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Runtime Files & Installation

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  • Runtime Files & Installation


    (I'm a c++, Assembly, PowerBasic & VB Programmer), but a new-b when it comes to Alpha-Five Ver 4.5 and Full Runtime.

    1. After searching hi and low for information on what files (runtime) are to be included with a Alpha5 application, it appears that unless you purchase or own Wise Installation, your out of luck.

    2. Are the the runtime requirements, based on what your application does, or is it all generic ?

    3. Does anyone have a list of files that must be included in for the client machine or computer you wish to install too ?

    4. I did find one post earlier, concerning Alpha5 getting with the times! Alpha5's Runtime is so far behind the times, and should compile the database to a stand alone program ready for distribution. This is probably one of it's weakest areas, if not down-fall, while yet it does have such a powerful database!

    5. Here's my goal, since I'm only studying this program and not selling anything! I plain to figure it out in my own time, but write a program that will take all required files and create a single exe! One that will not only install the required files (if required), but run the program to boot! Those of you afraid of the Registry, it's not as hard as you think!

    6. I won't take Alpha5 serious until they move up into the 21st Century!


    MWM Consulting

  • #2
    RE: Runtime Files & Installation


    When you buy the runtime you are essentially purchasing the right to distribute the A5 engine along with an application you have created. The engine is necessary to run your application. The full A5 program gives you a development environment as well.

    An installer such as Wise bundles your application with the runtime files and creates an installation environment for end users.

    Search this board on "runtime" and you will find a full exposition of this and related issues.

    Finally, before you go over the top on this, I suggest you make a detailed price comparison of the relative costs to the developer of developing and distributing in A5, Access and VB. It's an eye-opener.

    Bill Hanigsberg


    • #3
      RE: Runtime Files & Installation

      Michael, the runtime is available with an unlimited license. If purchased, all you have to do is use it to install the runtime on each workstation. Your developed application usually resides in a single folder. It's very easy to zip the app into a self-extracting zip file for distribtution along with the separate runtime.

      If you aspire to bundle the runtime and application in a single non-self-extracting exe, good luck.

      Would you also think other database programs which separate the engine from the application are not yet in the 21st century? Visual dBase, Borland's Interbase, Visual Basic, Filemaker Pro, and Access all share this model, don't they?

      What about third party tool vendors who supply database dll's like codebase, or powertree? By separating the engine from the application are they behind the times, too.

      Frankly, I'm less interested in labels than I am in truly rapid application deployment, and for my money Alpha Five fills the bill. I hope your experience with the product is a good one, and recommend you spend a bit of time trying to adapt to it's paradigm (sp?) rather than trying to bend it into your vision of what it should be.

      -- tom


      • #4
        RE: Runtime Files & Installation


        You're comparing apples to oranges. PowerTree or even CodeBase or Apollo... is a single dll, which can easily be copied to any directory, without registry entries! I wish it was that simple with Alpha5! They are in fact, with todays technology. Although, I do agree that it's can be simular to comparison with Borlands Engine, but with many technical differences (which I won't discuss), one being it's a programming language, that could create Alpha5, it's not just a database engine!

        Where the difference is, in what you call "labels", is that these "labels" provide more structured help within their programs than Alpha5 has offered! And, if you really want to learn... Take a drive to any good book store and find a book on Alpha5! I did, and more than one! Not one book could be found!

        However, I did manage to get my answer from you! :)

        It would have been nice if they had said this in simple terms (for new-bees like me), who have no previous experience in using Alpha5 or it's runtime!

        Question: So, when I installed Alpha5Pro, there was no reason for me to install the runtime also ? You have to understand, I purchased the Alpha5 Pro via the internet/download. I recieved the Runtime in the US Mail.
        For a user who doesn't know, I would assume that when I got the runtime engine in the mail, that I would install the program. However, it appears that I really didn't need to. If I'm wrong, please let me know!

        Ok, I been rambling on here. Let me play with the program for awhile and get back to you guru's and I'll give it a complete, fair and unbiased chance to prove to me that it can hold it own! ;-)



        • #5
          RE: Runtime Files & Installation

          Michael, I have both the full development version and the runtime installed, too. It makes it possible to run multiple instances of a database from the one station, which can be useful during development. But, no, you don't *have* to install the runtime version to build your application.

          There are two books from Alpha Software that will be of help. Both are getting a bit out of date, but are still useful. Both were written by Dr. Peter Wayne.

          Dr. Wayne also maintains a website which is chock full of articles, tips, and pointers. A visit to www.learn is well worth it.

          Another useful tool in learning the package is this message board, which is searchable... and the code archive forum here.

          -- tom


          • #6
            RE: Runtime Files & Installation

            Hi When will some new material com out for learning maybe
            a cd or a nice new book or web site training I no Dr. Peter Wayne has put a lot of effort in Alpha Five but and did
            descent job back then but like you said Tom "they Both are getting a bit out of date, but are still useful"

            By the way ware has Dr. Peter Wayne been hope all is well
            back some time ago when I look at early states of Alpha Five
            most msg that I looked at hade his name showing up.

            Thank you


            • #7
              RE: Runtime Files & Installation

              Thanks Tom,

              I'm sure that I'll be referencing this site for awhile, (at least until I get my feet wet!)

