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Showing posts with label Comparison grid. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Comparison grid. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The most popular Alpha blog topics of 2010

It feels like only yesterday I sat down at my keyboard to reflect on 2009. Time really does fly when you're using Codeless Ajax. We have lots of new things coming to you in 2011, especially in the mobile arena (hint, hint). But I'm not going to dive into them just yet.

Instead, I'm going to take a step back. I compiled a roundup of our most popular topics on our blog based on the number of page views these articles received in 2010. Take a few minutes and thumb through the topics that created buzz on the blog.

Podcasts: This was a real surprise to me. I've heard some people say that podcasts are dead. Meanwhile, podcasts were one of the most popular topics on our blog in 2010. I think I know why. It's real developers sharing real stories of what it's like building Web apps in Alpha Five. Plus, we don't sugarcoat these interviews. We share the problems that the developers encountered, how they worked around them, as well as the advantages they found in the tool.

Feature tips: Everyone likes a helping hand, so we dished out as many helpful hints we could. We took tricks we learned from Alpha Five developers and ones we stumbled upon ourselves to help you speed up the developing process. By the way, you can contribute to our feature tips. If you have a neat trick that solves a problem, please share it with us. I'll make sure that your tip gets the chance to be featured on the blog. Developers helping developers -- that's what it's always been about.

Feature packs: Thirteen Alpha Five Version 10.5 feature packs debuted this year. One of the reasons we think they were so successful is because we wrote extensively about them. We wanted to show developers what they do, how they can help, and why they matter. Rather than just putting them on sale, it was important for us to give developers deep insight to help them decide which feature packs, if any, were right for them.

Press coverageThe media has no loyalty to Alpha Software. And as a result, they tell you exactly what they think when they review Alpha Five. I tell you all the time the benefits Alpha Five gives you. Then we work hard to get the product in front of reviewers who will confirm or invalidate the promises we make. I'm really gratified to say 2010 was a fantastic year for reviews. We received nothing but outstanding ratings from all of the reviewers, and you can read them all here on our blog.

Microsoft Access: Did you blink twice yet? This is the Alpha Software blog, but apparently you love reading about Microsoft Access. I think I know why. There's a move of foot among Access developers to see if there's a path for them to get their apps on the Web without the high cost and complexity of the current Microsoft model.

There's no question that Access developers aren't happy campers. And frankly, we are going to do all we can to help them migrate to Alpha Five. Part of that is making sure we have a rich array of blog posts that provide them with the support they need to understand how to get from Access to Alpha Five. Lots of man hours have been spent showing you how easy it is to migrate, and apparently you're finding it helpful. Is there something more you'd like to know? Let us know in a comment.

Comparison grid: Since August 2008, we've been maintaining a grid that compares Alpha Five, Microsoft Access, FileMaker, and Iron Speed. It was originally intended just as a tool to help developers who were trying to make a decision see how these products stack up. It's turned out to be an evergreen that developers turn to again and again.

That's my wrap up of 2010. Be sure to bookmark the topics you want to learn more about in the New Year. And I'll be telling you what to expect in 2011 in my next post.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

InfoWorld ranks Alpha Five #1 among rapid Web development tools

SURVIVOR: InfoWorld ranks Alpha Five #1 rapid Web development tool
The number 8.4 never looked as good as it does today. That's the score InfoWorld gave Alpha Five Version 10 in a comparative review to rank us #1!

In "InfoWorld review: Tools for rapid Web development," Rick Grehan reviews and scores Alpha Five Version 10, Iron Speed Designer 6.2.1, Visual LANSA for the Web 11.5, OutSystem Agile Platform 5.0, and MLstate OPA S2 Beta. On a scale of one to 10, Grehan looked at ease of development, extensibility, portability, documentation, and value.

After thorough, detailed testing, Rick's conclusion was that Alpha Five came out on top. There is only one way I can describe how I felt reading the review. I have to put it in the context of being a dog owner. It kind of felt like my dog won best in show. :-)

Even though Alpha Five scored best in Rick's review, that doesn't take away from the competition. We were up against some exceedingly sophisticated, tough development platforms with many users and apps in the field. They're formidable competitors in the marketplace that we always have to stay several steps ahead of. Clearly, based on this review, we're doing just that.

