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Showing posts with label White paper. Show all posts
Showing posts with label White paper. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Another abandoned Access developer shares his story

We tend to take notice when an Access developer comes out of the closet and reveals how frustrated he is

DELETED: Microsoft has a history of
abandoning its developers
Well, that just happened on the ArtfulOpinions blog, penned by our friend and fellow developer, Arthur. In his post, "The Access Developer's Dilemma," Arthur outlines a history of Microsoft Access, from the release of the first version in 1992 up until the problem Access developers are faced with today. "There seems to be no future in continued Access development," Arthur writes.

But I can't do this post justice -- you'll have to read it for yourself. Head over to Arthur's blog, and don't be afraid to leave your opinion in the comment section, which has already sparked conversation.

Are you an Access developer frustrated with the limitations Arthur details in his post? Take a look at our newest white paper to find out how to move desktop Access apps to the web and mobile.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Alpha Five takes Access developers to the web

It's no secret that Microsoft Access isn't the best tool to use when developing for the web and mobile. But the way we see it, that shouldn't mean that developers still working on the desktop should be abandoned.

With Alpha Five, Microsoft Access developers can take their soon-to-be-obsolete desktop apps and move them to the web and mobile. And Martin Heller, our Vice President of Education and Technology, is making sure Access developers know how to do just that with his latest publication, "Alpha Five Web Applications for Access Developers." 

For more details, take a look at the press release we distributed earlier today:

ALPHA AND ACCESS: Only one can get your desktop
apps to the web

To download "Alpha Five Web Applications for Access Developers," visit our free download page.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

New white paper shows Microsoft Access developers how to migrate desktop applications to the Web with Alpha Five

It's no secret that some Microsoft Access developers are disappointed with the options they're given to deploy an application to the cloud in Microsoft Access 2010. I've written a few blog posts on it and we even jumped deeper into developers' options in the white paper, "Web-enabling Microsoft Access: A cost/benefit analysis for developers considering Access 2010."

Now we've taken it one step further. For Microsoft Access developers who want to get their desktop applications on the Web, download Alpha Software's newest white paper, "Alpha Five Web Applications for Access Developers."

This 57-page, hands-on tutorial shows Access developers how to move a MSFT Access desktop application to the Web with Alpha Five Version 10 or later. It's penned by Dr. Martin Heller, Alpha Software's VP of Education and Technology. He demonstrates how easy it is to do by walking you through the process step by step.

For the Access developers still on the fence about migrating your Access desktop application to the Web with Alpha Five, still give the white paper a read. You don't have to follow along on your computer, but I believe it will be a valuable resource to hold on to for when you're ready to make the switch.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New white paper explores ROI of Microsoft Access 2010 for Web applications

I recently told you about a new white paper that is available for download called, "Web-enabling Microsoft Access: A cost/benefit analysis for developers considering Access 2010." It looks at the two options developers have to port an existing Microsoft Access application to the Web.

We sent out a press release on the wire today to announce it. But in case you're keeping tabs on our press releases, I'm posting it here as well. Give it a read or download the white paper if you haven't flipped its pages yet.

White Paper Will Help Database Developers Decide Whether Migrating to Access 2010 is the Right Choice for Their Organization

BURLINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today Alpha Software released a new white paper titled, “Web-enabling Microsoft Access: A cost/benefit analysis for developers considering Access 2010.” Microsoft Access developers are at a turning point. The new version, MS Access 2010, finally lets them build Web applications. But at what cost? This white paper explores that question in clear, understandable terms for database developers and business executives. It is now available to download at the following URL For more details, visit the Alpha Software website or the blog.


Since 1982, Alpha Software has been providing developers with award-winning tools that make it easy to build business applications. Today over 1 million developers and tens of millions of users rely on Alpha Software’s Alpha Five. The company is privately held, and based in Burlington, Mass. Alpha Software can be found on the Web at The company’s blog is located at

Review copies, reviewer’s guide, and training available to press and bloggers.


Contact: Alicia Buonanno,, 610-228-2096

Press kit:

Web site:


for Alpha Software
Alicia Buonanno, 610-228-2096

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Web-enabling Microsoft Access: A cost/benefit analysis for developers considering Access 2010

You might have noticed us tweeting recently about a white paper we created. Let me elaborate in more than 140 characters here.

