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Make A4 Windows based

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  • #16
    RE: Make A4 Windows based


    Yes, most of us have got A4v8 to work (mostly) satisfactorily on our Win32 OS's, and we stick with it because we know it, we like it, and we don't have time to learn Alpha 5, despite its admitted advantages. Many of us (including me) have bought Alpha 5 but were daunted by the learning curve. I for one am not a professional programmer. I'm just too busy running the business to find the time to switch. That's a real shame, but if I took enough time out to learn Alpha 5 and then convert my rather large app, the world would just pass me by. I simply can't justify it right now.

    ""A4v7 and A4v8 do work in the win 32 environment, although with some issues that could work better, but have work arounds.""

    What's the work around for the single most popular request that many of us would like to see - Typeset printing to Windows printers? That feature alone would be so useful.



    • #17
      RE: Make A4 Windows based


      The print manager I mentioned for unix people works in windows.

      It's one of many on the market.

      You map your report and it translates it into their gui environment - among other things.

      To alpha it's a print queue.
      Al Buchholz
      Bookwood Systems, LTD
      Weekly QReportBuilder Webinars Thursday 1 pm CST

      Occam's Razor - KISS
      Normalize till it hurts - De-normalize till it works.
      Advice offered and questions asked in the spirit of learning how to fish is better than someone giving you a fish.
      When we triage a problem it is much easier to read sample systems than to read a mind.
      "Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler."
      Albert Einstein


      • #18
        RE: Make A4 Windows based

        I doubt that anyone here could afford to pay Formscape's price, let alone even begin to justify it, but I take your point - that it is technically possible.

        I'll bet there's *someone* out there who could write an add-on to enable typeset printing to Windows printers...



        • #19
          RE: Make A4 Windows based


          There may be a significant difference between you and me. You are a developer and obviously have the time to develop.

          A4 was sold as an "end user" simple database. Thats me. I don't want to develop databases. I want to use all the simple tricks that A4 has to offer.

          If you look at A5 they are holding a DEVOLOPERS conference. This is the crux of the issue. Selwyn lives in his own world of software development and preachers to his like. He has forgotten his roots. Yhe product is NO LONGER an intuitive learn yourself DB. We are in a different market from you and Selwyn doesn't want to return to this.



          • #20
            RE: Make A4 Windows based

            Steve, thanks for your comment.

            In your very short statement, you have packaged up exactly what we A4 users have been trying to say all along.

            In your very short statement, you have given a reason...and, in my mind, an economically justifiable reason for moving A4 into the windows realm. It is so simple. It was Selwyn's "vision" of A4 I talked about earlier in this thread.

            There are alot more of "us" (lay persons) out there who need the simple tricks of an A4, than there are programmers who need the power of an A5.

            Selwyn can capture his roots again and have the best of both worlds ... the simple tricks of an A4 for "We The People" and the more powerful and more complicated A5 for programmers.

            You hit the nail SMACK on.




            • #21
              RE: Make A4 Windows based


              The key word in your reply is "intuitive". Neither Alpha 5 nor any of the Windows-based database managers I've tried to use are that. Alpha Four should be the dictionary's example of what that word means.

              Howard R. Elkes


              • #22
                RE: Make A4 Windows based

                Re: Developers; if you develope apps for your business, I have to say that you are a developer. I once did not think of myself that way, but somebody put the above to me and I could not argue with them - I develope apps and thus, am a developer.

                Re: V5 Conference; If I am not mistaken, they have a variety of offerings at V5's conferences, including those for beginners.

                Re: Alpha Five not inuitive; Well, I'm not saying it IS intuitive, but since A5 can do most or all things easily that I found attractive about A4, I guess I am saying it's as intuitive as A4. The learning curve can't be any more difficult that the curve I experienced with A4 in the beginning. Forms & reports are a breeze. Field rules are there and then some, and they are as good if not better that A4's and have the same terminology. Buttons are a snap. It's a cinch to add a button to a form that prints a report based current record -or- predetermined filter, and much more.

                After thinking about the above, the only thing keeping me from A5 is the amount of time to make the transition because at this point in time, A5V6 can do all I need, and more. I'd be more productive if I could make the time to make the change. In's the time issue. It'd be easy for me to stay with the status quo if there was a A4V9 with some improvements because of the time that I would NOT spending transitioning to A5V6. It is quite a quandary for me.

                Re: Reporting Output from A4; I've heard of something called Crystal Reports. I know nothing about it, but I wonder if it would allow the needed output to windows printers???

                Thank you,
                Mike Konoff


                • #23
                  RE: Make A4 Windows based

                  Sorry Mike,

                  I looked at both, and A4 is head and shoulders above A5.

                  How about an answer Selwyn.



                  • #24
                    RE: Make A4 Windows based


                    May I quote an excellent point you made on the Alpha message board 3 years ago:

                    "On the business side, Alpha is in a unique situation. They have a guaranteed market share right from the get-go. As soon as the A4 windoz version is marketed, all current A4 users WILL (for obvious reasons) purchase it. There are probably people who (after purchasing A5) will revert back. Not bad, huh? There are not too many companies out there that can boast that kind of loyalty AND CLOUT."

                    I think that is still a valid argument three years later.



