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Thread: v12 Release Notes

  1. #61
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    Default Re: v12 Release Notes

    Quote Originally Posted by CarverRon View Post
    As Robert is suggesting, should we add more items for Alpha to fix for version 12 in this thread or should we start a new thread?
    Perhaps 2 types of request for desktops:
    1 Known FIXES due
    2 Wish list ( at this point I will be happy with just fixes)
    I think it's pointless to wast any time trying to get anything accomplished regarding desktop bugs. I don't believe it's on their agenda, unfortunately. (And it will be the $ doing the talking "sending the message home.") ~ I've submitted numerous bugs in January, and kept a thread documenting them for my reference. (and anyone else's reference who cares) Nearly half of the bugs I submitted were presumably ignored. (no response) I would love to be wrong on all this though. But as others have stated, I'm probably not.

    "Alpha is very good at following up on bug reports. It's not uncommon for them to get fixed (or at least acknowledged) within a day or two." ~ Almost word for word from sales last spring when I renewed. (And to be honest, that's the way things used to be.) Note: I always ask how clean the new version is. I'm always told: "This one is much cleaner out of the box than the previous one." (And then I get the same old story above, almost as if it was scripted.) Unfortunately, I've never really experienced this. And my recent experience with reporting v.11 bugs (last month) led me to believe that many of the bugs were already "known", and that my efforts to document them had been viewed as a mere "annoyance." (So I gave up and now have reservations & resentment towards my choice in investing all this time learning, using & supporting their product.)

    Honestly, I sadly think the best choice (for those who wish to pursue desktop development) may be to "just walk away" and look at other competitive products. (That's the underlying message I'm receiving from a lot of users here on the forum. Same thing goes for Alpha in terms of their recent responses to recent desktop related bug reports as indicated below.) ~ Regardless, Alpha (presumably) now wants to be know as an "enterprise solution" for larger companies. (I just can't see that happening. Not in today's world of MS shops on one side, and Linux servers on the other. But if it does, that would be great both Alpha, it's developers & the web side of their product! (Also, IMHO Microsoft is compromising it's own future with Windows-8 tiles gui. They were really on a roll with Windows-7. Windows-7 is probably one of, if not their greatest OS since DOS!)

    PS: At this point, I'd be happy with "just fixes" too for a5 desktop. ~ I honestly thought that was a given with my subscription anyways... (And I was told it was when I renewed it.) I've also learned that if you want to be productive, it's good to wait at least 6 months before even touching the "most current version." (Or you'll become the "guinea pig" That used to be OK for me, as was learning the a5 desktop environment from the ground up. IMHO, struggling like that really forces you to learn the hard way, but the right way. But it also takes a ton of commitment.)
    Last edited by SNusa; 02-23-2013 at 04:48 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."

  2. #62
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    Default Re: v12 Release Notes

    Quote Originally Posted by SNusa View Post
    Hi Ray,

    I'm so pleased other share my point of view regarding v.12+ and the desktop! Alpha could very easily appease all their desktop users/subscribers. (And if they value us, they will.) ~ It really wouldn't take too much effort! (It's not like we're asking for a lot of new things, just properly working things that should have been corrected long before now.)

    IF V.12 IS TO BE THE LAST VERSION OF THE TRUE DESKTOP, MAKE IT A GREAT ONE & "GO OUT WITH A BANG!"

    • Clean up the code & fix the browse. (They never fully accomplished this after recently moving to the new 1600 compiled versions.) ~ (It was not long ago, in version 10 that they split and were "re-writing" some code for the new compiler.) ~ The way I see it, Alpha just never finished what they started. *I could be wrong here, but that's how it appears to me.
    • Provide a "bulletproof" single "distribution .exe container" for portable/seamless installations. (This should have been "perfected" years ago.) ~ A container that contains everything except user data .dbf files (that would get extracted), in the event a developer is using .dbf tables would be a near perfect solution IMHO.


    If they're not careful (Alpha), v.12 is going to be extremely "painful" (for them) in terms of cash-flow...... Alpha needs "a Windows-7", not "a Vista."
    (and not "a Windows-8", either) ~ CLEAN IT UP & FORGO A FEW "BELLS AND WHISTLES!" (and release a v.12.5 with the "extras") They'll get my continued support that way. (And when I'm ready, I'll dive back into the web side with renewed passion.)
    While not in the same words, this has been said when v5, v6, v7, v8, v9, v10 and v11 were about to be released. Not to find fault with Alpha, but nothing was not to clean up the older versions. It boils down to priorities and $$$. My gut feeling is that Alpha will incorporate the desktop with the web by making the web features fit on the desktop. It may even be that a grid will be created to emulate the desktop. and you call other grids for it. For me, that would be fine. No, it would be fabulous.

