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Possible New User to Alpha 5 Looking for Opinions/Answers

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    Possible New User to Alpha 5 Looking for Opinions/Answers

    I work at a Trust Company in back office operations.
    We�re currently researching RAD development environments for our internal (and maybe external ) users.
    By far most of our applications are in Microsoft Access. We�d like to eventually move those to a new environment as well.
    We get most of our files from our data provider early in the morning and upload them to a MS SQL Server via SSIS. The applications we have generally involve either looking at datasets from this data, then creating batch files, or comparing them to files we receive from outsourcing customers or other third parties.

    I�ve been working with the trial version of alpha 5 for a couple of weeks. My focus has been on the Web Projects.

    My questions are geared towards long time users of Alpha 5. In general does it sound like a good solution for what we do? Especially in terms of importing/exporting small temporary daily files. Does anyone use the web projects for these types of operations? Do users recommend using another application web page design like Dreamweaver?

    Also, what do most long time users like about Alpha 5 (what does it do well or best)? And if starting over would they choose it.
    Thanks in advance to anyone who answers.

    Re: Possible New User to Alpha 5 Looking for Opinions/Answers

    A lot of people are coming to A5 to replace Access apps. Faster, better on the web side, great set of tools.

    I've been on the other side of the bank wall - working with customers who send you those files, receive 'em back for processing (ACH batches) etc. There's no software challenge here -- A5 easily has everything you need.

    1000 reasons why A5 is better; been using it since 1989 I think and never wish for anything else. I know I speak for everyone on this board (which itself is one of the great A5 features in fact!) in welcoming you to A5. Let us know how we can make you a permanent part of the community.


      Re: Possible New User to Alpha 5 Looking for Opinions/Answers


      Welcome to alpha. I have been with alpha since about 1987(I think). Have used and worked with access as a "Have to" a few times and found nothing that excited me less after using the alpha product. The alpha product is growing in ability and functionality rapidly where access is not and has not for some time now.

      I do mainly desktop, but there are many here that only do the web side and some that do both. The two can be used together as needed.

      What you want to do is very doable and as you go along, you will find yourself expanding way beyond anything you thought you could do with access.

      Use this board! People here will give you all the help and later you can give back to someone else.
      Dave Mason
      [email protected]
      Skype is dave.mason46


        Re: Possible New User to Alpha 5 Looking for Opinions/Answers

        I would like to join in and trumpet Steve and Dave's reply.
        I have been using Alpha Five for a few years now and have used it in large Insurance packages, Warehouse Operations/Management, Medical Applications and a few small web apps.

        I have not come across anything yet that Alpha Five cannot do. We have used it in my company to accomplish all types of tasks in the shortest time imaginable.
        I think its modular approach and built in functionality such as User/Group security, reporting, export/import/uploading of external files, graphing, mapping, imaging help to make the life of a developer easier.

        In my opinion I would say it is 4 times faster than developing in .NET (although one of my die hard .NET developer says Alpha is only 2.5 times faster)
        You see I don't have much time to waste because time is money. We need to have the ability to carry several projects at the same time with less staff and so that is where Alpha Five comes in. The support staff is more than competent and you will be well taken care of.

        Mike, This product is amazing. Come on in and get your feet wet !


          Re: Possible New User to Alpha 5 Looking for Opinions/Answers

          Welcome aboard, Mike!

          Not my place to ask, but I will, regardless

          IF you do go with A5 and it does all that you need it for … and IF you are very happy with the product, IF your employers permit it … PLEASE consider allowing Alpha Software to do a Case Study on your application of A5. (The case study could be generic enough so that you are not giving away anything proprietary).

          Unfortunately, there is a severe dearth of A5 Case Studies re: IDENTIFIED major users, which hinders consideration/adoption of the software by other large (or “highly-regulated”) entities.

          A5 is certainly up to your task. It’s a great product with great support, but getting that word out and building sufficient industry awareness has always appeared to be a weakness of AS.


            Re: Possible New User to Alpha 5 Looking for Opinions/Answers

            I have the same love for Alpha as described below and have been using it since 2005 (almost all Web). One of the things I like about Alpha is the intuitive tools for SQL-based apps. I was an SQL novice when I started, but now build everything using SQL. I could not have done that if Alpha did not have effective tools to manage SQL data, build views, relationships, etc. from inside Alpha. Another thing you will notice is we have a very active user's forum with a lot of highly motivated users; that comes in handy when you start your first project.

            Regarding your questions: you can continue to load new data directly into your SQL Server via SSIS. You can prepare attractive views for your clients using grids and dialogs. If needed, you can write program script of any length or complexity to do your data comparisons. The results of your compare can be shoved back in to your database, or whatever you require.

            You can search for many existing applications here:
            Steve Wood
            See my profile on IADN


              Re: Possible New User to Alpha 5 Looking for Opinions/Answers

              More examples are shown here

              One of the examples on this page is an award winning insurance application built by a 39,000 person insurance company

              There are MANY other examples -one of the challenges is that many of our customers don't want to go public on their Alpha Five apps because they have told us that they see Alpha Five as a weapon that gives them a competitive advantage and they don't want to tip off their competition.
              Richard Rabins
              Co Chairman
              Alpha Software


                Re: Possible New User to Alpha 5 Looking for Opinions/Answers

                Our company has been doing all of our development work exclusively in A5 since 2007.