There are essentially two ways to port an existing Microsoft Access application to the Web: Create a brand new Web-based application in Visual Studio or install Access Services on a SharePoint server. We decided to delve deeper into these possibilities in our latest white paper, "Web-enabling Microsoft Access: A cost/benefit analysis for developers considering Access 2010."

It's well worth a read if you're an MS Access developer looking to get your apps on the Web or deciding whether or not to upgrade to Access 2010.

Also, feel free to share the white paper with others. But please, share the download link, rather than forwarding the white paper itself around. As you might guess, we're trying to collect the e-mail addresses of those interested in this topic so we can network and learn more about your Web app needs.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


One of our Alpha VARS recently attended a discussion board for old tractor fans. One of the participants had been working for weeks to prepare for his company to implement SAP. He did all his data entry, traveled out of town twice for training and strategy sessions, and poured hours of time and energy into the migration. Look here to see what happened when he went live a few days ago.

Shouldn't SAP know how to build and test a database? I'm fairly sure that no one who reads this blog would run into this problem on a database that we built. This employee takes the steps to go through a huge migration and then finds half of his data is gone. Something like this could bring down a company.

At Alpha, we know how important it is to thoroughly test before anything EVER goes live when migrating data. Some of our best practices for migration are here in our migration white paper. What are some of your best practices?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New Alpha Five e-book helps developers move Microsoft Access applications online

Last week, Richard told you about Alpha's new downloadable 40-page e-book, which simplifies the usually difficult and tedious process of moving your Microsoft Access desktop applications to the Web.

The press release officially announcing the availability of the guide went out today, and I figured it would be a perfect time to remind you to check it out today!

New Alpha Five E-Book Helps Developers Move Microsoft Access Applications Online

Penned by a top technical writer, free guide shows users how to transform their desktop Access databases into full-blown, AJAX-powered Web apps with Alpha Five Version 9

BURLINGTON, Mass. -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Alpha Software has released a new, 40-page downloadable e-book, dubbed, “Moving an MS Access Database Application to the Web with Alpha Five Version 9.” The free title provides step-by-step instructions that will help any developer who wants to move Microsoft Access desktop database and applications to the Web. The e-book, which simplifies what’s usually a tedious process, is written by Martin Heller, an experienced Web and desktop application developer and database designer, and the author of thousands of technical articles and several programming books.

“Alpha Software asked me to provide an instructional, easy-to-follow guide that would help users transfer their Microsoft Access applications to the Web, using Alpha Five,” Heller says. “I’m not endorsing Alpha Software or Microsoft here. But I am giving developers an easy way to add power and usability to their applications, without having to devote weeks of their time. No one can deny the importance of the Web, especially when you’re trying to reach a large audience of users. It’s important that developers be able to accomplish that with speed and scalability, and with this guide, I’m showing them how.”

The e-book shows users how to migrate existing Access schema and data, and then connect them to Web forms built with Alpha Five. The process uses seven high-level Alpha Web components, AJAX widgets, and HTML, based on existing Access forms. Readers will learn to use Alpha Five’s HTML Designer to rapidly add saved components to a Web page. They’ll use Alpha’s Builders to configure page components, recreating forms in Alpha in less time than it took to create desktop Access forms. They see how they can interweave HTML and Xbasic code on the server to process queries and forms on Web pages, operate on a database, and display formatted data. And they’ll learn how to tap Alpha Five’s built-in SQL capabilities to improve database scalability.

“Martin has given us an outstanding addition to our customer education library,” says Richard Rabins, Co-Chairman of Alpha Software. “We take pride in delivering intuitive tools to build great-looking and well-performing applications. And that means we need to provide developers with a steady diet of training materials, so they can take full advantage of the power a rich Web database application like Alpha Five provides. The need to move legacy MS Access apps to the Web is increasingly important for companies looking to increase their competitiveness with modern, cost-effective Web and intranet systems. With this new e-book, we’re making the move from Access on the desktop to Alpha on the Web fast, easy, and best of all, free.”

For more information on Alpha’s new technical guide, as well as information on instructional videos, white papers, and educational books, visit, the company blog at, or contact


Since 1982, Alpha Software has been providing developers with award-winning tools that make it easy to rapidly build robust database and business applications. Today over 1 million developers rely on Alpha Software’s flagship platform, Alpha Five, to build desktop, client-server, distributed, Web 2.0, and AJAX applications for organizations of any size—from SOHO to the Fortune 100. Every day, tens of millions of people and businesses rely on applications built in Alpha Five. With the introduction of Alpha Five Version 9 Platinum Edition in 2008, Alpha Software set new standards for speed of development, portability, reporting, and security for database applications of all stripes. The company is privately held, and based in Burlington, Mass. Alpha Software can be found on the Web at

Review copies available for press and bloggers.