                    • #25
                      RE: Make A4 Windows based

                      Isn't V7 & V8 of A4 considered the "windows" version because they're supposed to run in Win2K and WinXP?

                      Rick - What does A4 do better/easier that A5 can't?

                      Thank you,
                      Mike Konoff


                      • #26
                        RE: Make A4 Windows based

                        Thanks Paul

                        Wow, I did't realize I would be quoted from 3 years ago. I'll have to watch what I say. I have to tell everyone I feel exactly that today.

                        In my mind, A4 is faster, more simple to use, the screens are better, and the list goes on. It most certainly has a place in the windows realm.




                        • #27
                          RE: Make A4 Windows based

                          Just a simple start: "F" & "I" are SIMPLE
                          Whoever dreamed "CTRL K"
                          i haven't managed to remember what "I" is in A5.

                          The date ALT D is replaced by some nonsense of key strokes that I have to look up when I want to enter a date.

                          The facts are so simple but perhaps you can argue in a twisted way that the alternatives are easy to learn AND remember. I beg to differ.

                          Also, the "V" "B" "E" "C" and "W" (Alpha erred in not putting this on the menu bar) are so easy to remember and the list goes on.


                          • #28
                            RE: Make A4 Windows based

                            I agree - the simplicity of A4's keystrokes cannot be "beat" by A5, as that's one of the few things keeping me thinking A5 would be a better place to be. However, building a button and setting it to a simple one-handed (but two keyed) hotkey is simple.

                            FWIW, alt+d in A4 = ctrl+shft+d in A5 - not hard to remember. I wouldn't mind hearing from Alpha why the same very simple keystroke hotkeys can't be or weren't used in A5. I'd venture to guess it had more to do with windows.

                            As far as speed, A5V4 & A5V5 seemed poky to me. However, as I said above, I just downloaded A5V6, and it's very, very fast. And I must say, competes with my A4 with regard to form loads, etc.

                            Here's something slick about A5V6 and printing reports; place a button on a form to print a report (easier to do in A5V6 than A4) {you can also set the button to hotkey ctrl+1 or ctrl+any_other_number to fire}. You can set the report to print directly to a printer or call up a menu to let you select either "to printer" or "to preview". When in preview, there is a pdf button to save it as a pdf and another button that is an email/pdf button so that when you hit it, either your default email client or A5's internal email client will display to send that pdf as an attachment. It's slick, and it works great.

                            All you guys that fell in love with A4, as I have, and still am, will find many great features in A5V6 if you tinkered around with it.

                            Thank you,
                            Mike Konoff


                            • #29
                              RE: Make A4 Windows based

                              Hi Mike

                              I have to run so I'll have to make this quick.

                              Maybe A5v6 is starting to come up to the standards and the speed etc of A4. That's great. We are back to spinning our wheels here. We are right back to development time and the learning curve which is what we were talking about in the first place.

                              It took us all years of "quality living time" to get to where we are with A4. We sacrificed that "quality living time" because we knew there was going to be a long term benefit for our businesses and ourselves... and when I purchased A4 with all of the sales hipe, I didn't see anything with an astrick saying A4 only good until the next computer language comes along. We have invested years here.

                              Since A5 is at least as complicated as A4 and contains other things A4 does not, it will take at least that long to get A5 to where we are today with A4.

                              We should not have to be forced to purchase another whole system and spend further years of development to get to where we are now.

                              I have 140+ different letters and reports, all with many conditional "IF" statements and calculated fields ... screens that use calculated fields and the list goes on.

                              We A4 users simply want what we have made to work fully and completely in the windows environment. I't does not work fully if we cannot print to a windows printer.



                              • #30
                                RE: Make A4 Windows based

                                'Morning Rick,

                                I agree with much of what you say. When I first learned that there was no UPGRADE from A4 to A5 and that I'd have to redevelop everything, I was SORELY disappointed. Actually, kind of pissed off. It would have been nice for the forms, reports, letters, and labels to at the very least kick over to A5 in some basic format from which to start, instead of having to start raw.

                                Re: Since A5 is at least as complicated as A4 and contains other things A4 does not, it will take at least that long to get A5 to where we are today with A4;

                                I'm not sure that I agree that. A4 and A5 are different animals, but there are many similiar and common features. If you use field rules heavily, like me, you are WAY ahead of the game - they're in there, and more, and probably more capable. When develping a form or report, you know the basis of calculated fields, and they are similiar. Lookups in A5 are slightly different, but they're learnable in minutes. Now if you were to suggest that if you were starting with A5V6 with NO prior alpha knowledge or experience whatsoever, I'd agree that the learning curve would be immense. But know A4 well and you know a fair amount about A5.

                                Maybe what's been so helpful to me in getting to know A5 is that I've tinkered with it since A5V4, even though I did have V3 (V3 was a dud), and that I've become familiar with it's nuances.

                                After having A5V6 for just a week, I must honestly say that my days in A4 are numbered because there is way more capability in A5V6 than A4. I say that having been a DIE-HARD A4'er since '96. If they were to offer a true Windows version of A4, I'm not sure I'd go there, and if I did I would probably only go to it to hold me over until I got all my stuff over to A5V6.

                                The one hindrance is the huge amount of time it will take to transfer over, so I'm in TOTAL agreement with you on that. But I believe the benefits will outweigh the time investment.


                                Thank you,
                                Mike Konoff