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Thread: Home Edition

  1. #1
    Jason Edwards
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    Default Home Edition

    Hello folks,

    I've used Alpha products in the past. Mainly Alpha Four v6. Its been awhile, but wanting to try the new Alpha Five. I am not creating databases for business. I only use the databases at home. I create apps for my wife to do work at home such as a quotes and client app. My question is, I just saw the link for the Home Edition of Alpha Five and was wondering if you folks thought not being able to create and dist. apps and no xdialog boxes via xscripting would be something I might miss, although I dont have xdialog boxes in V4. Visual Basic 6 is what I have been using, but my wife keeps requesting new features to the 2 apps I have created for her, and I just dont have as much time to devote to VB to add these features for her. If I remember much about A4, I can probally recreate these VB apps and add the new features for her faster than just adding the new features to the VB programs I have written.

  2. #2
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    ray lane
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    Default RE: Home Edition

    Hi Jason

    I am with you I used Alpha DOS way back and now I am trying
    To get back into the swing of thing's in a windows setting
    I am looking at MS-VS.NET also I don’t want to get caught
    With me pants down so I am trying to compare well.

    I keep getting this confusing image in my head
    MICROSOFT or Alphasotware. I must admit they have come a
    Long way since I used it last but any 3rd party things
    That I want to do when code is available is either MS-VB
    Or C++ or FoxPro, ECT

    Alpha has the disadvantage little support from 3rd party
    Resources.

    Anyway that’s my 2 cents GOOD LUCK

    Ray

  3. #3
    Jason Edwards
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    Default RE: Home Edition

    Yes, thats my problem to. I am pretty good at VB, but really like the simplicity of Alpha and since I am not creating anything that I would sell I like the price of the home edition. But then again, I dont want to short change myself to save money, not that I have money to waste. I think I have talked myself into the regular version because I am scared I am missing something with a slim down home version.

    Jason

  4. #4
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Default RE: Home Edition

    Jason,
    I'm not sure what the Home Edition is. It's not listed on Alpha's product page.

    Alpha 5 Version 5 is not a trivial product. The capabilities are tremendous and rival Access. You can download a 30 day trial version from the home page. Give it a try.

  5. #5
    Former Alpha Employee JerryBrightbill's Avatar
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    Default RE: Home Edition

    Jason

    I really don't know what you are referring to when you say "home" version. There are really only 2 A5V5 versions, the full development version and the runtime which has different licenses based on the number of users. The big difference is that no development or design work can be done with Runtime. It is just what the name says - runtime. It will run a database that was designed in the development version. If you are going to do anything, you need the developement version.

    Concerning third party support, there are some reasons there isn't a great deal other that what you can find on the message board. The biggest it that there isn't much demand for it. Users coming from other products have learned that they need to rely on third party help since many of the programs aren't exactly user friendly. Try Alpha for a while and you may find you can do more than you think without much outside help. On thing I see on the forum is that people accustomed to Access for instance, frequently make some simple actions more complicated than needed. Maybe that is the way it is in other programs, but simplicity is one of the pluses of Alpha. Yes, you can get complex in xbasic, but complexity is not required to get the job done.

    Jerry

  6. #6
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    Default RE: Home Edition

    If memory serves me the home addtion was a term used way back when .... and was whn the database so sold with or without xbasic. The windows version has come a long way from those days and there is no home addtion any more.

    While the switch may require some learning curve, Action Scripting is extremly powerful, can build very complex applications without having to write code. xbasic language is available if needed. A5 adds xdialog with many of its features even available with action scripting.

  7. #7
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    Default RE: Home Edition

    Hi Jerry

    Maybe you misunderstand what I was saying or maybe just
    Have blinders on about the rest of the world when it comes
    To programmers.

    What I meant when I said 3rd party is if you want to
    Incorporate lets say payment processing into your App
    Using lets say GO Software's PC Charge www.pccharge.com
    They give you code and examples of how to do this in
    Other Lang like MS-VB, Access, FoxPro, Pearl, ECT.

    So closing argument "NOT EASY WHEN THEIR IS NO SUPPORT FOR
    ALPHA5"

    I hope I cleard this up

    Ray

  8. #8
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Default RE: Home Edition

    Ray,

    If you can understand the examples presented in other languages (VB, Access, FoxPro) then you can often translate the code into Xbasic commands and expressions. Code conversion and translation is a common requirement when trying to piece together an application that uses components from various independent sources. Whether this makes sense in your case is a personal call. There are tradeoffs in going with any developement tool. Deciding whether the benefits outweight the costs is a uniquely personal choice. -- tom

  9. #9
    Member
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    Default RE: Home Edition

    Hi Tom

    Thank you for the reply. I just don’t want to hit a road block in my application and in turn don’t want to trade
    Ease of us for power and versatility.

    This is going to be a big application and don’t want to be
    18 months into the Development Ooops can’t do this. I need
    POS pole display support I don’t no if this can be done in
    A5.

