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Thread: A5 robust for dynamic web if not "Server"

  1. #1
    Kevin Ward
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    Default A5 robust for dynamic web if not "Server"

    The text below is an excerpt from an article on database selection on the Macromedia site pertaining to Cold Fusion MX usage in constructing a shopping cart - - the author states below that "database servers are the way to go for the web" - does this mean that i am handicapped using A5 instead of SQL server or the like with Cold Fusion MX?

    Kevin Ward
    Dallas, TX

    _____________________________________

    Choosing What's Best For You: File Database or Database Server?
    Let's help make this part a little easier. With the exception of Microsoft Access, all file databases are pretty much useless when it comes to delivering dynamic web content—in spite of what the ads might say. Save yourself a great deal of time and trouble and accept this fact right now.

    Speaking of Microsoft Access, believe it or not, the most common database on the web is Microsoft Access. The database engine in Microsoft Access 2000 was significantly improved and for a small, low-traffic sites; Microsoft Access does an admirable job. Additionally, Access is a true relational database and supports views. But it has its limitations. It simply cannot handle heavy traffic. If your site traffic is likely to generate more than 20 concurrent database hits at a time, it's time to move to a database server like Oracle, SQL Server, or MySQL (if you don’t need a relational database). Generally, database servers are the way to go for the web.


  2. #2
    Ray Fernandez
    Guest

    Default RE: A5 robust for dynamic web if not

    Hi Kevin,

    The reason MS Access is so popular is because it's a click away from upsizing to MS SQL. A lot of developers developed Web context in MS Access locally then convert to MS SQL when applications are ready.

    MS Access is the ONLY file server format that handles disconnected record sets, the backbone of the Internet. In fact the Internet itself is nothing more than a large disconnected record set database.

    I don't think you ever want to go to through the hell of creating a shopping cart when there's so many out there already built to choose from. I would buy one with open source code (ASP or .NET) and then modify it to your needs.

    File server databases, regardless of the vendor are just not made to support medium to heavy duty traffic, this by the way includes Access. As SQL becomes pretty much the standard in the future database horizon, Microsoft has decided to make Access the front end to SQL. This is pretty much the direction Access has taken in recent years.

    You talked about ASP.NET pages in another thread. These are two different things. ASP pretty much the standard today in Web Page contents is being replace by ".NET" pronounced "DOT NET".

    DOT NET is the future that Microsoft is taking the development community in. Basically any language that support the ".net" standard will interface with any other language.

    Example: you are talking about examples in C# in your thread. (C# both Microsoft or Borland flavors) will interface with any other program that also supports "dot net".
    So when applications written in C# can be modified with Delphi .Net code or visual Basic code. If you learn any language that support .Net, that language will not become obsolete and will be able to take advantage of any future developments in the .NET world.

    Alpha is a superb program for beginners getting involved in the world of databases, but if you're seriously considering medium or heavy duty Web access, stick to the standards, folks at Alpha will not disagree with this.

    It will be interesting to see how Alpha will incorporate ADO in its next release.

    Depending on the success of the next release of Alpha (which I hope is extremely successful) it will be interesting to see if Alpha would even consider expanding the Xbase language into the .net arena.

    If you need any additional help, please e-mail me directly. This may not be what you want to hear, but I see you asking a lot of questions and not getting very many answers.

    Sincerely,
    RF-ARS-Motorola

  3. #3
    Kevin Ward
    Guest

    Default RE: A5 robust for dynamic web if not

    no doubt they are ignoring hard questions on this thread. The basic rub here is this... Alpha 5 will probably never adapt Xbasic to the .net framework and that is basically putting them in the class with Betamax in terms of web development - don't get me wrong here - i like Alpha 5 a lot! I don't think they are ever going to compete inside the web server administered application world... BUT, they offer an UNLIMITED runtime compiler (which i own) to develop and distribute programs that I OWN - ME - only me....I develop stand-alone database app software for the Petroleum Engineering Industry and this fits the bill perfectly. But, your basic choices in robust web app development are MS SQL Server and ORACLE's Database Server, may a couple of others i am not aware of... to develop apps that run on SQL server, you do this in Access...all is a perfect world there EXCEPT - MS will not sell you a runtime compiler to make an ACCESS database a standalone product you can sell - That is the rub - you have to learn two database products to get the full enchilada.