    As far as the v11 features to be released, if Alpha didn't say it, they certainly implied it and still are. Attached is an example, that's if I can get it attached. If not, go to the Documentation, filter with Alpha Five File Types and then scroll towards the bottom. While it's not a promise to release, it sure is an implication.
    Last edited by forskare; 02-23-2013 at 04:26 PM.
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  3. #63
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    Default Re: v12 Release Notes

    Quote Originally Posted by forskare View Post
    If not, go to the Documentation, filter with Alpha Five File Types and then scroll towards the bottom. While it's not a promise to release, it sure is an implication.
    You lost me, Ken?
    A5 File types.gif

  4. #64
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    Default Re: v12 Release Notes

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter.Greulich View Post
    You lost me, Ken?
    A5 File types.gif

    OOOOOps, Sorry

    Open the documentation and enter Mobile, select Components for Mobile (Top of list) Ta Daaa
    TYVM :) kenn

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  5. #65
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    Default Re: v12 Release Notes

    One other thing I just thought about regarding Alpha's desktop: Alpha also made reference to an Xbasic compiler (for the desktop/runtime) which was planned and in the works. (So by their own admission, they either either misled customers to sell subscriptions, or they still have plans for desktop evolution.)

    Here's the link, still on the wiki: http://wiki.alphasoftware.com/Road+M...+in+Version+11
    (posted by mheller. Last Modification: Wednesday 13 of July, 2011 10:08:16 CDT by mheller.)

    Without doubt, people (including myself) were purchasing subscriptions based on these statements.
    ~Also notice the plans for a second release (Release 2) of v.11. (Was there a v.11 Release 2? If so, I missed it completely.)

    Road Map for Alpha Five Version 11
    This document should answer your basic questions about how we see V11 developing over time.
    Initial Release

    Early fall
    Same 3 SKUs as V10.5: Full development system, Runtimes for LAN use, and Application Server for Web use
    V11 purchases, upgrades from previous versions, bundles, and subscriptions will be available.
    The new features of V11 are discussed in What's New in Version 11.

    Release 2

    A few months after the initial release of V11
    Introduces a new Microsoft IIS-based Web Server with vastly increased scalability for Web use, as an additional SKU.
    We are attempting to document all programming changes that will be needed for both V11 releases in time for the Initial Release, so that you don't have to change your Web applications twice.

    New Feature Packs
    These are still to be determined.
    Futures
    These items are speculations and indications of effort, and not promises of future product delivery.

    We expect to stop selling the Xbasic Application Server in the V12 time frame, once the IIS-based Web Server has been fully tested in production.
    We expect an Xbasic compiler to become available in the V12 time frame. Preliminary experiments with this are very promising in terms of run-time performance, but there are many obstacles to incorporating this into a production system.
    Selling "prepaid" $1000+ subscriptions while making public statements of intent & speculations like this, I certainly think they have some future v.12 desktop "obligations." ~ Don't you? (And if they don't, they've compromised credibility.)

    Note: Some of you may think that I'm "rocking the boat" here. Being the a5 customer, I see things the "other way around." ~ Alpha disclosed this v.11 Road Map over a year and a half ago. (And as of right now, it is still displaying on their wiki. ~ It hasn't been updated since.)
    Last edited by SNusa; 02-23-2013 at 10:35 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."

  6. #66
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    Default Re: v12 Release Notes

    Yes, there really is quite a bit that needs to be released for v11. We have no control over what Alpha does so all we can do is to wish them the best and cheer them on.

    Note: Some of you may think that I'm "rocking the boat" here. Being the a5 customer, I see things the "other way around." ~ Alpha disclosed this v.11 Road Map over a year and a half ago. (And as of right now, it is still displaying on their wiki. ~ It hasn't been updated since.)
    Year and a half, that ain't bad. I found "What's new in v6" in the documentation earlier today.

    Did you see this at the bottom of the link you posted?

    Futures
    These items are speculations and indications of effort, and not promises of future product delivery.

    We expect to stop selling the Xbasic Application Server in the V12 time frame, once the IIS-based Web Server has been fully tested in production.
    We expect an Xbasic compiler to become available in the V12 time frame. Preliminary experiments with this are very promising in terms of run-time performance, but there are many obstacles to incorporating this into a production system.
    Last edited by forskare; 02-23-2013 at 11:17 PM.
    TYVM :) kenn

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  7. #67
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    Default Re: v12 Release Notes

    Yes Ken, I did. ~ And the Xbasic compiler statement creates hope......

    What developers need (and should expect) are updates regarding things like this.
    Otherwise, if and when plans change: We are left with "false expectations."
    Last edited by SNusa; 02-24-2013 at 03:08 AM.
    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."

  8. #68
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    Default Re: v12 Release Notes

    One thing I noticed as we browsed through the records is how darn FAST Desktop is compared to web. You cannot scroll pages and do lookups nearly as fast in web environment. This, even though they are on DBF tables.
    I would take issue with this statement regarding speed of access to data. I am doing some testing on a web app built using SQL Server back end I haven't a clue what the front end is but it's not Alpha. The speed even over a VPN is tremendous. Now I suspect that the design and pre fetch might have a lot to do with the performance.
    Using Alpha and TOAD to access the data on the SQL Server is also very, very different in preformance. TOAD is a lot faster than Alpha when searching and sorting, but it doesn't have the capabilities for presentation and proving joins/subtractions/intersections so nicely.
    It seems like the Web hosted database access layer in Alpha could do with being speeded up somehow to give a comparable performance.
    If you try accessing an app on a single local PC in DT or WAS mode you will notice a remakable difference, so I can only presume it's the access and presentation layer that is so very different.
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  9. #69
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    Default Re: v12 Release Notes