    I need credit card/check card authorization support using
    PC Charge www.pccharge.com they have a Development Kit
    Showing you can use OLE, ActiveX controls, VB, Pearl,
    ASPS, ECT don’t no if I will hit a problem hear.

    I need true client/server support OK V6 will take care of
    This.

    I need web access at some point OK the (WAS) will take care
    Of that.

    I need to voice enable my website at some point I can use
    SALT but that requires MS-VS.NET so that still another
    Environment I need to learn innless Alpha Software will come
    Out with a way to make multi model Application at some point I don’t need this now.

    I need mobile phone support don’t no about this either.

    Maybe Alpha will come out with ways to make anytime anyplace from any device at some point and then they will
    Not only give access a run for the money but also VS.NET

    Let me no what you think what are your hunches about the
    futcher of the Alpha Development tools.

    Thank you
    Ray

  10. #10
    Former Alpha Employee JerryBrightbill's Avatar
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    Default RE: Home Edition

    Ray

    Like any project, you need the right tools to get the job done. You wouldn't use a kitchen knife to do brain surgery, unless you had no choice. It sounds like your project may require some specialized programming tools. When faced with a challenging project, my first thought is to see what tools I need and determine what I need to get them and use them. I certainly wouldn't get 18 months into a project to see if the tools I have chosen will work together. I would start by gathering the tools and experimenting to see if they can intergrate together. If they can't, maybe I need different tools or a different programming environment.

    Having said all that, Alpha does support activeX and limited OLE support. Whether this will be enough to fit your needs is something you will have to determine very early in the process. Alpha is a great program, but just like a Mercedes is a great car, it doesn't haul manure as well as an old Chevy pickup.

    Jerry

  11. #11
    Jason Edwards
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    Default RE: Home Edition

    There is a home version. There is a graphic on the Alpha Five information page that says - Now Available - The Home Edition. And when you click on it, it takes you to a page that shows you the differences in the regular version and the home edition. Surely you folks can see the graphic. Its pretty big.

    check out this page: http://www.alphasoftware.com/products/a5v5/overview.asp

    Jason

  12. #12
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Default RE: Home Edition

    wow, where'd that come from? It appears you can't buy it, but it does say there is such a thing. Perhaps someone from Alpha can clear this up.

    russ

  13. #13
    Alpha Software Employee AaronBBrown's Avatar
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    Default RE: Home Edition

    We have just recently released the Home Edition, a low cost version of A5v5 for home users not planning on developing their applications for distribution.

  14. #14
    Jason Edwards
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    Default RE: Home Edition

    Glad you saw it. Was beginning to think I was crazy. They must be in the process of adding the option to buy. Last night, the graphic was in the lower righthand corner. Today its up top and the page that describes the difference has changed from last night.

    Jason

  15. #15
    Former Alpha Employee JerryBrightbill's Avatar
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    Default RE: Home Edition

    Jason

    My apologies. Red faces all around. Alpha keeps coming up with new stuff so fast it is difficult to stay current. Actually, for many users, it looks like a great deal. The features left out wouldn't effect most beginning users until they have a need to move up. Nearly all of the good stuff is still there and cheap too.

    Jerry

  16. #16
    Jason Edwards
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    Default RE: Home Edition

    Yes, thats why I am going to get back into Alpha. For $99 you cant beat it. I remember I loved Alpha Four V6. I got pretty good at creating apps and with the script language it had. I am looking forward to catching up with whats new. And if I get good enough and need it, I will upgrade later.

    Jason

  17. #17
    Former Alpha Employee JerryBrightbill's Avatar
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    Default RE: Home Edition

    Jason

    In your case, the new Home edition is the best move. Moving from a DOS based database to any Windows based product has a fairly steep learning curve. Alpha 5 is about as easy as it gets, but you will have to re-adjust your thinking with an object oriented environment. Even much of the terminology is different.

    There are many posts about moving from DOS to A5. The best way is to just start from stratch with something new. The built-in sample, Alpha Sports, is a great learning tool since it uses many of the features of the product. Spend some time there. And when you need help, search the forum or ask questions.

    Have fun

    Jerry

  18. #18
    Jason Edwards
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    Default RE: Home Edition

    Hey Jerry,

    I plan on having fun. Like I've said, this is for personal use more than anything else, so I dont have the stress of trying to make something on a business level. As long as I can hold off my wife on getting her applications switched over from VB to A5 until I get the hand of things I will be ok. I am familiar with the windows style of doing things as I have played with Visual Basic for many years. I have downloaded the demo of A5 and find creating forms a lot like VB. But as you have said, going from the DOS version to the Win version will definitely have its diffences. Now, as soon as they put the link on the page to buy it, I can get started.

    Jason

  19. #19
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Default RE: Home Edition

    I can see leaving out the multi user features for the home edition, but leaving out xdialog? That's one of the neater features that I'd want to show off. IMHO

    Russ

  20. #20
    Former Alpha Employee JerryBrightbill's Avatar
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    Default RE: Home Edition

    Russ

    Unless I misunderstood the promo, xdialog is available, but the genie is missing. Xdialog is an intergral part of V5 so I don't see how to eliminate it. Without the genie, however, you on your own for coding.