Alpha Five Platinum microsite

Alpha Software blog

Alpha Software home page


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Moving an MS Access database to the Web with Alpha Five

There's no denying the power of the Web. And today, more than ever, it's important for you to be able to harness that power for the benefit of your business. That's why we put together a 40-page downloadable e-book, dubbed, "Moving an MS Access Database Application to the Web with Alpha Five Version 9."

Penned by Martin Heller -- an experienced Web and desktop application developer and database designer, and the author of thousands of technical articles and several programming books -- the e-book simplifies the usually difficult and tedious process of moving your Microsoft Access desktop applications to the Web.

A press release will go out this week officially announcing the guide's availability, but you know me. I just couldn't wait to spread the news. Hopefully you'll find this e-book a valuable resource. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Break out of database lock-in: a comment for ZDNet

The folks at ZDNet did a short write-up of Ingres' new version of its open-source, enterprise-class database. In her post, Dana Blankenhorn raises the question that we've been answering at Alpha Software for more than 20 years: Can database lock-in be broken?


I've brought up our white paper on the risks of application development a number of times recently, because I continue to see developers struggle after either being locked in or abandoned by their application development platform.

Of course, I commented on the article, and you can read it here.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Microsoft's decision grid of death

Coincidentally, after writing my post on Monday about developers' risks of being locked in or abandoned by their development platform -- something that we've seen time and again -- I came across this post on one of Microsoft's Visual Basic blogs.

It seems Microsoft believes this decision grid, rewrite vs. migrate vs. reuse vs. replace, is a normal part of application development. Well, guess what? It's not. Rather, it's a statement of their failure to support their developers and their customers. At Alpha, our developers never have to consider a grid like that.

As I've said so many times before, developers often choose platforms such as Microsoft's because they feel it's the safest bet. But over the past few years, Microsoft's Visual Basic and Visual FoxPro developers (among others) had to throw out 100 percent of their code, and rewrite their apps from scratch, in order to take advantage of a newer platform.

For those who didn't see our white paper on application development risks on Monday, I'm putting it out here again today, because I think it's such an important topic. Unless, of course, writing the same code you already wrote again from scratch is something you like to do. We're not judging.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Alpha Software: Because writing code from scratch once is enough

Last week we demoed the as-yet-pre-beta Alpha Five Version 10 for Tech Republic's Justin James. Justin seemed to like what he saw. But he also brought up a constant concern he hears from developers, which is what we call the "anyone but Microsoft" problem.

What this means is developers are comfortable committing to platforms such as Microsoft's, Sun's, or Oracle's, etc., because they believe -- in our view, incorrectly -- that these are a safe bet, because they are provided by the big guys. And that means, in developers' minds, that they will not be making a commitment to a platform that will lock them in or abandon them.

Add to that the fact that Alpha can be viewed by developers as a "proprietary" platform, because it's an all-in-one solution that you build, debug, and deploy in. (Forget the fact, for a moment, that all commercial platforms can be deemed proprietary.)

Fortunately, we have what we think is a rational answer to this conundrum, which we shared with Justin. It starts with this argument: We've been around for over two decades, and our developers have never been in a situation where they couldn't upgrade from one version to the next, or had to write their code from scratch because we made their version obsolete.

Compare that to Microsoft, for example, which over the past few years forced its Visual Basic and Visual FoxPro developers to throw out 100 percent of their code, and rewrite their apps from scratch, in order to take advantage of a newer platform.

Microsoft isn't the first dev tools company that's done this. It won't be the last. It happens again and again in our industry. In fact, we wrote a white paper on the topic to counter the flawed notion that you don't get fired for buying Microsoft (or some other big player's appdev platform).

The demo with Justin reminded me that it's probably a good time to bring the white paper to the forefront again. I encourage anyone who's concerned about Alpha being a proprietary platform to take a few minutes and review it.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Michael Krigsman picks up our "risk" white paper

One of the most rewarding blogs on the Web has picked up our recently issued white paper.

Too much IT coverage fawns over new (and untested) gee-whiz products, repurposed case studies (served up by vendors), industry issues that are really non-issues (featuring quotes served up from IT executives who are themselves served up by PR people, advancing some agenda), and so on.