    1) I do not know of anyone who can distribute a standalone Access database product.
    (Alpha 5 grade: A+)

    2) Alpha 5 will never be a web based application. - caveat: The are making a web app server product but it is still "betamax" because it is an entire HTTP server and cannot integrate with anything else - only dish out your app as you wrote it - very constricting - although very easy if that is what you want to do. One could set up a seperate server dedicated entirely to Alpha 5 product distribution but then your going to be handcuffed as a web developer because Alpha 5 is hardly a robust web development tool such as Macromedia's Dreamweaver or the like.
    (Alpha 5 grade: D-)

    3) nobody has a all encompassing solution it appears to me. I am dissappointed that MS will not sell me a runtime compiler so i can do everything in Access/SQL and I am dissappointed that Alpha 5 will not become web enabled withing the .net framework so i could do everything in Alpha 5 / "some server product"

    Please - somebody tell me i am going wrong here somewhere but i don't think so. OK, let the bashing begin! LOL


  4. #4
    Alpha Software Employee Richard Rabins's Avatar
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    Richard Rabins
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    Default RE: A5 robust for dynamic web if not

    "Alpha 5 will probably never adapt Xbasic to the .net framework and that is basically putting them in the class with Betamax in terms of web development - don't get me wrong here - i like Alpha 5 a lot! I don't think they are ever going to compete inside the web server administered application world..."

    actually .net development for alpha five is underway
    richard rabins -- alpha sofware

  5. #5
    Kevin Ward
    Guest

    Default RE: A5 robust for dynamic web if not


    Thanks for the succinct answer Richard. Could you please elaborate on this topic. I cannot find anywhere on the AlphaSoftware website referring to details on the topic...is this so new of an initiative that it will be sometime before we see any actual results on this?

    I am already beginning to learn Access now because I can easily connect to the MS database with Cold Fusion Server MX 6.1 while developing with DreamweaverMX - can't seem to find any help anywhere on how to do this with A5 - even on the Macromedia site. Database Connection techniques and DETAILS inside or outside of Cold Fusion are a topic that I can find nothing on for Alpha 5 from a multitude of books on the subject or through the A5 website, Macromedia's site or anywhere on the net for that matter... maybe my searching techniques are not as good as some others but I have been trying pretty hard... how about a helping hand on this from AlphaSoftware?

    A5 databases should be at least as easy to connect to with other programs as Access is...
    save me from learning Access - please.

    Thanks for the reply,

    Kevin Ward
    Dallas, Tx

  6. #6
    Alpha Software Employee Lenny Forziati's Avatar
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    Lenny Forziati
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    Default RE: A5 robust for dynamic web if not

    no doubt they are ignoring hard questions on this thread.

    Kevin, you'll find that we here at Alpha are very responsive and up-front about our products as well as our future intentions. Your original post was late Friday night and our CEO, Richard Rabins, responded to you Saturday evening. I am the project manager for the Web Application Server and I had a busy weekend so I am not responding to you until now, Monday morning. I don't think you'll find this level of support from Microsoft or Oracle.

    But, your basic choices in robust web app development are MS SQL Server and ORACLE's Database Server

    I'm sure you know this but I'd like to clarify for other readers of this thread - SQL Server and Oracle are not web development applications, they are simply database engines. From the application development standpoint, they are essentially glorified DBF files that scale better in a multi-user environment. This is admittedly an over-simplified definition of Oracle/SQL Server, but my point is that you still need an actual development environment such as Cold Fusion or Visual Studio. Our Web Application Server is a complete devleopment environment and database engine plus an HTTPD server.

