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Thread: alphafive or alphafour

  1. #1
    Selim Özruh
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    Default alphafive or alphafour

    we still have got alphafour v 2.1 and want to upgrade either to a4v7 or a5v4.5. we have couple of questions that we could not find out the answers at alpha web site. First of all we would like to know if the only superiority of a5v4.5 to a4v7 is windows based application or are there other advantages. Forexample is it possible to see and edit all different browse tables of a datasheet at a4v7. This is possible at a5v4.5 but because we do not have the trial version of a4v7 we are not able to find out if this feature is available at a5v4.5 only because it is windows based. Also please advise where can we download a4v7 trial version. Thank you.

  2. #2
    "Certified" Alphaholic forskare's Avatar
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    Default RE: alphafive or alphafour

    Selim,

    In a nutshell, that's the whole idea behind windows, to view multiple copies of programs, browses, forms, etc. at the same time. This cannot be done in DOS or A4v7 or any other version of A4.

    I do not believe a trial version is available for A4v7.

    You will be much further ahead to purchase A5v4.5 and then A5v5 when it is released. The cost of v4.5 will be applied 100% to v5. Unless you have an old computer and do not plan on buying a new one, A4 really is not viable. I know some A4 diehards will argue this but Selwyn stated that Alpha's future is A5.

    And, the technology of the new computers will, at some point, cause more and more problems w/A4. While Alpha did well with v7 to update the drivers, they'll only do that for so long and Selwyn made no mention of continued development of A4. There really is no need since v5 will surpass A4 with power and ease of use. Why struggle with windows drivers for A4?

    Hope this helps. Others will probably have more to say or correct me if I'm wrong.

    kenn

  3. #3
    Selim Özruh
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    Default RE: alphafive or alphafour

    Thanks Ken,

    it was really helpfull.
    I think i'll download the a5v4.5.
    But i want to correct my question just becouse of my criosity. Can i put on the "same form" fields and browse tables from databases from a set? in a4v7. for example :
    invocing system : two databases, first db : invoice header, second db : invoice items on the same form from the database set "invoice.set" for enter, view or edit data?

    another point : what will i receive when i purchase the packaged version of alpha five ? just the CD with zipped program file or also the documantation and some other material ?

    Thanks again.

  4. #4
    "Certified" Alphaholic forskare's Avatar
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    Default RE: alphafive or alphafour

    Selim,

    --Can i put on the "same form" fields and browse tables from databases from a set?--

    Yes, I do it all the time.

    Sets should consit of 3 tables (databases in Alpha 5 are called tables, that's an industry standard) although you can do more.

    If you buy the CD or download, the documentation is on the CD or the download and should be printed. When you install 4.5, you should also install the manuals (documentation). That way, you can go to the manuals from the Help Menu in A5. (With a5v5, you'll be able to click on Help and then go directly to the message board)

    kenn

  5. #5
    Member Mike Konoff's Avatar
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    Default RE: alphafive or alphafour

    Ken,

    Why "should" a set consist of 3 tables.

    What is the benefit of having 3 tables in a set VS. 2 or 4 tables?

    Thanks,
    Mike

  6. #6
    "Certified" Alphaholic Melvin Davidson's Avatar
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    Default RE: alphafive or alphafour

    Mike,

    To clarify what Ken said.

    You don't necessarily have to have more than 2 tables in a .SET

    The Industry standard for a relational system is as follows.
    Tables contain specific and unique information. All tables
    should have a key to uniqly identify a row (record).

    A Database is a collection of related tables.

    In A5v4.5 and above, you link tables related by keys into a .SET. So you can have SET's and individul tables in a Database.

    Of course, since the data police cannot be everywhere, you can also put unrelated tables into a database. :)

    Melvin

  7. #7
    "Certified" Alphaholic forskare's Avatar
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    Default RE: alphafive or alphafour

    Mike,

    This is what Dr. Wayne suggested in his presentation at the conference, a set should have no more than 3 tables. One must keep in mind he is basing this on his experience as a developer for his own use on a network (more capable than most of us by far) rather than a developer who works with several clients.

    I think there are times, however, when a set can contain more than three tables, especially if the relationship is 1:1 and you want to use a tabbed object to display the data rather than create several forms. On the other hand, if you have several 1:M relationships, then multiple sets are in order.

