PDA

View Full Version : Domain specific OEM Run Engine with active-link-table support


ABC123

neil_albala
03-29-2008, 03:50 PM
Price: one time flat fee: $599 - this OEM version will be available soon.
• Market and sell an unlimited number of copies of your packaged application.
• Designed for single-user, DBF file applications that don’t require SQL connectivity


I can't but help smile at this current situation. This new Platinum version can potentially allow thousands of users-- even ten of thousands of users, to read and write from a single remote database. The only bottleneck being the speed of the remote Database, which as you know, in the world of mySQL hosting, is very easy and inexpensive resource to upgrade.

It seems odd that this fantastic potential is just being side lined. If these active-link-tables do work as billed, this is a trend setting first-- which has the potential to realistically usurp or at least handsomely compete with, the whole open-source-model-view controller web application development trend.

I'm smiling because even though this technology is here-- DONE and ready to ship-- this sort of activity just won't be allowed. Not yet.

Oh well. I'm a patient man. Sooner or later I'm sure we'll get there.

I was going to upgrade, but I see it's not time yet.

Richard: May I make a suggestion? Please consider a domain specific OEM Run Engine license that includes active-link-table support.

Would anybody else be interested in such a license? Maybe... if there is enough interest, Selwyn can figure out a way to make this happen.

NoeticCC
03-29-2008, 03:55 PM
A LOOOOOT has changed since the thread you dragged up from last weekend was buried... keep with the times! ;) (joking!)

The new OEM RT Engine DOES allow active link tables but is priced on a case by case basis (cos someone marketing huge Enterprise apps with Oracle or SQL Server back ends probably should pay a bit more than someone who has a small business app they want to convert to use mySQL etc!), the equivalent to what is described in the old thread is now just $399 and at the moment when you buy A5V9 developer copy you get the single user re-usable RT for just an extra $100... Perfect for developing small in-house reporting apps against SQL databases (and if you code the SQL updates you CAN update them, too), demo versions of fully fledged commercial apps and so forth...

https://www.alphasoftware.com/shop/alphafive/platinum/

And here's for the first time it seems a COMPREHENSIVE explanation of the different RT options, with each case catered for and the rules made quite simple to understand (as opposed to the previous short explanation and vague wording): https://www.alphasoftware.com/shop/a...un_engines.asp

And yes, PER SITE licenses WITH active link tables are also available but AGAIN this is case per case...

jkukuda
03-29-2008, 04:00 PM
Big difference between domain specific and site specific. I also would be interested in site specfic run engines.

NoeticCC
03-29-2008, 04:02 PM
Big difference between domain specific and site specific. I also would be interested in site specfic run engines.

True Re: Domain vs Site BUT all these options are now open for discussion - I am sure if you explained the situation to them, they would be able to give you a workable solution even for multiple sites... Just remember the OEM solution is more for pre-built apps that you want to market, custom builds have always required, at least in V8, the customer to have their own runtimes rather than the developer giving them his or her copy.

And Neil was clearly referring to the $599 OEM RT without active link tables that has since been replaced by a much more flexible approach... and thus not aware of the new options, which include the single user RT now being just $399 (including an upgrade for the developer copy at the moment) and more flexible options being available for Enterprise solutions, including site RT Engine licenses where per seat is not viable....

neil_albala
03-29-2008, 04:36 PM
The new OEM RT Engine DOES allow active link tables but is priced on a case by case basis, the equivalent to what is described in the old thread is now just $399 and at the moment when you buy A5V9 developer copy you get the single user re-usable RT for just an extra $100...

And yes, PER SITE licenses WITH active link tables are also available but AGAIN this is case per case...

Okay. Thanks for the explanation, but I'm still confused.

This says, "no active link tables," which certainly would not work for me.
http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q191/zozem/294A5bundle.jpg

I want to use A5 to build a small social network. Rather than being web based, like most web applications, this social network would require the user to download and install the Run Engine. The only thing that would be web based is the remote mySQL database. Which means I'd need to be able to give the Run Engine away for FREE, possibly to 1000's of users.

Now this license here, which does include active-link-table support, says, only 1 seat. I guess that wouldn't work for me either.
http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q191/zozem/295A5bundle.jpg

So, that brings me back to my original suggestion. Maybe a domain specific Run Engine license would be appropriate for this kind of application.

