts and minds

Recently a FileMaker developer sent an e-mail to Alpha Software with his initial impressions of Alpha Five. He was looking for a better way to build attractive Web applications (because of the limited Web application abilities of FileMaker), and didn't think he could do it in Alpha Five.

The e-mail circulated around Alpha Software, eventually finding its way to me. I don't work for Alpha, but I am one of their VARs. I run a Web design firm (Defiant PC), and recently (over the summer) started using Alpha Five to build e-commerce and other sites for clients.

Someone at Alpha figured I'd be a good person for this skeptic to talk to, since I have used Alpha Five to build attractive desktop and Web database applications. I take my designs seriously (they are my career, after all).

I also have experience using popular Web design tools, including Dreamweaver, which I used to use exclusively.

Here's the e-mail that was sent to Alpha, and then to me.

"No question that Alpha Five has an impressive array of features, many that I wish FileMaker 9 had, but I don't see how anyone could make a professional looking application with it. While FileMaker 9 may not have all the features and capabilities of Alpha Five Version 8, it blows anything [away] you can design in Alpha Five.

I looked at all the templates that come with the program, and was not impressed. Then I looked under the hood at the design and programming mode. A lot of options, but not easy to figure out how to do it.

I will say I was impressed with all the options and functions that come with the program, but the lack of a professional design environment make it [a] no go for me. If you could take the superior design abilities of FileMaker 9 and combine that with the advanced features and functions of Alpha Five, then you'd really have something!"

I understand where he's coming from. When I first downloaded Alpha Five, I had the same first impression. Here's what I wrote back to him:
"Until approximately June of this year, we (Defiant PC) had virtually no experience working with the Alpha software. We downloaded the software, poked around, and initially came to the same conclusion that you did. However, coming from a background that deals primarily with Internet development and graphic design, we decided that building an API for a form would be similar to building an API for a Web site.

Turns out building an API for a desktop application in Alpha Five Version 8 is a snap. Furthermore, having literally no experience with desktop RAD software, I found the learning curve was minimal, and since June, we have produced desktop and Web applications in Alpha Five Version 8 that have exceeded our expectations ... For me, it couldn't get any easier!"

I also included these links to designs I've produced entirely in Alpha Five:

Golden Bear Stained Glass Studio
Event Planner
Sierra Nursery

I also maintain AlphaDzine, a design resource for Alpha developers. I invite you to visit it. You'll find templates, workbooks, articles, and other helpful resources.

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