    Yep, my term "web" is too broad. Totally agree we should investigate. I use Navicat and it is lightning fast, but really a desktop app. Another developer (a Newbee) said that when he shifted from AlphaDAO to ODBC, the performance greatly increased. Someone needs to investigat that for sure!! I am nearly positive there is something to lose when not using AlphaDAO (like maybe portable SQL) but I am not sure.
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  10. #70
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    Default Re: v12 Release Notes

    Tried both Steve. ODBC is better as suggested.
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  11. #71
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    Default Re: v12 Release Notes

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Wood View Post
    Yep, my term "web" is too broad. Totally agree we should investigate. I use Navicat and it is lightning fast, but really a desktop app. Another developer (a Newbee) said that when he shifted from AlphaDAO to ODBC, the performance greatly increased. Someone needs to investigat that for sure!! I am nearly positive there is something to lose when not using AlphaDAO (like maybe portable SQL) but I am not sure.
    Hey guys, just a heads up on this....

    Back in January, when I submitted several browse related bugs. (and remained persistent & "vigilant"): I was told (by Cian) that "they" didn't have time to adequately address and correct the browse issues/bugs (they were not an "easy fix", and they would spend time addressing the problems later) because they were working on enhancing SQL performance. (Thought you might like to know.)

    Another important (possibly related note) is:
    I used to work with ASP & connections to both access and SQL databases (10 years ago.) Due to the threading model, it was extremely important to use an OLE Jet connection as opposed to ODBC. (I have no idea why, but it was extremely crucial for both performance and data integrity.) In fact, I believe that's why they (MS) may have created/developed an OLE Jet database connection (different from a standard ODBC connection) in the first place? ~ Maybe this is something that has been completely overlooked by Alpha when they created AlphaDAO? (I mentioned this here in the forums about a year ago when everyone was complaining about MS Access database connection performance..... Nobody really knew what I was talking about, but I know for a fact that using/choosing the right connection string is/was paramount, at least for an Access mdb. And to do otherwise, presented data integrity issues!)
    Last edited by SNusa; 02-24-2013 at 10:11 AM.
    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."

  12. #72
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    Default Re: v12 Release Notes

    Quote Originally Posted by SNusa View Post
    Hey guys, just a heads up on this....

    Back in January, when I submitted browse related bugs. (and remained persistent & "vigilant"): I was told (by Cian) that "they" didn't have time to adequately address and correct the browse issues/bugs (not an easy fix, and they would spend time on the problems later) because they were working on enhancing SQL performance. (Thought you might like to know.)
    There are (and have always been!) several issues with the embedded browse on the desktop, and the most severe of them are related to stability issues. I am not even sure if they are ABLE to correct these issues as they may very well be embedded in the underlaying technology. I don't know if anyone of you has ever bothered to look into "the credits" of A5, but there is A LOT of third party software implemented in the product. If any of the issues is caused by those components then Alpha has no control whatever over the repair of those issues and can only "request" with the initial supplier. And who says they still even exist. As an example I clearly remember the issues I once had to get ANY response WHATEVER from the third party supplier of the built in graph features in Alpha. I am not sure where the embedded browse comes from and what it is based on. I do know that the issues with it are almost as old as Stonehenge and really guys, if Alpha had been able to address it to begin with wouldn't they have done so a looooooong time ago?
    So my best guess is: they are not able to.

    This is at this point in time not even that bad, since I really believe the path for Alpha Five should lead away from the current "desktop-technology-collection-basket" that is not coherent, not consistent, and not stable enough. It is really yesterdays technology and we all should not be pressing that hard for Alpha to invest any more in this ancient approach.

    However, you can't throw your old shoes away before you have your new ones or risk to run on bear feet. That's the other side of the medal. And the "web component technology" is still not capable of addressing all needs one has for running a desktop application. Unfortunately, even "working preview" mode may very well disappear in v12 because of a new view/new approach on "live preview". What that means for running the components on the desktop is no even clear yet if I must believe the person I spoke about that at Customer Service, which I do by the way since he is one of the more skilled technicians at Alpha.
    Yes, I know what I just said. I just did not wanted to keep it from you guys. It indeed puts Alpha's future still more into a smoke curtain as it already was.

    I can only say, the as far as I am concerned I am all for leaving the desktop to sink to the dept of time with pride, and move forward to a new technology hopefully based on the web component technology. I have expressed that more then once here, it is not my intent to bore you with repeating statements.

    These items are speculations and indications of effort, and not promises of future product delivery.
    We expect to stop selling the Xbasic Application Server in the V12 time frame, once the IIS-based Web Server has been fully tested in production.
    We expect an Xbasic compiler to become available in the V12 time frame. Preliminary experiments with this are very promising in terms of run-time performance, but there are many obstacles to incorporating this into a production system.
    Well Robert, does this not say it all? You can kick against Alpha as much as you want, but the statement above is very clear. It speaks of intent, not of quarantee or even promise. If you nevertheless construct that idea from it, that really is your personal interpretation and should maybe seen more as "wishful thinking". You can't blame Alpha for your own wishful thinking....

    As far as the subscription goes, again, this is not mandatory yet. And if we should believe Selwyn, it never ever will. There will always be an "a la carte" option. So it really was and is to this very day your own choice to enter into a subscription OR NOT. It's your decision really. You could have waited until you got proof that what you wanted out of it was really in the package. You did not.
    I am not saying entering the subscription is a bad move. Not at all. I think it all depends on your situation really. What you need and use, and how the cost of purchasing that in "a la carte" fashion weighs up against any subscription system. For me, at this point, subscription is out of the question. When this changes however, I will be in it.