                Our clients range from small to very large (+$2.5 billion in annual sales) in many different industries including Retail, Engineering, Insurance, Food Service, Consumer Services, Insulation, Finance, and others. You name it and we've probably done work for a company in that industry.

                The applications that we build typically use SQL on the backend and A5 web applications on the front end. However, we've developed automated scripts that import data into the database, extract data from the database, call webservices to receive XML data, interface with accounting systems, send emails, and quite a few other functions!

                In our humble opinion, A5 is one of the best, if not THE best, modern day software development toolset.

                The extremely responsive technical support and this message board are very valuable assets, as well.

                Scott Lines
                Partner, Web App Express, LTD


                  Re: Possible New User to Alpha 5 Looking for Opinions/Answers

                  Just to give you more re-assurance Mike, I work for a Healthcare Insurance company in the UK. We have been using Alpha for over 3 years now, and have found it to be an extremely flexible development tool. It is far faster to develop using Alpha 5 than using traditional web development languages, and we have even won an industry award for our on-line Broker Administration System written entirely in Alpha using SQL Server as the database. I am sure that you will find that it will meet all your needs, and more.
                  My own thoughts on why I would recommend Alpha 5; its an all in one tool - including an excellent report designer, has access to multiple industry standard databases, can be used to develop for the browser, desktop, and soon mobile devices (up and coming release V12), is easy to learn for existing programmers with very little browser development experience, plus it is extremely fast for prototyping and getting the final solution delivered to the business on time. I hope that reassures you.


                    Re: Possible New User to Alpha 5 Looking for Opinions/Answers

                    I have been using a5 since version 7. I started out using it for a charity I was involved with to organize a golf outing. I since started using at work to present data from legacy systems. Each version has become progressively better and feature rich. I am now using A5 as my go to development tool when I need something quick and I know will work. I have been able to "extend" the use of many systems that we have, which have sql back-ends. I am looking forward to the mobile tools of V12 to use for some warehouse apps I need to create. It is truly amazing the things you can do out of the box. Knowing Xbasic and Javascript certainly help extend Alpha's power, but for the most part, using the tools Alpha provides is all I need. Once you dive in, it's hard not to become addicted....
                    Bill Griffin
                    Parkell, Inc


                      Re: Possible New User to Alpha 5 Looking for Opinions/Answers

                      Welcome to the A5 community Mike,

                      The guys are spot on… Alpha Five will be able to do the job, no questions about that. I’ve had Alpha Five for a good eight years now and over this time it’s become not only more powerful, but much easier to use for programmers and non-programmers alike.

                      I personally like being able to control my data and quickly and easily whip up a web project the way I want it to look and work, without being restricted to a ‘template’ solution… and then be able to easily implement a web security framework, all managed through Alpha Five.


                        Re: Possible New User to Alpha 5 Looking for Opinions/Answers

                        Welcome Mike,

                        My work requires me to spend most of my time in the MS SQL environment as we have more than 20 Servers/Instances of SQL. We are very data intensive and have found that the partnership between SQL and ALPHA is one that cannot be matched by any other. I maintain this environment mostly by myself and I needed a tool that would complement MS SQL. I had come from a VB background and had certainly understood the limitations and abilities of the product. After doing some research I eventually choose ALPHA.
                        ALPHA helps us to better manage and integrate information with our various vendors. I am frequently asked by our business partners how I am able to successfully complete projects on time and with little resources. I just tell them that I have a cape with the letter "A" on it. Again, ALPHA + SQL = A Multitude of Possibilities.

                        Good Luck!


                          Re: Possible New User to Alpha 5 Looking for Opinions/Answers

                          Hi Mike -

                          I've been using Alpha products for over 25 years for application development and they have always provided the tools and environment needed to get jobs done quickly and efficiently. Alpha Five v11 is an amazing product packed with powerful features that make web-based development easy, yet versatile. And Alpha is engaged in continuously improving the product (even between major releases) with new features and capabilities.

                          I believe Alpha Five's backend integration with SQL Server and xBasic scripting language would perfectly suit your data import/export and analysis needs. Alpha Five's web components make building a web-based presentation layer for your applications a breeze. Most of the apps I build are data-driven (which is where Alpha excels) and Alpha's CSS and web-page styling support is sufficient that I don't need a product like Dreamweaver.


                            Re: Possible New User to Alpha 5 Looking for Opinions/Answers

                            I've been using Alpha software since 1993. We use Alpha 5 V11 for prorcessing over 2,000,000 transactions per year totaling over $500,000,000.00. We use SSIS and MS SQL for 80% of our databases.
                            Alpha 5 V11 is one of the fastest development tools for in-house applications and public facing apps.
                            V12 will make it very easy to implment mobile apps.
                            I hope this info helps...


                              Re: Possible New User to Alpha 5 Looking for Opinions/Answers

                              Memo To Alpha Software:

                              If you remove the references to Mike in the above posts, you are looking at some of the best A5 testimonials available! This is real meat!

                              The problem with the existing A5 Testimonial page, is that all the content is anonymous, so it lacks credibility. The comments are verbatim (which I don't doubt), but ... verbatim by who?

                              As an avid student and subscriber of [marketing gurus] Dan Kennedy, Jay Abraham and Joe Polish/Dean Jackson ( a blind testimonial does not have much real value. It looks contrived.
                              Last edited by Paullm; 01-24-2013, 11:50 AM.