View Full Version : Converting to Alpha 5


08-02-2011, 10:27 AM
Hi Folks

I'm a 74 year old newbie and after taking early reirement I've spent the last 10 years building very simple web sites for friends and small local buisnesses for small donations to a very small local charity of which I'm a Trustee. I've also built a substantial Access database system for my son's road surfacing company. The main table has over 100K records and the main child tables over 500K records and is in daily use by over 20 people. This is based on a Rackspace hosted SQL Server and uses an Access front end with linked tables. I've just purchased the full Alpha bundle to try out because I would like to a) to make my sons system web based and b) unifiy the database aspects of my small web sites where I'm currently using Ironspeed and PHPRunner.

One the main benefits of Access is the ability to design a form field by field and also use event procedures (eg afterupdate event) to run VBA code either to auto enter data, carry out a calculation, run a report etc. Does Alpha 5 Web project allow similar similar actions? Also Access linked to SQL allows the use of local tables. In my son's system this is important as we import new work into the database from several customers. A certain law applies and each customers's data set is different with different field names data types and file formats (csv or Excel). To overcome this I have a local table containing all the field names and then a set of queries to transfer the data to a set of local tables which are used for the people to look at each job and add company specific info before appending it to the live database. Can anything like this be achieved in a web based Alpha 5system?

For my small web sites (some of which are Linux based which I realise would have to be moved - but this would not be a problem) I use MySQL as the database. In these instances I'm sure the grid components will do what's required and it's more a question of how to incorporate the Alpha 5 pages in with the non database pages on the site or how to design effectively just html pages in a web project.

Any help anybody can give would be very much appreciated



08-02-2011, 11:33 AM
Ironspeed and PHPRunner
I feel your pain.

Does Alpha 5 Web project allow similar similar actions?
There are tons of events in Alpha, both JavaScript and xbasic. Of course, as you know, the web isn't the desktop, so...

Can anything like this be achieved in a web based Alpha 5system?
Alpha web allows you to tie into multiple backends at the same time if you want. I guess I don't understand why you would need local tables, but I suppose you could engineer that to - as long as you have an IP address and an open port...

The bottom line is, Alpha is VERY powerful.

Pat Bremkamp
08-05-2011, 05:08 PM
I have worked on several conversions from Access desktop to Alpha Web interface, and in every case the change from desktop to web caused more issues than the change from access to alpha.

The biggest hurdle in making the switch is trying to get over the "my whole app on one form" mentality of the desktop. Certainly, you can put buttons on the form to change values or set dates, and you can do things like "if this checkbox is checked, then set the date and send an email and update the notes table." But, you are much better off to look for ways to break down the work into more bite sized pieces and look at multiple grids in a tabbed UI.

The numbers you quoted are not any determent either. I have a customer about that same size as your son, 11000 jobs and about 20 steady users. It is working quite well on Alpha web.

08-06-2011, 12:33 PM
Thanks Pat I take your point. I guess I'll have to get the grey matter working! I'm not sure how having multiple grids in a tabbed UI will help when a field entry depends on either what a user inputs in another field or when a calculation is required after an update

Thanks again



Keith Hubert
08-06-2011, 01:58 PM
Hi Colin,

Glad to see you are still around and are taking another look at Alpha.

Things have moved on since we met.

Let know if I can be of any help.