              There are many items on my list to try out, but the first being to see if I call one of my own dll's, which doesn't require any additional runtimes, which only has a couple of functions. If I can get this to work, I'll be more than happy!

              Once again, thanks for the info!



              • #8
                RE: Runtime Files & Installation

                Another opinion...

                The single executable option is a great idea BUT: I would ask Alpha to please, please, please NOT eliminate the current runtime option. In fact, I believe this has been discussed here before and most Alpha users seem to prefer the current setup.

                A single executable is great in the following situations:

                1. The program is complete, validated, and won't need bug fixes or updates until the next major version comes out. Unfortunately, none of my current customers meet this requirement - one hasn't had significant changes for nearly 3 years but now he wants to be updated from V1. I do have one application for general distribution that shouldn't need updates until I convert it to V5 to take advantage of some of the new features - unfortunately, I haven't been able to sell any yet so it's a moot point.

                -- or, both of the following must be met --

                1. The executable is separate from the data.
                2. The user is either close by so I can take the modified files to them or they must be willing to wait days so I can send a CD with the update. I have customers in Alabama, CO, NY, Mass, Mich, and probably a couple more - I can't afford the time to send huge files over the internet with a phone modem; and cable modem won't be available here for quite awhile yet. Even if I had a cable modem, my customers might not. AND, even if I send a CD, most of my customers want me to fully install the changes so they can just use it. AND, I want to verify the changes on their system once it's installed. The logisitics of doing this with large files is just too cumbersome. (The one in Alabama has over 200 meg of data and the program files are over 20 meg compressed. Even if the executable is smaller, it's still going to be big.)

                I usually use pcAnywhere to maintain distant customers. With the current A5 setup, it is easy for me make minor fixes or modifications, such as adding a report, and simply copy the affected files (usually


                • #9
                  RE: Runtime Files & Installation


                  Don't take my comments as matter of fact!

                  As a new user, I'm only stating what I see at face-value, not from a user prospective!

                  A single exe doesn't mean you wouldn't have options, just
                  as any compiler would have. Plus, Alpha5 Creators would have to justify creating such a compiler and the benefits that it would provide or produce for its users. Just as
                  Borland Delphi compiles a program to a single exe file, but the database is still outside of the program. Only the forms, code ect... is compiled within the stand-alone exe.

                  Quote: (Question to think about: Does "move up to the 21st century" mean "do it the same way Microsoft does"?) UnQuote

                  Microsoft Visual Studio is considered Bloatware and VB.Net is even larger, which will make it even more difficult to install on computers with different os's. A simple "Hello World" program in VB.Net requires over 12MB of runtime files! Plus the fact of what it could do to your current Windows Version 95/98/Me/Nt/2k! Since it currently takes several reboots to install the package...

                  Alpha5 Runtime: 11.0 MB + Program + Datafiles

                  Visual Basic: 1.5MB+ Controls + Program

                  PowerBasic: 0.0MB There is no runtime! Produces the smallest and fastest database you will ever see! In fact, I'm using Alpha5 to create databases that are accessed by PowerBasic, without the Alpha5 Runtime! However, I do use a single DLL which is 45k, exe is 125k, and has access to over 250,000 records.

                  Delphi: 12.3MB (BDE) If you use a Database Only!

                  I haven't learn to use Alpha5 with dll's just yet, and until I do so, I won't switch any of my programs over to it.

                  21st Century? Com, Soap, (x)Html, Asp etc... but then again, I may be missing the whole point! This is a database program, not a programming language! :) (I'll probably get ding'd on this one, but it's because you don't get my point).

                  I must admit, the interface in Alpha5 is one of the best I've seen. Very easy to use, and there is more information available to the user, than what I have given credit for in earlier posts (since I've taken the time to start learning the program).

                  This Forum has very good help. Many of the questions I would ask, have been asked and answered. Much of the source-code in the code-forum are also in line with much of what I'm interested in. So, I'm on my way to learning this program one way or another. It won't happen overnight, but if I'm converted, it will be weeks of reading, trial & error, and just doing the in's and outs of this very fast program!



                  • #10
                    RE: Runtime Files & Installation


                    I recently re-read this message of yours posted more than one year ago. Have you had any updates or success with making Alpha5 into a compiled program. I personally liked this when I was developing Clipper Applications, because of the size, not the mention the ability to distribute to users one easy complete package free from tampering.

                    Let me know what you're doing. I'm very interested.



                    • #11
                      RE: Runtime Files & Installation

                      It would be a dream if Alpha came out with an exe compiler - dbf/cdx/fpt would stand alone as they do now, but the A5 engine/ddd/ddm/ddx/set/sem/sex would compile into one exe. Like I said - it's a dream!

                      AlphaBase Solutions, LLC

                      [email protected]


                      • #12
                        RE: Runtime Files & Installation

                        I wholeheartedly agree on the single exe container for the items Peter pointed out. It was my single most requested feature I wanted to see in this new release. It does not appear Alpha is going to have it in V5. I would love to see you produce one Michael. Third party installers can be made to work, but I have not found it to be a simple task.

                        Kevin Anderson
                        Anderson Software


                        • #13
                          RE: Runtime Files & Installation

                          If this helps...and it usually does....I, as a developer, would be more than willing to pay!