Thursday, March 19, 2009

We asked, you delivered, and now the results for the Show Us Your Alpha App contest are in. But before I reveal the big winner, I want to again give a big THANK YOU to everyone who participated and sent us their demos. Over the next few weeks, we'll be showcasing some of our favorites here on the blog.

Today, we randomly selected one name, and that winner is ...

... Drum roll please ... BRUCE FRASER! Congratulations, Bruce!

Bruce is the lucky winner of a brand new MSI Wind netbook and a copy of Alpha Five Version.

Bruce is the pastor at Merlin & Fletcher United Churches in Merlin, Ontario, and has been an Alpha customer for quite some time. He bought his first copy of Alpha Software back in 1988. I was going to tell you how old I was in 1988, but I don't want to make anyone feel bad. ;)

Back then, of course, it was the Alpha Four DOS version. Being a pastor in a small church (read "no support staff"), Bruce had to develop his own system for keeping track of people and families in the church.

He bought his first computer in 1987 to use for word processing, but he soon realized how valuable the computer could be for other tasks, such as a database for church people. Before then, it was just a list of names on one or two sheets of paper. The margin was full of scrawls of important facts for Bruce to remember about each parishioner.

Bruce researched all the relational database programs available back then, and found that Alpha was the among the easiest to use, but had the features which all the big products (such as dBase) had.

Overall, Bruce felt Alpha's power and ease of use was far ahead of anything else out there. The ability to use a single menu to select many functions -- as opposed to learning and writing code -- was the key ingredient.

Of course, he's upgraded several times over the years, tweaking the database he developed each time. Over the years, he tried out the competition, but the results were always the same: no one beats Alpha Five.

In Bruce's words, "Ironically, Alpha Five's toughest competition is ... Alpha Five! The program is so good, I haven't bought an upgrade for a few years. Of course, if I was developing for a dynamic Web site, I would be drooling over version 9."

Congrats again, Bruce!