View Full Version : Upgrading to A% Help


08-04-2004, 05:39 PM
After having used Alpha 4 v. 6 for about ten years I am finally making the switch. I downloaded the free trial version, and I am now trying to replicate my database. As I don't have a manual I am left with the feeble help screens and this message board. I successfully ported my dbf files to the database. Now I noticed the field rules for A% seem very similar to those for A$. Can I assume they will do exactly what they did for A$.The one area I find confusing is the lookup table. In A$ I was able to use another database as a lookup table, i/e filling in city and state based upon zip code. But I don't see an option to select a database as a lookup on A5. Also, I'd like to edit the Browse table, i.e. moving fields around to different locations. How do I do that? I'd also like to hear from others on the exact process they used to replicate their A$ relational database in A5. For now that will be all my questions, but I am sure I will be back for more. Thanks in advance.

Tom Cone Jr
08-05-2004, 02:35 AM

I think you'll find that for the most part field rules will feel very familiar to you. And, the built in functions (Date(), Time(), STR(), VAL()...) work identically.

I find the "Alpha Five Help" file (CHM format) especially useful. It's a free (large) download at the Learning Center. There's a link to the LC on Alpha's home page. Webhelp is available, too.

One thing that will prevent communication problems with A5 users is if you adopt A5 usage for the terms 'database' and 'table'. You're probably accustomed to calling a DBF file a database. That's incorrect in A5. It's now a 'table'. The 'database' is the entire collection of tables, sets, indexes, field rules, layouts... that make up your application.

Search Webhelp or the CHM I mentioned for "Rearranging Columns" to get info on how to change the appearance of your browse layout.

In the future it will be helpful if you limit each topic to a single question or issue.

-- tom

-- tom

08-10-2004, 08:39 AM

Let me answer your first question, yes you can create a lookup in Alpha Five just as you did with Alpha Four. In fact, the design of that type of Field Rule is almost identical in both products.

I wrote a paper on upgrading from A4 to A5 that highlights all of the key points one must consider when making the switch from DOS to Windows.

Let me also add another point. Many people hesitate to make the change because they have to recreate their application from scratch [your old data is of course intact]. In my opinion, that's a plus, one shouldn't look at it as a negative.

Why do I say that? Although A4 was a great product in the world of DOS, the Windows version is much more powerful and flexible. You can do so many things one could only dream of in the DOS version. If that's true, why would you want to simply duplicate your A4 application in A5? If you do that, you would be missing out on numerous new features and power available only in the Windows product.

Robert T