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Thread: How to Run alpha five app in apple Ipad?

  1. #1
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Default How to Run alpha five app in apple Ipad?

    I am trying to explore the mobile capabilities of Alpha five but I dont know where to begin. I want to develop a point of sale application using mobile devices. can mobile devices connect to barcode scanners? How to install an alpha five app to an Ipad, what are the requirements? will it be connected to the internet for one to use the app?

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    Volunteer Moderator Steve Workings's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to Run alpha five app in apple Ipad?

    Jetson - you know by now that A5 runs under Windows, nothing else. This pretty much rules out a desktop-like version of A5.

    Have you done any work with Google about iPads and barcode scanners before posting here?
    -Steve


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    Default Re: How to Run alpha five app in apple Ipad?

    Not yet Steve, I will now. I just saw the ad of Alpha Five that it runs anywhere.

    What are the mobile devices where I can run an Alpha application?
    Last edited by JetLi; 02-02-2013 at 12:35 AM.

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    Default Re: How to Run alpha five app in apple Ipad?

    Jetson,

    The desktop app in Alpha Five requires windows. Some Apple machines can run windows, so they'd be able (probably) to run Alpha's desktop databases. I have no experience doing this. I do not think the iPad or iPhone can run Windows.

    I think the ad you saw was referencing Alpha's capabilty of building web enabled applications that can be run from machines that have internet browsing. Those devices (iPad, iPhone, 'Droid, etc.) get to the app over the internet, not through the windows desktop.

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    Default Re: How to Run alpha five app in apple Ipad?

    Thanks Tom for the confirmation.

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    Volunteer Moderator Peter.Greulich's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to Run alpha five app in apple Ipad?

    If you build an Alpha web app you can use it in an Ipad. I built a simple web based contact manager for my wife's art group which she can and does access on her Ipad. She uses it to lookup info and occasional data entry. It's based upon v10-11 and I made the buttons larger and stuff so it would be mobile friendly. But it also works just as well in a regular browser. I'll probably have to upgrade it when v12 comes out to take advantage of their mobile specific features.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How to Run alpha five app in apple Ipad?

    I thought at first if it is possible for me to create a Point of Sale App using mobile devices, it is not possible in our place because internet connection is very slow and not always available.

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    Default Re: How to Run alpha five app in apple Ipad?

    Jetson,

    Web-based POS apps are most often used when there are multiple branches of a retail outlet and the home office wants to collect and consolidate the data (and maybe see some kind of dashboard), in realtime.

    It is always a good idea to establish what technology best fits your real need and to ELIMINATE as many unnecessary layers as possible, to reduce the possible points of failure.

    This is vitally important in a POS setting, where you have impatient customers who just want to be checked out, quickly!

    (You can be sure that retail outlets that use a web-based POS, also have an offline standby of some kind).

    Paul
    Last edited by Paullm; 02-02-2013 at 11:55 AM.

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    Default Re: How to Run alpha five app in apple Ipad?

    I have a client who uses Alpha for POS over the web for a chain of 15 cell phone stores. Works very well for him, but it does require a fast server (his is a dedicated server through ZebraHost) and fast and reliable internet connections in each store. (You are out of business if the internet goes down) He uses desktop machines in each store, not mobile, with scanners and printers attached, because once you get started, you are going to want to add a lot more functionality like a timeclock capability, physical inventory, purchase orders and receiving, and so on. Desktop type machines are better suited to that.

    He has been running this successfully for over 3 years.
    Pat Bremkamp
    MindKicks Consulting

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    Default Re: How to Run alpha five app in apple Ipad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paullm View Post
    Jetson,

    Web-based POS apps are most often used when there are multiple branches of a retail outlet and the home office wants to collect and consolidate the data (and maybe see some kind of dashboard), in realtime.

    It is always a good idea to establish what technology best fits your real need and to ELIMINATE as many unnecessary layers as possible, to reduce the possible points of failure.

    This is vitally important in a POS setting, where you have impatient customers who just want to be checked out, quickly!

    (You can be sure that retail outlets that use a web-based POS, also have an offline standby of some kind).

    Paul
    AN eye opener for me.Thanks Paul and to others.I agree with you, almost all customers wants a quick check out.I tried to use alpha for this but a bit slow because I have posting field rules and the entry must be done in a form by going into the fields and press the enter key at each one for the update. I tried Xbasic for data entry and is much faster because the cashier will just input the number of items bought and scans the item and enter payment and done, but I discarded this because of the posting rules.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: How to Run alpha five app in apple Ipad?

