View Full Version : Should I convert to ver 4 or wait for 5


Kent Barnes
09-13-2000, 11:22 AM
I have been using version 1 for years and am quite happy with it. I have version 4 but didn't have the time to learn all over again. Too many changes, too confusing. With changes in windows I'm going to have to covert to keep things running but should I wait for the newest version and just learn once?

(It seems like everytime a new version comes out its written by a different group. Everything has to learned over again just like its a whole new program)

Mike Konoff
09-14-2000, 05:19 AM

When you say version 4 or 5 are you refering to Alpha Four or Alpha Five. Since you made reference to windows, I'll assume that you are wondering if you should switch to Alpha Five for Windows.

I started using A4 about 4 years ago. It has been, and continues to be a workhorse for us here. We use it for many things. I dabbled with A5's ver-3. I didn't like it at all. After Alpha's release of A5 ver-4, I purchased that too. At first I didn't care for it, but stuck with it. I must say that now I believe it's a great product. I haven't changed over completely to is...my business still uses A4 for most of its' day to day data processing. IE, production records, delivery tickets, invoicing, receivables, payroll. I have begun getting things set up in A5 ver-4. There is one thing holding me back though.

In A4 to enter a new record you must press E, for enter. To change a record, you must press C. I like this. I A5 ver-4 when you open a browse or form the record on the screen is immediately editable. I do not like this, I'm afraid it'll be too easy to change existing records. Though there are methods to overcome this it is too difficult for me. This data entry method is to be different in A5. You will be able to set a global and per form switch to choose whether you want modal or modless data entry. For this very reason alone I'm waiting for A5 ver-5's release because I don't want to have to train my employees in how A5 is now, and then change that after I upgrade to ver-5.

Keep in mind, there are "many" things that can be done in A5 that cannot be done in A4. For one, using windows printer drivers. From what I understand, most printer Mfr.'s do not supply dos printer drivers, so using A5 you get "fantastic" output when printing report, envelopes, etc.

In a nutshell, I'm waiting for A5 ver-5 for one reason only, so I don't have to get my people used to data entry methods of ver-4, and then go back to how A4 was in ver-5 of A5. But most other aspects of a5 are big pluses.


Kent Barnes
09-14-2000, 12:52 PM
Thanks for the reply Mike. I am using Alpha 5 version 1. I started with Alpha 4 and had to change everything. I don't like the alpha 5 version 4 at all. Its like having to learn the whole program all over again. If they do that again with version 5 I'd rather wait and just have to learn (and teach) one conversion again. Version 1 has been fantastic. Vesion 4 even changes terminology which makes the whole thing a waste of time and money for me. I don't have time to keep learning new programs all the time.

09-14-2000, 02:53 PM
Your are confusing two completely separate products.
Alpha 4 is a DOS application. Alpha 4 ver.1, ver.2, ...ver.6
Alpha 5 is a windows application. Alpha5 ver.1, ver.2 ...ver.5.

They _are_ completely different. Alpha 4 (the DOS application) is no longer being developed. You can still purchase version 6 but there will be no version 7.

Alpha 5 is still being developed. The current version is 4?
with version 5 coming out very soon. (perhaps already out)

I hope this clarifies things a bit.
Tom C

Kent Barnes
09-15-2000, 09:15 AM
Yep, thats it. I'm using windows version 1 but have never converted over to version 4 because of the confusion in how it works compared to version 1. I'm hoping version 5 will be more like normal instead of having to learn a whole new program. (I've been using Alpha since the beginning. Started with A4 on dos machines)

09-15-2000, 02:18 PM
If that's the case then you will probably get more comprehensive advice about Alpha5 for windows on the Alpha 5 for windows board. This is the Alpha 4 for DOS board.

rick blanka
09-24-2000, 02:06 AM
I am using Alpha4v2. Most network printers are HP or emulate HP and that works fine. I build appliances with embedded systems. Dos is embedded on a chip and has a small footprint (6,000 k) Dr Dos is multitasking and 32 bit ready. Does Home Depot use Windows - NO! They have a GUI but not on Windows and no mouse. Fast stable and reliable.

You can turn the power out any time and not corrupt or need to rebuild the system directory. Do you know that Dos is embedded in traffic lights and growing on set top appliances? I am not referring to MS Dos. I can not imagine writing code that is stuck only to Windows. I can run A4v1 v2 v3 v4 v5 v6 all on Dos, OS2, Seal, Windows 98, 95 and 3.1. From a lagacy 286 to a Pentium. After I release my record, I can open it in Excel or in an HTML file using my browser.

Building a database and data entry with the dos version is more efficient. The trade offs are not, I think, that great. I would think one advantage in newer versions is indexing.