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Thread: Evaluating Alpha 5 on 30 day trial

  1. #1
    Ron Baker

    Default Evaluating Alpha 5 on 30 day trial

    I'm evaluating Alpha 5 on the 30 day trial. I have used Access for the last year. Not a programmer, but use databases for many things. For most databases I develop I hire programmers to write code to complete the databases. If it turns out that I could use Alpha 5 and avoid the cost of hiring programmers then that would be a smart move.

    Has anyone here traveled this road? If so, please let me know your experience.

    Based on what I see now I will be asking lots of questions over the next few days. I hope that OK.


  2. #2
    Dr Alok Modi MD

    Default RE: Evaluating Alpha 5 on 30 day trial

    Hi Ron
    You are in the right country.
    I am a doctor and I have no programming experience either, and alpha five suits the bill here. I have tried access and failed miserably and filemaker is limited. I have very good experience with alpha five in the last one month.The advantage with alpha five which everybody appreciates is that without any Xbasic experience you can design wonderful applications. Knowing Xbasic is cream on the cake and learning Xbasic is easier than visual basic. I am not fully conversant with XBasic yet and I am happily progressing.
    The other wonderful advantage with alpha five as you can see, is this wonderful forum where you can ask anything and get real good help from the alpha five community. I am quite happy to have bought alpha five. I would also suggest you look at Pace Training which is very helpful. Also do try Susan Bush's manuals and you will enjoy Dr Peter Wayne's tour in X basic, which is the place to start.

    I hope you also have the honor of getting your queries solved by Mr Robert T , like me.

    Dr Alok Modi MD

  3. #3
    "Certified" Alphaholic forskare's Avatar
    Real Name
    Ken Nordin
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Walker, MN

    Default RE: Evaluating Alpha 5 on 30 day trial

    Hi Ron,

    Welcome to the crowd. The very reason you're looking at Alpha is why we're here as well. Having transitioned from Access, things went a whole lot easier when I forced myself to not try to do it the way it's done in Access.

    Don't be afraid to ask questions. No question is a dumb question.


  4. #4
    Ron Baker

    Default RE: Evaluating Alpha 5 on 30 day trial

    My thanks to Ken and Alok for answering my message. Much appreciated.


  5. #5
    Real Name
    Blake Watson
    Join Date
    Jan 2003

    Default RE: Evaluating Alpha 5 on 30 day trial


    I think a fair answer is: It depends.

    If your needs can be met by building tables, designing sets and having simple form interaction with that set, sure.

    However, the more "business rules" behind those tables and forms, the more you're going to be programming. (This is true of any tool.)

    Also, A5 (like Access or any other DBMS-based 4GL tool) has a very specific scope. That scope, while narrow, covers a great many application needs.

    But, for example, you can't use it to build a device driver or, say, a First Person Shooter game :-). I recently wrote a program to produce audio stimulation for autistic kids--A5 couldn't really do that.

    You wouldn't use it to build your own DBMS, or if you had a task where the data management needs were light-to-non-existent (decryption, pathfinding, a voice-messaging system) or where they were very specifically constrained. As an example of "constrained", I have a friend who runs a comedy website, who has to deal with thousands of jokes weekly, for whom I wrote a program to compare the incoming jokes to her existing jokes. For practical reasons everything needs to stay in text-files--there's no way to leverage A5's built-in DBMS.

    A5 also doesn't do .NET or Enterprise Java, but the next version provides web-capability, which will probably be as good or better than .NET or Java for situations where .NET or Java haven't been mandated. :-)

    And it wouldn't necessarily be the best choice for apps that require a highly specialized interface. I do a lot of work with young children and hurt children. Things like clicking on a button that are simple for us are distractingly difficult for them.

    Voice processing, music, graphic-intesnive, timing-sensitive, all that multi-media stuff: not really A5's domain.

    But these represent a tiny portion of the actual business work that's done in the world. If you can describe your problems in terms of tables and sets, and your interfaces in terms of clicking buttons to cause the usual transactions (add, delete, edit), you're probably doing most of the work for your programmers anyway, and A5 will be fine.


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