    Jerry

  21. #21
    Ray Fernandez
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    Default RE: Home Edition

    Hi Jerry,

    Since we are talking about terminology here:

    Alpha is a obect base environment, not an object oriented environment. There is much difference between the two. I believe the only true object oriented environment that's not an application development tool, but rather a database is visual FoxPro.

    I'm not sure about "Magic" or some of the others out there.

    Alpha, Access or Pardox do not support inheritance, that why they are obect base, not object oriented.

    RF-ARS-Motorola

  22. #22
    Alpha Software Employee Richard Rabins's Avatar
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    Default RE: Home Edition

    the Home edition is in fact a new option

    We will be officially announcing it this week and it will be available for sale early in the week.
    Thanks
    Richard Rabins

  23. #23
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    ray lane
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    Default RE: Home Edition

    Hi Ray

    What about Access is this object oriented environment and
    What is the difference I have seen the term several times
    Referencing Alpha5 Quote from this MSG board "one of the hardest thing when moving from Ver4 to Ver5 is getting
    Used to object oriented programming.

    Thank you
    Ray

  24. #24
    Member
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    ray lane
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    Default RE: Home Edition

    Hi Ray

    Sorry I looked over your post to fast I see Access is not
    Object oriented environment but still what is the difference
    And is Microsoft Visual Basic Object oriented environment
    What are the advantiages/disadvantiages for each one?

    Ray

  25. #25
    Ray Fernandez
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    Default RE: Home Edition

    Ray,

    Please note that Alpha is an extremely powerful database programming system, extremely easy to use for beginners, this is a winning combination than no other software can match.

    There is tremendous amount of information online about object-oriented systems, but here are the answers to your questions in a nutshell.

    A object-oriented environments supports the following:

    Please note that I used the terms classes and objects interchangeably only for this message. Another "OOPS" programmer might take offense with this.

    Polymorphism (Late binding)
    Several versions of a given method across several related classess.
    Example the method "closed", one method used by multiple objects
    Form.Close;
    Report.Close;
    etc.Close;
    Pretty much all database and development tools support this.


    Encapsulation
    Methods that are hidden inside classes / objects. (A black box where you don't know about the internal workings, but you know how to interface with the object through properties and events)
    Pretty much all database and development tools support this.


    Inheritance (usually associated with classes)
    The ability to clone an object/class and create a new object from the original. (This is an extremely simple definition, but is what sets a object-oriented language from an object based language).

    Only larger development tools support this.

    Yes, Visual Basic 6 or later (.NET) is a true object-oriented language because you can inherit from classes.

    Sincerely,
    RF-ARS-Motorola

  26. #26
    Member
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    Default RE: Home Edition

    Hi Ray

    Thank you
    Ray

  27. #27
    George Pelkofer
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    Default RE: Home Edition

    Hi Ray:

    While I agree that there are not many (truly) object-oriented PC based RDBMS's, I question the productivity of such RDMS's (although I have used Visual FoxPro & Dbase 2000).

    In general, I question the *productivity* of any object oriented language(s) in realm of business.

    Most business programmers don't give a (insert adjective here) care about inheritance, polymorphism, encapsulation, re-usability, etc., especially if it adds overhead/learning curve/cost to a project.

    The bottom line only cares about results... now.

    My feeling is that all database programming should be table based/oriented, not object based.

    I don't know of any research document/study, etc. that has ever demonstrated that object oriented programming has ever resulted in more efficient programmming.

    For my own preference, every data dictionary/field rule, etc. should be based on a table (even Alpha's), not a memo field(s), or some other (not so stable) structure.

    A database, whether flat, relational, C/S, other, etc. is the ultimate medium for storing/saving/editing/retrieving rules, data, or whatever. Why not use a RDBMS system for everything?

    Come to think of it, why isn't every OS more of RDBMS?

    It only seems natural.

    For food for thought, See: http://www.geocities.com/tablizer/top.htm

    Cheers,

    George


  28. #28
    Ray Fernandez
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    Default RE: Home Edition

    George,

    If you knew the power of inheritance you would make such statements. Just for the record, I can do more with one line with object Pascal that you can with a hundred lines of x-basic.

    One of the reasons Alpha exist is because it was written in a language which supports inheritance.

    I understand that maybe you don't wish to undertake the extreme learning curve of a true OOP language, but the power of inheritance is to reduce code, not increase it.

    All things being equal, which of course they are not. I do things in seconds that would take days or weeks in any other language that doesn't support inheritance.

    Sincerely,
    RF-ARS-Motorola

  29. #29
    Member RJGowan's Avatar
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    Default RE: Home Edition

    The Home edition is now listed on Alpha Five Products page (just before Add-Ons). I'm recommending it to many database users in local PC Users' Group.

  30. #30
    Jeannette Cook
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    Default RE: Home Edition

    Thank you, Robert!

    -Jeannette
    UG Liaison, Alpha Software

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