    I have been around with Alpha's products for a very long time now. There have always been guys that would applaud at everything Alpha did, and there have always been guys that always criticized everything that Alpha did. I would like to point out, that most of the time, the truth can be found somewhere in the middle.

    Furthermore, we must understand that whilst we CAN (and maybe SHOULD) make a "wishlist" this really comes way too late to be included in the v12 release. This release is way too far down the road to change plans or make drastic changes in course right now. So don't get your hopes up too high about this. Furthermore, I do not expect Alpha to be much interested in it either. They have their plans set so it seems and are at full speed at delivering them as they have planned. I do not expect them to hit the brakes now and turn to us for advice on how their release should maybe look like just before they actually had plans to release it already.
    Would this have been the case, they would have reacted here already since I am sure at least someone at Alpha is following these kind of threads closely regardless of what we may think.

  13. #73
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    Default Re: v12 Release Notes

    I don't disagree with your logic one bit Marcel. What I was stating is I made subscription decisions both on their "disclosed intent" and things that were explicitly stated by the Alpha sales department. As agency law prevails, technically Alpha is accountable to promises made by their sales agents. I invested a lot of time in Alpha based on what I was told, and information that was put on their websites.

    Had the sales department told me Alpha was not going to continue debugging the desktop side (or that the desktop side was destined to become obsolete) I would not have spent thousands of dollars & hundreds of hours studying and learning it. (In fact, I probably would have chosen Real Studio instead, although at the time a subscription first became available I did not even know about it.) In the end, I did "dig in deep" with Alpha and became a "Charter Subscriber" (which gave me the extra push). I chose this path based on 1.) What what Alpha used to be (I dabbled with it for years), 2.) What I had read in the marketing materials, and 3.) What I was being explicitly told by their sales department as they "aggressively chased" subscription sales.

    I've already been the web route, and am not overly interested in that path at present. ~ The diversity & complexities of web development are so deep and inter-wound that to develop a thorough understanding of "it all", is virtually impossible! (Unless you make it a lifetime goal.) Unfortunately, I'm never satisfied in "just knowing that something works." I have to fully understand it, and know "why it works." (That's the way I have always approached technology.) ~ So from my perspective: To pursue the web development side of a5 kind of puts me in a "no-win scenario."

    If the desktop is discontinued, there's no getting around the notion that I was misled. (And I'm sure there are many others in this "same boat.")
    Last edited by SNusa; 02-24-2013 at 11:09 AM.
    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: v12 Release Notes

    Yes, Steve I agree, new ideas are required. As a developer (in DOS) since 1990 using mainly SAGE's Retrieve 4GL (anyone heard of it ?) it had a number of advances that I believe Alpha would benefit from (learn from) as follows:
    A program was made up of a header containing: the files (tables) being used, the screens referenced, the report layouts used, program variables, index criteria (outside the tables), common area. The number of functions it had was about 225 which included reading external files, print verbs so each line could be controlled, display screens (forms) so each could be controlled whether by browse, data input and much more. The screens (frames) and reports were defined using a a seperate developer option and identified by name. The whole was compiled so it executed quickly but a 'debug' option allowed the developer to see the program as it ran. There were no sets - the program code determined the relationships between tables which gave great flexibility. Multiple companies could be handled easily. Security was handled on login. Spooler, so prints might be seen before printing. Manager login with password allowed users to be defined with Printer definition, Data Maps, Utilities, External update, Main menu.
    If anyone would like more detail I would be pleased to oblige, as program development was a delight - compare a painter painting by numbers against a painter with a huge blank canvas.

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    Default Re: v12 Release Notes

    Quote Originally Posted by NJG166 View Post
    Yes, Steve I agree, new ideas are required. As a developer (in DOS) since 1990 using mainly SAGE's Retrieve 4GL (anyone heard of it ?) it had a number of advances that I believe Alpha would benefit from (learn from) as follows:
    A program was made up of a header containing: the files (tables) being used, the screens referenced, the report layouts used, program variables, index criteria (outside the tables), common area. The number of functions it had was about 225 which included reading external files, print verbs so each line could be controlled, display screens (forms) so each could be controlled whether by browse, data input and much more. The screens (frames) and reports were defined using a a seperate developer option and identified by name. The whole was compiled so it executed quickly but a 'debug' option allowed the developer to see the program as it ran. There were no sets - the program code determined the relationships between tables which gave great flexibility. Multiple companies could be handled easily. Security was handled on login. Spooler, so prints might be seen before printing. Manager login with password allowed users to be defined with Printer definition, Data Maps, Utilities, External update, Main menu.
    If anyone would like more detail I would be pleased to oblige, as program development was a delight - compare a painter painting by numbers against a painter with a huge blank canvas.
    Interesting that you made this reference to sets (or a lack thereof.) ~ Somewhere (very recently) I encountered a post (on this forum) that mentioned a "vision" that Alpha had, regarding "set-less" web development.

