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Alpha or Spreadsheet?

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  • #16
    Re: Alpha or Spreadsheet?

    I do a lot of stuff in a spreadsheet. Spreadhseets can be very powerful. But I would never put my accounting system in a spreadsheet. The audit trails and reporting needs are just too much, in my opinion, for a spreadhseet.

    For analyzing a report and playing with "what-if" scenarios the spreadsheets are fantastic. But I don't think I would keep my budgeting application in a spreadhseet just because the spreadhsheet excels as analysis. I would still do my actual budgeting in my database and then output and exchange the data for analysis in the spreadsheet.

    There are some very talented spreadsheet programmers out there and they may prefer to use a spreadsheet for almost everything. But unless the OP is a very talented spreadsheet programmer, my opinion is that he should go ahead and apply the needed time to learn how to make a positive change to his application using a relational database model like Alpha Five.

    Sean

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    • #17
      Re: Alpha or Spreadsheet?

      Originally posted by seaken64 View Post
      But I would never put my accounting system in a spreadsheet.
      Maybe you don't but many companies do. They use combination of SQL and Excel.
      They transfer all the time data between this programs. They do for example tax plans in Excel and then send the results to SQL
      Many companies using SAP uses also this solution.

      If you develop a database program why don't you take advantage of the customers Excel. There it is almost certainly available. Using Alpha and Excel together (Active links) you will achieve things that are not possible with Alpha alone. And you will certainly make your paying customer a happy customer. Don't waste resources.(bad excel good alpha???)



      Originally posted by seaken64 View Post
      relational database
      I must say that this sounds to me like a phrase form 80's.

      I use SQL (MySQL). I develop all my databases(SCHEMA) with MySQL Workbench (5.1) OSS.

      Then I use Active links to bring the tables structure to Alpha. Then I unfortunately have to manually bring the referential integrity to Alpha sets. My data is in SQL table.

      So do I use relational databases, tell me?

      Comment


      • #18
        Re: Alpha or Spreadsheet?

        The original poster has not revealed his level of skill with either database programming or spreadsheet programming. His questions seemed to be vague on this point and I maintain, that unless a person is fluent with programming they will end up with a better application if they use a database program like Alpha Five for this application.

        Yes, certainly a spreadsheet can be used, for many things, including an entire accounting application. And Ken, your skill at integrating a spreadsheet with an SQL database can be very useful and many companies will be glad to pay you, or other developers, to make it work. My suggestions were not intended to denigrate the possibilities and capabilities of a spreadsheet. I was only responding to what I interpreted was a simple question about our opinions of which program to choose to expand this particular application. In the end, the OP may be persuaded by your argument and stay with his spreadsheet. But, after all, this is an Alpha Five forum and we tend to recognize the value of the database program for some applications.

        I am not a programmer by trade. I run a small business. When I am considering a purchase of a full accounting system I have yet to be presented the option to run such an application on top of Excel or some other spreadsheet program. Most developers I have run into and most companies offering me software applications are using some type of relational database program to create their offering.

        When I do my own programming to help me run my own business I may chose to use a spreadsheet or a database, depending on the application. Some things are just easier to accomplish in one type of program than it is in another. For me, I find it easier to do what the OP was asking about in Alpha Five. Although I did have to learn how the database does things. The spreadsheet is easier sometimes to understand. But at some point it gets unwieldy and I realize I will have to learn more about programming spreadsheets to go any further. I chose instead to devote my limited time to leaning how to use Alpha Five because the results I can achieve in Alpha Five suit my business better. I have a feeling the OP will achieve similar results should he decide to switch from the spreadsheet paradigm to the Alpha database paradigm.

        And, I think it's irrelevant what era you think the phrase comes from. It's either still applicable or it isn't. From what I can tell, Alpha Five is still applicable and is a very useful tool.

        Sean

        Originally posted by kkfin View Post
        Maybe you don't but many companies do. They use combination of SQL and Excel.
        They transfer all the time data between this programs. They do for example tax plans in Excel and then send the results to SQL
        Many companies using SAP uses also this solution.

        If you develop a database program why don't you take advantage of the customers Excel. There it is almost certainly available. Using Alpha and Excel together (Active links) you will achieve things that are not possible with Alpha alone. And you will certainly make your paying customer a happy customer. Don't waste resources.(bad excel good alpha???)





        I must say that this sounds to me like a phrase form 80's.

        I use SQL (MySQL). I develop all my databases(SCHEMA) with MySQL Workbench (5.1) OSS.

        Then I use Active links to bring the tables structure to Alpha. Then I unfortunately have to manually bring the referential integrity to Alpha sets. My data is in SQL table.

        So do I use relational databases, tell me?

        Comment


        • #19
          Re: Alpha or Spreadsheet?

          Originally posted by seaken64 View Post
          And Ken, your skill at integrating a spreadsheet with an SQL database can be very useful
          I did not mention anything about my skills.

          I use MySQL because it is far easier than Alphas way. I can plan databases visually, make notes and so on and then with few clics physically create the tables. When i have to modify my table(s) structure I can do it again visually and again with few clicks my MySQL database is uptodate. No programming no coding.

          Originally posted by seaken64 View Post
          From what I can tell, Alpha Five is still applicable and is a very useful tool.
          I totally agree.

          The best part is its ability to actively (from version 9 plat) connect to different data sources.

          Comment


          • #20
            Re: Alpha or Spreadsheet?

            Greg,
            From your initial post your requirement is easily dealt with by an Alpha app. I run my entire business on Alpa, from CRM to bank statements and accounting functions - and I am a doddery old man with very few active brain cells!

            My advice is:
            1. Spend a good deal of time planning and constructing your tables and then your look-ups.
            2. Spend a similar amount of time planning and configuring your Set(s).
            3. Then let the Alpha genie do the rest - quite literally in a few seconds. Alpha will automatically embed the appropriate browses and link the parent/child relationships from your sets.

            Within 30 minutes from starting out, you will know if you have got something you can work with and improve - or if you need to start over again. My early mistake was to spend way too much time doing it myself, before I discovered that the genie would do all the hard work for me.

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