Of course, we didn't score a perfect 10. So we can't say it was all roses and sunshine for Alpha Five. But Rick's bottom line is this: "Alpha Five is an excellent database application builder that can create desktop as well as Web applications ... "

Just as this article hit the Web, we started to receive e-mails from readers. One observation that Rick didn't point out, but one of his readers does, was this:
"More precisely, Iron Speed builds CRUD (create, read, update, and delete) interfaces for databases. It won't create your application's "business logic" -- that is, code beyond the fundamental CRUD operations. Alpha Software BUILDS real business logic applications!!"
That's a great point that we often don't talk about. Alpha Five is a complete application development environment. Some of these other tools in the market just help kick-start your project, but then leave the rest of the building to be done the old fashioned way -- line by line of code.

Another thing that the article mentions, but doesn't really highlight, is the differences in the costs of these programs. We did the research. We're not only the best product according to InfoWorld, but we also have the best pricing for developers. Take a look at this comparative grid:

  • Alpha Five: $699.
  • Iron Speed: $2,795.
  • OutSystem Agile Platform: $49 per user of an application per month. Equals to $6,000 a year for 10 or $60,000 a year for 100 users.
  • Visual LANSA: Not posted on their web site, but we were given a quote by the company which stated "about $15,000 for first deployment server, and $5,000 for every additional server. "

One other tool we have on this front, if you haven't seen it, is our comparison product grid. Take a look at it. Alright, I'll stop thumping my chest here and sew my buttons my back on. It's time to read Rick Grehan's review for yourself.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Comparing Alpha Five Version 10 to Microsoft Access, FileMaker, and Iron Speed

Since August 2008, we've been maintaining a grid that compares Alpha Five, Microsoft Access, FileMaker, and Iron Speed. This is a decision-making tool for developers who ask the question, "How does Alpha Five compare to other database products?"

It's a very important question. We pitched a lot of people in the media to publish a comparison. Unfortunately, we weren't able to pique anyone's interest in doing a tough head-to-head test of the leading tools on the market. Frankly, we think it's because the trade magazines are under-resourced these days.

Well, we took it upon ourselves to invest in creating this grid, because we think it's important to potential customers. It's maintained for us by an industry analyst.

To reiterate what we said when we first published the grid, the reviewer's marching orders are to make sure he keeps the features list up to date and accurate. That's it. There's no effort whatsoever in this process to make Alpha Five Version 10 come out ahead of any other products. Rather, we leave it to you to decide.

So take a look at our fancy PDF version of the comparison product grid. You can also go to to see a shareable, online spreadsheet version.

Please let us know if you see anything that's inaccurate in the grid. We'll correct any inaccuracies or errors immediately. And please feel free to share this with everyone you know. If you're a blogger or journalist who wants to use our grid, go ahead. Just let us know when you do so.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Alpha Five Version 10 Feature Peek #4: Ajax grids

As I'm sure you've guessed, codeless Ajax has everyone here at Alpha turning cartwheels. In fact, I'm not sure if I've ever been so excited about a new Alpha Five feature. We put together a number of Feature Peeks to give you a little taste of codeless Ajax, which I'll reveal over the next few weeks. I don't want to show them all at once, lest your heads explode. ;)

This video shows a basic Ajax component. Here, you'll see how easy it is to create an Ajax grid using the grid builder. The video demonstrates basic interaction with the grid, such as sorting, page navigation, and changing the number of records per page. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

You compare: Iron Speed, FileMaker, Microsoft Access, and Alpha Five

One of the pre-sales tools we're most proud of here at Alpha is our competitive features grid, which compares Alpha Five with other leading database development platforms, including Microsoft Access 2007, Filemaker Pro 9, Filemaker Pro 9 Advanced, Filemaker Server 9, and Filemaker Server 9 Advanced. About a year ago, we hired a neutral professional software reviewer, and our marching orders were only this: Be honest.

We recently expanded that features grid to include FileMaker Pro 10. And now, our most updated version includes Iron Speed.

We hired an actual Iron Speed developer to help us, and we're confident it's accurate. It's clear there are some features in Microsoft Access, FileMaker, and Iron Speed that are better than Alpha Five Version 9. And there are some features of Alpha Five that are better than Access, FileMaker, and Iron Speed.

The purpose of this grid is not to say we're the best. Rather, our goal is to help developers make the right choice in software for their particular project. We believe if you're looking to build database-driven Web applications in a heartbeat, this grid will show you Alpha Five is right for that requirement.