    As for SAGE, I used to debug Dac-Easy accounting (gratis) prior to it being acquired by Sage. That began when I began uncovering data integrity issues in my live business data! Once they moved to a "Btrieve database engine" (related to Retrieve?), these issues eventually (for the most part) disappeared. (Sage also presently sells Peachtree which I don't care for whatsoever.) Being a customer of their products I found Sage to be extremely "unforgiving" with regards to customer support. ~ You had to pay several hundreds of dollars just to log into their support forums for the accounting packages. (an additional fee after purchasing $500+ software modules) They were also ruthless with regards to locking users into their own merchant credit card processing. Needless to say, I no longer use their products. What totally killed Dac-Easy accounting & POS (for me) was their lack of support for bank transaction downloads. (Intuit has a "lock" on that here in the US.) ~ I'm not familiar with the other SAGE product you mentioned, but it sounds interesting!
    Last edited by SNusa; 02-24-2013 at 11:29 AM.
    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: v12 Release Notes

    Quote Originally Posted by SNusa View Post
    I don't disagree with your logic one bit Marcel. What I was stating is I made subscription decisions both on their "disclosed intent" and things that were explicitly stated by the Alpha sales department. As agency law prevails, technically Alpha is accountable to promises made by their sales agents. I invested a lot of time in Alpha based on what I was told, and information that was put on their websites.

    Had the sales department told me Alpha was not going to continue debugging the desktop side (or that the desktop side was destined to become obsolete) I would not have spent thousands of dollars & hundreds of hours studying and learning it. (In fact, I probably would have chosen Real Studio instead, although at the time a subscription first became available I did not even know about it.) In the end, I did "dig in deep" with Alpha and became a "Charter Subscriber" (which gave me the extra push). I chose this path based on 1.) What what Alpha used to be (I dabbled with it for years), 2.) What I had read in the marketing materials, and 3.) What I was being explicitly told by their sales department as they "aggressively chased" subscription sales.

    I've already been the web route, and am not overly interested in that path at present. ~ The diversity & complexities of web development are so deep and inter-wound that to develop a thorough understanding of "it all", is virtually impossible! (Unless you make it a lifetime goal.) Unfortunately, I'm never satisfied in "just knowing that something works." I have to fully understand it, and know "why it works." (That's the way I have always approached technology.) ~ So from my perspective: To pursue the web development side of a5 kind of puts me in a "no-win scenario."

    If the desktop is discontinued, there's no getting around the notion that I was misled. (And I'm sure there are many others in this "same boat.")
    Just a couple of points that I would like to make:

    1. HTML/CSS/Javascript programming is ubiquitous

    -- Phones
    -- Watches
    -- Major Appliances
    -- Toys
    -- Cars

    2. A company by the name of RIM almost ceased to exist because of its failure to understand the full impact of the web/mobile environment. Why would you wish that on AlphaFive!

    3. I am competitive as a company because of Alpha and its foresight to develop its web tools. I am web only since version 10 and have not looked back.

    4. The subscription model works for my company and it is how I take delivery of all of my major software purchases - Office365, SolidWorks, RingCentral, and AlphaFive.

    5. I have a manufacturing environment were I will be positioning iPods and iPads as kiosks connected to Alpha Anywhere V12 via an intranet. How frickin! cool is that!

    6. Every issue that I have ever come across with AlphaFive -- despite frustration -- I have always found workarounds. When v10 was weak in its CSS/HTML handling you could always use external editors. The more robust the webside, the more robust any solution can and will become as other tools in javascript, and .net can be woven into the end product by the programmer. Yea that rocks...

    7. I do think that there is a place for desktop applications, but not one that has not blurred the lines with the web programming standards.

    8. The more robust the web side, the more robust the desktop. I do believe that in time their will only be Web. Because it will be ubiquitous.

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    Default Re: v12 Release Notes

    Hi Michael,

    That is exactly what we are heading at: web technology will soak into every corner of application platforms, more or less adapted.
    It is simple economics: we are getting that many devices and platforms that it is not economical anymore to produce specialized tooling for each of them (with a few exceptions) so the strongest technology will survive.
    At this moment it is pretty clear that this "strongest technology" is the web technology. You can see that pretty clear when you look at web components used on the desktop. They are far more powerful then anything we have ever had on the desktop.

    For some, every change is painful and a process that goes hand-in-hand with resistance against the "new" technology, clinging on to the past since "that works" for them and they have grown to wear it like a warm coat in the winter. That's no problem, they can keep working with the old technology as long as they want and have it available. At some point in time they will either stop programming or step into the new world. They are not "early adopters". But with entering the completely new world of mobile programming Alpha will encounter new customers as well. And so there is a natural shift in customers as technology progresses. Some are excited and go along with the flow, others resist and cling to the old, some adopt early, some later. Some will stop, new developers will come.

    I guess since v11 (started somewhere in v10) it is the best time to start and explore web components for use on the desktop. It brings many benefits that we did not have on the desktop before. I can now create an application with the build-in feature to shift into many languages which enables me to develop applications specifically tailored for different countries. All in one go. Amazing! There are really tons of features in the components that can really make great applications. Now is the time to explore that technology. You would need to spend time in it, but that is all in the game.

