Magazine January 2003

Jerry Pournelle reviews Alpha Five, a toolkit that allows computer users to painlessly create programs requiring databases

Smart Computing April 2003

Alpha Software Alpha Five Version 5

Build A Heavyweight Database

Alpha Five Version 5

Looking for the “big easy” of database-building software to help organize client and employee information, manage bill payment, or take control of product inventory? The latest version of Alpha Five, Alpha Software’s ever-popular database program, fills the bill. Alpha Five Version 5 is both easy to use and comprehensive enough to satisfy any database need. If you’re new to the database world, the Alpha Five online help files will explain the basics, and the assortment of templates and Genies (the Alpha Five equivalent of Wizards) will guide you through the necessary processes. And if you’re an old hand at working with using the ODBC (Open Database Connectivity) standard for merging data from various sources, you’ll find that Alpha Five gives you the opportunity to take a great deal of control over your databases.

Beneath the intuitive interface lies Xbasic, the proprietary programming language that is the guts of any Alpha Five database. Alpha Five lets you quickly access the Xbasic code at any time so you can forgo the Genies and work directly with the code; there’s also an Xbasic Reference section in the help files you can refer to along the way. You can also easily import files into Alpha Five from Microsoft Access, Excel, and Outlook; Lotus Approach; and other programs.

We appreciated Alpha Five Version 5’s wealth of features; we couldn’t seem to find any database task that Alpha Five wouldn’t let us complete. The program made creating forms a cinch, and we found the accompanying documentation to be clear and concise.