As always, if you find any inaccuracies in Alpha Five or in any of these products, please let us know in the comments section, or shoot me an e-mail. As I said, the purpose of this grid is to be as accurate and as fair as possible. And, if there are any other databases dev platforms you think we should include, we'd like to know that too. So have a look at our most updated competitive features grid, and let us know what you think.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Thumbs up to Alpha Five from PC World

PC World published a feature yesterday about how to best build and share databases on the Web. PC World journalist David Storm gave a nice nod to Alpha Five in the article. He also pointed out that while Alpha and Filemaker are the two easiest database programs to set up and use across the Internet, the standard edition of Alpha Five is $200, while the Filemaker Server version is $1,000.

As you know, price isn't the only difference between the two. In an effort to keep developers informed of the distinctions between Alpha and Filemaker, we created our first competitive features grid. We hired a professional software reviewer to objectively compare Alpha Five with Microsoft Access 2007, Filemaker Pro, Filemaker Pro Advanced, Filemaker Server, and Filemaker Server Advanced. And our updated comparison grid reflects the feature set of FileMaker's new version 10 release.

Anyway, have a look at the PC World article. It's a worthwhile read for anyone wondering about ways to share spreadsheets and simple databases with colleagues and customers .

Friday, March 27, 2009

Compare Alpha Five to FileMaker Pro and Microsoft Access

Last summer, we hired a third-party professional software reviewer to compare Alpha Five with the other leading database development platforms, feature for feature. Those "other" platforms would be Microsoft Access and FileMaker.

We wanted to provide anyone who is interested in the top three database platforms with a useful, accurate tool that helps them understand the similarities and differences between these platform. The result was our first competitive features grid.

Of course, software platforms are always evolving. And we just updated our comparison grid to reflect the feature set of FileMaker's new version 10 release. If you're interested in how the leading database platforms stack up, have a look at our updated grid.

If you're a journalist or blogger, feel free to download this grid and use it in your reporting. Don't worry about copyright. Just give us a heads up so we can see what you wrote.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Your thoughts on a developer's thoughts

Our post on a developer's thoughts of Iron Speed 6.0 has surprised us with the incredible amount of traffic it's driven. As of yesterday, the number of viewers had topped 1,000. Also surprising was the fact that this post is spreading virally through e-mail. Obviously, this has struck a chord with more than one developer.

We've also received several e-mails and comments from Iron Speed developers, all of which have been positive. In response, one of the blog posts we have in the works is an update to our competitive features grid.

We'll be putting together a migration tutorial and other free online training to help bring you from Iron Speed to Alpha. As part of that, we want to hear from you. What are your issues with Iron Speed, and how can we help you make the switch?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Alpha Five Version 9 vs. other leading database development platforms

We've had the Alpha Competitive Feature grid up for the past few weeks now, and have taken all of your comments, comparisons, objections, and amendments to heart as we made our final, mocked-up version. Looks pretty good, if I do say so myself.

If you're an Alpha developer or VAR, feel free to use this to woo new customers. Or, if you think your company needs an easier way to create databases and manage information, give this to your boss.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Alpha Five competitive grid updated

We just updated the competitive product grid to account for a missing FileMaker feature, as noted by a reader. Download it and see for yourself how Alpha Five Platinum stacks up to FileMaker Pro and Access.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Why doesn't FileMaker compare itself to Alpha Five?

After we posted our competitive features grid yesterday, one of our readers pointed out to us that FileMaker has their own comparison document posted on their Web site. But one comparison is glaringly missing ... Alpha Five.

I wonder why?

By the way, our competitive features grid has been in production for several months now, and we've been using it in our media outreach. So it isn't a response to FileMaker's comparison document, which we just learned of yesterday. But it does make you wonder.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Get the facts: Alpha Five compared to Access 2007 and FileMaker 9

When setting out to purchase a database application platform for the first time, naturally people have questions. To make things easier, we hired a professional software reviewer to produce this competitive features grid.

It objectively compares Alpha Five with Microsoft Access 2007, Filemaker Pro 9, Filemaker Pro 9 Advanced, Filemaker Server 9, and Filemaker Server 9 Advanced.

Our writer's marching orders were simple: compare the products, and be completely transparent. We think he did a great job, and compared the products fully and accurately.

If you're in the market for a new database tool, this grid will help you understand how three of the industry's leading products stack up. And if you're a journalist or blogger, feel free to take this grid and use it. Don't worry about copyright. Just give us a heads up so we can see what you wrote.

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