NoeticCC
03-29-2008, 04:49 PM
What I would personally do is this:

Use the Web Content features of the Supercontrol on a form, NO need for the users to have active link tables... just set your website up to take certain parameters (like user ID etc.), doesn't have to be on WAS, you can write custom web content templates and update a remote DB via that, or via HTTP call for example... (that is something you don't need V9 for, the http calls), so that means you lose the need for the user to DIRECTLY connect to the mySQL DB.

Setting up direct access to ONE mySQL DB from anywhere in the world is a major pain, but if it is something you "need" for some reason then I suspect the kind of info that your users would need to post/update could easily be something that you can code in Xbasic (you can code updates to SQL tables, just not use Active Link tables - you probably don't want data from your DB to be downloaded to the user's computer anyway!)....

This is something I am looking into as well (the remote access without having to have the end user connect to the database directly), because the restrictions on internet speed/access in China mean our China office currently has a very hard time accessing our internal apps... so what I am looking into is a way of posting updates to our Oracle database without requiring a direct connection, which just won't work reliably... DBF files can hold the data when it is entered, and THEN it can be transferred in a way that works with the restrictions of the Chinese government filtering data and making data transfer unfeasibly slow...

It is also something that eventually we might want to offer to some customers, they already have online access to workflow tracking sites (one of the biggest customers now has a login to a site on our WAS V9 - to replace the current PHP based site that allows them access to data on our internal tracking system - which is mostly the result of my experiments with AJAX, but the internal benefits from my developing this file browser/server system really were what convinced our company that Alpha is the way forward), but being able to sell them something that gives them remote access to our database without - and our IT manager would NEVER allow this - directly accessing the database, would be pretty exciting AND if we play it right could well lead to them wanting an SQL driven version to use internally...

-----------------

Anyway: Since this would be a packaged rather than custom app, this should be something you could achieve for $399 with this offer, e.g. the developer copy & one user RT... and depending on which way you want to go, a domain/host or WAS on your own server (we have WAS anyway so for us the web content supercontrol & custom templates make this VERY exciting!)...

neil_albala
03-29-2008, 06:15 PM
Thanks. I appreciate you taking the time to outline my options.

What I would personally do is this: Use the Web Content features of the Supercontrol on a form, NO need for the users to have active link tables... I suspect the kind of info that your users would need to post/update could easily be something that you can code in Xbasic (you can code updates to SQL tables, just not use Active Link tables...


Yes, I've been considering that since V8. If I go that route, I wouldn't even need V9.
To me, the whole concept of active-link-tables, is what makes this Platinum version so EXCITING.

...because the restrictions on internet speed/access in China mean our China office currently has a very hard time accessing our internal apps... which just won't work reliably... works with the restrictions of the Chinese government filtering data and making data transfer unfeasibly slow...

"Reliably," implies that they do work sometime. Maybe some kind of transaction processing would be appropriate, where the Oracle DB backs out of the update, if it is not completed in full. Then the Chinese site could continue making the request until it gets the right acknowledgment. Not allowing them to directly update the DB directly is a long hard road, but if the Chinese government is messing with your data packets, it might be your only choice. In that case, you'll end up hand coding a whole little sub-system and proprietary language to accomplish all the necessary CRUD operations. If I had to go that way, I'd probably use FTP and text packets, which would be fairly easy to track and debug-- also easily readable by government filters.

But then again... wouldn't it all be very simple if we could just use the new active-table-links? Without that, there's no need to update.

Here's how I envision the domain specific licensing might work.

I'd give out the Run Engine with my app code, to all users FREE of charge. Once a day, or once a month, before the Run Engine would allow active-link-table updates, it would first need to contact an Alpha Software server. It says, "Hey-- this software is from myDomain.com. What's the connection string to their mySQL sever?" The Alpha Server returns the only allowable connection string. In this way, the Alpha Server could keep track of the number of unique users per day or month, and charge accordingly.

What do you think of that Selwyn?

It's easy to understand-- and you get paid for ALL users!