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    Default Re: v12 Release Notes

    If you read the trade magazines, there is a lot of insight as to why the desktop is not going anywhere. First: "Smart-phones" and tablets are largely "media consumer products", and are also largely "brain-dead" without connectivity. (Sure, some companies are using them for certain applications, but not to run their businesses on. That should be obvious to all.) Second: Security risks with data "elsewhere", downtime issues, slowness of web apps (a huge complaint of products like MS Excel (online edition) etc.... One other thing to really think about is this: Even gamers with tablets frequently make negative comments as to a "downloaded application" when they come to realize they are merely browser web links to web hosted entertainment. ~ They want the applications, not a link to the application elsewhere.

    "New device form factors may in fact be the future. But that doesn't begin to guarantee wide acceptance of computer substitutes/replacements like the "Chrome Book." (an OS that literally exists as a browser) ~ Way too limiting IMO. Nevertheless, I will agree that it is a good idea to explore usage of web based objects for use within the desktop! (And that all future web-based Alpha objects should be designed with both the web and desktop in mind!)

    The mere fact that companies like google are offering "off-line" modes to their browser based tablets further substantiates all of this. ~ "Merely being cloud based is not enough." It's not the solution for many business needs. And since Alpha's primary reason for existence is to serve business with database based services & applications (as opposed to making games and desktop widgets/tools)..... They have no option but to deliver what businesses need, or they will cease to be relevant. Case in point: You don't see MS discontinuing it desktop development environment. It's evolving along side the web environment.

    Web applications can be convenient, great for marketing and they do eliminate computer/client configuration which is a huge time-saver. But there are a ton of downsides. Case in point: Imagine trying to use Alpha if it were a web based service..... We all know how debilitating & frustrating it is when JUST this Alpha forum "goes down." ~ Now imagine if a5 were "cloud based" & did the same when you were trying to build an application......
    Last edited by SNusa; 03-17-2013 at 09:43 AM.
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    RELOADED: My current posting activity here merely represents a "Momentary Lapse Of Reason."

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    Default Re: v12 Release Notes

    The point to be made however, was not whether the desktop will survive or not (there is no discussion about that as it seems), but which technology would survive on the desktop. You can use web technology in a number of ways: internet, intranet, desktop, mobile. In the future they will all assimilate the same base technology (the strongest to survive) with for each use mayne some slight modifications by settings. Development technology will become more streamlined and more like a chameleon: it will change color with its destination: develop once, publish anywhere. And for Alpha, web components will be the way to do it!

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    Default Re: v12 Release Notes

    Quote Originally Posted by mronck View Post
    The point to be made however, was not whether the desktop will survive or not (there is no discussion about that as it seems), but which technology would survive on the desktop. You can use web technology in a number of ways: internet, intranet, desktop, mobile. In the future they will all assimilate the same base technology (the strongest to survive) with for each use mayne some slight modifications by settings. Development technology will become more streamlined and more like a chameleon: it will change color with its destination: develop once, publish anywhere. And for Alpha, web components will be the way to do it!
    No complaints there, with the chameleon concept of "one for all and all for one." Even so: With 20 years of present desktop evolution, it is shameful IMO for Alpha to not "polish" what is already here and in use. ~ There are quite a bit of existing desktop applications and developers which could/would benefit from this tremendously. (Not to mention the underlying message this would convey to the user-base. At present, the message Alpha has conveyed to loyal long-term desktop users is: "We're sorry, but we don't care.")

    History tends to repeat itself, there is no reason to believe this will not happen to the new components too. I honestly think that Alpha needs to do this to gain some much needed respect within the development community as a whole.
    Last edited by SNusa; 03-17-2013 at 11:04 AM.
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    Default Re: v12 Release Notes

    Quote Originally Posted by mronck View Post
    The point to be made however, was not whether the desktop will survive or not (there is no discussion about that as it seems), but which technology would survive on the desktop. You can use web technology in a number of ways: internet, intranet, desktop, mobile. In the future they will all assimilate the same base technology (the strongest to survive) with for each use mayne some slight modifications by settings. Development technology will become more streamlined and more like a chameleon: it will change color with its destination: develop once, publish anywhere. And for Alpha, web components will be the way to do it!
    First, I agree with Robert. Most business want their apps "in-house", not in the clouds for the very points Robert made. No business with foresight will put it's existence in the clouds. However, as I read Robert's post, I had the exact thoughts submitted by Marcel. Furthermore, I've never said the desktop would disappear. I did say it would disappear as we know it. Alpha MUST either do a extremely major overhaul, not just in features but in the support files in order to keep up with the evolution of the computer OS. The say is true for any other product, no matter what it is. I have no doubt Alpha is fully aware of that and that is why, eye hath not seen and ear hath not heard Alpha release or announce any major reconstruct plans for the current desktop. Think about it, "Silence is golden". When evaluating Alpha's future, one must understand what they're NOT saying and they've not said anything about the status of the current desktop. Alpha has said they are working on software which can be developed once ad deployed to all three venues. They have NEVER said they had plans to end the desktop or to put the desktop in the clouds. Not that the DT couldn't be used in the clouds, to make that the only way to use the DT would be a very, very foolish venture.