    ...may a couple of others i am not aware of

    You should take a look at MySQL. Not only is it free, it is very powerful and used by very large institutions and web sites such as Google, Yahoo, NASA and the New York Stock Exchange. Alpha Five V6 will have native support for MySQL databases.

    caveat: The are making a web app server product but it is still "betamax" because it is an entire HTTP server and cannot integrate with anything else - only dish out your app as you wrote it - very constricting - although very easy if that is what you want to do.

    It is true that the initial release will be a stand-alone server. Alpha's key selling point has always been powerful applications that are easy to build and in staying true to this we decided to build an complete web server product. Many of the people we expect to use this product are not familiar with administering web server software or working with HTML and server-side languages.

    However work is already underway to make the Web Application Server work under Apache and IIS. This will not be part of the base product but rather an upgrade for more advanced users that need the increased performance/scalability that these 3rd party servers offer.

    -Lenny

  7. #7
    Kevin Ward
    Guest

    Default RE: A5 robust for dynamic web if not

    Thanks for the replys and yes, they are more efficient of responses than you would ever receive from MS unless of course you have a fat bank account - I harbor no animocity here whatsoever as i am an big A5 supporter - I did have several people write me off the thread and mention they were paying close attention to it - the statement that Alpha was not answering questions was not a statement original to me and came several days ago from other people, i was only echoing sentament that was being said to me ssentially. Understand now that you were pre-occupied this weekend.

    Lenny, thanks for the comeback - I actually use Cold Fusion and Dreamweaver for my development environemnt - perhaps i didn't word my statements/questions accurately - in any case, I am glad to hear that the plans for the web server are taking this route - i will keep up with this and I will be interested in the product when it becomes available...we have purchased everything Alpha has made i think so why stop now... we actually have begun the process of evaluating mySQL as a database engine already and find that it is probably quite robust as you have inferred. I appreciate the information. Given that native support for mySQL will be a part of the next release - We will most like put more effort than planned into evaluating and testing mySQL than previously thought - that is good news.

    On the other side of the fence, we are using access at this point as a beginning database/engine because we can connect an Access database to Cold Fusion for development in CFML. We would prefer to use Alpha Five but cannot find anywhere on the web to describe exactly how to do that - - I notice that the AlphaProducts site has ASP and CFM pages contained in the matrix - may i ask what the structure of your network consists of? IS there an A5 database connected to your Cold Fusion web server now? How do you accomplish this if so? This would be greatly appreciated information amigo.

    When we can use A5/mySQL as a server engine and Xbasic as a development tool inside the .net framework, the CFML may take a back seat - how about "Visual Weaver Xbasic Studio???" > - - - were watching!

    Regards,
    Kevin



  8. #8
    John Fitz
    Guest

    Default RE: A5 robust for dynamic web if not

    >

    I'm wondering why you are under this impression Kevin. I am currrently marketing an Access based product using the Access runtime provided in the Developers Edition. This has been done with numerous other commercial products as well.

    Cheers,

    John

  9. #9
    Kevin Ward
    Guest

    Default RE: A5 robust for dynamic web if not

    I will try to find this developers edition on the MS site and read up - thanks.

  10. #10
    Member
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    Nathan Zeiset
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    Default RE: A5 robust for dynamic web if not

    Kevin,

    FWIW, we are currently using using A5 as our main internal database, and also use Cold Fusion for our web site. To connect the two, I simply export one of our tables to a delimited text file, import the file into Access, and upload it to our site. I've written a couple of simple scripts in A5 and Access to automate it, which makes the procedure quite painless. Granted, I'm only uploading one table to our web site. I'm not sure how difficult it would be to do this if I had to convert several related tables into an Access file.

    Still, A5 is so nice to work with, that I'd much rather do this than create a new app in Access.

    Nathan

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