NoeticCC
03-29-2008, 07:17 PM
Yes, I've been considering that since V8. If I go that route, I wouldn't even need V9.
The dynamic web content is a V9 thing though... and it opens new possibilities for integrating remote desktop clients with a remote DB, or remote web content etc... with the combined power of remote access AND locally driven reporting etc....

http://support.alphasoftware.com/WhatsNewInV9/generated_NewInA5V9_SuperControls.htm#Web Content Supercontrol


To me, the whole concept of active-link-tables, is what makes this Platinum version so EXCITING.
Sure, however client server capabilities work great for sites, even between properly remotely linked sites, but for remote database access... on "any" PC from potentially "anywhere"? That seems a bit odd... the hassle of making sure that the DB is accessible publically, remotely, from anywhere, and making sure that works from the client, no matter what their connection speed etc...

Active link tables open the door for Alpha to compete with full Enterprise solutions/apps/RAD tools that already plug into SQL databases, or generally for writing extremely powerful apps with a SQL back end, but there's PROBABLY a reason why any sort of system or network (like social networking sites etc.) work via WEB front ends.... and that is because opening your database "to the world" is not only risky from a security POV but also complicates matters as far as each individual user's set-up etc. is concerned....


"Reliably," implies that they do work sometime. Maybe some kind of transaction processing would be appropriate, where the Oracle DB backs out of the update, if it is not completed in full. Then the Chinese site could continue making the request until it gets the right acknowledgment. Not allowing them to directly update the DB directly is a long hard road, but if the Chinese government is messing with your data packets, it might be your only choice.
It's more that the speed is unreliable, than the connection dropping out completely... e.g. one day it is so slow that the connection drops in the middle of a transaction, the next it doesn't work fast enough for a Citrix connection to even start, other days it works well enough to allow file transfer or FTP transfer on a snail-like pace basis...


But then again... wouldn't it all be very simple if we could just use the new active-table-links? Without that, there's no need to update.
In our case, first off, our IT manager does not like the idea of opening the database outside our network... secondly, active link tables still require the connection to be up and running at sufficient speed and stability to finish the update...

We were originally going to run 2 databases and have them synchronise over night, however first off that didn't work because of the speed and other issues, and in addition to that they now started working night shifts too so can't really have the system be down for synchronisation at any specific point...

Before I joined the company they tried running the PowerBuilder app this way and it just wasn't feasible.... you never know, maybe with active link tables it might work, if it does, then we are sure to invest in 10-20 seat licenses and work it this way... but there are a lot of other options nowadays... :)

MikeC
03-29-2008, 07:27 PM
Neil,

Am surprised Andrea didn't mention the OEM Run Engines. From the website for explaining runtime and run engines:


Run Engine OEM Licenses
The Run Engine OEM License is appropriate if you have developed a "packaged" (off-the-shelf) application that requires Active-Link tables.

Please contact sales@alphasoftware.com for additional info and pricing based on your specific needs.

I had queried Selwyn regarding this and apparently you have to contact Alpha Sales each and every time to get prices...and he basically said that whoever needed such a Run Engine would be happy with the price. Give it a shot and post back???

NoeticCC
03-29-2008, 07:37 PM
Am surprised Andrea didn't mention the OEM Run Engines. From the website for explaining runtime and run engines

I did...

The new OEM RT Engine DOES allow active link tables

But for a remotely accessible app, that you want to sell to anyone "out there", connecting to one and the same remote DB seems like a very awkward solution...

Selwyn Rabins
03-29-2008, 07:39 PM
Am surprised Andrea didn't mention the OEM Run Engines. From the website or explaining runtime and run engines:



I had queried Selwyn regarding this and apparently you have to contact Alpha Sales each and every time to get prices...and he basically said that whoever needed such a Run Engine would be hapy with the price. Give it a shot and post back???[/
---------------------

From Richard Rabins

Actually Mike and Neil - for "packaged" software that uses active links - you just need to contact sales@alphasoftware.com once and our sales folks will work out a license that is designed to allow you to build the application you want and sell it profitably. It is very straightforward. Also just a reminder for "packaged" software that does not use active links you can go the runtime route as explained in the following explanation https://www.alphasoftware.com/shop/alphafive/platinum/run_engines.asp

Our objective with our pricing and licensing is NOT to inhibit you from using Alpha Five to develop great solutions for your clients. If you are unclear about your particular case just contact us.