    In summary, I don't believe it is possible for the DT to survive "AS IT EXISTS". Its technology is outdated. I DO believe, however, Alpha is developing the technology to use web components and the is Alpha's DT future.
    TYVM :) kenn

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    Default Re: v12 Release Notes

    Quote Originally Posted by SNusa View Post
    "Smart-phones" and tablets are largely "media consumer products", and are also largely "brain-dead" without connectivity. [/B]
    This is where my company is going:

    Shop Floor:
    - Cutting Table - iPad strapped to users arm
    - Inventory Manager - iPod - inventory - ordering
    - Time Card - iPod mounted at door
    - Machine shop - iPad mounted above tube cutting machine

    -- my printers all have air print so hard copies are easy - but for the most part I want a paperless office and shop.

    Design Shop
    - Apple Laptop - marketing
    - Win 8 Machine - 3dCAD

    Both with full browser connection to A5 Web applications as this office moves from home to shop.

    At customer sites:
    iPhone - data is collected and stored as a text file and then emailed to my AlphaFive App Server (I do not always have internet connectivity - although this is becoming rare) the AlphaFive App Server then parses the email and puts it into a table for review when we get back to the shop.

    Security.
    My application currently is hosted on Zebra, but could easily be hosted only from the servers at my office. However - I do not have to worry about updating my server hardware - I can easily purchase more horsepower at any time. I can negate security concerns by using the VPN software built into my mobile devices. As a small company, that does not worry me at this time, but as my company grows I will add more and more security measures as needed.

    Future:
    When I think of a desktop/IOS programming environment I am thinking of tools that allow me to create off-line devices that allow me to collect and get data to my back office servers. Not for my shop, but for my sales staff. I think this is moving as far away from laptops and netbooks as possible.

    Cheers.

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    Default Re: v12 Release Notes

    Quote Originally Posted by forskare View Post
    Most business want their apps "in-house", not in the clouds.
    Years ago I would have agreed with you on this. Two points:

    -- Robustness of the cloud is by far better than what most can build in house.
    -- I can move offices, expand and or contract, hire and fire, with very little impact to my IT when it is in the cloud.

    OK one more point:

    -- I own my data, but I am glad to let cloud own the hardware that it runs on.

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    Default Re: v12 Release Notes

    I'd sell my business before I'd agree with you. I need both guaranteed uninterrupted up-time and efficient and fast transactions for my POS. The web cannot deliver that. Occasionaly, I have had brief periods where I could not process credit cards (built in to the POS) due to broadband service interruptions, and even that causes HUGE problems. (Customers in line unable to use credit cards is bad enough.) But to be unable to do any transactions whatsoever would literally be catastrophic!!!!! ~ That is why I have always stood behind the following conviction: Mission critical code must be able to live on the client. ~ Having an "offline" mode is of paramount concern. A solution of "Alpha Anywhere Sometimes" without client code won't work for many mission critical tasks. PERIOD.

    THE ONLY VIABLE SOLUTION FOR MANY INDUSTRIES IS A MIX OF THE TWO! (Cloud & desktop)

    ps: I fully endorse some benefits of cloud based data storage along with the notion that a browser solution simplifies (almost eliminates) the need for in-house technical expertise to setup & maintain client based hardware/software....

    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelCarroll View Post
    Years ago I would have agreed with you on this. Two points:

    -- Robustness of the cloud is by far better than what most can build in house.
    -- I can move offices, expand and or contract, hire and fire, with very little impact to my IT when it is in the cloud.

    OK one more point:

    -- I own my data, but I am glad to let cloud own the hardware that it runs on.
    Last edited by SNusa; 03-17-2013 at 04:17 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: v12 Release Notes

    Whatever anyone may think on this subject, figures DO speak for themselves as facts. And those figures very very clearly state, that investments in datacenters is continuously increasing. And not by a little bit, but by the millions. The growth figures are very steep. This says, that more and more data is being pumped into the cloud. Which does not wonder me at all, since the quality those datacenters offer in general can not by matched by most private companies. That does not say that ANY application is at present fit for lifting to the cloud. But saying that "the web cannot deliver uninterrupted up-time and efficient and fast transactions" is absolutely incorrect. It all depends on the technology you put at work and the level of redundancy you put into it.

    And even IF you have everything running at home, you need extra investments to get to the result where you have "guaranteed uninterrupted up-time". If a dragline in your street blows up the local power installation you are done with if you have no power aggregate available. Same goes for a lot of things. But, as said, not for every application it is efficient to take it to the cloud.

    Generally speaking, a TIER-4 or even TIER-5 data center is as good as it is going to get and you will have a hard time realizing this quality in your own office. I dare to say for small companies this is completely impossible.
    Reckon that TIER-5 data centers are not only carrier-independent and redundant, but that goes for power supplies as well, even for location risk profiles. If you shadow your application in the cloud over different geographical locations with different risk-profiles you are as close to 100% guaranteed safe as you are going to come ever. Most TIER-5 data centers have their own geo-mirror-locations available.

    I agree with Michael Carroll when he says the robustness of the cloud is by far better than what most can build in house. And even IF YOU COULD then the question remains whether that would be cost-efficient in comparison to a third party data center. Probably not.

    More and more businesses understand this, and it is for good reason that investments in data centers are rising. I personally have taken a high-profile mission-critical application environment into the clouds and the process of working that out with the data centers alone is an eye-opening experience.

    Robert, "the web" is a broad understanding. It is all about the lines that you utilize to connect to it. These could even be doubled redundant private data lines directly to your data center, and if it is a TIER-4 or TIER-5 data center it will be directly connected to the backbone. Does not get any more secure then that. OK, even that can go down. But so can your own privately housed data center in house. For numerous reasons. There could even be a burglar in the night and you might find in the morning you don't even HAVE a computer system anymore......