    (You are out of business if the internet goes down)

    He has been running this successfully for over 3 years.
    would you willing to share how he manages when and if the internet goes down in 1 or 2 stores?
    is it possible to take a peek at his pos system, like a demo or something?
    thanks for reading

    gandhi

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    Default Re: How to Run alpha five app in apple Ipad?

    Gandhi,

    I would agree that this POS system would be a great A5 showcase, but there may be confidentiality issues.

    With regard to reliability and contingencies, transaction volume is a key factor with any POS system and transaction volume is obviously always tied to ticket value ... high-value=low-volume; low-value=high-volume and everything in-between!

    High-ticket item transactions can still be handled manually if something goes askew (that’s assuming the POS system does not also have offline-working capability). It might not be convenient, but you can still complete manual paperwork/sales receipt for a cell-phone, a car or whatever and enter it later when the system is back up.

    It’s a whole different ballgame for a store selling low-cost widgets. Any system holdups and many customers will bail at checkout. (I even see this at my local Kroger [grocery] store when there are problems with slow credit card processing … the young guy with only a bottle of milk is often not going to hang around!)

    Reliable and fast connections are a must but even that is not 100% … I still remember the time, some 12 years back, when Dallas Water Utilities accidentally severed our ISDN line when trying to fix a water-main leak, out back. Fortunately, back then, we still had COM ports and modems, but going back to dialup was excruciating!

    It’s always a good idea to think what CAN go wrong, then have some alternate plans in-place for when the can-go-wrong, does-go-wrong!

  13. #13
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    Default Re: How to Run alpha five app in apple Ipad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paullm View Post
    Jetson,

    Web-based POS apps are most often used when there are multiple branches of a retail outlet and the home office wants to collect and consolidate the data (and maybe see some kind of dashboard), in realtime.

    It is always a good idea to establish what technology best fits your real need and to ELIMINATE as many unnecessary layers as possible, to reduce the possible points of failure.

    This is vitally important in a POS setting, where you have impatient customers who just want to be checked out, quickly!

    (You can be sure that retail outlets that use a web-based POS, also have an offline standby of some kind).

    Paul
    It is very important. Extremely important. However, I believe that if you do some research you will find that many solutions for small business (at present) still fail to address this issue. It's one thing if you can't swipe a card (which obviously requires connectivity to guarantee an approval.) ~ But when you can't even open the till to accept and or track the "beans", it's a huge problem.

    I'm still looking or "the perfect solution" which eliminates risk and maintenance on the desktop side and also adequately addresses the problems associated with being "off the grid" sporadically. (Swipe the card and take the risk, then when the connection comes back, "play catchup" and approve the "outstanding/unauthorized transaction.) ~ This wouldn't work for all businesses, but it certainly would for mine. ~ And although I suspect my version of "the perfect POS solution" may exist, I haven't found it yet.....

    From a risk perspective, I'd absolutely love the ability to buy an "I-Pad", turn it on, "launch an app" & be ready to go when the time comes to replace POS hardware. ~ (And have a "complete & ready to go backup POS system" sitting in a drawer in the "back office!") ~ With "built-in failure transaction rollback", a system like this would all but eliminate 1.) Hardware failure, 2.) Data loss & 3.) Internet "connectivity issues." (all at the same time)

    Google has a neat solution that is sort of similar to this in that they don't send the data to the program, they send the program (agents) to the data. Kind of cool! (Especially since both the agents & the data presumably exist in multiple locations for redundancy concerns.) ~ Send the program to the I-Pad, and then let it operate off-line when necessary.....

    PS: I don't own an I-Pad, but many of my friends and family members do. (My sister's husband is a pilot, and they've abandoned Rim/Blackberry for Apple based pilot/flight solutions!) I've seen him use it and I am amazed. It's almost magical! Consequently (based on what I have read & seen), I don't see how Windows-8 can even begin to compete with the I-Pad's front end GUI. ~ Apple's multi-touch interface is truly elegant..... (IMHO, it also blows away the android interface. No contest there!)
    Last edited by SNusa; 02-03-2013 at 02:42 PM.
    Robert T. ~ "I enjoy manipulating data... just not my data."
    It's all about the "framework." (I suppose an "a5-induced" hard drive crash is now in order?)
    RELOADED: My current posting activity here merely represents a "Momentary Lapse Of Reason."