Thanks

neil_albala
03-29-2008, 08:06 PM
...but there's PROBABLY a reason why any sort of system or network (like social networking sites etc.) work via WEB front ends.... and that is because opening your database "to the world" is not only risky from a security POV but also complicates matters as far as each individual user's set-up etc. is concerned....
Excellent point! I really hadn't considered that. I know the V8 WAS server has extensive security-- the ability to easily assign user roles and privileges. I don't know whether or not that is now part of desktop environment as well.


Before I joined the company they tried running the PowerBuilder app this way and it just wasn't feasible.... you never know, maybe with active link tables it might work, if it does, then we are sure to invest in 10-20 seat licenses and work it this way... but there are a lot of other options nowadays... :)
You've got a very difficult situations there-- needing to support Chinese clients-- but under normal circumstances, you've got to admit, the active-link-table model could make app design and maintenance very easy-- straight forward-- and pleasant.

One last thought on security. I have a brokerage application, that allows me to buy and sell, in real time. It's a Java app and it's connected directly to a my broker's DB containing all my account info. There's real money involved here, so it's VERY secure. There's no reason why an A5 desktop application couldn't be just as secure. I guess that involves a SSL connection, where the data beginning sent and received is encrypted. In theory it's possible... buy you're right. I really haven't paid that much attention to the whole security aspect of this project.


I had queried Selwyn regarding this and apparently you have to contact Alpha Sales each and every time to get prices...and he basically said that whoever needed such a Run Engine would be happy with the price. Give it a shot and post back???

The 100 seat license is $3,500, which is already on the steep side. I don't want to have to lay out that much just to get started. I'm sure a 1000 seat license would be much more. And then-- if I'm lucky and get a lots of users-- say 10,000? What then? It's just not profitable on a per seat basis.

Like I said, I'm patient. V9 is barely out the door. I see, this is going to take some time.

NoeticCC
03-29-2008, 08:42 PM
Excellent point! I really hadn't considered that. I know the WAS A5 server has extensive security-- the ability to easily assign user roles and privileges. I don't know whether or not the desktop environment now has this as well.
As long as you connect to a remote DB, I am not sure how secure you *can* get...



You've got a very difficult situations there-- needing to support Chinese clients-- but under normal circumstances, you've got to admit, the active-link-table model could make app design and maintenance very easy-- straight forward-- and pleasant.
Oh yes... for our UK users, this will do just FINE! :)

For our China users, mostly the WAS will do great for straightforward data entry and some reporting, and I'll find a solution for the rest too, I'm sure :)



One last thought on security. I have a brokerage application, that allows me to buy and sell, in real time. It's a Java app and it's connected directly to a my broker's DB containing all my account info. There's real money involved here, so it's VERY secure.
It'd be interesting how the whole connection works etc... plus I bet it's an app that isn't available to just "anyone", or "thousands" though, certainly not something available to download from the Internet to just anyone....


There's no reason why an A5 desktop application couldn't be just as secure. I guess that involves a SSL connection, where the data beginning sent and received is encrypted. In theory it's possible... buy you're right. I really haven't paid that much attention to the whole security aspect of this project.
You were able to do SQL updates and data transfer well before version 9, for the sort of thing you are looking at, I personnaly don't think active link tables are the right solution... they are GREAT for allowing desktop users on a LAN or WAN to edit complex data in an SQL database... but for quick and easy background access to data *anywhere*, a quick SQL query or update statement would do the trick... and if you want to access a remote database, then there are neater solutions, too.. anything from HTML calls to the extremely promising web content supercontrols/templates offer a load of opportunities if WAS doesn't have the options you need...

Rick Gerlach
04-02-2008, 07:10 PM
Don't mean to derail this thread, it's fascinating. Just wondering if I can get Neil to check his forum private messages, I have a question for him.

mmaisterrena
04-03-2008, 03:32 AM
come on dont isolate us, we want to know:D

neil_albala
04-03-2008, 12:07 PM
come on dont isolate us, we want to know:D

Just so you know, Rick's questions has to do with URL forwarding, and nothing to do with this thread.