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    Default Re: v12 Release Notes

    Shop Floor:
    - Cutting Table - iPad strapped to users arm
    - Inventory Manager - iPod - inventory - ordering
    - Time Card - iPod mounted at door
    - Machine shop - iPad mounted above tube cutting machine
    So George Orwell was right then!
    This isn't progress, this is the exact opposite and shows a complete distrust of people and a lack of ability to select the right personnel to help you build your business.
    Do the i thingies have a group hug occasionally?
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    Default Re: v12 Release Notes

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Giles View Post
    Do the i thingies have a group hug occasionally?
    Yes. It's called an i-meltdown.....

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    Default Re: v12 Release Notes

    Quote Originally Posted by mronck View Post
    .....Robert, "the web" is a broad understanding. It is all about the lines that you utilize to connect to it. These could even be doubled redundant private data lines directly to your data center, and if it is a TIER-4 or TIER-5 data center it will be directly connected to the backbone. Does not get any more secure then that. OK, even that can go down. But so can your own privately housed data center in house. For numerous reasons. There could even be a burglar in the night and you might find in the morning you don't even HAVE a computer system anymore......
    I try to make business decisions based on sound & practical reasoning. (Based on 30 years of experience & a solid business education ~ not theoretical concepts & unlimited budgets.) The kind of businesses you are presumably hypothetically referring to are for the most part approaching "enterprise level." ~ I would guess that most Alpha developers build solutions for clients who are way too small for full blown networks with redundant T1 pipes feeding data centers with built-in fail-over.

    As for statistics, they are what you read into them (and how they are collected). There is a lot more behind the numbers that must be accounted for. FYI, in a year or two, "smart-phones" will reach 80% saturation. What happens then? One thing is for certain: Nearly ALL of the small businesses I personally know of are much more cost effective when they can uses peer-to-peer lans, and not need (nor could they internally support a "real network infrastructure", dependent upon a dedicated server.)

    Regardless, it goes without saying that data moving between a keyboard and chip in a box travels 1000, 10,000, or possibly 100,000 x faster than it can over the web. Microsoft still believes in full blown computers. Just "thinner" ones. (Hence the new Windows Tablet running full windows 8 Pro with a flip-cover keyboard and a solid state drive.) I believe they are correct, and this is the future of business level tablets! Even with Windows RT and Android tablets, developers are striving to provide "offline mode solutions."

    There are undoubtedly many benefits to "cloud computing", but there are also just as many benefits to "software running on th box." The truth is, both are complimentary, not exclusive.
    Last edited by SNusa; 03-18-2013 at 10:14 AM.
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    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: v12 Release Notes

    Quote Originally Posted by SNusa View Post
    There are quite a bit of existing desktop applications and developers which could/would benefit from this tremendously. (Not to mention the underlying message this would convey to the user-base. At present, the message Alpha has conveyed to loyal long-term desktop users is: "We're sorry, but we don't care.")
    This has been said of Alpha with every release in the last 20 years. However, one one understands Alpha's concept of moving forward, yes, Alpha does care. Yes there are some things Alpha could do with the present DT. However, they have chosen to put their time, energy and money into the future.

    History tends to repeat itself, there is no reason to believe this will not happen to the new components too. I honestly think that Alpha needs to do this to gain some much needed respect within the development community as a whole.
    As have many others. However, as history has shown, this has not been the case.
    TYVM :) kenn

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    Default Re: v12 Release Notes

    Quote Originally Posted by forskare View Post
    This has been said of Alpha with every release in the last 20 years. However, one one understands Alpha's concept of moving forward, yes, Alpha does care.
    I disagree, and here's why: Caring would mean that they would have set aside / made time to fix several of the basic desktop GUI bugs to take care of existing and long-time desktop customers. (Something they have always done in the past.) On the contrary, I don't believe they have addressed a single bug (GUI or otherwise) that I uncovered during the past 3 months. (Too busy on other projects I was once told n an email. ~ That was in direct response to the problematic browse scroll.) ~ FYI: A SQL performance enhancement project was stated as being their priority at that time. Cian had indicated (via email) that some of the bugs would be looked at, and he would follow up when time permitted to address the issue properly. Unfortunately, I haven't heard a thing. ~ In the past, up to v.10.5, they always resolved issues & bugs. (Also, during subscription renewal, Alpha's sales department specifically stated Alpha was still committed to continued desktop support during the v.11 cycle.) ~ Being a subscriber, I certainly expected as such.

    A few weeks to focus on & resolve existing desktop bugs to keep their present desktop users & subscribers "on-board." (It's a "no-brainer" if you ask me.) ~ And if they imply they can't afford to do this (which I doubt is the case), I suspect we're all in a "heap of trouble."

    I'm sure they could care less about my subscription renewal individually, but if there are several hundred others who feel "let down", everyone will suffer. Do the math! (Not to mention how this could effect users resiliency to adopting a subscription model. A model which is probably critical to future web/tablet development.)
    Last edited by SNusa; 03-17-2013 at 09:37 PM.
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    RELOADED: My current posting activity here merely represents a "Momentary Lapse Of Reason."

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