Michael's blog gets to the real warts and sores that plague IT: project failures. So it makes sense he would be interested in a white paper that puts forth an argument for why IT projects fail.

If you've read the paper, you know we were clear in the executive summary about any bias we injected into the content. And we did our best to make certain those biases didn't pollute the counsel the paper offers.

That said, some of the initial comments on Michael's blog take us to task for writing the paper in the first place, because we're (I'm paraphrasing) "doh! ... reinventing the wheel ... people already know this stuff."

I'll be commenting on Michael's blog in a bit. And I'll be saying this: We're not reinventing the wheel. We're documenting why the wheel doesn't turn smoothly in many IT shops. If all IT folks knew why projects fail, fewer projects would bite the dust.

Instead, I've seen figures that claim MOST app dev projects fail in one or more dimensions: cost, time, requirements, maintainability (or the lack thereof), performance, etc. And many never make it to deployment, period.

In many IT shops, the emperor has no clothes. We're calling the emperor on that.

This reminds me of arguments about QA and testing. Every IT pro will claim to understand how QA should be integrated into the app dev cycle. Yet I dare say most app dev projects today still have QA kicking in late in the cycle when, in fact, QA should start on day one.

Just last month I heard, first hand, of a MAJOR project deployed by a MAJOR job hunting site that failed in a MAJOR way. It was NON-FUNCTIONAL on day one. A truckload of cash was invested in this new "state of the art" app. And it didn't work. Worse, I heard the code is a hairball of .Net code.

How does that happen? Because the emperor has no clothes. Because the wheel was not documented. Because too many businesses have IT shops that live in a glass house.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Redefining application development risk

The past few months we've been developing a white paper on the definition of risk in application development. At last the paper is ready, and we've posted it here.

This paper was designed to accomplish two things:

1. Update the notion of risk for the 21st century. We think we make a pretty compelling intellectual argument for the need to redefine risk, and the practical method to do so.

2. From a marketing standpoint, at Alpha, we have found it useful to provide developers in the enterprise -- who already appreciate Alpha Five capabilities vis-a-vis competing RAD tools -- with a document that helps them make a case for bringing Alpha Five into organizations where the "you can't get fired for buying Microsoft" mentality prevails.

We understand that in some circles, Alpha as a company and Alpha Five as a product are sometimes met with a "never heard of it" by senior IT execs. While that should not be the kiss of death, it can present challenges to Alpha evangelists in a world dominated by Microsoft, Sun, IBM, and Oracle.

We believe this white paper can help Alpha evangelists change the equation, and make a case to give Alpha Five a shot in organizations interested in getting results faster and more predictably than with competing solutions.

Of course, I welcome feedback on this white paper, and suggestions for any other topics you would like to see. You can write to me at

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

TechRepublic features Alpha Security Framework

Security is a big concern for any database developer. That's why Alpha Five includes a new Security Framework. As I discussed in my last post, this new tool set keeps you covered at every level of your Web application.

I gave everyone here a first peek at my latest white paper that reviews the most popular methods for Web application registration and login. And now, I'm happy to say, it's available on the TechRepublic directory.

Registration is required, but it's free, and TechRepublic often provides great advice on how to make your technology work in business. It's a good resource to have, especially now that you know you can find advice from Alpha up there. ;)

Stay ahead of the curve by staying safe. Bone up on the Alpha Security Framework, and lock down those applications!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Web security made easy

There's more to building a Web application than just creating forms and connecting them to a database. When you're building a database-driven Web service, security should be your first concern.

Appropriately, Alpha Five version 8 includes a new Security Framework, which ensures security is considered at every level of your Web application. With this new tool set, you don't have to guess at security, reinvent the wheel, or spend months becoming a security guru. Rather, you leverage Alpha Five's Security Framework for robust, flexible, and persistent security.

Even so, many Alpha developers are new to Web development (as are many developers in general). To help them, I recently finished a white paper that reviews the most popular methods for Web application user registration and login. It also serves as a primer on securing your Internet-based applications.

Not all of the functionality covered in the white paper is native to Alpha's Security Framework (such as the registration scenarios and some of the tracking processes). However, all the tools needed to build these scenarios are included in A5V8.

I aimed to make this white paper a guide for both Alpha and non-Alpha users. So, even if you're not an Alpha programmer, you should still find the information of value. And if you haven’t taken a look at Alpha Five, do yourself a favor and give it a spin. It really does make building Web applications easier!

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