    That's my limited 2 cents worth. I may be corrected.

    kenn

  8. #8
    Member Mike Konoff's Avatar
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    Default RE: alphafive or alphafour

    Melvin/Ken,

    I'm fairly familiar with what a set is and the difference between a table & database. I thought for some reason (probably lack of hot coffee) that Ken was saying sets should specifically have 3 tables VS. having 2 or more than 3.

    But now I understand he meant a MAX of 3 to keep things simple. (I guess for simplicity and data integrity)

    Ken...thanks for clarifying for me. I'll keep up with the hot coffee today.

    Mike

  9. #9
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    Default RE: alphafive or alphafour

    Mike,

    Keeping sets smaller improves performance over the local network, too. Fewer tables means less to mover over the network when you fetch through the parent table.

    -- tom

  10. #10
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    Default RE: alphafive or alphafour

    'Dr. Wayne suggested in his presentation at the conference, a set should have no more than 3 tables. One must keep in mind he is basing this on his experience as a developer for his own use on a network (more capable than most of us by far)'
    No question about that! However I must be a bit like the bumble-bee... based on the expert opinion of the flight engineers I shouldn't be able to fly... I just go right on doing it in spite of (because of?) my ignorance.
    I routinely create sets with more than 3 tables. Often I link the same table twice: for example I have linked a table names ORDERS twice to SALESPEOPLE via keys 'consultant1' and 'consultant2'. The sampe ORDERS table is also linked to CUSTOMERS, ORDERTRANSACTIONS and ORDERPAYMENTS.
    I have developed 10 or 15 rather large apps over the past few years and I run many of them on a network and have had no trouble (touch wood) so far. Maybe I am just lucky... but if you had read my biography you would realize that this is out of the question!
    I would be interested in other peoples experience. Should I reconsider my design strategy?
    David

  11. #11
    Volunteer Moderator Peter.Greulich's Avatar
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    Default RE: alphafive or alphafour

    I would be interested if Peter Wayne would elablorate on that "restriction". In my own experience, complex sets are not a problem if you do not use them for entering child records. Enter the "kids" on the table level (I use popup dialogs).

  12. #12
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    Default RE: alphafive or alphafour

    I think I agree with you Peter, however, the dbf's that I use in production right now are A4v5, but no problems whatsoever with large sets. I hope to do pretty much the same in A5v5.

    Anyone know if the engine in A4 is approximately the same as the engine in A5?

    Russ

  13. #13
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Default RE: alphafive or alphafour

    I think I agree with you Peter, however, the dbf's that I use in production right now are A4v6 (oops), but no problems whatsoever with large sets. I hope to do pretty much the same in A5v5.

    Anyone know if the engine in A4 is approximately the same as the engine in A5?

    Russ

  14. #14
    "Certified" Alphaholic forskare's Avatar
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    Default RE: alphafive or alphafour

    Russ,

    Is this on a network or a stand alone. If a network, how many nodes?

    kenn

  15. #15
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    Default RE: alphafive or alphafour

    Peter,

    I think it has to do with network collisions and competition for the same record when several people are doing intensive data entry chores concurrently. His article on 'Simplifying Your Application', at www.learnalpha.com discusses this, I belive.

    -- tom

  16. #16
    VAR csda1's Avatar
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    Default RE: alphafive or alphafour

    To all,

    I would say that there is no issue using sets with any number of tables, but each record fetched in the parents and children tables adds significant overhead to the operation of reading a parent record. Where possible, make the link to children have no referential integrity (None) or "Prevent Changes".

    Don't use any children not required for the immediate purpose (form, report, etc). If you have multiple needs create a different set and layout as needed.

    Use 1 to 1 rather than 1 to many links where possible.

    Write good code (easier said than done).

    Regards,

    Ira J. Perlow
    Computer Systems Design & Associates
    csda@attbi.com

  17. #17
    VAR csda1's Avatar
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    Ira J Perlow
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    Default RE: alphafive or alphafour

    To all,

    I would say that there is no issue using sets with any number of tables, but each record fetched in the parents and children tables adds significant overhead to the operation of reading a parent record. Where possible, make the link to children have no referential integrity (None) or "Prevent Changes".

    Don't use any children not required for the immediate purpose (form, report, etc). If you have multiple needs create a different set and layout as needed.

    Use 1 to 1 rather than 1 to many links where possible.

    Write good code (easier said than done).

    Regards,

    Ira J. Perlow
    Computer Systems Design & Associates
    csda@attbi.com

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