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    Default Re: How to Run alpha five app in apple Ipad?

    Robert,

    There IS no perfect solution. We’re talking computers, here!

    All you can do is see where things might go wrong, then implement contingencies for when that time comes.

    (I would also argue that a “pad” might not be your best hardware … mainly because of durability issues in the “hostile” retail checkout environment).

    One thing I see today is all this wonderful new hardware "looking for" an application and just because a latest gizmo is available does not mean you should use it.

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    Default Re: How to Run alpha five app in apple Ipad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paullm View Post
    Robert,

    There IS no perfect solution. We’re talking computers, here!

    All you can do is see where things might go wrong, then implement contingencies for when that time comes.

    (I would also argue that a “pad” might not be your best hardware … mainly because of durability issues in the “hostile” retail checkout environment).

    One thing I see today is all this wonderful new hardware "looking for" an application and just because a latest gizmo is available does not mean you should use it.
    There could be, and there should be. (At least we could be much further ahead in this department IMHO.) The problem is one that's been around since I started with my first Apple-II in 1981? It's the gap "between how users use, and how developers develop." The technology is available. ~ It's the way in which it is implemented that gets in the way.

    I'm very fortunate in this regards. (At least I think I am.) I kind of live in the best of both worlds! I'm a business owner/entrepreneur who both can write and enjoys writing code. (Which incidentally, based on observation, I suspect is fairly uncommon.)

    I'd also argue that most of the people who come up with design specs for software solutions don't necessarily have the insight into how existing technology could best be implemented, because they don't really understand "how it works" at it's most simple form. (They may know what they need, and that it is possible. But they are not necessarily able take into consideration all the relevant implications when coming up with criteria for a project.)

    From a business perspective: The top criteria I have with regards to implementing the technologies I "choose to use" is: 1.) Risk (which BIG-TIME includes failure scenarios), 2.) Profitability, and 3.) Efficiency, & ease of use/maintenance.... (I never buy gadgets for the sake of "ownership.") I implement solutions. (And most gadgets are clearly not solutions.)

    As a matter of fact, I see Windows-8 as a gadget. (I sincerely hope this perspective on Windows-8 changes. But I am seldom wrong on things of this nature. Windows-7 is GOOD, and thus I intend to try to wait for Windows-9.) I used to see I-pads as a gadget. (Not quite so much as of recent.) Smart-phones are inherently stupid, and are thus mere gadgets in the hands of most owners/users. (I don't even own a "Smart-Phone" ~ a miss-named gadget at that.) Although I must admit: "Smart-Phones" can & do provide some valuable services. (I don't even own a tablet yet, anyways.....) ~ That being said, in most instances, I see a "smart phone" as a gadget that (unfortunately) has the inherent ability to lead an otherwise intelligent & "self-thinking person" to doing stupid things.

    PS: Microsoft removing, and subsequently sabotaging 3'rd party start button/orb capabilities/solutions pretty much ruined my interest in Windows-8.
    (You could look at this two ways. ~ Either I'm "narrow minded & ignorant" in this regard, or Microsoft is. Either way, I'm not alone on this one.)
    Last edited by SNusa; 02-03-2013 at 03:34 PM.
    Robert T. ~ "I enjoy manipulating data... just not my data."
    It's all about the "framework." (I suppose an "a5-induced" hard drive crash is now in order?)
    RELOADED: My current posting activity here merely represents a "Momentary Lapse Of Reason."

  16. #16
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    Default Re: How to Run alpha five app in apple Ipad?

    thanks for your reply, paul

    It’s always a good idea to think what CAN go wrong, then have some alternate plans in-place for when the can-go-wrong, does-go-wrong!
    i am not planning on changing anything in my store, when something is not broken i am not going to fix it.
    i am just trying to see how they did it. with single was or multiple was, is that runtime and was mixed etc., just curious to learn the implementation.
    purely for my knowledge, nothing more. always good to learn.
    thanks for reading

    gandhi

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    Default Re: How to Run alpha five app in apple Ipad?

    I just found out, quite painfully, that ajax windows do NOT work that well on Ipads. Specifically, putting a report in an ajax window is not good, because no way to scroll. If I am missing something, please tell me. But, as of now, I am rather frustrated - I will have to make many changes so that my app, whcih was working great on an Ipad, now has to be revised because of this problem.
    Gary S. Traub, Ph.D.


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